For current news - go here


    AUSXIP Lucy Lawless News and Multimedia: August 2021 Archives

August 2021 Archives

25 August 2021

My Life is Murder Review: A New Obsession For Xena Fans to Crowe About by Iseqween


"No such thing as destiny. You get to make your own." Alexa

E8QBrcrVcAUiyhS"Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi." Could it be? The spine-tingling battle cry of a dark-haired, leather-clad young ex- warlord, slicing her way through baddies in ancient times? Um, not exactly. It's uttered more as a resigned sigh at the start of a different saga, by a reddish blond, 50ish retired homicide detective in ultra-modern Australia, reluctantly persuaded to resume crime solving that threatens to interfere with her new passion -- conquering bread.

True, the … vocalizer … is indeed Lucy Lawless, perhaps paying tongue-in-cheek homage to the character who launched her international stardom. (A restaurant in the introductory scene is even named "Ayala".) Her latest role may not wrack up the body count of Xena: Warrior Princess, but whether you're a fan of that iconic show, light mysteries or Lucy herself, you're apt to conclude the actress still kills as Alexa Crowe in My Life Is Murder.

The best bit? Our intrepid real-life warrior not only battled through a world-wide pandemic to introduce MLIM in 2019. She persevered through to a second season scheduled for airing August 2021. The move in filming locations to New Zealand -- plus an episode with Renee O'Connor! -- promise to enhance the victory.

The following offers an overview/reflections on My Life' s first 10-episode season, particularly geared for followers of the multi-faceted Ausxip site. I tried to make it as spoiler-free as possible, with hints provided in hi-lighted lyrics from the series soundtrack.


"When I see your monsters, I'll stand there so brave and chase them away."

Despite the many differences (and about two decades between show launches), Xena: Warrior Princess and MLIM share many similarities: the wry, double entendre humor and unself-conscious approach to tricky issues, reflected in such episode titles as "Lividity in Lycra" or "Remains to Be Seen." The playfulness and pranks, such as the series name sneaking up in places like an aquarium and a heart monitor, or the "Breakfast with Lucy" entry on a character's electronic calendar. Most notable is the comparable cast chemistry/camaraderie, beautiful natural and designed settings.

Both Xena and Alexa use whatever means at their disposal to seek justice in their vastly different milieus. They share key traits as no nonsense "problem solvers." Their gradually revealed backstories offer evidence neither was a model teen. Not quite a Destroyer of Nations "bad girl," Alexa admits a "guardian angel" changed her life, coaching her away from a path toward delinquency. Few would label Alexa "charming," as opposed to acerbic, manipulative, impatient, inconsiderate, demanding, controlling, hypercritical of everyone but herself, not adverse to lying when that suits her needs. Sound familiar?

We first meet Crowe, like the Warrior Princess, dealing with big changes in her life, stoically suppressing feelings about love and loss. Also prone to sleepless nights, tied to the vocation she seeks to leave behind, ambivalently approaching new connections. Her attempts at cocooning, fixation on the tricks/tools of bread making and "I'm a very busy woman" declarations seem hollow to her associates.

"In the dark, we stand apart. We never see that the things we need are staring right at us. You just want to hide, never show your smile, stand alone when you need someone. It's the hardest thing of all that you see the bad memories. Take your time and you'll find me."

Alexa too reluctantly considers accepting purpose, comfort and family from a diverse crew of nonrelatives. They encourage us to care about what she's thinking or up to. To give her props for her empathy for a grieving partner or mother. To understand why - as off-putting as she appears -- those closest see in her so much worth going the extra mile to support.

Kieran Hussey, a former colleague still on the police force, pushes the right buttons to tantalize her with selective open or questionably resolved cases. He provides reliable backup, a sounding board and the assistance of talented young data analyst Madison Feliciano, played by Ebonie Vagulans. (Remember Ebonie Smith, whose M'Lila taught Xena "the pinch in the episode "Destiny"?)

Shades of "I travel alone" Xena's sidekick Gabrielle, the sunny but feisty Madison doggedly penetrates the "I don't do teams" hide of the woman she idolizes, challenging her mentor to be "a better people person." Like their pre-Mycenae counterparts, Alex and Madison prefer "do it myself" over relying on "mansplaining." They do disagree about the four-legged companion Alex attracts - not a horse, but a mysterious stray cat that triggers Madison's allergies and chagrin that he roams Alexa's home so freely, despite Crowe's pretense he's not there or insistence he isn't hers.

