Lesley-Ann Brandt, Spartacus
Andy Whitfield isn't the only Spartacus: Blood and Sand actor to be replaced for the second season. Lesley-Ann Brandt is also leaving the Starz series, and her role will be recast, TV Guide.com has confirmed.
In the prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Brandt played body slave Naevia to Lucretia (Lucy Lawless), who eventually becomes the lover of Crixus the gladiator in the original series' first season. Brandt decided not to renew her contract to appear in the second season. The news was first reported by Deadline. She just began a recurring role on CSI: NY and recently appeared on an episode of Chuck.
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It's not clear whether or not Starz will be looking for an actress with similar features and coloring as Brandt for a replacement. A rep for the network confirmed that casting is wide open to find "the best people for each role" and not based on a specific look. The series doesn't always stick to historical accuracy in its casting of the supporting roles. The role of Oenomaus (Peter Mensah) is reimagined as an African slave, but the original gladiator who had teamed up with Spartacus was from Gaul, a region of Europe during the Roman era.
Whitfield had to drop out of Spartacus to battle non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Liam McIntyre stepped into his sandals for the second season, which will begin production soon.
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Spartacus: Gods of the Arena airs Fridays at 10/9c on Starz. The six-part prequel will conclude on Friday, Feb. 25.
Who would you like to see as Naevia? Will you miss Brandt?