A Greenisland actor has landed the key role of artist Leonardo da Vinci in a smash television drama.
Stephen Hagan will play the famous Italian in series three of Netflix’s Medici - series 2 started last weekend.
The Italian-British television production is set in 15th-century Florence with a high-profile cast including Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden, Sean Bean, Sarah Parish and Daniel Sharman.
The Medici family were one of the most powerful and influential families in 15th century Europe. As wealthy bankers, savvy businessmen and brilliant political strategists they rose to the highest ranks of Florentine society. Their influence and power spread far beyond the city.
Stephen says: “It was a real honour to get the part. As big as we know Leonardo is throughout the art world, he has a special place in Italy’s heart. The fact that the series is also going to be shown in Italy created an added pressure.
“Another aspect that I found challenging was the fact that Leonardo had educated himself extremely well in all subjects of the world. Mostly art, mechanics and anatomy. To talk as quickly and in as much detail as my character was a challenge.”
Stephen added: “The filming locations were amazing. We started filming in September last year in Rome and then in Tuscany. I visited Florence and Da Vinci, a village outside of Florence where Leonardo was born and where he gets his name, to get some insight into environmental influences that may have been at play in his psyche.
“Filming for me finished last December and it is likely to be the beginning of 2020 before series three is ready for broadcast. Although we shoot in many stunning locations, they have to fill in the back grounds with CGI when we are outdoors, which can take a while. But it makes for a mesmerising show at the end.”
Stephen recently appeared in the third series of Sky 1’s blockbuster drama, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and has also been on cinema screens in the independent movie ‘Zoo’.
He is married to the actress and comedian Wendy Wason and they live in North London with their three children.
For fans of Medici, series one and two are available on Netflix now.