George Stathopolous (yes, Greek) owns Brewster Cafe & Bar, where Alexa barters ciabatta for coffee (plus whatever else she can wrangle), hangs out, sometimes works and dispenses advice. A couple of other recurring characters fit the "necessary evil" category in Alexa's view. Her taciturn doctor refuses to humor her notions for stress reduction or let her raid his jellybean jar. Dawn, a prim attorney on the homeowner association board, scolds Alexa for unneighborly behavior. The many fine guest actors include Dannielle Cormack, XWP's beloved Amazon Ephiny.

Though Crowe doesn't suffer a tight-fitting bustier and short skirt for sleuthing, she does sport a signature uniform - long, flowing soft trench coats paired with slacks and fashionable short boots. Her nonthreatening appearance, however, doesn't always convince interviewees she's not an official agent of the law. Kind of like Xena needing to refute she's an Amazon. "But you act and look like one." Her response to one villain? "It must be the boots."



"I don't know what I'm looking for, but when I find it, it will feel right."

Trailers for MLIM tease action-lovers with snippets from the first two episodes of Crowe kneeing, punching and rolling. Oh, she continues edging close to jeopardy, but pretty much pounds dough rather than heads, slices and dices in the kitchen, and spills blood in video games or by accidentally wounding herself. Nor does this particular "who done it" present much melodrama, brain blowing puzzles or serialized plot lines. The appeal? Bite-sized, smart, fun and, in Lucy's words, "visually delicious" fare that's equally addictive.

Alexa entices us to follow along as she saunters, hands in pockets, from one potential suspect to another - sometimes tangling with hapless strangers along the way-- then back to her flour-covered countertop. To get caught up in her quirky thought processes that often lead us down rabbit holes. To care about the ordinary victims or the "could be your office mate" culprits who simply wanted something or someone a little too much. To find intrigue and knowledge in mundane but unconventional settings where she digs out the bad seed often hiding innocently in plain sight.

Compared to contemporary detective shows featuring an arsenal of technical wizardry, MLIM sticks to a relatively simple recipe for success - a blend of Crowe and Madison. The former takes in everything, regardless of how random it appears. Trusts her instincts and experience to discover connections. Relies on Madison to find missing (and sometimes irretrievable) pieces she believes exist in cyberspace or to accidentally spark an "ah hah" moment. While discussing a victim's religious medallion, Madison comments, "The small stuff's always the sad stuff," to which Alexa replies, "Small stuff's always the big stuff."

Which brings us to the little Lucyisms Alexa displays, that connote a disdain for embarrassment, appearing unattractive or confinement to boxes. In the premier ep, Crowe expertly breaks apart and slurps on a kiwi fruit (possibly in tribute to Lucy's New Zealand origins) during a conversation with Kieran. In other instances, she talks on the phone with dental floss dangling from her mouth, must be reminded to clean food from her teeth or chin, and blithely signs a form with her left hand.




"You can get behind me or get out of my way."

Alexa hurries toward her first engagement with an her erect, confident, purposeful stride, fluidly adjusting to any obstacle. Smiling, comfortable in her skin and world. Not exactly a wannabe Warrior Princess, but someone the actress playing her matured into 25 plus years later, equally notable. How amazing to witness that evolution, to have some idea of the "living life out loud" experiences underlying it.

Lucy often remarked that school mates nicknamed her "unco" (uncoordinated) as a gangly teen awkward at sports, despite a childhood of playful acrobatics and rough housing with brothers. How she dreaded the fight scenes indicative of XWP. Yet her training with a martial arts master revealed to him an "amazing" student with a mind "so wide open" and adaptive "she learned so easily" on her own, practicing with weapons in her left hand, dedicated to improving through toning, flexibility and meditative exercises. Lucy agrees there was "nothing they showed me that I couldn't do."

Alexa, on the other hand, needs motivation to sweat - e.g., bicycling to solve a case, jogging or doing yoga ("a lot of farting in tight active wear that early in the morning") to appease her doctor. Still, beyond her long-time practice of yoga (which hyperathletic Xena initially disdained), Lucy clearly worked hard to keep Alexa in shape, looking absolutely fantastic for embarking on a golden future. When a glamorous marketing agent says Alexa must have police connections, Alexa straightens in her chair and responds, "What gave it away? It was the posture, right?"

Lucy's fearless character inspired me to take up martial arts some 15 years ago at 59. I'm still kicking, punching and tumbling. The extra effort pays off in balance, reflexes, and confidence invaluable for mitigating the impact of stress on aging bodies and minds. Hopefully Lucy's come to appreciate (and take pride in) the foundation her Warrior Princess regimen laid for what she's accomplished since. She seems more aligned than ever in terms of family, working for the greater good, experienced and financially secure enough to make projects happen that satisfy her eclectic tastes. In fact, MLIM signals her readiness to plunge into previously unchartered waters of self-reflection.


