...Now the lovely, kind, overly-generous small screen has given us Tom Riley as Leonardo da Vinci. The first Leonardo we've lusted over since Di Caprio, Riley's reimagining manages to out-Casanova Casanova. Women want him, and men want to be him. It's all very James Bond-meets-Bruce Wayne. And we're not complaining.
2 new interviews with Tom have appeared online - read them both in full on the sites. The first is on Wales Online from the recent Neath premiere, and shares Tom's favourite places in the Swansea area.
Riley, from Kent, said: “I can’t wait to come back and spend some more time in Swansea Bay. “When I was here I loved Mumbles, Langland Bay and large number of historic buildings like Margam Castle and Neath Abbey. “Walking on the seafront in places like Mumbles and Langland, where there are palm trees and beautiful views, it was like being on the Mediterranean. “And having visited Vinci, the place in Tuscany where Leonardo Da Vinci was born in 1452 I found similarities between it and Swansea Bay. “Swansea has beautiful rolling hills in its hinterland, the two places are very green and both contain a large number of ancient buildings. “There’s definitely a similarity.”
The second from Budiey.com is from during the shooting of Da Vinci's Demons last year - the one where Tom didn't say Leonardo was a shagger...
Perched on a sideboard in his trailer on set near Bridgend, Wales, Riley talks about his career-changing lead role. He’s dressed in brown leather, head-to-toe, with cowboy boots on. Next to him is a large cardboard box of Myprotein, used for sports nutrition. There’s plenty of action scenes in this demanding role and Riley intends to be at his peak for every single one...
...Q: What has been your favourite part to play so far apart from the ambidextrous sword-fighting?
TR: I love the character stuff. The sword fights are really cool, all the sword-fighting, and throwing things and catching it the air, the dexterity that I’ve been working so hard is really cool and seeing it in slow motion is even cooler. But the stuff with the characters, the relationships are really nice. Stuff with Laura (Haddock), who plays Lucrezia, is brilliant. She’s brilliant. All that stuff I think the audience is going to love.
Q: She plays your main love interest?
TR: Yeah, she’s fantastic.
Q: Was Leonardo a shagger?
TR: Yeah! (laughs) Let it not be said that I said he’s a shagger! I would say that he’s a man who explored his sexuality in all sorts of ways and we’re honouring that. You see him falling in love left, right and centre.
Q: What do you bring, especially, to the role of Leonardo?
TR: I am trying to be as unpredictable as I can. But also with myself. Like, I will prep really hard and then forget it and hopefully come in and something will happen because I think the whole thing about it is that he kept everyone around him on their toes so I’m trying to keep myself on my toes, as much as everyone else. Hopefully it’s working.
Q: Did you have to bulk up physically for the role?
TR: I don’t know about bulking up but they’ve had me on a regime since February (2012) and it’s now beginning to show its toll on my exhausted body. But it’s all good.
Q: Are you shirtless in many scenes like the actors in The Borgias or Spartacus?
TR: No, not like Spartacus, not as ripped as that. It’s all just about being believable.
Q: The nature of TV these days, actors are having to shape up in a way they didn’t have to ten or twenty years ago, in terms of body, appearance…
TR: Yeah, I know. It is not something you can ever sniff at because it’s great to be able to get in shape, it’s great to have someone looking out for you and it doesn’t just involve that. It involves somebody talking about your food and your nutrition and how you can have enough energy to get you through these long days. That’s been important on the show; how are you not going to collapse by 11pm when you’ve still got to shoot till 4? So that stuff has been great. But there’s always been expectations leaning heavily on appearance. That’s something you come to expect. For this kind of show, that’s fine...