Lucy Lawless Files - Articles - 2003 Magazines
Lucy Lawless Files - Warrior Women

VIP Magazine

October 2003

Scans by Ann / Transcript by MaryD

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On her first trip to Ireland, Xena: Warrior Princess Actress Lucy Lawless Talks about the role that made her famous, and her new series on history's most fearless women

It was a case of the old meeting the new when actress Lucy Lawless, best known for her role as Xena: Warrior Princess, visited Ireland to shoot a documentary on Irish pirate princess Grace O'Malley. The Irish 'heroine' is to take her place alongside four other historic females in a new I Discovery Channel series celebrating the lives of some of the most charismatic female warriors. And who better to present the series that the 21st century's most infamous warrior woman!

Since the Xena series ended two years ago, the New Zealand actress has been happy taking a well-deserved break from the business. Married to producer/director Robert G Tappert (magazine typo - Tapert), the couple welcomed the arrival of their second child, and Lucy's third, into the world last year. And spending quality time with her family and husband has been high on Lucy's agenda following the grueling filming schedule she endured working on the cult television series.

But now one the world's most recognisable television actress says she is happy to be back working in front of a camera. And as a self-confessed history lover, she's thoroughly enjoying her new role talking to historians and experts in a bid to find out more about

The programme will also see Lucy travel to Britain, China and France as she finds out more about the adventures of Queen Bousica [magazine typo - Boudica] who brought the Roman Empire in Britain to its knees; Wang Congler who challenged the emperor of China in her search for justice; and St Joan of Arc. VIP caught up with Lucy while she was in Ireland to find out mote about the series, Grace O'Malley's place in it, and how the actresses has enjoyed our Irish hospitality.

Lucy, we understand you are on a tight filming schedule for the series. Have you had a chance to sample some of the Irish night life?

Yes, after I finished my stint on The Late Late show we went in search of some Irish music and we found it! I ended up having a fantastic night, it was a real riot and the music was brilliant. I don't normally drink much but we ended up having a huge night. The people I met were wonderful and very welcoming -I really had a great time.

Is this your first time in Ireland?

Yes it is. It's always quite exciting visiting somewhere new. The funny thing is though, it's quite a lot like New Zealand, especially where we're filming, so I'm always expecting to someone I know! Unfortunately . not going to see as much of Ireland as I'd like to, but from what I have seen it's beautiful.

How did you come to work on Discovery's Warrior Women series?

They came to me last year and asked if I'd be interested in doing it. As often happens with these things, the production period got drawn out and we ended up filming a lot later than I expected. In fact it's coincided with pilot season in Hollywood, but I still wanted to do it because it seemed like such a great opportunity to travel to all these countries and learn more about their history and people.

Presenting a series on famous Warrior Women must be right up your alley, given your experience playing Xena: Warrior Princess?

Yes, we are re-introducing the world to some great female characters, who some people will have heard very little about. I'm really excited about it. I think you could say that I would be an example of the Discovery Channel's target audience! I love to watch these sort of programs that relive a particular person's journey and make the characters come alive through acting and reconstructions.

Why did the producers choose to include the Irish pirate princess Grace O'Malley in the series?

Because she's such a great historical figure, who seems to have been written out of history. She was a strong, brilliant, liberated woman who had a flare for reading the sea and took over the family's shipping business. She later turned to pirating and made a fortune terrorising British ships. Queen Elizabeth put a bounty on her head, but Grace eventually won her round with her female kinship and her past misdemeanors were forgotten.

It's been two years since you finished filming Xena. Are you worried you're never going to leave your Warrior Princess title behind you?

I probably should be, but I'm not. Playing Xena was a great part of my life and it's enabled me to do so many other things such as this. I met some great people working on the series, and I've met loads more through the opportunities it's given me. As an actress I probably should be worried about being typecast, but I would never change anything.

Do you find it hard juggling your time between your family and work?

Yes, it is very hard as plenty of working mums out there would know. My husband rang me the other day to tell me our youngest child had just taken his first step, and I just wanted to jump on a plane and fly home! It's only the beginning of filming, so I'm trying hard not to think about it too much, because it just makes it worse.

Would you ever consider taking on another television series, or would you like to try your hand at something totally different?                                                                                                                                                  

I think I would like to do another television series but not at the moment. They're a lot of hard work, and can tie you down for quite some time. I just wasn't ready to make that sort of commitment this year, but maybe in the future I'd like to back to television. I've also been busy writing some of my own stuff and I'm trying to finish off a screenplay at the moment, so we'll wait and see what happens.

VIP Magazine - October 2003



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