Posted on 22. Feb, 2011 by Henrick Vartanian in Featured, Television
By: Benjamin Scuglia –
What is it about Australia? They seem to grow hunky actors on trees Down Under. But they aren’t all pecs and masculine bravado; most Aussie actors can actually, y’know, act.
The latest to make his play for stardom on U.S. television is Liam McIntyre.
The handsome 29-year-old performer from Adelaide was cast in the title role in “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” on the Starz pay cable channel.
He steps into the sandals worn by fan-favorite Andy Whitfield, who is recovering from a cancer diagnosis, and signed off on the recasting.
McIntyre began acting professionally only in 2009 and until now was known mostly for supporting roles and bit parts in Australian films and TV series. He also appeared in one episode of “The Pacific” on HBO last year.
In its casting announcement, Starz boasted that McIntyre “has excelled at a grueling and rigorous audition process to claim the title role,” adding that he is “currently in New Zealand
, getting himself into gladiator shape.”
“This is all so new to me,” the actor told TVGuide.com
in early January. “But I understood all the interest because this is Spartacus, man, the coolest role ever! There were times when it was tough seeing things about me in the paper but I was just so happy to be part of the process—win or lose. Just coming close on such a big opportunity would have been flattering. It’s been one hell of a ride.”
As for the physical requirements demanded, McInytre notes he has already gained 20 kilos of “pure muscle” (that’s 44 pounds to Americans). “And I’ll keep getting bigger until we start shooting. I’ve never been through a physical regime this intense.” He’s ambivalent about the show’s athletic sex scenes, however. (“I don’t know how I feel about that yet! But I guess it is a big part of what makes the show to popular, right?”)
Filming commences on “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” this spring and is scheduled to premiere in early 2012.
for the Starz announcement of Whitfield’s casting on Deadline.com.