After Elton has posted a really lovely preview article / interview for Da Vinci's Demons entitled Eight Reasons To Give Starz's "Da Vinci's Demons" A Look. Read it in full on their website.
Tom Riley’s chest hair: Got your attention, right? In actuality, Riley brings much more to the role than the sexy tufts of hair that ooze from his oft-open shirts. In fact, as the actor explained, he gave it his all to do his best work. “I was up at crazy o’clock every day. I’d do an hour of working out to try to be very lean and thin because he moves constantly…I just had no time. The lines were huge. I also wanted to make it look relatively effortless for him, as though these huge amounts of dialogue were easy…it was just the magnitude of the role that was the hardest thing for me.” Goyer definitely thinks this is just the beginning for Tom Riley. “Tom is going to be a major, major, major film and television star. I really do believe he’s going to be one of the great actors...
A New Da Vinci: Forget the old, bearded image that typically comes to mind when Da Vinci comes to mind. Riley was just as amazed as anyone about young Da Vinci. “Suddenly discovering that he got thrown into jail,” he said, “and that he was in trouble with authority constantly and that people found him frustrating, he never finished any of his work. Underneath some of his great masterpieces, if you take a red light to it, there are other masterpieces or potential masterpieces that he never finished…the amount of stuff that I discovered seemed at odds…contradictions. It was fascinating. It was the best research I’ve ever had to do for anything.”
Another preview article from TV Fanatic includes some interesting comments from Tom.
Tom Riley, Method Actor: Riley did a lot of the art work in the show as well as sword work. But he had an added obstacle to overcome: “Because [Da Vinci] was ambidextrous. I did a lot of work with my left hand. I spent a lot of time trying to make myself as dexterous with my left hand as I could. They wouldn’t let me near a sword until I was good enough with my left hand that I wasn’t going to kill someone.” And, yes, that is Riley’s own sketching in the first episode of the series. “The scene where I’m sketching Laura across the market,” he explained, “the art department gave me various stages. Stage one of that drawing, stage three, stage six and I would learn the in-between. So, I’d do the stage two for myself with both hands and then we would try and shoot me doing it with my left hand…it took months.”
Collider.com shared a brilliant interview with David S. Goyer, while more great online reviews have appeared today for Da Vinci's Demons and / or Tom's performance.... ...p.s. it's Mr Wickham...
Marvelously cast as Leonardo Da Vinci is the enthusiastic Tom Riley (who Austenites may recognize as Mr. Wickum from the British mini-series “Lost in Austen”). TV Addict
Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Fun, engaging, entertaining, intriguing. Definitely worth your time to check out... ...Tom Riley is masterful and captivating as Leonardo. SciFi Mafia
What we get here is no boring retelling of events, but a larger than life, adrenaline-racing mix of mystery, magic, politics, and outsize personalities. Seat42f
Artist. Inventor. Head case. The hero of "Da Vinci's Demons" is all that and more: He's also a legend. At least, Leonardo da Vinci will be a legend someday. As played with crazy charisma by Tom Riley in the new Starz historical(ish) drama, though, he's just a 20-something Renaissance man -- literally. Post Dispatch
Tom Riley cuts a dashing figure as the arrogant, lusty young Leonardo Da Vinci, an impatient and oversexed visionary who captures the attention of 15th-century Florence with his imaginative inventions. TV Guide
It's pretty. Have I mentioned how pretty it is? So pretty. If you're shallow like me and you enjoy pretty things as much as I do, be prepared for some eye candy beyond the butts and boobies. Da Vinci's Demons also has just enough lighthearted shenanigans to balance the doom and gloom of ye olde' Cultists for Christ. Tom Riley is charming and fun in the lead role. TV.com