Warrior Lucy Fights For
Lawless From Xena To Greener Campaigner
6 December 2009
BY NEIL REID
Lawless became a worldwide sensation playing the lead role of
Xena: Warrior Princess in the cult TV series. But now the Kiwi
actress and mum-of-three is determined to save the planet as an
environmental warrior leading Greenpeace's Sign On campaign.
"I just see myself as a human being, a mother and somebody
who loves this planet." Lawless, 41, told Sunday News.
"I want the rainforest and all the diversity of everything to
go on living. That is true prosperity, true success, that we
have a spread of health around the planet for every living
health is seen as our wealth, all will be well It is going to be
beautiful and it is going to be fua
"I would love the whole problem to go away so I could go back
to sitting on my backside and doing nothing
"But we are going to be working on it [climate change]
certainly for the rest of my life."
Lawless yesterday joined Academy Award nominee Keisha
Castle-Hughes and chart-toppers Don McGlashan, Opshop and
Midnight Youth on stage at Auckland's Myers Park for
Greenpeace's Planet A concert
The gig was promoting the start of the United Nations'
climate change conference in Copenhagen. It also highlighted the
Sign On campaign, aimed at achieving a 40% reduction in
climate-changing emissions by 2020.
While Lawless' profile has given Greenpeace's message greater
exposure, the star would have signed on to fight for the
environment even if she wasn't famous.
"It is about what you can do and you want to have It In line
with what you believe and what you are passionate about," she
"It brings me a lot of joy to be associated with this.
Whether you think it is wholly man-made or not we can certainly
contribute to the solution.
"We all need energy, we all need to heat our homes - it is a
health issue. But the way we use resources can always be better.
And every single thing you do means you are part of the
solution, and it feels great."
Lawless' first Involvement with Greenpeace came when she was
working on the 1992 movie, The Rainbow Warrior, spending time
with Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid.
"I really liked her and thought 'What a strong, interesting,
sensitive, educated, funny person'. She is really a class act,"
"People want to distance themselves, they want to think of
Greenpeace or environmental activists as different But these
people are just bloody first-rate human beings. They are exactly
like you, they are great New Zealanders."
For much of the past 14 years, Lawless and her family have
lived in America. McDiarmid approached Lawless to join the Sign
On campaign soon after the actress and her movie producer
husband Robert Tapert returned to live In New Zealand several
Other well-known Kiwis to be involved include Warehouse boss
Stephen Tindall. celebrity chef Peter Gordon, and actors
Castle-Hughes, Cliff Curtis, Robyn Malcolm, Bonnie Soper and
"We are just New Zealanders who also happen to believe in
climate change as the major issue facing the planet today,"
Her growing role with Greenpeace saw her travel to Parliament
along with climate change scientist Jim Salinger last month.
They hoped to meet Prime Minister John Key, to encourage him to
definitely go to climate change talks In Copenhagen. They
arrived with a $5000 cheque, raising through cakestalls and
sausage sizzles, to cover his return airfare.
Key refused to meet them. Lawless wasn't surprised at the
snub. But she hoped politicians had taken note of the public's
increased awareness and concern over climate change.
"This was cent by cent, dollar by dollar, raised in a very
traditional way," she said.
"The point was that ordinary people care about this, real
people care about this. You must listen to your electorate."
Key finally relented on Thursday, confirming he will travel
to Copenhagen on December 17 and 18.
Lawless said she was happy with the political U-turn, just as
she is at her lifestyle in New Zealand.
Tapert and Lawless have two boys, Julian, 10 and Judah,
seven. Lawless has a 21-year-old daughter Daisy from a previous
marriage. "Our kids are so happy here that there is no going
back," she said.
"The further away you get from Hollywood the less you care
about it. It becomes less real to you. There are things here
that you get for free that you just can't buy for love nor money
in Los Angeles, or that just don't exist in Hollywood. The
freedom to be an individual in this country is great"
She said of New Zealand's self-proclaimed clean and green
image: "I am not sure If we ever were."