Another lovely interview with Tom has appeared online - this one thanks to Jim Halterman. Read it in full on his website.
Jim Halterman: Tell me about Season 2. In that first scene, we’re in a different place and Leonardo and Riario are working together in a tough situation.
Tom Riley: We throw you a curve ball. It’s interesting but we were nervous at the top at the idea when David said the characters were going to go on personal journeys physically as well as mentally and we’re going to throw you together in combinations that you wouldn’t necessarily expect and you’ll all come back together and you’ll be different because of it. We spent eight hours formulating the tone of the show so now we can go anywhere as long as we keep within those boundaries. But it’s very exciting. It’s very cool. The South America stuff was intimidating and we didn’t think we’d pull it off but we actually have. By the time you get to episodes 5 and 6…it’s good stuff.
JH: As difficult as season one was, was season two on the same level for you?
TR: I’d say it’s more intense for all of us but we were better prepped. With my knowledge that the last time I pulled my hip going in the harness but this time I stretched. Before, last year, you have a crew and you don’t’ want to do a lot of stretches and look like an idiot but this year I preferred to look like an idiot.
JH: Going into the first episode, is Leonardo’s relationship with his father still coming up? I know we see the sheep, which we saw in the first season…
TR: They’re separated by consequence but certainly Leonardo’s presence is very heavy in every character’s life and they’re constantly referencing him. For Piero (Da Vinci), you get some really interesting stuff not just about Leonardo but also why he has such antagonism towards Leonardo and why the mother left him…that’s all still going, very much so.
JH: What was the biggest surprise this season?
TR: I would say episode 6 is the most surprising episode. When I read that script, which is by Matt Fraction, who is a comic book writer, he’s the nexus of bat shit! I absolutely love it and full of surprising things, surprising characters…
JH: Is Da Vinci developing any new emotional attachments, not just sexual, but people he’s leaning on?
TR: Yes! His relationship with Zoroaster, why are they friends, why does this man follows him, they may have had history together, they may have been together and certainly Gregg [Sulkin] and I were keen to play up on moments of that and that there’s something deep between them. And then he meets people in the New World, Ima (Carolina Guerra), who is a priestess, who is not an unattractive woman, but his mind is constantly in pursuit of knowledge, that’s where his heart lies really and the only person to infiltrate it is Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) and she is incredibly present and he can’t work it out because he knows there more.
JH: Does that piss him off a little bit?
TR: I think so but, for me, Lucrezia and Leonardo are really similar in that they’re both following something they truly believe in to the detrement of everything about then. They both leaving collateral damage in their wake. They’ve both been told what to do by a whispering man in a dark corridor. For her, it’s the prisoner. For Da Vinci, it’s the Turk. They’re both following blindly so he has a strange connection to her even though she’s not there. And Riario, of course, maybe they’ll start to respect each other a little bit.
JH: So why are they together in the beginning? What can you tell me?
TR: All I’ll say is that in the first season, Riario saw the benefit of Leonardo whereas Leonardo had absolutely no respect for Riario. He was a pain, he was condescending and he had nothing but malicious ideas with what he wanted to discover with the Book Of Leaves and I think Leonardo still believes that to a certain degree but he begins to understand why Riario is who he is and they build a begrudging respect when they both have to fight for the same thing.