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Lucy Lawless: "I have so many swords, the house is full of them"

[Origo]teve Interview with Lucy Lawless

14 June 2010

Translation by Mesh

Original article in Hungarian is located here

Interview by GŠbor Apats

We know Lucy Lawless as the title character of Xena, audiences can currently see her starring on HBOís  Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Thanks to HBO Hungary we travelled to the 50th Monte Carlo Television Festival, where we sat down for a chat with the actress. In the ten minutes allocated to us, she told us that she wouldnít for the world have lived in the ďdark and stinkyĒ ancient times, but she respects the TV company that dared tackle a Roman themed show that is rather violent and erotic. Lawless is satisfies with her Hungarian voice double, Anna Orosz Ė at least visually.

Lucy Lawless became known in 1995 in the lead role on Xena: her character originally appeared on Hercules, where she was an evil warrior at first. She got her own show in 1995, it lasted for six seasons: in 2004 she made TV Guideís list as the nineth most important cult series, and was a popular series in Hungary, too. On Spartacus: Blood and Sand the actress currently portrays Lucretia, the wife of a ludusí owner, who is just as ambitious and sneaky as her husband.

In the time between Lawless had bigger roles on Battlestar Galactica, and in single episodes of shows like
Two and a Half Men, Veronica Mars, Burn Notice, a CSI Miami and The L Word. Her husband, Robert G. Tapert is in the TV and film industry: he was the writer producer of Xena, producer of the Boogeyman movies and the Legend of the Seeker series.


How did you get involved with a Spartacus: Blood and Sand?

My husband is the executive producer of the show, who offered the role to me with Stevenís agreement (Steven S. DeKnight). As soon as I read the script, I knew I wanted to do this. My character, Lucretia is a woman who wants to remain independent even while being married, so she has a lover. However, she loves her husband, no matter how miserable life is for them.  

Was it your idea to change your appearance so much compared to Xena?

Not really, this was Robís idea, too, and I really liked it.

Did you have any problem with the nude scenes?

In reality Iím never completely naked in the series. No matter what anyone says, the scenes serve their purpose, and they are shot very artfully, so I couldnít find anything wrong with them. Viewers are used to women being naked, in Sparatcus itís the men that could have an issue dropping trou.

How is your relationship with the other actors?

Very good. Most of my scenes are with John Hannah ťs Viva BiancŠval, they are both great people, theyíve become good friends of mine. John is a great actor, in between takes he immediately starts joking, he can make us laugh no matter what.

Do you stay in touch with your Xena colleague Renťe O'Connor?

Yes, but we donít meet too often. She lives in Los Angeles with her children and partner, and I moved back to New Zealand.

After Xena Spartacus is shot there. What does that feel like? How is it acting at home?

It was very good coming home, and my children can go to school in a healthy environment. My family is more important than anything to me, filming there is particularly great for this.

The men playing the gladiators  participated in a serious training. What have you seen of this?

Luckily not too much, I hated watching it. Good thing I didnít have to do any physical action, apart from the sex scenes.

A lot of scenes were shot in front of green screen, magicing the background on later. How has this changed the way you prepare, your acting style?

I didnít have that many of them, they used them mostly for the fight scenes, where the men fight in the huge arena.

Have you seen Spartacus with Kirk Douglas?

Not recently, but Iíve seen it. There was some neatness and pathos in that movie, that is not something that describes our movie, we didnít want to make a mere copy. We came up with something new, something that grabs people.

Spartacus was a nominee in the best dramatic series in Monte Carlo. What do you expect at the ceremony?

Nothing. Itís great to have been invited and being able to see Monte-Carlo. (Mad Men won.)

How is it working with an up and coming small network?

It was liberating, Iíve been waiting to act in a series where I donít have to meet anyoneís expectations. The violence and sex plays a big role, this takes courage portraying these, at least in the US. Starz makes great shows, like Traffic and Party Down.

You guest starred in shows like The X-Files, CSI Miami, Two and a Half Men, The L Word. Which was the best experience?   

The Simpsons, where I loaned my voice to myself. It was really funny when the Comic Book Guy kidnapped me. Flight of the Concords and Curb your Enthusiasm was good fun, I like laughing at myself, I think thatís very very important.

It says in your bio that you worked in a mine when you were young.

Thatís only partially true, I worked for a mining company in and I surveyed mines. I lived in Australia then, I took on a lot of jobs there to support myself.

Would you like to live in the era when Spartacus takes place?

No, not at all. Itís more fun making a TV show about the era. Those must have been terrible times, dark and stinky, everyone died young.

Have you taken home any memorabilia from the shooting?

- Iíve got so many swords from the shooting of Xena that our house is full of them, I didnít need more!

Iíll show you a photo of Anna Orosz who is dubbing Lucretia in the Hungarian version. What do you think about her?

- Amazing, especially with this red hair. She looks great, I love her!



End of Interview

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