Q&A with Tom Riley of ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ on Starz


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Q&A with Tom Riley of ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ on Starz

by Oct 27, 2015

Q: How has it been playing a young Leonardo da Vinci in Starz’s “Da Vinci’s Demons” for three seasons?

A: The role of a lifetime. I did a great deal of stuff before we started the first season … . (I found) stuff about him that I had no idea about and I certainly never got taught about in art history or even in the most basic lessons in school, which was what a difficult, headstrong, bigoted, temperamental, tantrum-throwing guy he was and how full of himself he was. And people don’t kind of like that version of him and they don’t know it. And so when we presented that in the first season, I think a lot of people (thought), “No he was a legend, he was always wise and always humble about his own intellect.” And of course, those things only come by mistake.

And so over the first three seasons – or over the course of the series – we were determined to take him from this headstrong, difficult character into this slightly more humbled and wise and philosophical version of himself that people remember.

Q: In Season 3, Leo tastes failure for the first time. How does he handle it?

A: His achievement and arrogance has always been his go-to place, and his belief that he’s the greatest person around is always what’s driven him. And he doesn’t handle it very well. He goes (to a place that is) very insular. He needs the people around him, which for the last two seasons he’s been sort of dismissing his friends and treating them with a bit of a laissez faire, devil-may-care, shoot-they’re-always-going-to-stick-around and he’s always going to have people he can (treat) however he wants. And the consequences of that disregard for other people comes back to get him.

Tom Riley of ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’

 

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George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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