AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Files - Flawless Print - Lucy Articles

Satellite TV Europe

November 1996

Scanned/Transcribed by MaryD

Xena Warrior Princess: She's the most provocative and militant female superhero ever to burst onto our screens. Xena: Warrior Princess, aka Lucy Lawless was very revealing about herself on and off-screen during a recent trip to London


Xena: Warrior Princess has got to be one of Sky 2's best programme acquisitions to date. From the makers of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (who also produced cult horror movie The Evil Dead), Xena combines three ingredients which make great viewing: mythology; martial arts; and a heroine to drool over in the form of body beautiful Lawless.

Almost six feet tall with black hair and blue eyes the 28-year-old who turned down tampon commercials and a safe wage packet in return for pursuing her dream of becoming an actress, finally struck gold when she appeared in just three episodes of the action series Hercules. American audiences were captivated by her lusciousness and so were the programme producers.

So much so that they decided to take a chance on a complete unknown and give Lucy her own show. "Xena is a sliver of me: she's woven out of threads of my personality. She's kind of a dark mean chick and there's a dark mean chick in all of us," reveals a softly spoken Lucy during her visit to London. Unfazed by her new found stardom and simply clad in jeans and a sweater, Lucy insists: "All the hype and publicity about me is great because it works well for the show - it's a good image to push but I don't take it personally. It has nothing to do with real life." But the reality is a smashing success story for Lucy - Xena: Warrior Princess is a huge hit in America where it has even beaten Baywatch in the ratings - proving that sex and sorcery can outdo sex and beaches' Lucy admits: "Men are intimidated by my looks and that definitely works in my favour because nobody hustles me. In fact people are bloody nice to me." The New Zealand born actress, who could easily have been a super model, is certainly more then just a good looker. At just 18 Lucy decided to seek adventure and left her home town of Auckland for a jaunt round Europe.

She says: "I had this romantic idea about going off to pick grapes, but I never actually picked a single grape. I spent my time smoking loads of cigarettes and running around being a tragic, penniless silly teenager until I became a wife." Lucy married her child-hood sweetheart Garth back in NZ, and at age 20 gave birth to their daughter Daisy who is now 8. She exclusively reveals: "Garth and I have recently separated and I'm waiting for the divorce to come through - it's going to take some time. It was a natural break up - I should have realised it was over a long time ago."

Now a single mum, Lucy, who comes from a large Irish-Catholic family (she's the fifth of five brothers and a sister), explains: "I work a 16 hour day and I train three times a week when we're filming Xena so Daisy is with her dad Mondays to Thursdays and with me at the weekends. I think it's the best for her under the circumstances."

Although a tough cookie on and off screen, Lucy has a stunt woman and an acrobatics double to do all the action scenes in Xena which are simply too dangerous for her to perform. But that doesn't mean she doesn't get injured during filming. A huge black bruise on her arm tells a tale. "I get hurt all the time - it's par for the course. I've had a black eye and whip lash but the moments that you live for as an actor are when the camera is rolling: you don't feel the cold, the sting of the punches, there's no pain. It's an amazing adrenaline rush."

So, is fame and success, not to mention the fortune, all that she expected? "Yes, but it's a little less scary than I thought. It's nothing you can't handle so long as you don't believe your own press." Nice one, Lucy!

Xena: Warrior Princess is on Sky 2 every Sunday at 19.00


A one minute fight sequence in Xena takes four hours to film
Xena is filmed on location in Auckland, NZ
Naturally fair-skinned Lucy wears a paint-on tan for the part of Xena
One episode of Xena costs $950,000 to produce

Lucy may look like she could give Pam Anderson a run for her money in the boobs department, but all is not what it seems! She reveals: "The buxom thing is a product of a lot of people's work in the costume department!"

Robert Tapert is Executive Producer of Xena: Warrior Princess. He has also directed episodes of the show. He says... "I always wanted to produce a woman super hero show, and I knew there had to be a different spin on programmes like The Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman. So we tried out some crazy actions - what I call Hong Kong movie style action scenes - and got a result. We put those action scenes in the first three episodes of Xena and saw that there was a chance of creating a woman super hero who would be interesting and different without white washing the character. Xena has worked well because she's an interesting character, complex and conflicted. We throw her into many moral dilemmas without pandering to the audience, i.e. each episode hasn't got a happy ending. We didn't know Lucy when we started the production for Xena - so we threw her in at the deep end to test her ability, 26 episodes later we now know that we can create any scene on script and Lucy will deliver it back on film better than we ever imagined."