Another new interview with Tom, from the press event at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons last week, has been shared online by Assignment X. Tom chats about season 3, new projects, and goes into more detail about the scene where he gets injured in the final season - and it's kept in the show. Read it in full on the website.
AX: You’ve had some pretty big physical challenges on DA VINCI’S DEMONS?
RILEY: A lot of the time, we ran out of time to train for a lot of things. It was a case of, “Okay, here’s the zip line, get on it, here’s this horse, ride as fast as you can over that hill.” Fortunately, by that point, I’d developed a certain level of fearlessness with it, which was probably foolish, but I just felt I could cope with it, so it would be okay.
This year, we had a new stunt coordinator who was determined we all did our own stunts, so it’s pretty much me – everything you see this year is me. This season I got an explosion that went off in my face, which meant we couldn’t film for the rest of the day. That was fun. That’s actually in the show – I think it’s in the trailer. There’s a point where I run up to a young soldier and I say, “I can fix this,” and then I run away, and as I run away, the explosion blows up. But instead, I got to the guy and I said, “I can fix …” and it blew up while I was still there and hit me in the face. We put it in the show because it looks so good – you see me go to my face and I went to the floor and that was that for the day. Everyone was going, “Stop! I think the show is over, I think we’ve killed Da Vinci!”
AX: Did you have to go to the hospital?
RILEY: No, no. They just had to patch up my face. It just missed my eye. I’m very lucky.
AX: You also had to dress like you were in Peru when you were actually filming in Swansea, Wales …
RILEY: Yeah. Pretending it’s too hot – “Oh, it’s so sweltering” – and we were freezing. That’s the thing I’m going to miss the least, how cold it was.
AX: Were there any scenes that surprised you in the way they looked when they were all cut together?
RILEY: Peru. When we were walking along a foot off the ground in a car park, with a llama walking behind us, we had no idea that it would look like Machu Picchu and like we were up in the air at forty thousand feet. It was incredible.
AX: What do you think are the big change scenes for Da Vinci throughout the three seasons?
RILEY: Throughout the three seasons, I would say, firstly, the reveal of Lucrezia [played by Laura Haddock] being a spy at the end of the first season, [after] he trusted her. Second season, I would say his understanding of Riario in Peru, and then the death of [his mentor] Verrocchio [Allan Corduner], and then seeing his mother. Third season, I can’t tell you them all, but they happen regularly and he really changes drastically in third season. I always knew that I was going to get a chance to take him from a bit of an arrogant [jerk] towards someone that history recognized better, someone with a bit more humility and a bit more of a tempered ego and someone who was slightly more aware of the weight of his own genius. I just didn’t know how fast we’d get there, and we were very lucky with the third season to have an arc that allowed me to get to that point of being humble around his ego. I knew that would be the case. I’m glad we got to play it out – I’m glad we didn’t cut off midway and I just ended up being the guy who made Leonardo a d*** for two years [laughs].