Saturday, May 18, 2013

DaVinci's Demons

He's a brilliant inventor, an artist, a hero and a playboy to boot. But he has a tormented soul. No, we're not talking about Bruce Wayne/Batman or Tony Stark/IronMan. We're talking about Leonardo Da Vinci - as imagined by Batman Begins and Dark Knight writer David S Goyer for the television series Da Vinci's Demons.
     Goyer has called Da Vinci "the original Renaissance man" and "a near-mythic figure" and in his reinvention, which has been renewed for a second season, he's also adept at swordplay and, basically, an action hero of the era, as played by actor Tom Riley.

"He is a really complicated figure and Tom is playing him brilliantly", said Goyer. "He is almost by definition, one of the smartest guys that ever lived and very hard to cast. We saw over a hundred people and we saw Tom and we were absolutely blown away". According to Riley, playing DaVinci was "incredibly overwhelming". "The weight of history combined with the weight of his genius ... what he was onto that he never even had published, the anatomy stuff, if he had ever had it published he would have been one of the most important anatomists of all time. But as it is, that's just a footnote to everything else about him, which is insane", he said.
And, of course, there is all the action hero stuff. "He's very scrappy because he was raised relatively on his own and has had to learn on the streets, but his mind enables him to see a fight seven or eight steps ahead so he knows what's going to happen and he finishes it in the smallest number of moves. "The sword fights are really cool, all the sword-fighting, and throwing things and catching it in the air ... is really cool and seeing it in slow motion is even cooler".
     While critics have questioned the show's historical accuracy and its outlandish depiction of Da Vinci's life, Riley said that some things are truer than you think. "Some of the mythology behind the show, essentially the cult of the Sons of Mithras stuff, I thought, well, that's amazing but ridiculous, that can't have existed, but it's verbatim of what was there then, so it's a perfect representation or reproduction", said Riley.
     "There's also a shield that he genuinely made as a child. He was asked by his father to build a shield and he made one that was absolutely terrifying (with Medusa's head on it) and smoke came out of its mouth. The third or fourth episode opens with that and you think, that's not real, and it turned out to be completely true".

Da Vinci's Demons is currently showing every Sunday, 10pm on Fox Movies Premium (Mio TV ch 414 (HD) ) and StarHub TV Ch 622/662 (HD)

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