Several new photos from the panel and press conference at Comic Con Portugal, have been kindly shared on Facebook by fans and by FOX Portugal here and here. A new in depth interview with Tom, from the round table at Comic Con Portugal has been shared online here, and has kindly been translated again by Andre.
While the interview translation by Andre is quite accurate, the original transcript may not be - one interview by Magazine HD which I recently posted, reported that the final filming day for Da Vinci's Demons season 3 would be the 19th December. Tom then shared his photo (and the season wrapped), on 17th December! The official Tumblr shared this video of Gregg, Eros and Sabrina announcing the season wrap. Sorry again for the misinformation - I do try extremely hard to post accurate news, and felt like an idiot when I was wrong.
In the new interview, Tom reveals he has 3 films lined up for 2015, but with no further details. He also chats about filming Doctor Who 'Robot of Sherwood' in the same locations as Da Vinci's Demons - particularly the Three Bears Caves in Fforest Fawr, last seen when Leonardo wakes up in The Sins of Daedalus.
NiT talked with Tom Riley, protagonist of “Da Vinci’s Demons”.
It wasn’t even 10 o’clock when Tom Riley sat with ten journalists from various countries (Holland, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal, among others). Only near the end of the chat, that lasted almost an hour, did he confess to the headache he has due to tasting Port wine, along with the tiresome Friday night shoot for the show.
In Portugal to take part in the first edition of Comic Con, the protagonist of Da Vinci’s Demons reveals he is a fan of comics and has brought a few books by Brian K. Vaughan – the author of “Saga”, “Y: The Last Man Standing” and also “Lost” and “Under The Dome”’s screewriter – to be autographed. NiT was in the same group that talked with the three actors from the show (broadcasted by FOX in Portugal), which tells the story of a young Leonardo Da Vinci, mixing historical facts and fiction.
What were the most interesting details about Leonardo Da Vinci’s life you found out when researching for the role?
His younger years. I didn’t know anything when he was in his twenties – he was arrogant and hard to deal with. I thought it was a gold mine being able to play this character. People had a certain image about Leonardo but I felt that finally I was creating something real and had the research to back it up. I didn’t know he dug up corpses to understand how they worked. I went to an exhibit at the Buckingham Palace, in London, and found out he sliced the corpses in half and used candle wax to get an idea how it worked on the inside. I thought: “This wasn’t what I learned at school, I studied his brushstrokes and paintings.” At the end of the exhibit, I read that had his conclusions been published, he would’ve been the most important man that ever lived. And all this was a hobby of his. If it wasn’t, imagine what he could’ve found out.
Was it hard to play this young Da Vinci?
It’s interesting because I thought it would be liberating. It was a nice romance, there weren’t any restrictions and we wouldn’t be too attached to historical facts. But at the same time I was nervous because I knew there were people with very high expectations. The image people have in their heads is of a sixty year old man. Besides the character, it was also a challenge to participate in a show this big in the UK. We’re not used to huge sets and cities built in studios in Wales. Being the protagonist of such a production was a great responsibility. I coped with it by not making such a big deal out of it. I told myself: “I’m rehearsing for a play for my parents, everything’s going to go well”.
Leonardo sees his mother at the end of the second season. Will this change the course of the story?
I can’t tell you how the next season starts [which premieres in 2015]. All I can say is that seeing his mother in that ship and what he does in the following minutes will influence many things during the course of the next ten hours. The result of those actions involve everyone in the story.
How important was Leonardo Da Vinci to you?
The fact that he existed changes everything - the most interesting thing is that I’m not as lazy as I used to be. The idea of a man that, despite of all his skills and abilities, died thinking he didn’t do enough, makes me feel terrible when I wake up in the morning and think I’m going to watch a bit of TV, because I could’ve done something far more useful.
You were in “Doctor Who” that has Mark Gatiss as the screenwriter. What was it like to work with him?
