Lucy is interviewed in the Italian Vanity Fare Magazine 14 December 2011 Issue. Scans were contributed by Federica Neddi and sent in by Barbara Bruno. Barbara translated the article from the original Italian to English

ImageVanity Fair Magazine
(Italian) - 14 December 2011

Translated by Barbara Bruno

Lucy Lawless

I thought I was a man


Warrior Princess in the 90s (Do you remember Xena?) gladiator lover today, she always keeps herself in a good shape. Credit to a “lovely” education: at home, at school and in the mine

by Andrea Carugati


Sometimes they come back, especially on TV Shows.

Lucy Lawless, in mid 90s, she was the main character on Xena, Warrior Princess, series based on mythology that was a hit on the channel Italia 1. Today, because there is nothing new really, she is back in the limelight with the role of Lucretia on Spartacus: Blood and Sand TV Series with strong colors which became very famous thanks to the record audience on Sky 1(where in spring we are waiting for the second Season: Spartacus Vengeance. )

Lucy, who had the fortune to marry Robert Tapert, producer of Spartacus with Sam Raimi, in the show she is the wife of Lentulus Batiatus(owner of a gladiator school in Capua) as well as the secret lover of the gladiator Crixus. Lucretia schemes, kills, arranges orgies to gain the favors of the powerful people, always at the service of her husband and the thirst for power that unites them. Whatever the obstacle is- between a bath and a naked breast, having sex with the champion of the gladiators, poisoning someone- she removes it.


Excuse me if I ask Lucy, are you like this as well in your everyday life?

No, on the contrary. I go wherever they tell me to go, I am good to surrender and, if there is something I can't change, I don't fight it: this is an attitude I found very usefull in my life.

I find you in a very good shape. I can't help to notice that: I sit at 10 centimeters from her, on the same couch.

Thank you. My secret is that I am happy, without getting myself to be stressed by anything. I get busy with what I live today: I think is the anticipation of the problems that hurts us. A problem in itself is never so serious, and even when it is, it's better to worry about it when it comes.

What made you go around the world since you were younger?

It took a while for me to understand that it was the best thing to do. I grew up in a very catholic family, in a catholic school, in a small village in New Zealand. I was a little girl and I was going back home alone repeating to myself the prayer “Ave oh Mary”,

“Aveh oh Mary, pray for us sinners, in the hour of our death. Amen...” In the hour of our death? Are we kiddin'? I have to die? I still remember when I realized this thing. I told to myself, “Oh My God, I have to pull myself together and do something now!! And since that day my life changed.

I was already grown-up, I was probably 11 years old. When I was 18, I went away to Paris, I had fun, I spent all my money. And the person that became my fiancè (Garth Lawless), came to save me. We got married, we loved each other, we had a baby girl (Daisy), not necessarily in this order. I still like him, but now I am married to another man (Tapert), from whom I have two sons (Julius and Judah), and I am in love and happy.

A very romantic life, but I know you also worked in a mine.

I had to transport and dissect the stones from where others would have extracted the gold.
An incredible job, in the australian desert. Every morning I got there and found an immense row of stones: I thought I was in a Grimm fable..

I don't know so many girls who would choose that as a summer job.

In fact I wasn't raised as a girl. I had four older brothers and my mother told me that, at least until I was 10, I thought I was a boy. At home we had to be very fast with the mouth, fast with the feet and fast to eat, or someone was coming to steal your food. A lovely family too, but not very easy to live in.

But then the Xena role arrived

A very unexpected thing and something I did not search for (the actress chosen for the role Vanessa Angel got sick). Physically I was in a good shape, but I wasn't very athletic, I did not practice any sport, I wasn't fit for the role. At school my nickname was “Unco” (for Uncoordinated)

Your schoolmates were very nice...

Catholic school, as I said before...
For two years I was full of bruises, but at the end I got better.

Your teachers of that time would be horrified to see you naked now on TV.

But I am not so naked! There are only few scenes and I wouldn't have accepted the role if those scenes were not functional with it. I don't like to show so much of myself, but it was necessary: that was the time period (the roman times n.d. t) where violence, sex and power were intertwined in the arenas and in politics.

Perhaps certain habits did not go out of fashion...

“Ciampa ciampa? That Berlusconi thing? How do you call it? (Referring to Italian politics n.d.t)

Do you mean Bunga Bunga?

Very similar to what happens in Spartacus, isn't it? Nothing changed and I believe this always happened. Do you Italians see our series as a political satire? It can be an interpretation...Anyway. When I think to your country I think to the movie “Il divo di Sorrentino”. The strain of that movie enthused me, it doesn't show the usual things that are associated to you(as a country n.d.t).

Are you surprised that sex gets used as a weapon?

No. It's been used as a weapon in times of peace and war, individually and in groups, like the mass rapes in Bosnia and Rwanda. I believe that our society evolved quicker than our minds and bodies. We can't keep up with the social rules and we tend to behave like beasts.

Did you ever use it as a weapon?

Not as a weapon, yes as a tool. For example, the way I am sitting now, is it casual according to you?
My body, my posture, they send out messages. Every woman does that, it's a social manipulation.
It's an expectation that men have. But never as a weapon: I would never be attracted to a man that loses out to that kind of charm.

What kind of man does attract you?

A true man, someone that thinks with his mind, spiritual, and with a great sense of humor. Someone good on his job. This is a very important aspect for almost every woman, maybe due to an atavic heritage. If someone is good on doing his job, it means he will be a very responsible father, able to ensure survival to his family. These are thing that send us back when men lived in caves.

So no metrosexual for you?

Sometimes I force my husband to wear a pink shirt, that obviously doesn't fit him very well. I was a fan of the Spandau Ballet and I like to observe them, the metrosexuals, I would never marry one of them. On the contrary, now that I think about it I have never been with a pretty boy. Maybe they are not attracted by me.


I guess that you, if you wanted, could easily conquer all of them.

I don't think it's true and I believe is always about a choice that two people do. I remember that when I was younger I did not think exactly this way though .I was with my psychologist, and I told him I could have all the men I wanted. I noticed his reaction, I saw his face and I understood that I said something wrong.

Are you still seeing a psychologist?

It' s many years now that I don't go anymore: I have two kids, I have no more time to concentrate only on myself. And maybe it's a good thing.

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You can find out more about Lucy's role on Spartacus by going to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Spartacus subsite