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'Da Vinci's Demons' preview: Hijinks and dark deeds in 'The Serpent'

By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol

RedEye

4:25 PM CDT, April 19, 2013

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The Renaissance rascal Zoroaster begins his "little pet project"--corrupting Leonardo Da Vinci's young apprentice, Nico--in the second episode of "Da Vinci's Demons."

"The Serpent," airing at 8 p.m. CT April 19 on Starz, opens with Zo (Gregg Chillin) taking Nico (Eros Vlahos) with him on a grave-robbing quest. Leonardo (Tom Riley) has asked them to go, but according to Chillin, Zoroaster is happy to oblige and show Nico some of his tricks.

"He kind of takes Nico under his wing," Chillin told me. "Zo can't help sticking his big nose in--or my big nose in--and teach him a few underhanded trades ... I don't think he particularly likes Nico a great deal in the beginning; it's more of just for fun: 'If the kid's going to be around, I might as well teach him some of my stuff.' It's his fun little side project."

"Yeah, I'm the naughty uncle," he added with a laugh.

The episode gives us another little taste of the fun dynamic between the three characters, and the fact that Leo and Zo take advantage of the good nature and naivete of their young friend. Chillin said the dynamic is "dangerously very similar" off camera.

"But Eros gives as good as he gets," he said, laughing again. "We are a bit naughty because he's a bit younger than us. But that whole dynamic is pretty similar. I think that's why it works on screen, because before 'action' and after 'cut' we're pretty much doing a modern version of the same thing."

Not everything is the same off screen as on, however.

"I'm not as naughty as the rest," Chillin said, not sounding too convinced himself. "I'm obviously very sensible and polite. And I certainly don't get as many women or wine as Zoroaster does."

Chillin will have another chance to close that gap. After the series drew nearly 2.14 million viewers over its premiere weekend, Starz announced earlier this week that it has renewed the show for a second season to air in 2014.

But back to "The Serpent." Things get darker for the guys when Leo's quest for the Book of Leaves lands Nico in danger. The Pope's nephew, Count Riario (Blake Ritson), nabs the boy to learn what Leo is up to. Check out the first clip below.




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