"Walk through fire. I became the flame. When I'm done here, you'll all know my name."

ImageI recall poo-pooing Lucy's early dismal of assumptions she was anything like on-screen Xena. (I mean, come on. She looked so … real). Until I caught her appearance on a late-night talk show. No! Not possible! A slight, ditzy, self-effacing flower child with a funny accent, prone to giggles? What happened to the staunch woman I admired so? The fascinating, burdened warrior steadfastly embracing ugliness to better both herself and her world? Could I ever reconcile the two? Was it worthwhile getting to know the "other" woman pretending to be my hero?

Fortunately, I stuck with Lucy long enough to appreciate her genuine modesty and graciousness toward all those she credited with creating Xena's appeal. To admire the free spirit, talent, work ethic and willingness to take risks that just as surely elevated the character to world-wide popularity. To this day, Xena to me is flesh and blood. I will never tire of watching her, even in the comedies, musicals or as other characters in the show.

I have diligently followed Lucy's roles beyond XWP, buying the Battlestar Galactica DVDs of her as multi-layered Cylon D'anna. But for me the "wow" display of her acting chops came as Lucretia. particularly in a brilliantly chilling performance near the end of the Spartacus: Gods of the Arena episode "Reckoning." Lucretia dutifully, tenderly ministers to her bedridden father-in-law, whose contempt for her she accepts, but not toward her husband or recently murdered friend. He asks her to tell him she's not the serpent he always thought. She responds, "I am not. I am far worse," before explaining in a calm, ladylike fashion why and how she has poisoned him.

Lucy no doubt pushed the envelope of her emotions and abilities in quite a few projects precisely to tackle something new, different - scary. Heck, she breathed or dodged fire during XWP, braved being an action star while pregnant, with a pronounced belly even a maternity battle shift couldn't conceal. Got jailed briefly for protesting on oil rigs, shimmied as a diva on the televised "celebrity duets" competition. Like a chameleon, she convinces us to believe her transformations. That said, Alexa still surprised me.

Even without initially knowing much about MLIM, I immediately saw it stamped with the quintessential Lucy Lawless I had come to know - the fascination with justice, channeling bits of Judge Judy/Columbo/Quincy; Crowe's "can do" spirit, playfulness or fluency speaking German and Italian; the breezy atmosphere; the familiar (if unidentified) voice humming as the end credits roll. I wondered, "Is all that intentional?"

I later read series creator Claire Tomkin did indeed have Lawless in mind. Lucy acknowledged, "There's more of me …than in any other show I've done.... The humor, the way of twisting a line," the ad libs. "Just say it your way, because it's natural, and that's what people respond to." My Life "much more closely mirrors my own personal interests …. There's a lot of me in the character and that's the advantage of having writers build something around you. I'm a very lucky woman."
She explained further she'd wanted to do "something super honest," "quite unvarnished," that she's "played a lot of roles where there was armor or there's some schtick involved. And at this time in my life what I'd really seek to do is strip that away a bit. I'm hoping you won't be able to tell where the role starts and where Lawless starts. I hope there's convergence there." Wow.

As Alexa, Lucy unflinchingly confronts wrinkles associated with contemporary middle age -- some cosmetic or technological, others related to health maintenance that might slow one's downhill ride to mortality's end. In the season finale, "Mirror, Mirror," Crowe avoids celebrating another birthday. She's insulted when she thinks a young man is offering her his seat at a bus stop. She admonishes the cat not to judge her for squeezing her face to simulate tighter skin.

Lucy fans can recite the serendipitous circumstances that led to her casting as Xena. She often referred to herself as the most visible cog in the well-oiled production. Clearly executive producer Lawless wields far more influence over MLIM. On one hand she continues the collegial, accountable leadership she exhibited on the XWP set. On the other, she's willing to assume the mature "boss" role, to ensure the groundbreaking production aspects learned alongside husband Rob Tapert and a wealth of other creative and technical comrades.
Whatever causes we see in MLIM -- however they're portrayed and by whom -- she's obviously way past demurring, "Well, I leave that to The Powers That Be," accepting she's become where the buck stops. Her overarching vision for My Life? "To give people a little psychic holiday from all the grim stuff, so they can recharge the batteries and go back out there and fight the good fight."
In their recorded XWP commentaries, Lucy often reminds Renee to use "her" or "the character" rather than "you" when discussing TV Xena. MLIM aims to close that distance when it comes to Alexa, to strip away much of the veneer and insulation previously afforded Lucy as an actor, now inviting our perceptions of both Alexa and the "other' woman behind the character. Not sure how far all that takes Lucy toward fulfilling her "do something scary" mantra. I can only urge you not to skip the ride presented by the first season, the next and (Lucy/aka TPTB willing), perhaps three more.

