Out Magazine

August 2003

Transcribed by MiL

Click here to view large scan of Lucy from the article

VOICES by Michael Musto

LUCY LAWLESS (the accompanying pic is a few years old.  It's from the photoshoot of the one where Lucy kinda looks like Cher)

Michael Musto goes head-to-head with our favorite warrior princess, trading barbs about her show; lesbian subtext, and spooky sex.

Making lesbians swoon, New Zealander Lucy Lawless spent six years as the butchly beautiful title character in Xena:  Warrior Princess.  Well, she hasn't given up the fight.  In a five part British [sic] Discovery Channel series called Warrior Women, Lawless investigates strong females such as Joan of Arc and Mulan.  They had nothing on her.

Musto:  Hi Lucy!  This Discovery job is a perfect fit for you, isn't it?

Lawless:  It's about ancient warrior women, so I was a no-brainer.  I deserted pilot season to run off to China, but I felt like when I was 80 I'd kick myself for turning this down.

Musto:  As for your last gig:  Were Xena and Gabrielle really in love?

Lawless:  Where there's smoke, there's got to be fire.  At the end, Xena says she had a very special friend.  It was clear from the writing that it was a love relationship.  I thought, "Yep, she's gay.  You just outed my character".  It was all innuendo prior to that.  It was fun to make the subtext go on.  It became supertext to me.

Musto:  But Xena did have some boyfriends along the way, right?

Lawless:  Yes, but I now think she was being bi-curious!

Musto:  What I'm curious about is whether Gabrielle is now having sex with Xena's decapitated ghost.

Lawless:  I hope so.  I wouldn't mind people having spooky sex.  I'm a long way from home [doing interviews in London] and having spooky sex alone, just thinking of my husband.  You start thinking of the bellman funny after you've been away.  Asking the people who frisk you at the airport to do it one more time!

Musto:  I know--I go in for repeat prostate exams.  Are lesbians ever disappointed that you, Lucy, are not gay?

Lawless:  That doesn't appear to me when I meet them.  I've always been grateful to them for picking up on my show first.  I feel they made it hip.  I don't think they require Lucy to be gay, they're just glad I was associated with something that gave them pleasure and inspiration.

Musto:  I bet they also love that you played Rizzo in Grease.  Isn't that a lesbian subtext role?  Rosie O'Donnell played it too.

Lawless:  I don't know!  She was getting laid.  She's sexually liberated.

Musto:  Sounds lesbian to me.  Any other liberated roles coming up for you?

Lawless:  In "The Ugly Americans", I'm playing the female Frank'N'Furter character, a sort of S/M madam.  Why does it happen to me, Michael?  I have this culty, weird sexual persona that people have imprinted on me.  I live in a nether region of the entertainment industry.  It's very fun, and it really has legs.  But I'm so straight.  I'm so boring.

Musto:  Would like to play just a regular housewife?

Lawless:  Only if she was in---

Musto:  Stiletto heels!

Lawless:  ---moral or psychological peril.  I like to play women in difficult situations.  But in Hollywood they think I'm seven feet tall and muscular and aggressive. (laughs).  And I can be!


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