‘Spartacus’ Actors Enlist In Season 3 Boot Camp

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 9:38 am,

Manu Bennett Spartacus Season 3 Boot Camp Spartacus Actors Enlist In Season 3 Boot Camp

In an act that now stands as the epitome of romance for Spartacus: Vengeance, Crixus (Manu Bennett) promised to teach Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) how to separate a man’s head from his neck in a single blow. As far as thoughtful gifts go, it doesn’t get much better than head-cleaving lessons from a former gladiator when a Roman Legion is trying to wipe you off the face of the earth.

In order to make all those heads and various other body parts fly with reasonable plausibility – or at least with the actors and stunt people looking good while doing it – a certain amount of training is required. And while we’ve all heard of actors signing up for boot camp to enhance the realism of films like Platoon and Saving Private Ryan, it took Zack Snyder’s 300 – certainly the visual inspiration for Starz’ Spartacus series – to merge physical conditioning with military/fight training to create unforgettable action sequences.

So now, as production is set to get underway on season 3 of Spartacus, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), the cast members who managed to survive the season 2 finale and a throng of stunt actors have all begun an intensive, four-week training program under the guidance of Allan Poppleton to help them look the part, and to work out the complex choreography required for the series’ upcoming fight scenes.

For the actors and stunt professionals, Poppleton is a familiar face; he’s acted as drill sergeant for all of the previous Spartacus boot camps. Poppleton says that the advantage to the boot camps is to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and trust amongst him and the actors. “Lean and mean is the result required, but it also helps form an amazing bond between myself, the actors and stunt performers,” Poppleton says.

The boot camp also helps to familiarize everyone with the weapons they’ll be wielding, so that when the time comes to begin filming, the fun and games aren’t spoiled by someone losing an eye.

“Meticulous choreographing is necessary to ensure the safety of the actors performing the stunts. For four weeks, we work the cast to the point of exhaustion, combining cross training elements- everything from cardio, basic gymnastics, foot and movement work, unarmed combat, body awareness, reactions, weaponry, and functional cross fit circuits.”

Since season 3 is set to introduce two new villains – Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) and Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) - the boot camp served as the perfect way to craft these newcomers into adversaries worthy of Spartacus. This is especially true for Merrells, whose Crassus is hell-bent on acquiring power and status, and sees defeating Spartacus as the ultimate means to that end.

This year marks Liam McIntyre’s second trip to boot camp, so he was aware of the grueling activities awaiting him:

 “Spartacus Boot Camps are famous now for pushing you to your absolute limits. This year they found a new level with military inspired training. I’ve never been so fit in my whole life. This boot camp will kick your ass. This year it kicked it twice.”

Manu Bennett has the distinction of being one of the few cast members to have participated in all four of the boot camps, and as suggested by the photo at the top of the article, at Spartacus Boot Camp, Manu Bennett trains everyone – even the trainers.

One can only wonder how long Starz will let something like this go before realizing the potentially lucrative notion of a Spartacus workout, hosted by Poppleton. It would sure help to break up the monotony of all those P90X commercials out there.

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The fit-as-a-fiddle cast of Spartacus can be seen again when season 3 kicks off on Starz sometime in early 2013.

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  1. Men’s Health put out the workout they do. At least a smaller scale version of it and had a contest with the winner getting a role as an extra in Gods of the Arena.

    I’m curious how Caesar will be played because I’ve always viewed him as a tragic character who is good nature but ends up on the wrong side of a conspiracy. (Thanks Shakespeare)

    • In Conn Iggulden’s “Empire” book series he has the Ceasor at the time of Spartacus as a hand’s on general who faught side by side with his men because he believed the general had to be a warrior leader. He and Brutis were taught by the same old warrior who was once a gladiator. Both he and Brutis were excelent swardsmen, but Brutis was probably the best in all of Rome. Those two were there in the final battle against Spartacus, so hopefully this isn’t the final season….

      • That’s super cool. I’m going to have to read that series.

  2. So many cast members were killed off in the last season finale. Those left will be faced with portraying the fight against unrelenting Roman forces. Even being in the best shape and sword ready, this series seems doomed, if it stays historically accurate – just as the real Spartacus was. Still, knowing that, I am drawn to their struggle for freedom. The cast goes through an incredible effort to keep viewers like me saying …it looks so real!! My best to them all.

  3. Hopefully they have a nutritionist working with Liam as well, he needs to put on mass and his BF was nowhere near Andy’s.

    • I thought that at first, but then after the season started I really didn’t notice it anymore. Gladiators were strong, but they didn’t push weight all day so he probably looks appropriate…..One thing about him suddenly getting chisled and putting on more muscle at this point. As a force one of their main concerns is always food, and generally they don’t have a lot to increase the protien they’d need to build muscle….If they wer on a workout for doing so. I can see them practicing or teaching fighting to the slaves who haven’t had any training, but I doubt there’s be muscle work outs while ruinning and attacking….

      • When I first started watching Vengeance,I thought that Liam needed to get a little more ripped,like Whitfield,but then I thought about it.They were on the run,and weren’t training as gladiators anymore,so I looked at it that way.It made sense that he wouldn’t be as cut.

  4. love the show- especially season 1 and 1.5-

    but i miss Andy – he brought something to the role that Liam just doesn’t have.. no fault to him,(Liam) of course.. just hard to replace Andy after season 1, when his character went through so much.. hard to explain..

    i’ll be there for season 3 and a 4th if it last that long, regardless..

    • Just consider it a whole different show. This Spartacus is this Sparticus, and the other was that one….Just like any other historic figure played by more than one performer

    • I somewhat disagree Loki, I feel like Liam’s portrayal really embodies the anger that was missing when Andy played the character. Andy’s was more of a soft spoken and casual Spartacus where Liam was able to put the roar and grit into the character. It might be due to the evolution of the series which called for a more brutal leader role -Taking nothing away from Andy, I’m a huge fan and can’t wait for the next installment to unfold.

      When ‘Game of Thrones’ is over shows like ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Spartacus’ make the transition a smooth one.

      • i think you nailed it with the “evolution of the series” or you could say character.. Andy’s spartacus went from free man to slave/gladiator who rebelled – to acceptance of this role..once he learned Batiatus lied and killed his wife.. Vengeance and rage filled his heart..

        the last episode- kill them all showed that. and Andy nailed it! couldnt wait for season 2.. but sadly he died..

        I like Liam- dont get me wrong.. he’s doing a great job.. just wish andy was still alive and well is all..

        looking forward to season 3 and hopefully many more after..

  5. This isn’t going to be the last season is it? I pictured them drawing it out for at least four or five seasons

    • Historically speaking, if they’re bringing in Ceasar then it probably doesn’t have long left. After I first got into this show, I studied up on the history behind it and it’s truly fascinating.

  6. Dude, where do I sign up for this.

  7. Is Manu holding a Taiaha? Hah! didn’t know he knew the art. Good luck to the team! to bad I couldn’t be there to help.

  8. I thought it started a few weeks ago according to dan furriegals twitter and filming has already begun

  9. I hope Lucretia’s dress got caught on a convenient rock or something – can’t imagine next season without her! I’ve also thought about the difference between Andy Whitfield’s Spartacus and Liam’s. I think Andy brought a sweetness to the role that made his moments of rage and violence more poignant. And, like Tundrabeast, I found myself thinking of Liam’s character as someone else entirely – not less or better, just different. But I thoroughly enjoyed this season – as long as Crixus is the last man standing, I’ll be watching.