August 2021



25 August 2021

Video: Sneak Peek at My Life is Murder Season 2 Episode 1

Acorn TV has released a sneak peek of Episode 1 of Season 2 of My Life is Murder.


Lucy Lawless is back in Season 2 of My Life is Murder. Ex-cop Alexa Crowe (Lucy Lawless) returns to her New Zealand roots with her partner-in-crime-solving (Ebony Vagulans), but she must face her past for a true fresh start. My Life is Murder premieres August 30th, only on Acorn TV. #AcornTV #MyLifeisMurder Sign up for a free trial of Acorn TV now: Subscribe to the Acorn TV channel on YouTube: Watch Acorn TV on all your favorite devices:



25 August 2021

Video: ET Interviews Lucy About Xena Reboot and My Life is Murder

Lucy Lawless Says She Would Love to Make a Cameo in a ‘Xena’ Reboot (Exclusive)




25 August 2021

Video: Comicbook Interview with Lucy about My Life is Murder 23 August 2021

Comicbook site has a great video interview with Lucy about My Life is Murder and Xena Reboot:

Select the image for the video to start








Thanks in large part to Xena: Warrior Princess showing off her action-star skills, whenever fans start speculating about performers that could join a major blockbuster, actor Lucy Lawless is a name that is often tossed around. While there are certainly elements of joining a major franchise that appeal to Lawless, she recently detailed that taking on an action-packed endeavor has never really been up her alley and she's happy to leave that part of her career behind her, while also admitting she'd like to take on some opportunities behind the camera. Lawless can next be seen in Season 2 of My Life Is Murder, which premieres on Acorn TV on August 30th.

"Of course, you always want to do a blockbuster. That's bloody fun and everything," Lawless revealed to when discussing fan desires for her to join another franchise. "I must say, I'm really over action. That was never my gig and I just muscled through it, but hated all that. What do I prefer? I think apart from My Life As Murder, I have interests behind the camera and I see myself ... That's where I see myself going. I don't need to be seen ever again."

She added, "Oh wait, I forgot. I am in a blockbuster, I'm part of Minions this year. Which is coming out, actually, they pushed it to next year. But I'm part of that, part of The Spine Of Night, which is this crazy ... I had to support that, I had to jump on board because it was so weird. I was like, these people are doing something different and I think that's coming out in some format right now. I can't remember what. It will come out soon. But yeah, those are my two blockbusters, but I'm in Minions and it's super, I'm super excited about that."

Fans have been so passionate to see Lawless join a new franchise, petitions and social media campaigns were launched to have Lawless take over the role of Cara Dune in The Mandalorian from Gina Carano.



25 August 2021

My Life is Murder: Aussie TV Guide Lucy Article About Season 2

Many thanks to Marion on Twitter for the following scan of this week's Aussie TV Guide



8 August 2021

Radio Interview: Saturday Morning With Jack Tame (NZ Radio)

Lucy Lawless is back on our screens on Monday and this time, she’s bringing an Aussie series home to Auckland. She’s starring in the second series of My Life is Murder, where she plays a charismatic crime investigator. It was originally set in Melbourne, but it’s moved to Auckland, and it’s designed for a Kiwi audience as well as online audiences around the world.

For more information about Lucy's role as Alexa Crowe go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless My Life is Murder subsite.




For more information about Lucy's role as Alexa Crowe go to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless My Life is Murder subsite.



8 August 2021

Video: A Current Affair with Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor - My Life is Murder

A Current Affair (NZ) had a specatacular interview with Lucy and Renee about Renee's upcoming guest role on My Life is Murder Season 2




7 August 2021

Salute to Xena Convention Rescheduled To November 18-20, 2022!

Creation Entertainment sent an email this morning about the Salute to Xena Convention. Due to covid travel restrictions and people unable to get out of their country (Fortress Australia et al) the convention has been rescheduled.

Read the email below!

While we had hoped that our Salute to Xena Convention could take place in 2021, due to continuing international travel restrictions and other COVID concerns, we must postpone once again. The NEW DATE is November 18-20, 2022 at the same venue, the Hyatt Regency LAX Hotel!

