“Spartacus” begins its final run on Starz, with the premiere of “Spartacus: War of the Damned” at 9 PM this Friday, and Tuesday night’s Los Angeles premiere was an emotional event for Liam McIntyre, who plays the title character.
“Emotions are running high because it’s been such an incredible show and [a] tragic and glorious story in different ways and it’s really hard for everybody,” Liam told AccessHollywood.com.
“To know that it’s coming to an end is so sad, but it’s also so wonderful to know that we get to end this the way we want to end it, we get to go out on, I won’t use the word ‘high,’ because it’s pretty heavy, but it’s in an epic and grand way and on our own terms,” he added. “It never happens in television. How lucky are we?”
It was in January 2011 that Liam was announced by Starz as the actor who would take on the role of Spartacus, after original series star Andy Whitfield left the role due to his cancer battle (he passed away in September 2011).
Liam was rather slim after filming an independent project when he got the role of the gladiator-turned-revolutionary, but he immediately bulked up (on a hefty diet of chicken) and trained hard before jumping in for the third season of the franchise (the second in the Spartacus story) – “Spartacus: Vengeance.”
Very quickly, the role brought the actor international fame and turned him into a Comic-Con hero.
Reflecting on how playing Spartacus changed his life, Liam told Access it touched nearly every detail.
“Every part of it,” he said. “In the last two years, I’ve met the girl of my dreams and got engaged, I’ve got the job of my dreams, and it’s changed my life. I’ve met friends that I’ll have forever. Spartacus, as a character, has changed Liam as a person in the way that he looks at the world, and I won’t go away from this untouched at all. I’m just so honored to be given this opportunity and I think that [it is] safe to say, that goes for pretty much for everyone whose standing along [this red carpet] right now. It’s changed everyone in some way, it’s been great.”
As for Liam’s Spartacus character, he too has gone through some changes when the show opens this Friday at 9 PM on Starz.
“It’s a different journey for him this year. I think he realizes, especially from the death of Mira and of course the death of Sura, that maybe a happy life is not the destiny he’s about to go forward with,” Liam said. “But perhaps, his destiny is to bring happiness to others and so in achieving that, he’s very single minded and he’s just about getting the job done now, but in classic Spartacus fashion, it’s not that easy for him.”
There is plenty of blood this season, and some of it left the set with the actor during the filming process.
“I did have a slightly red beard for a while,” Liam laughed. “I was pretty much stuck down with blood many many days after work. Occasionally I would go into service stations, not realizing I had blood on me, scaring service station attendants. But, yeah, I guess if they had a whole shed of fake blood, they just threw it out there. It’s been big!”
-- Jolie Lash