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"I know HBO regretted not doing it again," agrees Purefoy. The BBC did a very strange thing where they put somebody in charge of re-editing the first three episodes."The BBC brief, according to Purefoy, was to remove the historical politics, on the assumption that British audiences were already well acquainted with Roman history.
Inevitably the clash of rapier, dagger or quarterstaff means the potential for injury is constant.
For six weeks, Purefoy, Brian Cox, Mackenzie Crook, Giamatti and the rest of the cast filmed on location in Wales, enduring horizontal rain and winds of up to 60mph. "It was only a bit of wind and rain," shrugs Purefoy.
"I've filmed in temperature of -15C before, where we had to wait for my costume to defrost from my skin before I could get undressed."This sort of casual alpha-male chit-chat is probably the reason why Purefoy was plausibly considered for the role of James Bond a decade ago.
But although he was up for the role, he was too busy to accept the job back then "and now that ship has sailed.
I'm too old - and, rightly, Captain Daniel Craig is now at the helm.