Tom Riley on ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’

Last year "Da Vinci's Demons" earned Starz its first Emmys, winning for theme music and title design, and now it returns on March 22 with more ambitious scope for Emmy voters to consider.

It's got a bigger cast, heightened drama, more adventure. Political intrigue builds in 15th-century Florence as Leonardo Da Vinci battles the forces of Pope Sixtus, but he also breaks out beyond the city in a bold plot twist.

"There's a period in Leonardo's life when nobody has any idea where he was," series star Tom Riley says in our video chat. "It's manna from heaven because you can say,' OK, I've got five years when someone dropped off the map and this is someone we know was constantly pushing himself, constantly exploring the limits of what was possible, so chances are he might be on the other side of the world in Peru just having a nose around.'"

Wait … Da Vinci in Peru years before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean? Yes, and Riley explains in our chat how that might be possible, reminding viewers that season two of "Da Vinci's Demons" aims to build on its premise of being an adventure series – think Indiana Jones run amok in the Renaissance and New World.

"Right from the get-go we built it as a historical fantasy," Riley says. "We are going to weave fiction among the facts. Now we say, 'OK, you now know what the show is after one season so we can go even further with it. That's not to say that we will stray away from the political intrigue and the stuff that goes on in Italy, but Leonardo's new life with the Incas is much more fantastical.'"

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UPLOADED Mar 9, 2014 10:34 pm