Troy: Fall Of A City

The story of a love that threatened to bring an empire to its knees

Interview with David Avery (Xanthius)

I loved the fact that on a series like this we have more time to explore supporting roles like mine, that ultimately add to the overall richness of the show.David Avery
Date: 14.02.2018     Last updated: 14.02.2018 at 20.53
Category: BBC One; Drama

Tell us about Xanthius. He’s a brand new character, isn’t he? What drives him? What’s he like? What is his mission?
He is indeed brand new and I had a lot of freedom to make him my own. I knew what his journey would be from start to finish and could begin to etch out some ideas. Being on set for months and soaking up the atmosphere contributed massively and before I knew it, Xanthius was taking on a life of his own.

He's driven by his loyalty to Odysseus. They have a strong bond, hence the reason Odysseus has entrusted Xanthius with the task of being secreted into Troy. Xanthius shares the same cunning and intelligence as Odysseus, always thinking five steps ahead. He is the man on the inside for the Greeks, but inevitably his mission evolves and the stakes are raised as the series unfolds.

Without giving too much away, what does Xanthius do when he reaches Troy?
Xanthius befriends a Trojan family in the lower city, but as time passes his relationship with them gets deeper and more meaningful than expected. However it was a great contrast to play off, and gives Xanthius more insight and conflict to deal with. Does he have a family back in Ithaca he misses? Will it jeopardise his mission? I loved the fact that on a series like this we have more time to explore supporting roles like mine, that ultimately add to the overall richness of the show.

You have a four legged co-star for a lot of your scenes…
Kane (real name) the dog was a star! He was with me throughout the shoot and we had a blast. We bonded very quickly which was a huge plus as we didn't have to use tricks to keep him focused for very long. He's Xanthius's best friend and represents a piece of home while they remain in the city undercover. Apart from being a trusted companion, Keno (the character name) helps send messages back to the Greek camp. Having a sidekick adds another layer to Xanthius's backstory. Details like that speak volumes on screen and also help you play against different energies.

What were the highlights of filming for you?
Well, sneaking around became my forte and I even earned the nickname 'shadows' - but, I would say some of the highlights were working with the stunt team. These guys were top notch and super passionate. I got to learn and try new things I'd never thought I could do. Horse riding and hand-to-hand combat I can now add to my repertoire! The attention to detail the team went into was truly amazing, it wasn't just about being flashy and impressive for the cameras but also true to the time and circumstances. This could be said for the entire production, set design, costume and make-up all researched and tailored specifically that make the show richer on all levels.

Did you do any preparation for the series?
I'm very familiar with Greek Mythology and a big fan so I dipped my toe back into certain stories to rekindle the feeling and tones. But as far as character preparation, being on set and in constant dialogue with cast and production, that was immersive enough to build on as I went. Ultimately the series is rooted in honest, genuine human experience, so I drew from my own life. A powerful narrative throughout the series is identity. Every character is battling with their place in the world and circumstances they've found themselves in or chosen to be in, and now they have to deal with the consequences.