Troy: Fall Of A City

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

Interview with David Gyasi (Achilles)

He’s the fiercest warrior - I was interested in the effect that has on him. What happens when you've killed so many people? What does that do to your soul?David Gyasi
Date: 14.02.2018     Last updated: 14.02.2018 at 20.53
Category: BBC One; Drama

Were you familiar with the source material before you started?
I vaguely knew the story of Troy, but only through the film back in 2004. I must confess I didn't know the Iliad. I hadn't read it. So it was quite fascinating to now discover Homer and this amazing tale that he used to spin. I was very intrigued.

Who is Achilles?
He’s the fiercest warrior - what interested me was the effect that has on him. What happens when you've killed so many people? What does that do to your soul? We meet Achilles at a interesting point in his life where he appears very philosophical: very thoughtful, very considered about war and about honour and respect.

He’s been described as history’s greatest warrior. How do you play that?
He obviously has this natural gift that we wanted to show, so we've been working a lot on movement. My wife teaches bar class, so in preparation for this I did weeks of bar class just to get my posture and my movement right. There's a flow to his fighting style and it's almost like a dance. And he really enjoys fighting, almost like a blood lust. But then there's the silence afterwards - the contemplated space after a battle or after a war. There’s a juxtaposition between these two states, which takes me back to what I said about the effect his actions have on him.

The amazing work of the design team really helps you get into character, too. There was something about how powerful the costume makes you feel. It just makes you stand tall. There was just fantastic communication between all the departments, so that if we've choreographed something that is then impossible to do in a particular costume because of the way it holds you then they’d adapt it or make it out of other material.

There's one costume I have that's a leather armour, which is great for one on one battles. You wouldn't go into a massive war scene with it, but where Achilles meets someone one on one - which without giving too much away happens a few times in the series - it’s fantastic for movement and it helps Achilles’ speed and agility.