I’ve already worked with Mark previously, and we became closer because we love horror films. He called me early this year and asked if I wanted to be Robin Hood in the show. I immediately said yes, didn’t even needed to see the script. Oddly enough, the shoots took place in the same locations we did “Da Vinci’s Demons”, in Wales. I wake up in a hole in episode ten or nine of season two and Robin Hood shoots exactly in the same spot. I spent more time in that hole than at home.
You started to take an interest in theatre when you were very young.
In my mother’s womb, actually. I never did it professionally until I was twenty-five years old but I always loved to act. I don’t know anyone in my family that’s related to it – although I have an aunt that claims she was an actress. However, I remember perfectly seeing a play and thinking I wanted to be up there, I wanted to do that. After, I wrote plays and started a theatre company when I was at university. At that time I was studying English Literature because I didn’t know if I was going to become an actor and didn’t know anyone.
What would you like to invest more in your career?
My heart always takes me to independent films. I have three scheduled for next year – that may become films, or simply disappear. The first independent production I did was French/Italian, then I realized the sum of money that it involves. Good films are done every year but we’re not that lucky in the UK, unless we make it about football, hooligans or gangsters. It’s good to be in a show such as this because we get six months off and do things that won’t make that much money but we love to do. I want to keep on doing things that I can be proud of, projects that I like to watch.
What type of films do you like to watch?
I’m very eclectic. Every year I make a top ten, just because. I’ve seen “Paddington” recently and loved it. And it wasn’t just a children’s film, it was really good. I like good scripts and acting above all else.
What television shows do you watch now?
I finished Amazon’s “Trasparent”, about a man in his sixties that has to tell his family that he dresses as a woman and is a transsexual. Those were the most incredible ten hours of television I’ve seen until today.
Do you binge?
I’d love to, but don’t have the time. The most I can watch are two episodes, or else I’ll feel guilty because I wasn’t memorizing my lines. What I do is place the laptop on the toilet and sit in the bathtub. That’s it, so that I can’t do anything else.
Natalie Dormer, from “Game of Thrones”, said that when she puts on the wig and the garments and looks herself in the mirror, she feels like Margaery right away.
She really has to wear a wig. She shaved her hair!
Is it the same with you?
You put on the clothes and you feel like Leonardo da Vinci? It’s funny, I’d say I don’t notice any differences. But one of the scriptwriters told me the other day that they can tell when I have the character’s costume and boots because the way I walk changes. I don’t understand it myself, but I get some sort of swagger. When we play a character for such a long time, there’s certain mannerisms that come up naturally, you don’t even need to think too much.
How do you cope with nude scenes?
There aren’t that many nude scenes. If well-acted, it contributes to the realism of the scene. We deal with it by laughing it off. “This is silly, I’m seeing your genitals” and we laugh. But it can be overcome.
Do you have any recent projects?
I have some films pending but this job is so time consuming, I can’t see anyone. I talk on the phone with directors but that’s the most I can do. When we finish the shoot, I’ll take a long break, sleep a lot and then think on what to do next.
Comic Con has a lot of fans that want to interact with you.
Were you ever someone’s fan? No, not really. I’m kidding! To tell the truth, I brought several Brian K. Vaughan books to see if he can autograph them. There are incredible talents, like John Shiban, our new showrunner, who previously worked on “Breaking Bad”. Loved that show, it was fantastic. One of my favourite episodes is from season two. At a dinner with John, he was telling me about that day on set. How he coordinated the team, how he wrote, how he discussed the story with Brian Cranston and I looked like a crazy fan. I wanted him to tell me all of the details.
What do you think of this event in Portugal?
I haven't see anything yet, not until this afternoon [Sunday]. I can’t wait. We were shooting all night on Friday and we arrived on Saturday so we didn’t have any time.
You became an expert in Port wine.
Yes, and I have a huge headache. It was fantastic, we went to taste several Port wines. We thought we were done but people just brought more! We could see the various brands in the streets. It’s incredible, they look like smaller versions of the Hollywood sign! I wouldn’t say I became an expert, but I certain know more than I used to.