Q: How much did you know about Julius Caesar before you were cast in this role, and what have you learned about him since?
A: I was very familiar with the Shakespeare play, but I was only familiar with the basic story of Caesar's life - his accomplishments in Gaul, etc. I think most people only know about the latter part of Caesar's life, after he became Emperor. Caesar was willing to sacrifice everything for his vision of Rome. He did some gruesome things in Gaul, yet I don't think he was a man without humanity. I think at a certain point he decided that his vision was more important than his own life and, ultimately, his own sanity.
Q: What were Caesar's relationships with Sulla and Pompey?
A: Sulla was in power when Caesar was young, and Caesar's family was very much in opposition to him. Sulla turned out to be an extremely evil man, or at least he did some very evil things to the city. I believe that Caesar considered Sulla to be a prime example of what a person in power should not be. As for Pompey, their political careers paralleled each other, and at times he and Caesar were allies and at times they were foes. Pompey married Caesar's daughter, Julia, and so their lives were intertwined in many ways. They ended up being arch enemies and ultimately went to civil war because they had different visions for Rome.
Q: What were some of the challenges in taking on this role?
A: Caesar was a swordsman and was good on a horse, and those were things I needed to learn more about as an actor. He was famous for his willpower and for doing things that seemed impossible. I needed to understand what it meant to lead an army this large - to put faith in your men and to have your men put faith in you. You have to tap into yourself and understand that confidence, which is what people will see and be willing to put their lives on the line for.
Q: What can people expect when they sit down to watch this miniseries?
A: I think that when people watch this film they will get a very personal understanding of a story they thought they already knew. They will see two sides of this man who, despite showing such violence and anger and insanity at times, has surprising humanity and compassion. In portraying this character, I've tried to understand his personal life, his emotional struggles and what he was trying to accomplish. The movie itself is ambitious for any film, let alone for a television miniseries. It's exciting to be a part of because of the scope of it, and because of how much work has gone into making it seem so real.