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Lucy Lawless Speaks About Sexy 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand'

by Robin Milling, posted Jan 15th 2010 12:00PM
Lucy LawlessLucy Lawless graduates from a Princess to a Queen, playing the stunningly sensual gladiator school madam Lucretia in 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand,' an original movie on Starz airing January 22.

This is not a rehashing of the classic Kirk Douglas yarn, but a far more risque interpretation. In an interview with AOL TV, Lawless insisted the bloody brutality of the gladiators and "everything goes" sexual philosophy is historically accurate.Lucy LawlessLucy Lawless graduates from a Princess to a Queen, playing the stunningly sensual gladiator school madam Lucretia in 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand,' an original movie on Starz airing January 22.

This is not a rehashing of the classic Kirk Douglas yarn, but a far more risque interpretation. In an interview with AOL TV, Lawless insisted the bloody brutality of the gladiators and "everything goes" sexual philosophy is historically accurate.

There are so many graphic sex scenes that some people may think this is soft porn. Do you agree?
I keep hearing that words soft porn and I really rally against it because a) it's historically accurate where there is nudity (during the Roman gladiator times) and b) it's used in the context of the story properly. All the actors are serious about their craft and they don't want to be viewed gratuitously. There were perhaps some scenes in the earlier first two episodes where we realized that it had gone too far and it had been cut out. In terms of the sex for my character, we wanted to keep everything pretty realistic. The scene where the servants prepare [us] for sex certainly tells you that you're not in Kansas anymore, doesn't it?! [Laughs] It's like nothing else. The Romans' relationship to sexuality, nudity, religion, to homosexuality, prostitution, to food was completely different to ours.


Do you think we still live in a prudish society?
I think our pretense is that all that stuff is just reprehensible to our society but the fact that it's going on the Internet and anybody who has kids knows how hard it is to protect them from undue influences. There's a lot of stuff out there way worse than anything we put in our show that's for sure. Having said that I'm not keen for my teenage nephews to watch. [Laughs] I think this is an R-18 show.

How did you choreograph the love scenes with John Hannah, who plays your husband Batiatus?
He is just a consummate actor and a lovely man. We've learned that you have to discuss everything and choreograph it the day before so that there are no surprises on the day. When you have a relationship of trust, then things are OK. Everyone is extremely professional. If people get cold sores, they have to be on medication. We have safety and comfort in mind all the time. So in love scenes, apart from the kissing scene where John did use his tongue, there is no skin on skin contact no matter what it looks like. Nobody slips you one without telling you first -- or at least not more than once! John will stay in character until they call "cut." It is not porn in any way shape or form but we tell a bloody good yarn.

Andy Whitfield SpartacusWho is the hot Australian actor who plays Spartacus?
Andy Whitfield is going to be a huge star. He's brilliantly smart and he's kind. He's a family man, a father of two. That's why he fills out that role in so many unexpected ways. He has levels to him that your average action star couldn't pull off. He is a tremendous actor and human being who has a background in judo and soccer. He was a bit of a sports nut way back and that put him in good stead for this role. It's the right role for the right guy at the right time. This is lightning in a bottle for Andy and I'm really happy for him.

There is also male frontal nudity. Is it true that there was a prosthetic penis affectionately called the Kirk Douglas in honor of the actor who played the role in the original 'Spartacus' film?
It was a hot item. We had to replace it every three weeks! I don't think any of them would want to admit that they used the Kirk Douglas, would they?! I can't tell what's real and what's not and frankly you don't really like to stare! [Laughs] Plus the sets are closed. You don't have lots of visitors on those sets. I certainly don't go out of my way to be around any scene that I'm not in. They're working hard and maintaining their professionalism, so I have a bit of respect.


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Your body looks fantastic in this film. Do you go on a special diet before doing nude scenes?
I don't know, man -- it comes and goes, I gotta be honest with you. You get to the catering and it's in the winter you pack on a little extra tush! It ain't easy but the threat that you might have to be naked next week keeps you going and somewhat on the straight and narrow. It's on cellulite for the rest of your life. [Laughs] It's much harder for the guys. I had the pleasure of not having to do the action sequences and those guys have to look ripped all the time. They get to eat nothing but boiled chicken and brown rice for seven months of the year and then train really hard. We weren't even allowed to eat the gladiators' food. Sometimes you'd have to sneak some brown rice because it was saved for them!

I did consult a nutritionist at some point and it's the little things. It's changing your lifestyle. That's why people who go on special fad diets don't succeed because you just can't keep it up. You have to look at the things you really do like and find a way to have those things in an acceptable way. So I like lots of milk in my coffee and have to figure out the calories between a soy latte and a regular latte. You work with what you already do and tweak it.

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July 10 2010 at 2:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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