The new season of "Da Vinci's Demons" promises to take fans on quest of discovery.
(STARZ) - The stars of "Da Vinci's Demons" promise the second season of their show will be larger and broader.
"Everyone is on their own journeys. We go to the new world. Lucrezia has to get out of Florence. Everyone is either on a physical or emotional journey this season," said Laura Haddock who portrays Lucrezia Donati.
Take a 15th century Italian genius, invent his mysterious youth, throw in some superhero action and you've have a TV series that portrays the man who painted the "Mona Lisa" like he's never been seen before.
Forget the artist seen in his own self-portrait as a wizened, bearded old man. The Leonardo of "Da Vinci's Demons" is a fearless, reckless, swashbuckling 20-something, who sports 21st century hair gel and an impressive six-pack.
Riley revealed how he plays the historical figure without much background to refer to.
"You try to find out as much stuff as you can that is based in truth. And then you try to find those elements that latch on to something that you can recognize from today. So you're own struggle with perfectionism or self-criticism or difficult relationships with your family. All those things that everyone's been through. And that's the stuff he had. He was illegitimate, he couldn't inherit wealth or land so it was incredible that he overcome such limitations and constraints," he explained.
In the show da Vinci is seen as a rising artist in 15th century Florence, already designing flying machines, military equipment, flirting with his models, bedding a mistress of the powerful Medici family and embarking on a quest for the mythical "Book of Leaves."
Riley and Haddock are riding high on the success of the U.S. cable network show.
"I mean it's something you never expect, that's for sure. When we went into it - you were saying that for awhile when you're doing a show down where we shoot it. It feels a little bit like you're just doing it for each other," said Riley.
"It's like a secret," said Haddock.
"And maybe you're going to put on a big play for your family. Your mom will come and watch it. And when you discover it's being sold to however many countries all around the world it's a giant success, it did so well for Starz," said Riley.
"127 moms," added Haddock.
"Yeah, it feels like 127 moms from different nationalities to impress. But it's been very different going back into the second season knowing that there are expectations has been exciting."
The series tells the fictional story of da Vinci's early life. The show, described as a historical fantasy, follows the "untold story" of the original Renaissance Man. His adventures are played out against intrigue and tension between the ruling Medicis in Florence and Pope Sixtus IV in Rome, with plenty of male and plotting, sword-fighting, murder, female nudity and sex.
When asked if they thought the show was too raunchy, both quickly said no.
"I think it's far less raunchy then some shows on TV," said Riley.
However Haddock did admit to being shy when it came to her family watching certain scenes.
"It is so funny because I remember being a kid and the telly being on and my parents saying to me, 'right, up to bed now, you're not watching this. This is, you know, your mom and dad's time to watch the telly because there might have been a scene in the show that they didn't want their kids to watch. Now I'm saying to them, 'right, up to bed, you don't want to watch this episode," she said with a laugh.
Throughout season two da Vinci's quest to find The Book of Leaves, which is a book on the other side of the world that may or may not exist, continues.
"It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And when trigonometry is a reality to him but to everyone else it's impossible. He just goes, 'no, you deal with that I've got the most ridiculous thing I've got to work out.' So it keeps driving him. And the question is if he every finds it or found it or if he finds it in season two what that would do to him," he told Reuters.
The TV series is co-produced with a unit of BBC Worldwide Productions and filmed mostly among the ancient castles of Wales and is also broadcasted in 125 countries.
The new season will premiere on Starz March 22 at 9pm ET/PT.