Antonio was born in Auckland and grew up in Hastings, New Zealand. He is part Maori on his father's side, with connections to both Ngapuhi and Waikato iwi. He enjoyed participating in informal performances as a youth, which led him to study at the Toi Whakaari New Zealand…more
Antonio was orn in 1970.
Antonio says it was much easier filming the prequel Spartacus: Gods of the Arena than Spartacus: Blood and Sand for himself and his fellow gladiators, in large part because the prequel was filmed in summertime, whereas the original was filmed in winter. Not only was it cold wearing little more than leather briefs, but the actors were also constantly being sprayed down to make them appear to be sweating, which made them even colder!
Antonio has done a fair amount of theatre work, much of it in the Maori language, and says he's hoping to eventually take part in a Maori language production of Shakespearte's Othello.
Antonio found the fight scenes more difficult to shoot than the gay love scenes on Spartacus: Blood and Sand. This is because many of the major fight scenes were not on the actual set, but in front of a "green-screen" so that the FX crew could manipulate the images more easily. The love scenes also tended to be quicker to shoot, whereas a major fight scene could sometimes take an entire day to finish.
Antonio did quite a bit of reading to prepare for his role of Barca, "The Beast of Cathage" on Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Not only did he study gladiator culture and the Roman republic, but also the history of Rome's greatest rival Carthage.
Antonio is very environmentally conscious, and supports efforts to promote recycling. He performed at the 2008 Enviroschools Youth Jam in Rotorua.
In 1997 Antonio had a featured role in the short film Hei Konei Ra, which was directed by Joanna Paul.
Antonio took a diploma in the performing arts from the Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in 1993, and upgraded it to a Bachelor's Degree in 2005.
Antonio enjoys surfing and swimming. He can also do gymnastics. He also does cycling to stay in shape, and has entered some long distance races, including one of 160 km.
Antonio can sing and dance, as well as play the guitar.
Antonio lives with his family in Raglan, New Zealand, which is on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island.
Antonio's theatre credits include:
(2001) Haruru Mai "Moana", Auckland Theatre Company, dir. Simon Prast
(2001) He Taniwha Tino Pai "Maui", Taki Rua
(1999) Waiora "Tipuna", Tour of Hawaii, dir. Murray Lynch
(1996-98) Waiora "Tipuna", Tour of Auckland, Wellington and UK
(1998) 5 Angels "Various roles", Centrepoint Theatre
(1998) Roimata "Various roles", Centrepoint Theatre
(1994) Romeo and Juliet "Romeo", Centrepoint Theatre
(1994) Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu "Various Roles", dir. Jim Moriarty
Antonio speaks Te Reo Maori as well as English.
Antonio is 6'4", with black hair and brown eyes.
Antonio is represented professionally by the firm Auckland Actors.
Antonio: (on the success of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand") I think I expected it during filming, based on how well Hercules and Xena and things like that have done, and this felt like the bigger brother of all of those shows. The way things were being filmed, I knew there were a lot of things that would appeal to viewers.
Antonio: (upon learning that his character Barca was going to be gay) To be honest I thought, 'Now what did I do in the audition that gave them the impression that made me get the part?!'
Antonio: (on his "Sparatcus" co-star Eka Darville) We were on the same wavelength. We have grown up around the same types of people. We were quite open-minded and had a lot of things in common, such as music and hobbies outside of acting. We also discovered that we had mutual friends in common. We had never met before the show. I could not have asked for a better person to play opposite.
Antonio: (asked if playing a gay character on "Spartacus" was a challenge) It was both, I guess. It was getting your head into the right space and trying to figure out your character. It opened me up as well. I love facing challenges. I think that Starz is really pushing everything in this show. It is good that this is a part of it.