The epic Spartacus finale brought the expected bloodshed, but also tears.
"Everybody was a big puddle," Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight tells TVGuide.com. "I still can't watch the finale without tearing up. ... But yeah, it's very emotional, not only because of the story, but also the whole experience."
Spartacus' Manu Bennett on Crixus' downfall
That experience involved two actors playing the titular hero. Original star Andy Whitfield bowed out after the first season to treat his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. And although he made an uncredited voice appearance during the six-part prequel series Gods of the Arena, newcomer Liam McIntyre stepped in to portray the Thracian gladiator-turned-freedom fighter for the final two seasons.
Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless
"I am Spartacus."
Newcomer Liam McIntyre pronounces these iconic words in Spartacus: Vengeance, which returns to Starz for its second season on Friday at 10/9c. In a way, the Aussie is proclaiming the new regime, both as the slave who won his freedom and as the actor who stepped into Spartacus' shoes after Andy Whitfield had to exit because of lymphoma. (Whitfield died in September.)
McIntyre: Andy Whitfield's death was the "saddest day" on the Spartacus set