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A first look at the TV miniseries ''Spartacus''

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Goran Visnjic, Spartacus
Spartacus: Krassimir Arabadadjiev

SPARTACUS Rome, it turns out, was built neither in a day nor even in Rome. ”We needed it to look like Italy 2,000 years ago,” says ”ER”’s Goran Visnjic, who throws plenty of punches in the USA Network’s upcoming miniseries, ”so everything was done in Bulgaria.” Like Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 film, the TV version — which costars Alan Bates and airs next April — is based on Howard Fast’s 1951 book. For Visnjic, playing the part meant not only filling Kirk Douglas’ sandals but also slipping on the pugnacious slave leader’s…Skivvies. ”Those tunics are pretty short,” says the Croatian native, who was outfitted in some ”funky” premodern boxer briefs. ”In a fight, you don’t want the audience to see your 20th-century underwear.” As they say, when in Bulgaria…

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