Lucy Lawless says the new season of the Starz series "Spartacus" is "a goodie," and adds that her character, Lucretia, "comes out a winner."
The cable show features explicit sex and violence, gladiators, plenty of revenge and a whole lot of fighting. Its first season, "Blood and Sand," received solid ratings. Andy Whitfield portrayed the title role and died last year after battling cancer. Liam McIntyre takes over the part in the new season, which is called "Spartacus: Vengeance" and debuts on Friday, January 27.
Lawless, 43, has played Lucretia, wife of leader Batiatus, since the show's debut in 2010 and also starred on its prequel series, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena." She has several explanations as to why fans just can't get enough of the racy show.
"I think there's a little bit of wish fulfillment, a little bit of voyeurism, a whole lot of curiosity," Lawless told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the show's January 18 premiere. "We are always drawn to that Roman world because they did things that we could never get away this these days - so kind of you just want to see."
"You relate to the slaves, and you revile the Romans," she added. "But we turn that on its end so that sometimes you kind of love the Romans, and sometimes you don't like the slaves so much...so what ever you like in the end, we are going to play with that, and we are going to twist you around - this is a goody."
Lawless, who rose to fame playing Xena in the 1990s hit series "Xena: Warrior Princess," went on to explain how her character, who appeared to be dead, will return in the new "Spartacus" show.
"It will be revealed how Lucretia survives," Lawless added. "And the thing that saves her will also cause her great pain. But in the end, I want to say, through trial and tribulation, Lucretia comes out a winner."
It was announced in September 2010 that Whitfield would leave "Spartacus" to battle a recurrence of cancer. He succumbed to the disease a year later, on Sept. 11, 2011, at age 39.
In January 2011, it was announced that Liam McIntyre would take over the role for the upcoming season. At the premiere for the new season, McIntyre said he was "honored" to be given the opportunity to take on the part.
McIntyre has appeared on Australian TV and was seen in HBO's miniseries "The Pacific."
"Spartacus" star Manu Bennett also spoke about Whitfield, saying that the premiere was a "bittersweet moment" due to Whitfield's death, and talked about how his late friend influenced the show."
"[He] made all this possible," Bennett told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the premiere. "And he was a wonderful man, and we are here tonight really as a tribute to him, as well as our own new premiere for the show."
Check out a preview of McIntyre in "Spartacus: Vengeance" below.