Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) leads his rebels into a Roman brothel in "Spartacus:… (Starz )
One of what is likely to be many water-cooler moments in "Spartacus: Vengeance" occurs in the premiere.
As anyone knows who has seen the previous installments of the series about gladiator-turned-rebel leader Spartacus, creator Steven S. DeKnight and his writers don't shy away from blood, guts or eye-opening Roman sex. But the rebels' trip to a, um, men's club in the premiere is going to go down in infamy as "that brothel battle."
Did the Romans actually use strap-ons?
"Haven't you done your research?" Liam McIntyre said, laughing, when I asked him that very question.
Long before being cast as Spartacus, McIntyre was a fan of the series, having watched both "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" and "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," so "I kind of knew what I was getting into," he said.
Or did he?
"One of my greatest memories from the whole year was watching our director from a distance in what was essentially the sign language version of the scene," McIntyre said of the brothel shoot. "I got to watch him throw his hands around and do all the motions and actions as he described what he wanted to see as this camera panned through there ... That was hilarious."
But, McIntyre notes, shooting the brothel battle also gave him one of the most distressing moments of his work on "Vengeance."
"There is a moment where I have to attack a gentleman's baby-making facility, and that was one of the most harrowing moments in my life," he said, laughing. "Because it's ... a sword, a small little protective kind of steel rig, his 'gear' and a whole lot of hope.
"And I'm like, 'Oh God, what have I got myself into?'"
And that was just the first episode. "Spartacus: Vengeance" premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 27 on Starz.