'Spartacus': Liam McIntyre on getting nude, torching cast members and why working out sucks

Spartacus-cropped.jpg Liam McIntyre is the new Spartacus. He looks like he was born to play the role in "Spartacus: Vengeance," which premieres Friday (January 27th). It was, however a long road to get there. "It's been amazingly stressful and amazingly joyous," he said of everything he's been through since replacing the late Andy Whitfield in the show. We got to chat with McIntyre, who told us about the process, the nudity and setting his cast members on fire ... almost.

When McIntyre was cast, he was really skinny and had to bulk up before they would officially offer him the role. He talked about getting ripped. "People say it's easy, but it's just not. It's just fundamentally not. I was never a gym junkie before and then suddenly they're like, 'Your acting? Yeah, yeah, we don't mind that. But this body, that's got to change. So the answer to that is lifting things you can't lift and doing it until you can lift them. Then lifting heavier things and rinse, repeat.' I said, 'That doesn't sound like fun.' They said, 'No, it's not fun.' So anyone that says 'Oh, I love training! I love sit-ups!' I'm like, 'Do you? Do you really?'"

We posted a story about "Spartacus" drinking games and Liam just added his to the mix. "I was actually trying to start up a drinking game on the DVD commentary. I worked out about half-way through the show that I really correct Agron (Daniel Feuerriegel) constantly. My pitch was that this should be the new drinking game."

We had to bring up the nudity and whether or not that was a hesitation. McIntyre, who calls himself a "Spartacus" fan boy said, "Well, it's hard to go into a show that you love, given the parameters of the show and go, 'Well, now let's talk about that thing that's essentially part of the show.' But I did certainly enjoy that first meeting where the director sits you down and goes, 'Alright Liam. In the first episode, this is going to happen. We need to talk about what you're comfortable with.' I said, 'Let's start with nothing and work backwards,' he laughed.

He talked about where the character is going. "It's a very different experience in many ways. He's gone from a person with great personal pain ... and that hasn't gone away, but now he's gone outside this ludis and there's a bunch of people saying how do we live, how do we eat. There's a part of him that says, 'Don't look at me. I did what I had to do. Thanks for coming along.' But then there's the natural leader in him that keeps pushing him towards doing something. No one else can do this."

We asked if there were any injuries on the set. McIntyre laughed, "Not legally, no. Ha! No, things happen on the set. I almost set Manu (Bennett) on fire. I didn't! But I may nearly have. I didn't want to. I like him. He's very nice! We need him!" He revealed that this scene takes place in the final episode of the season.

We've seen the first two episodes and we love Liam! We miss Andy, of course, and McIntyre said he was incredibly supportive and encouraging. We can't wait to hear what you think!
Photo/Video credit: Starz