Lucy Lawless is a woman of many talents... an actress, singer,
TV reporter and daredevil.
WHEN Lucy Lawless was four years old, her godfather asked what
she wanted to be when she grew up. "Famous!" was her immediate
More than 20 years later Lucy is well known as an actress and TV
presenter. Last year she starred in Marlin Bay as Chloe and
travelled the world in Air New Zealand Holiday. She has also
appeared in several commercials, including ones for Shell
service stations and Philips electrical equipment, and she has
been approached by people who've recognised her as the mum of
baby Stanley in Auckland Savings Bank advertisements. But fame,
she says, is no longer important. "There are other things that
Such as her husband Garth Lawless and their daughter Daisy. "If
my acting career stopped tomorrow I would be all right because I
have Garth and Daisy and a wonderful family behind me," Lucy
Not that she has any plans to give up acting. She has wanted to
tread the boards since she was a child, but kept her dreams to
"I felt I shouldn't tell people I wanted to act because they
would think I was a show-off," she recalls. "I've always been
like that - part of me tends to cower. I don't want people to
think, 'She's up herself.
"But now I think 'big deal'. We should all just be who we are.
I'm a horrible ham if I let myself be. I love to perform - but
I'll perform more in some places than others. Some of my best
performances have been in the shower!"
Lucy, a former Mrs New Zealand, is also a talented singer who
once studied opera. "I lost confidence in that," she says. "I
woke up one morning and thought, 'I don't really care about
music that much', whereas I do care about acting. I'd like to do
a musical one day, though -that would be fun. I important to
have fun. I'm much more relaxed about things than I have been in
Relaxed or not, the willowy actress says she still had some
doubts about the offer to work on the Holiday programme. "I was
hesitant because I felt it was a wild diversion from my acting,"
she says. "But I'm glad I took the offer. "It has expanded my
thinking and I've learned a lot about myself. To be a good
actress and play a wide range of roles you need to get out there
and experience life. With Holiday I've seen a lot of points of
view and been in some different situations." She has also done
some daring and unusual things for the show, such as bungy
jumping from a helicopter, abseiling into the "Lost World" at
Waitomo, caving and swimming with dolphins.
"They're the sort of things I have always wanted to do and I
couldn't turn down the challenge," she says.
Most of Lucy's assignments have been in New Zealand and the
Pacific, but she has also travelled to European destinations
like Prague and the Rhineland. It's not the first time she has
"When I was 18 I ran off on my own to I Europe like a mad
schoolgirl. It was a bit of a disaster - I didn't have enough
money, so I just hung about in cafes in Germany.
"In the end I rang my boyfriend in New Zealand
and he came and rescued me. I hate to think where I might have
been if it wasn't for him. He was my knight in shining armour
and he still is, only now he's my husband!"
Garth and Lucy married in the Australian outback when Lucy was
20 and pregnant with Daisy (now five). "Getting pregnant was not
a thing of shame for me," says Lucy. "Occasionally I would feel
a bit written off, as if people were saying, 'There's Lucy Ryan
(as I was then), we thought she was going to make so much of
herself.' But I got unconditional love and support from my
parents and in-laws."
While Lucy loves to travel, it has made her realise there's no
place like home. "Europe is incredibly civilised. The people are
so cool and refined, but as much as that is wonderful, they lack
something. Their energy seems to have ebbed. "There's a rawness
about New Zealand other countries don't have. When I'm away I
miss the land and the rain. No matter what happens, this will be
my home. I belong here."
- DONNA FLEMING
N.Z.W.W. JANUARY 31,1994