Antonio Te Maioha plays the gladiator Barca in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Working as a hitman, bodyguard and gay lover on the show keeps this New Zealander busy.
Windy City Times: Hi, Antonio. What's the weather like in Auckland, New Zealand?
Antonio Te Maioha: It's beautiful, actually. I live two hours down the west coast from Auckland on a small little town right on the coast.
WCT: It's a surfing town, right?
Antonio Te Maioha:Yeah, I am sitting here watching the Winter Olympics on a hot summer day.
WCT: Do you have a big workout routine to keep in shape?
Antonio Te Maioha: It's definitely mellowed down since a few months after the show. Right after the show I was still working at it pretty hard because I went on a cycle race that was 160 kilometers. I am still working out a bit.
WCT: How was your overall experience on Spartacus?
Antonio Te Maioha:It was fantastic. We had a boot camp for about three or four weeks beforehand which was great. I got to establish some friendships and trust amongst the cast and stunt crew as well. That was definitely one of the highlights.
WCT: Did you have fight scenes to learn?
Antonio Te Maioha:I had two or three official fights and then we had all the training sequences, which were impromptu. We would just come up with the sequences on that day.
WCT: What was it like working with Eka Darville [ who plays his boy, Pietros ] ?
Antonio Te Maioha: We were on the same wavelength. We have grown up around the same types of people. We were quite open-minded and had a lot of things in common, such as music and hobbies outside of acting. We also discovered that we had mutual friends in common. We had never met before the show. I could not have asked for a better person to play opposite.
WCT: The Starz channel has developed gay characters that were common in that time period, unlike HBO's Rome.
Antonio Te Maioha: I think that Starz is really pushing everything in this show. It is good that this is a part of it.
WCT: Was it a challenge for you to play gay or just acting?
Antonio Te Maioha: It was both, I guess. It was getting your head into the right space and trying to figure out your character. It opened me up as well. I love facing challenges.
WCT: What projects are you working on now?
Antonio Te Maioha: At the moment I am working from home helping students learn the Maori language and look after the environment.
WCT: Sounds great. I am looking forward to next week's episode.
Spartacus:Blood and Sand premieres new episodes on Starz every Friday. Visit www.starz.com for details.