Production scoured south-central Italy for locations to represent Caesar's Roman Republic, including the ancient roads of the Appian Way, Aqua Appia, the 2,000-year-old aqueduct responsible for the first running water, Romulus' fourth century tomb, the pine trees and marketplaces of Ostia Antica and the beachside caves of Anzio, a famous disembarkation point during World War II. On the 270-acre back lot behind the once famous Dino DeLaurentis Studios (now Roma Studios), the production re-created a piazza/arena for the gladiator fights, the Forum, including the Senate, piazza and various roads, and the interior of Marc Antony's villa, which boasts 72,000 fake Roman bricks, 11,000 roofing tiles and 16,000 square feet of mosaic floor covering.
Over 6,000 yards of fabric were gathered from India, Germany and Italy and painstakingly colored with 320 pounds of dye from fresh herb extracts, replicating the process from ancient Roman times. The small army of wardrobe and props personnel also provided 150 sets of handmade women's jewelry, 700 pair of boots and sandals from Pompeii and Tunisia and breast plates originally used in the productions of "Cleopatra" and "Ben Hur."
Additionally, award-winning sword masters, husband-and-wife team Dan Speaker and Jan Bryant ("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," "Hidalgo," "Hook") took on the challenge of duplicating the brutish style of the Roman gladiators of over 2,000 years ago, working one-on-one with the stars of "Empire," especially Jonathan Cake, who portrays Tyrannus.
"Empire" stars Jonathan Cake as Tyrannus, Santiago Cabrera as Octavius, Emily Blunt as Camane, Chris Egan as Agrippa and Vincent Regan as Marc Antony.
Recurring or guest stars include Dennis Haysbert as Magonius, Trudie Styler as Servilia, James Frain as Brutus, Colm Feore as Julius Caesar, Michael Bryne as Cicero, Michael Maloney as Cassius, Orla Brady as Atia, Graham McTavish as General Rapax, N'Deaye Ba as Nila and Fiona Shaw as Fulvia.
Empire" is being directed by John Gray ("Brian's Song," "Helter Skelter," "Martin and Lewis"), Kim Manners ("X-Files") and Greg Yaitanes ("Line of Fire," "Cold Case," "CSI Miami"). Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Tony Jonas, Chip Johannessen and series creator Tom Wheeler are the executive producers. The series is produced by Taranus LTD. in association with Storyline Entertainment and distributed by Touchstone Television.