Herald on Sunday (New Zealand)
17 April 2011
A New Battle Plan For Spartacus
The article is about Spartacus Gods of the Arene coming to New Zealand television:
A new battle plan for Spartacus
ROME WASN’T built in a day, but Spartacus: Gods of the Arena came damn close. This is the programme quickly greenlit last year after Season 2 of Spartacus: Blood and Sand had to be put on hold when leading man Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with cancer.
Gods will flash back to earlier times when social climbers Batiatus and wife Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) get their first taste of fame by acquiring a superstar gladiator called Gannicus (Dustin Clare). He intends to become Champion of Capua, a title later taken by Spartacus.
Lawless is most certainly a survivor, even though Lucretia seemingly died in the Blood finale with a sword to her pregnant abdomen. “This role is the greatest challenge and pleasure of my career, so I’m grateful I escaped my fate,” says Lawless, who shot Lucretia’s demise two ways — one in which she’s clearly dead, one in which she’s still twitching. Execs chose the latter, assuring she’ll be back for Season 2.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In Gods, the popular actress engages in some sizzling Sapphic sex with costar Jaime Murray ( Dexter), who plays Lucretia’s girlhood pal Gaia — and that’s something Lawless’ fans have been dying to see since the star’s days as Xena: Warrior Princess.
“The lesbian stuff made me nervous as hell, and I don’t think I could have done it without Jaime,” Lawless admits. “She’s really funny and 200 per cent professional.”
And Whitfield, who is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, remains her kind of man. “Andy didn’t curl up in a ball and think of himself — he’s concerned about all the people making their livelihood with this show,” says Lawless. “He wanted us to continue and we love him for that. It’s no wonder he played Spartacus so well. The guy is a true hero.”
Scanned / Transcribed by MaryD