TV Article

First Look

''ER'''s Goran Visnjic stars as the slave leader in USA's miniseries ''Spartacus,'' airing next April

Goran Visnjic, Spartacus | SKIRTING THE ISSUE Visnjic and company
Image credit: Spartacus: Krassimir Arabadadjiev
SKIRTING THE ISSUE Visnjic and company

SPARTACUS Rome, it turns out, was built neither in a day nor even in Rome. ''We needed it to look like Italy 2,000 years ago,'' says ''ER'''s Goran Visnjic, who throws plenty of punches in the USA Network's upcoming miniseries, ''so everything was done in Bulgaria.'' Like Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film, the TV version -- which costars Alan Bates and airs next April -- is based on Howard Fast's 1951 book. For Visnjic, playing the part meant not only filling Kirk Douglas' sandals but also slipping on the pugnacious slave leader's...Skivvies. ''Those tunics are pretty short,'' says the Croatian native, who was outfitted in some ''funky'' premodern boxer briefs. ''In a fight, you don't want the audience to see your 20th-century underwear.'' As they say, when in Bulgaria...

Originally posted Sep 16, 2003 Published in issue #729 Sep 19, 2003 Order article reprints