If they gave Emmys for Outstanding Acting In a Vintage Roman Bath... That would be a very strange and limited Emmy category. It would also be a category that Linus Roache would win with ease this year.
Roache has been a new addition in the second season of History's "Vikings," playing King Ecbert, a real history figure brought into the "Vikings" world as this year's Big Bad to oppose Travis Fimmel's Ragnar. Or at least that's the way it looked at first, but soon King Ecbert and Ragnar were making tentative treaties and Ecbert was showing great interest in the Viking religion. So who can say how things stand between King Ecbert and Ragnar at this point?
One thing we know with certainty, though, is that King Ecbert loves a good soak. He meets with political allies in the bath. He meets with religion advisors in the bath. And when he and Ragnar were ready to negotiate? They certainly didn't do it at a conference table with their clothes on.
Last week, I got on the phone with "Law & Order" and "Wings of the Dove" veteran Roache, to discuss King Ecbert and his love for bathing. The actor, whose London stage production of "Uncle Vanya" with Stephen Dillane is one of my all-time favorite theater-going experiences, talked about series creator Michael Hirst's vision for the character and his own take on Ecbert as a nemesis, but not a villain this season.
Roache is also getting ready to do a guest spot on NBC's "The Blacklist," playing the cryptically named The Kingmaker, a character he doesn't hesitate to call a villain.
Check out the full Q&A below and tune into "Vikings" on Thursdays on History...