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Spartacus Vengeance - Hanna Mangan, Craig Parker, Lucy Lawless, Tom Hobbs and Viva Bianca
Spartacus: Vengeance - Ilithyia (Hanna Mangan), Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker), Lucretia (Lucy Lawless), Seppia (Tom Hobbs) and Seppius (Viva Bianca) © 2011 Starz Entertainment

Even though Lucy Lawless had jetlag and her voice was bordering on laryngitis, I got to speak with her for a few moments following the panel for Spartacus: Vengeance at the 2012 TV Critics tour.

As the story continues, her character, Lucretia, has miraculously lived through the bloody, and I mean bloody, escape of the gladiators from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, in which her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah), was subjected to a gruesome death. As Season Two begins, Lucretia is on the verge of madness as she attempts to put her live together following the death of her husband.

Lucy spoke about what we can expect for Lucretia this season, and of the death of Andy Whitfield from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, who played Spartacus in the series’ First Season.

How did John leaving the series this year change the trajectory of Lucretia’s character?

Spartacus: Vengeance, 2.01 - Lucy Lawless
2.01 “Fugitivus” – Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) © 2011 Starz Entertainment

That’s a good point, because he was the thing that propped her up in life. The central pole in the circus tent was him. And now she’s scrambling about looking for any alliance that will keep her alive.

I think you’re right. That’s everything to her.

When your character comes back, we don’t actually know how she survived the gladiator’s escape. Is that something that is going to be revealed?

Yes, that will be explained, I think in episode three.

She was very manipulative in the first season, is that something we’re going to see this season, because the first two episodes she’s crazy.

Spartacus: Vengeance, 2.01 - Lucy Lawless
2.01 “Fugitivus” – Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) © 2011 Starz Entertainment

No, now it’s all about keeping alive. (burst into the Bee Gee‘s hit Staying Alive).

Does her alliance at the end of episode two lead to her being herself once again?

I think that certainly jogs her memory. She knows that he was associated with her husband from another time. It’s safe to say that pretty soon she’s the Lucretia we know and love.

Are your favorite scenes coming in this series with Viva Bianca? It seems like Lucretia and her character, Ilithyia were just made for each other.

It does seem that way, yeah. Well, the torment does continue, though there’s all fresh love and torments when I enter into a relationship with a man that I never paid attention to before.

There are buckets of torment coming my way. Somebody falls in love with Lucretia, and I will tell you, through all of the trials and tribulations that in the end all of Lucretia’s dreams come true.

What’s the biggest difference between the Lucretia we see this season versus the Lucretia we saw in the first season?

Spartacus: Vengeance - Lucy Lawless
Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) © 2011 Starz Entertainment

Softer, gentler Lucretia. What? That’s not funny. She is. For about two seconds, she really is. And that’s very unnerving for her good friend, Ilithyia, who doesn’t have a lot of faith in Lucretia. And that relationship will continue to be enriched, lots of ups and downs there, lots of skullduggery in the parlor.

But the writers are really rude to me this year. They are really rude. Usually, they are just cruel. Now they are rude and cruel. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, but as an artist I just loved it. I really did. They put me through the ringer this season, and I’m so grateful.

Can you talk about what it was like going back to work after you heard about Andy’s passing?

The first time all the cast and crew were back together since he died, we all had a little collective sigh as we released that chapter of the show and went about the business of making the next season.

Our initial thing was really only [our] concern about Andy and the journey he’s about to embark on. It’s only about his family, isn’t it, it’s not about us.