New Idea

10 February 2001

 Lucy's Flawless (Lucy's heroic secret revealed)

Article contributed by Liz


Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless is fast shaping up as the queen of good cause. In a special New Idea investigation, the mother of two has been shown to be very willing to throw her weight and cash behind several Kiwi projects. Hot on the heels of gossip about her being the secret philanthropist who's underwritten the Hero Parade, other details have been discovered about her generosity. Sources reveal she put up some $20,000 for an Auckland show, Mad Angels, by Human Garden, to travel around the country. 'The company wasn't looking for someone to invest money, they were seeking a patron and Lucy willingly came forward,' says the source. 'There was no profit to be made from the show. They just wanted New Zealanders to see it and she obviously did too.'

In the past year, sources also reveal, Lucy helped pay for Nokia Scholarship winner Reina Webster to spend three years studying film in America. On top of that, she has recently become an ambassador of Starship[ Foundation and will become a Starship Foundation board trustee. As part of her involvement with the Starship Children's Hospital, Lucy fronted a fundraising campaign in Auckland, called the safe and Sound appeal. It aimed at raising money for a multi-agency centre to be set up to bring agencies together and try and stop child abuse victims falling through the cracks.

'She's always been extremely grateful for her success in New Zealand and is only too happy to encourage performing arts and charities,' says a source.

The Amazon-sized icon of the gay community has confirmed her support for the Hero Festival, that has long been under fire from conservative politicians. While rumour suggest she has underwritten the event, what is know about her involvement in the week-long celebration by the gay community is that she will perform during the Hero Party. Lucy will perform in the Piano Garden during the massive celebrations on February 17, at Auckland's Town Hall.

The actress, who turns 33 next month, will sing from 3.30am - after the flamboyant Hero Parade - and will make a special appearance in the Great Hall and hour previous. The irony of Lucy's involvement in the Hero Festival is that her father Frank Ryan has been a member of the Auckland City Council, some of whose members have fought vigorously against the festival.

Since filming Xena; Warrior Princess finished late last year, Lucy has been kept busy with these charities and has been flooded with offers of work. X:WP debuted in September 1995 and the show's campy blend of action, comedy and sex immediately attracted a wide audience. Xena's relationship with her travelling companion, Gabrielle (played by Renee O'Connor) is punctuated with sly lesbian undertones that attract appreciative gay and heterosexual audiences, who ogle Xena and Gabrielle in their close-fitting leather and armour getups with equal appreciation.

At first Lucy was reluctant to be a feminists role model. But she warmed to the role. 'I met so many women and girls - to use their word and I'm a bit embarrassed but it's a good word - empowered by watching. I realised this isn't a burden - it's an honour.'

Married to super producer Rob Tapert, Lucy will no doubt find another high profile role to accommodate her award winning talents. Together they have a one-year-old son Julius, while Lucy has a teenage daughter Daisy to her first husband Garth Lawless.

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