Manu Bennett has already begun filming his guest arc on The CW’s “Arrow” and he found the set a welcoming place after wrapping up his run as Crixus in the “Spartacus” franchise.
“I took myself out of a family in ‘Spartacus’ and I really enjoyed that family,” Manu told AccessHollywood.com, on Tuesday night’s “Spartacus: War of the Damned” premiere red carpet, reflecting on leaving the show he was part of for every single season, behind. “I loved working with the people that I worked with for four years and it was hard to say goodbye, but I’ve sort of been embraced by a new Vancouver family, a new ‘Arrow’ family.”
Manu will play Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) on “Arrow,” with his first episode hitting the air on The CW on February 13.
“There’s a very different style to ‘Arrow’ than what there was to ‘Spartacus,’ and even when I got there, I had a discussion with the writer, Andrew Kreisberg, about what they wanted. They didn’t want Crixus, that’s for sure,” Manu laughed. “They wanted something original for the show.
“And ‘Arrow’ is reality based. It’s here in the now. And the fighting techniques… It’s very fast moving action, so it’s a whole new technique that I’m learning with them,” he continued. “But there’s some similarities in that I come on to the show against another strong character.”
That character is Oliver Queen/Arrow, played by the equally in shape Stephen Amell.
“Steve’s a wonderful guy. We’re having a lot of fun doing the show,” the New Zealand actor said.
Before Manu’s “Arrow” stint begins, he’ll appear in the final season of “Spartacus: War of the Damned,” which begins this Friday at 9 PM on Starz.
When the show returns, Manu’s Crixus is happily in love with Naevia, as Spartacus and his band of rebels continue to battle the Romans.
“The fact that he is in love [in] the way he is and he’s with the woman that he loves… is more than he could have ever hoped for. He’s living an existence where when he was a gladiator he never would have thought that he could have those moments of touch and connection with Naevia,” Manu told Access. “Watch the season, you won’t be disappointed. Just get your tissues out… it’s gonna be amazing.”
Manu said as the march toward the end of the series grows closer, the drama will be thrilling for the fans.
“Our final episode is gonna blow people away. Every episode of this season is full on, but the way that they’ve crafted the last three episodes is extraordinary,” Manu said. “I’m gonna be talking about this show for a long time and people who get to the end of the season and have followed us for four years, are gonna be left with a big empty void… And when that final explosion of fireworks goes off, we’re all gonna share in the success of this show and where it went to.”
-- Jolie Lash