ImageSome consider the STARZ hit Spartacus a glorified skin-and-sin show. Others might dismiss it as a low-budget swords-and-scandal saga. But beneath the show's veneer is a beating heart that transcends genre and speaks to issues of power, loyalty, corruption, and people's innermost desires. Lucy Lawless, who plays Lucretia on the show, has been a fantasy icon since her star-making role on the syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess. From there, she turned up as a Cylon in the remake of Battlestar: Galactica, and in roles on Flight Of The Conchords, No Ordinary Family, Burn Notice, and Veronica Mars. At this winter's Television Critics' Association press tour, she sat down with The A.V. Club to discuss her role as Lucretia in the Spartacus series, her contempt for the Internet, and exactly who's getting vengeance in Spartacus: Vengeance, which premiered this past Friday on STARZ.

The A.V. Club: The title of the season is Spartacus: Vengeance. But "vengeance" could be applied to almost any other character. Does that word help describe how Lucretia survived the end of the first season, Spartacus: Blood And Sand?

Lucy Lawless: There certainly is a trace of vengeance through what Lucretia does. But I don't think that's her driving force, actually.

AVC: What would her driving force be?

LL: Well, at first, it's what it has always been, which is survival. She needs a friend, quickly. And as soon as she recovers her marbles, she’s going to have to worm her way into someone's affections, because she has no support. And that was tantamount to death in ancient Rome.

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