McIntyre pays tribute to Whitfield
Liam McIntyre has paid tribute to the late Spartacus star Andy Whitfield, and said it is an "honour" to take on the role.
Before Whitfield died from cancer in September last year he gave his blessing to Liam to take over the role, and even offered to meet him.
Liam said: "I thought that was amazingly big-hearted considering everything he was going through. [We couldn't meet in the end] but we exchanged emails, and I feel very blessed to have those."
The 29-year-old actor added that he channelled Whitfield during his auditions.
He said: "Being a fan of the show, I loved Andy's Spartacus so much. He wasn't just an action hero. In my auditions I tried to capture the heart that I felt in Spartacus due to Andy's great performance."
But Liam was hardly Spartacus-brawny when he got to the set in New Zealand for his audition.
He said: "I'd never liked my body and my nightmare was to be filmed in underwear.
"I was no body builder. I was just this guy who liked sports and video games."
It took months of gruelling training for him to bulk up to Spartacus proportions.
"That kind of intense exercise is horrible," he said.