Australian actor Todd Lasance makes his debut in the “Spartacus” franchise – “Spartacus: War of the Damned” — tonight playing famed historical figure Julius Caesar. But this is not your parents’ Caesar.
“Yeah, he’s a little bit more of a rogue Caesar, I guess you’d say,” Todd a veteran of the Down Under show “Crownies” (alongside “Last Resort’s” Daniel Lissing) told AccessHollywood.com.
“He’s not the typical white robe, wreath around the head [Caesar]. He’s a little bit more badass, I guess you’d put it,” Todd laughed, of his character who is in his mid-20s when audiences first find him this Friday night at 9 PM on Starz.
He’s good with a sword and his fists, fighting in Marcus Crassus’ household in his first episode in, and having some fun with the ladies.
“[He’s] certainly a little bit more rugged and during his period he was commanding armies and off fighting foreign wars, so they’re focusing on that period of time where he was more so on the battlefield as opposed to in politics,” Todd said.
To get in “battlefield” shape, and be part of the gang of Spartacus’ worthy adversaries, Todd, like the rest of the cast, had to go through Gladiator Bootcamp in New Zealand, where the franchise was filmed.
“The boot camp kind of triggered everything, but it was the ongoing training that was the difficulty, physically,” he said. “We’re training sort of six days a week, but we’re shooting 14 hour days. We’d be getting up at 4:30 [AM], shooting ‘til 7 [PM] and go to the gym, get home, eat dinner at like quarter to 10, 10 o’clock [PM]. The physical training was pretty full on, but I think it required that. The physicality needed to be there for Caesar.”
Caesar isn’t the only foe Spartacus and his gang of rebels encounter this season. There is also Marcus Crassus, the most formidable enemy of Spartacus’ in all the franchises, and Todd had high praise for Simon Merrells, who plays Crassus.
“Simon is incredible. He was amazing to work with. He made it just effortless,” Todd said. “Simon is just — he’s an amazing actor. He’s got to be one of the highlights of the show. I don’t know if I’m biased towards the Romans but, [he’s] incredible. We had such a good rapport, such good chemistry and I hope that that just sort of flowed on screen ‘cause there’s a little bit of a father-son relationship going on.”
History tells us Caesar won’t be falling in the battlefield and Todd addressed the rumors there could be a Starz spinoff focusing on his character.
“There hasn’t been any sort of official word yet, but I mean, if it’s something that they brought to the table, we would certainly look at it, but there hasn’t been any sort of official word, so we don’t know if that’s going to play out,” he said.
But would he want to don Caesar’s shaggy, indie-boy look with the wig again, should the spin-off get green lit?
“I would! I love the wig though,” he laughed. “[It’s] good to change up the look a little bit, but as he gets older, he went sort of more so into the typical Caesar look, so I don’t know if the wig will come out. I might be able to request [it], but yeah, we’re not sure yet. We just gotta wait and see how it pans out.”
“Spartacus: War of the Damned” airs Friday nights at 9 PM on Starz.
-- Jolie Lash