[NYCC 2014] Interview with Laura Haddock & Greg Chillin of Da Vinci’s DemonsOctober 23, 2014
At New York Comic Con, fans had the chance to see their favorite actors from the Starz television series, Da Vinci’s Demons discuss their characters and the upcoming season during a packed panel.We also had the opportunity to join fellow media members, Laura Haddock who plays Lucrezia Donati and Greg Chillin who plays Zoroaster in a roundtable discussion.
Da Vinci’s Demons is a historical drama series about a fictional account of the early life of Leonardo da Vinci and the first two seasons were written by David S. Goyer (writer for Chrisopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, Call of Duty: Black Ops). Now headed into their third season with two primetime Emmy wins for Main Title Design and Main Title Theme Music, Da Vinci’s Demons will be airing sometime in 2015.
Both of your characters by the end of season two are scattered in every direction; going into season three, what can we expect to see?
Greg: We are crashing back down to Earth, hard. Season one and season two saw us go all over the place…
Laura: We got to do a lot of work in season three together.
Greg: Yes, in totally different circumstances. Each character is having to deal with the consequences of their own and Leonardo’s actions and I think with John Shiban coming in and his new team of writers, he’s really grounded the show this year. It should be interesting.
Laura: There’s a real sense of truth and journey and honesty.
Greg: And you’re so bald.
Laura: And I’m so bald this year…
As a complete non-secular question, what bits were cut from Guardians of the Galaxy of you as Meredith Quill?
Now that we can talk about it? [laughs] Oh, there are always bits cut from film! There was some stuff I did – flashbacks to when she was well, and it was just tiny moments of flashbacks with her son, but I guess they don’t want to write themselves into a corner with some scenes, I don’t know! I’ll just leave that open now. It’s a lovely thing to bring up, I loved doing that film. I have lovely memories of it. The young actor that played Peter Quill as a boy was just incredible.
Da Vinci’s Demons has some very strong female characters; is that what first attracted you to the show?
Laura: Yeah, I thought she was a very complex, strong woman when I read her and she’s continued to exceed my expectations. It’s very tough for women in this industry sometimes.
I feel that overall the female influence is getting stronger.
Laura: It definitely is, yeah. It wasn’t for such a long time but it’s so strange to me because I meet women everyday that I’m just blown away by and I don’t understand why there aren’t more female protagonists and leads; women holding series…
Greg: We’ve got two fantastic female writers this season as a part of our team.
Laura: Yes, it’s been amazing! Having some women in the writers room – not saying men can’t write women very beautifully because they can, but it’s just a whole different experience having two women in there as well. They’re super clever, intelligent, sensitive and very detailed but also very cool. They come in with a lot of gusto!
Has Zoroaster upgraded himself in season three so he’s no longer in a sidekick role?
Greg: It’s – I’ve been busy this year! Zo is definitely a different person. He’s matured and he’s not downtrodden but he’s a changed person from the experiences he’s had. He’s learned this season that putting blind faith into someone is absolutely not a good idea…
Laura: And Leo really listens to Zo this season, doesn’t he? Other seasons you could be shaking him saying “listen to me! I know the answer!” and Leonardo is like “whatever” whereas this year I feel like your connection to your characters is them trusting each other more and hear each other more.
Greg: Yeah. And also, John has delved into Zo’s past and his family which is something that I personally have relished the opportunity to get into that backstory to understand him a little more. So that was good for me.
Do you think Zo acts a little like a mental lifeline for da Vinci when he’s pushing himself too hard? Helps rein him in a bit?
Greg: Yeah, absolutely. I also think that certainly this season there is a breaking point and its like, Zo is too old. He’s got stuff he wants to do and he can’t keep sacrificing his own life for his friends cause. You really see that played out this year. It’s cool – geographically we are far more in one place and the show still kind of has that epic feel to it but there’s no going off to the new world or to the far East; it’s character, character, character.
Laura: It’s very concentrated this year.
Do you have any funny or scary anecdotes from the set?
Greg: I’m struggling at the moment because I can’t stop bloody well laughing. Literally… during every take. We’re all so tired – you know, it’s all Blake Ritson.
Laura: He’s so naughty! He gets into trouble all the time but he manages to keep a straight face – I don’t understand!
Greg: If the camera isn’t on him, his eyes are crossed, there’s combs in his hair, he’s not wearing any pants…
Laura: He’s very, very naughty. But I do have a story… The other day there was a big storm and the makeup truck flew into my trailer!
Greg: You weren’t IN the trailer…
Laura: GREG! Don’t say that bit of the story! Obviously I told our first AD that I was in there. [laughs]
You can get all of the Da Vinci’s Demons show information that you’d like, watch trailers and read about the episodes on Starz official website.