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I gave "A" grades to two episodes of Rome. One of them was the Season 1 finale, "Kalends Of February," in which Julius Caesar is murdered (spoiler!). The second one was the second-season episode called "Philippi." It stood out for me largely because it marked the first time (and, as it turns out, the last) that Rome actually came off of enough cash to put a credible representation of a large-scale battle up on the screen. I kind of still can't believe it. Not long after the recap went up, I got a very nice email from the director of that episode, an industry veteran named Roger Young. Like any appropriately shameless recapper, I asked him for an interview. A week later, I took my lunch break, walked to my car, and moved it to the top level of the parking ramp to optimize cell phone reception. It was from there that I reached him at his home in California. M. Giant: How did you get involved in directing this episode of Rome? Roger Young: The usual way. Well, actually it wasn't the usual way, now that I think about it. What happened was, they were looking for somebody who could do a larger episode because they hadn't done anything as big as the battle [of Philippi]. It was getting kind of late in terms of bringing somebody in, and an Assistant Director, an Italian AD that I had worked with often -- Sergio Ercolessi, who was the first AD on one of the units the first year -- had told one of the producers, a guy named Gene Kelly, that I was very good with big shows. And Gene mentioned this to John Melfi, who is one of the Executive Producers. John was in L.A., and so he called my agent and set up a meeting. I met him at a restaurant. We had a cup of coffee and it lasted an hour and a half or something. And he said, "So, get on a plane." So I did. MG: Were you familiar with Rome before? RY: Yes. I was not familiar in the sense that I'd watched every episode. I had watched early on and found it fascinating and beautifully done. But I hadn't gotten hooked so that I was watching every episode. But I was familiar enough with it that I could go in. And then of course, when I got [to Italy], I watched every single episode, including the ones that they had partially finished for Season 2. MG: This was your first episode of Rome, but you mentioned that you've done a lot of bigger projects. I noticed a lot of period pieces on your CV, like movies about Hercules and Jesus and Moses. How does Rome compare to those kinds of projects?