Lucy Lawless' 'Spartacus': Blood, Sex And A Rockin' Yarn

Lucy Lawless has been at the center of whirlwind of promotional activity trying to make everyone aware that her provocative new series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" is premiering Friday on Starz.

The former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star was in Pasadena at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Saturday where she chatted a bit with She then called a few days later for follow-up from New York City where she is doing a flurry of television appearances and radio, print and online interviews.

"I'm doing everything," she said from New York Tuesday. "I'm really thrilled that we can give this show this big launch. I feel like, 'Oh thank God!' Let's put it out there and into the hands of the people and let's see how excited we can get them. I think it really can deliver."

"Spartacus," produced by Sam Raimi and Lawless's husband Rob Tapert, is already riding a wave of buzz because it is filmed in New Zealand almost entirely in CGI and features large doses of bloody violence, nudity and graphic sex.

"If you take away all the blood and sex, the special effects, you still got a rockin' yarn," the actress says. "They're great stories and very gracefully told. I knew that this was going to be a new force in television just like "Hercules" and "Xena" which brought Hong Kong action to television. This will do the same thing. It's edgy and intense.

For the 41-year-old Lawless, the role of Lucretia is a real acting feast.

"The role is just a knockout," she says. "My character is the ultimate manipulator and her ambition knows no bounds. She's full of contradictions. She loves her husband more than life itself, she'd go to the ends of the earth to please him even to the point of sleeping with a gladiator to try and provide my husband with a son."

Lucretia is the manipulative owner of a gladiator camp along with her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah) and is equal to her spouse in cunning. Among the gladiators they own is Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) who they hope will help them out of hard times by restoring them to their previous lofty status in the world of gladiator contests. Still, she thinks of Spartacus as an uncontrollable beast and fumes when her husband does things like play chess with him.

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