Florence was in chaos when we concluded Season 1 of Da Vinci’s Demons, and Lucrezia Donati (Laura Haddock), the beautiful lover to Da Vinci (Tom Riley) and mistress to Lorenzo (Elliot Cowan), was outed as a spy. Season 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons (which returns to Starz Saturday, March 22 at 9pm ET/PT) digs deeper into Lucrezia’s true motives through flashbacks that take us back 10 years. “She was this young, hopeful, naive, excited girl ready to take on the world,” Haddock explains. “But then this thing happened … and it changed her forever. She’s avenging what happened to her when she was little.” On a lighter note, Haddock sat down with us for a delightful conversation.
1. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Laura Haddock: I really love home improvement magazines. I love them. I would be drawn to a Marie Claire. I like women-in-empowering-positions type of magazines. I don’t like the whole circle of shame — it’s just so mean. I loved all the bridal magazines when I was getting married. [She married Hunger Games: Catching Fire star Sam Claflin last July.]
2. If your TV carried just three shows, what would they be?
American Horror Story — I just love it so much. I love Jessica Lange. I’m so into that at the moment. Could it be past or present? Probably Friends, because I just love it. @#$%, just only one more?! My God. I just love telly. I just watch it all. My list would be, I love 24. I love Dexter. I love Mad Men. I love Girls. I love Nashville. I love this show called Location, Location, Location. I loved Sex and the City.
3. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
I did a TV show in England called How Not to Live Your Life. One day there was a knock on my door. [It was a kid out of a detention center completing his community service time selling a box of dish towels and stuff.] So he’s going through his spiel and he’s telling me prices and stuff, and we haven’t really made eye contact yet. And he looks up and goes, “Oh my days!” And he drops his box. And I’m like “Oh no, are you all right?” And then I’m like, “Oh no, he knows where I live.”
4. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I saw Jessica Lange last night in Four Seasons. I was like “Oh my God, holy hell.” [So did you say something?] I really wish I did but I didn’t. I met Elton John and by accident I curtsied. And then I was like, “Oh no. I just curtsied to Elton John. This is really embarrassing. This is not the king.” He actually hugged me.
5. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Grapes, always. I just go to the fridge constantly and just pick grapes. Olives. Loads and loads of different types of fruit juice. I’m also obsessed with something called Popchips, salt and vinegar.
6. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?Any Paul Rudd movie. Anything with Paul Rudd in it, done. Pollyanna was my favorite film when I was growing up. When I first moved to London for drama school, I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary every night to help me fall asleep. Like an idiot.
7. Season 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons has an intense scene with you and Blake Ritson (Count Riario) and your eyeball. Tell us about filming that.
Blake and I have worked a lot together in the U.K., so we’re really, really good friends. So first of all we trust each other. Lucrezia has a dagger to her eye … it was literally there so everything was real. I was just @#$%-ing myself. I was like, “Oh my God, oh my God.” There was this big storm going on outside the tent, so the tent was shaking and we had to be really controlled. In a weird way it was quite intimate as it was nose to nose with the dagger. I just remember thinking, “I know that that’s close, that’s really close to my eye.” But when I saw it on the monitor it was so much closer than I thought.
Season 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons airs on Starz Saturdays at 9pm ET beginning March 22.