Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Da Vinci's Demons" Season 2 - Diva Gets An Armful of Stories from David S. Goyer and Tom Riley

Season 2 of "Da Vinci's Demons" wraps up this weekend in the USA, and it will be awhile before the series returns with a brand new season.

"The Enemies of Men", the penultimate episode of the season, ended with awful things happening to many of our favourite characters, and reveals the existence of a mysterious cult which seems to bode evil intentions on mankind.

Will Leonardo still find it worthwhile to pursue the Book of Leaves? Has Riario's life been turned upside down? And what will the fate of Florence be now that Alfonso is King of Naples?

To help whet your appetite for the season finale, there will be a "Da Vinci's Demons" S2 screening marathon on Starz, on Saturday 31st March starting from 12 PM ET! That is just a few hours from now. Red Dot Diva will get into details on that later on.

In the meantime, here's Red Dot Diva's last "Da Vinci's Demons" interview article from last year's NYCC press roundtable.

In this early morning press session, Tom Riley, who plays young Leonard Da Vinci the legendary inventor and artist from history, and the series' creator David S. Goyer talked about what viewers could expect in Season 2.

Still in his "Leo" facial hair and his shaggier Season 2 mop tucked neatly into a cute beanie, Red Dot Diva found it difficult not to be enraptured by the beauty that is Tom Riley. Special mention has to also be given to Those.Distracting.Biceps of his. (O.M.G.) O_O Creator/ producer/ writer David S. Goyer, with his gorgeous tattooed arms, held a special presence of his own too.

Both were in a very good mood, and greeted everyone with a cheery 'Good morning!'. Tom jumped on the spot a little before he settled into his seat. "Shake it out! Sleepy!" He grinned, as he tried to energize himself.

"We are here to talk about Outlander," David joked, referring to an earlier roundtable session for another upcoming Starz series helmed by Ron Moore and based on the books by Diana Galbadon.

Obviously, that not what he was meant to do as he got the ball rolling by sharing about his inspirations for Season 2. "We are thrilled with the cast we ensemble, not the least of whom is Tom, but pretty much everyone. I thought Ed Thomas, our production designer did an incredible job. And it was fun going into the second season because we had all the sets to start with and a bunch of money to make more and bigger sets. Our visual effects, even though I thought they were cool in the first season, are way cooler this season. So we've almost doubled our visual effects budget and we've gotten cockier this season (- laughter around the table-) and we've got more episodes."

"It's fun. Basically, you sit down at the end of the first season and say what worked really well, and we thought a lot worked but there were a lot of things we could do better, Then you tweak those changes and you move on. One of things I was keen to do, was to take the action out of just Florence, because I always wanted the show to have a global reach. There were a lot of reservations at Starz but later on, resoundingly, they felt it worked. So now, we are already talking about the third season, and we have license to go anywhere where we want, which is cool."

Tom Riley Smouldering.. Hot Biceps included
Tom chimed in and mentioned that there was a lot of producer presence during the first few days on set regarding the storyline happening in South America. David then explained that it was difficult to find Native American-looking extras in Wales, where the series was being shot, and they had to ship a lot of people on to the set. "We managed to get Carolina (Guerra) in from Columbia and Raul from Mexico. But we had to send casting scouts to Argentina and other places to find some people, which caused some of the initial apprehension."

With a show about Da Vinci, it is inevitable that several of his inventions and ideas will be featured in the series. Catch the video snippet below where both Tom and David reveal what their own favourite inventions were.

The discussion then turned to the mysterious Turk and his influences on Da Vinci this season. "They have a difficult relationship. Leonardo is primarily an empirical thinker, a man of logic and science. And then there's man asking him to follow what is technically a dream. And there's always a question of how much he is actually present and how much of him is in Leonardo's mind and influenced by the drugs he's taking," Tom said. "His relationship is a type of mentor, Obi-wan type character."

"Yeah," David affirmed. "He's Obi-wan!"

As some of the storyline will be taking the key characters to Peru, will the political intrigue of what happens in Florence, Naples and Rome still be a main feature of the show?

David said, "The political angle is a big deal if you follow some of what history about Rome making alliance with Naples and had ex-communicated all the citizens in Florence. And we'll meet the King Ferrante of Naples, who is a crazy guy and has a Black Museum, where he would take his enemies and he would stuff them and put them on display in his dungeon. We didn't make that up. It's true. King Ferrante appears in the second episode, and his son Duke Alphonso, is a swordsman. Kieran (Bew), who is a new series regular, is a British swordfighting champion in real life then become an actor. He is amazing, so all that stuff where he was fighting with two hands, is real."

If you have been watching the current season, you would have already seen Da Vinci and Alphonso trading blows. (And if you have not, scroll down to details below about the Da Vinci Season 2 screening marathon later!)

"That was a fun sword fight, I can tell you," Tom recalled. "Leonardo is good at everything, and that can be quite frustrating. So it was nice to find people who are better at him at things, and at finding the best ambidextrous swordsman in all of Italy, we found an actual actor who is one of the best swordsman in England for real."

"At one point, Kieran ranked 18th in the world. He's fun and he's a great actor and he's a great addition to the show because he's such a mean bastard," David added. Red Dot Diva isn't quite sure if David meant Kieran himself or Duke Alphonso, but she is pretty sure they are both bad asses.

Red Dot Diva took the opportunity to pose Tom and David a question about the connection between geniuses and insanity, and this is what they replied:

(Diva Confession: It takes a lot to "Keep Calm and Just Steady Your Camera" when the oh-so-charming Tom Riley is looking directly at you. *thud*)

Well, odd or not, the wildly entertaining "Da Vinci's Demons" has spurred the imaginations of fans all over the world even more this season, and they will undoubtedly follow the series to more adventurous moments onward to Season 3!

Bonus pics of both Tom Riley and David S. Goyer looking bicepstuous:


Join the cast of "Da Vinci's Demons" and the hoard of fans across the world with the S2 Da Vinci Thon, starting 12 PM ET, later on today! The screening marathon will lead straight into the season finale.

Click pic above for larger version

The schedule of cast members live-tweeting from Season 2 Episode 1 onwards will be as follows:

Episode 1 - Tom Riley
Episode 2 - Elliot Cowan
Episode 3 - Gregg Chillin 
Episode 4 - Laura Haddock
Episode 5 - Hera Hilmar
Episode 6 - Eros Vlahos
Episode 7 - Carolina Guerra
Episode 8 - Gregg Chilling
Episode 9 - Tom Riley

So remember to follow the cast members, log on to Twitter and use the hashtag #DaVinciThon.

Tom Riley - @thisisTomRiley 
Laura Haddock - @laurajhaddock
Gregg Chillin - @GreggChillin
Carolina Guerra - @carolinaguerram
Elliot Cowan - @LostWaxProcess
Hera Hilmar - @HeraHilmar
Eros Vlahos - @Eros_V

Click pic above for larger version

After the finale "The Sins of Daedalus" at 10 PM ET, you could proceed to ask lead actor Tom Riley your burning questions on Twitter by using the hashtag #AskDaVinci.

Red Dot Diva hopes to tweet you there!


In this region, "Da Vinci's Demons" Season 2 airs on FX Asia (SingTel mio TV Ch. 310, StarHub TV Ch. 507) every Sunday at 10 PM Singapore time. The Season 2 finale should be showing next Sunday. Do check FX Asia's website and schedule for details!

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