From Our weekly roundup of eco-related celebrity news including the one actor who became a vegetarian to upset his parents.

"I believe there is a catastrophic change coming if we don't do something now," declares eco-advocate Lucy Lawless (pictured right) an ambassador for New Zealand Greenpeace who has an organic garden, recycles, and switched to CFL light bulbs at home. The former Xena: Warrior Princess is now playing Lucretia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, debuting on Starz Jan. 22. Reminiscent of both 300 for its stylized look, freeze-frame violence and flying blood and HBO's Rome for its explicit sex and nudity, the 13-part series, already renewed for a second season, is co-produced by Lawless' husband Rob Tapert in New Zealand, where the production endeavored to be as green as possible. "No paper cups, no Styrofoam, virtually no heat on the stages," he says.

In the title role of the slave turned gladiator and rebellion leader is Andy Whitfield, a Welsh-born, Australia-trained actor discovered in a worldwide casting search. Having formerly climbed buildings by rope, inspecting buildings for a structural engineering firm, he's no stranger to physical labor but nevertheless found playing Spartacus and performing most of his own stunts a grueling endeavor. "Some things I couldn't do, for insurance reasons, but I pretty much hit the deck, every time, and threw the punches and swung the swords. It was hard."
A married father of two kids ages 5 and 2, Whitfield is a dedicated recycler and is acutely aware of "the whole connection between food and the Earth, and the way animals are bred and fed. "I think processed things have caused so many problems with everyone, and that's going to affect the environment," he believes.
Whitfield will also be seen in The Clinic, an Australian-made 1970s-set thriller about unborn babies stolen from pregnant women. "I play the husband of a woman who it happens to," he says.


News submitted by Barbara Davies