Guests Lucy Lawless, Renée O’Connor, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Michael Hurst, Brittney Powell, Paris Jefferson, Musetta Vander, Ted Raimi, Victoria Pratt, and Jacqueline Kim are confirmed to attend the new date, and we’ll be confirming the rest of our guests as soon as possible. Check the website for updates!

If you wish to hold your same seat or general admission, as well as a la carte autograph and photo op tickets, you do not need to do anything. Your tickets and same seating will be transferred to the new November 2022 date and updated tickets will be sent to you via the email address you used at the time of purchase within a few weeks. Your December 2021 ticket will no longer be valid.

Attendees must cancel their hotel reservations at this time. We will have revised booking links shortly so you can re-book your hotel reservations for the new date.

If you’d like a refund for the Xena Convention in December 2021, please contact The deadline for refund requests for the convention is August 20, 2021 at 3:00 PM PST (please include your invoice number and the convention name/city in your email). If you do not request a refund by the deadline, your admission passes and a la carte photo op and autograph tickets will be transferred to the new date. Refunds will begin to be processed after the deadline date. Please allow up to 8 weeks from the deadline date for your request to be processed.

We appreciate your patience and continued support and look forward to safely seeing our fellow Xenites next year!



7 August 2021

AUSXIP Charity Auction Catalogue Now Online!

The 2021 AUSXIP Charity Auction is nearly here. Uploaded the catalogue which has the entire inventory (to date) of 142 items with pics, item description and link to the individual page. So bookmark your favourites!


Register for the Auction

Frequently Asked Questions

If in doubt... contact MaryD



6 August 2021

My Life is Murder BIG Reveal: Renee Guest Stars on MLIM!

That was an awesome night last night when it was officially announced that Renee was going to join Lucy in a guest role on My Life is Murder. Added to all that excitement, Michael Hurst is directing their episode! Below the pics are spoilers so if you don't want to read them, just look at the gorgeous pics!

There was an interview on NZTV last night and also an interview in EW (contains spoilers) First the amazing pics!

safe image




image (1)

image (2)


From EW Interview with Lucy & Renee -

Renee, who are you playing in My Life Is Murder?

O'CONNOR: I play this woman who is in charge of a self-help group, and she's like a guru, so she has a very strong ego...

LAWLESS: [Interrupting] She's a cult leader!

O'CONNOR: Okay, she's a cult leader. It's funny because I didn't really know who I was playing until I was in quarantine. I had an idea, but I didn't know what was in store for me until there was a meeting on Zoom with the producers, and that's when I started really doing some more research [into cults].

LAWLESS: But also, Dom, we've reunited with Michael Hurst [who starred as Iolaus, the sidekick on Xena spin-off Hercules: The Legendary Journeys] as the director of our episode. He played Renee's love interest on the Herc and Xena series and he's a very dear friend of ours from way back in the day so it was just a great reunion. And with Mark Beesley, who was one of our [Xena] directors as well, he is producing My Life Is Murder. It was a lovely homecoming, aye Ren?


O'CONNOR: Yeah, and Michael Hurst has the most enthusiasm of anyone that I know. He can easily pull together three or four different projects at the same time and make it look so easy. So again, I couldn't have been more excited to have a director who just kind of infuses inspiration and passion to play. Between Lucy and Michael [who also appears in the episode], it was just the most wonderful way to kind of reset into feeling around friends and being on a television set.

What's the dynamic between your characters in the episode?

O'CONNOR: We meet for the first time in the show, and I am leading a seminar, taking people to the most extreme elements of their highest existence possible with Michael Hurst playing the guru husband coleader [of the cult].

LAWLESS: And you can imagine that Alexa is taking this with many pinches of salt. She's there on a mission, she's not there to improve herself. [There's] lots of snark. Also, the person who plays Renee's son in the episode is Renee's [actual] son. It was so thrilling, the stars aligned just right. He's a fine young actor and we managed to get him into the show.

O'CONNOR: He auditioned for The Actors' Program, which is a one-year... acting program in New Zealand, and he has been down there studying since January. As it turned out, when I arrived and heard little whispers that there was a role that he might be right for, again, I just thought, yeah, sure. I didn't really think...

LAWLESS: Renee would never ask for anything. Her family, they don't expect any favors. [Laughs]. And he was just great in the role and we needed the American accent, and he's just a fine young actor so it was perfect. It was really lovely for me. I was pretty burnt out by the end of the season, and to have that homecoming, that sense of reward every day that you get up to go and work with those guys. Just lovely.

Read the full interview