gaiaA quick word with Jaime Murray, who plays the naughty, social-climbing seductress who corrupts our very own Lucy Lawless - well, her character Lucretia at least - in the latest instalment of Spartacus...

A quick word with Jaime Murray, who plays the naughty, social-climbing seductress who corrupts our very own Lucy Lawless - well, her character Lucretia at least - in the latest instalment of Spartacus...

In the first episode of Gods of the Arena Jaime Murray's Gaia fed Lucretia opium and then lured her into the sack.

The English actress knows a thing or two about doing risque scenes, having rolled around with Michael C. Hall in Dexter as the serial killer's unhinged fling Lila. But she insists she's quite modest in real life.

"I take off my clothes and I'm a little shy," she says.

Not that you'd know it from her pivotal role in the Spartacus prequel.

You realise you will be forever known in New Zealand as the actress who corrupted one of our national thespian treasures?
I love Lucy Lawless [laughs]. And I'm not afraid to admit it and she's become a very close friend of mine.

So what was it like working alongside her - and very intimately too?
I was so lucky, because some of those scenes can be pretty difficult and gruelling and awkward - and all the things that you can think they might be, they are. Luckily, I was with the least neurotic, down-to-earth actress, and we tried to laugh our way through our discomfort. And we would talk candidly, too, so we were both on the same page.

So how do you prepare for those sorts of scenes?
It's new territory for everybody, and as difficult as it was for the actors, it's also difficult for the directors, and everyone is difficult about those subjects and no one really knows how to deal with it for the best. Should you just ignore it and get on with it? Should you do it quickly? Should you be really gentle and talk about it for hours? But for me personally, in order for me to feel comfortable I needed to be as creative and in control as I possibly could. My favourite scene was with Lucy with the opium because we looked at the physical state the opium would have taken us to, and that broke down the boundaries that brought us together. We also looked at why Gaia was needy for that affection, and why Lucretia wanted to go there - probably because she needed to let loose from [husband] Batiatus.

Read More of A quick word: Jaime Murray - Entertainment - NZ Herald News