The Lucy Lawless Files - Articles - Magazines

HX for Her Magazine
August 1997

Transcribed by Alison from a.t.x newsgroup in 1997



"Oh my God, I've fallen in love with New York," says Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless, who is enthusiastically making Manhattan her home through october for her stint as Rizzo in Broadway's Grease!

"It's so fucking great! Oh man, what a place," she continues. "I love everything from the seasons to the way the air feels, to the great food to the wacky people."

Lawless's appreciation for New York has certainly been reciprocated. The statuesque actress has sent countless TV shows and magazines clamoring for interviews, and the reviews of her performance as the tough talking Pink Lady, Rizzo, have been glowing -- even though the 29-year-old hasn't sung on a stage since high school.

A Broadway musical may sound like an odd choice for this TV star, but Lawless says that she grew up listening to show tunes sung by the likes of Mary Martin and jumped at the opportunity offered to her by the producers of Grease! "I try to take risks," she says thoughtfully. "I mean, I could do a film, and it would pay a gazillion dollars, of course, but it wouldn't reward me."

Lawless laughs and swears in a good-natured one-of-the-girls kind of way. It's easy to envision her sitting at a table in an Auckland pub, chatting up her friends over a few Foster's and teasing the guys at the pool table. In fact, talking to her is like talking with a good, funny old friend.

There are many sides to her, however, and humor is just one of them. Lawless is disarmingly honest, and her rich, velvet voice can turn coarse when discussing a manipulative journalist, tender at the mention of her nine-year-old daughter Daisy and bubbly when talking about the cast of Grease!

The company just immedicately opened their bloody arms toward me", she says of her current co-workers. "They are a very loving bunch and as funny as all get-out. I thought Xena was the only nice set in the world."

Xena is, of course, how her fans know her best. The new season begins taping just four days after she leaves Grease! "I can't bitch," she laughs. "It was my decision."

The warrior princess will get deeply dramatic in 1998. "Pretty nasty, dark stuff coming up this year. This season's really got to be screened if you've got kids," she warns. "Of course, it's not really
a kid's show anyway. It's for big kids like us."

Big kids like the ones who show up at Meow Mix for Xena Night on the second Tuesday of every month. In an unprecedented move, Lawless has shown up twice at the bar. "The women there are so great," she says with genuine awe. "I've been twice now, and the second time was amazing because it was Xena Night. These women are so welcoming."

The show's huge lesbian following hasn't frightened Lawless into overstating her heterosexuality. Just try pulling relationship stuff out of her. Currently involved with Robert Tapert, an American
executive producer for Xena, she strives to keep that part of her life private.

Lawless is not only comfortable with her lesbian following but also thrilled by it. "Meow Mix is the only contact I've had with the gay community as a whole," she says. "I mean, obviously I have plenty of colleagues and friends who are lesbians, but these two experiences were incredible."

One of seven children born to the mayor of Mt. Albert, Auckland, New Zealand, and his wife, Lawless was a tomboy surrounded by brothers and horses. After starting college, she left to travel the world with now-ex-husband Garth Lawless. They married in 1988, the same year she gave birth to her daughter.

Daisy is "nine and divine," coos Lawless, who hates being away from her child for too long. Despite her hectic schedule, she still understands how important it is to "save part of yourself for
yourself," she says. It's a lesson she learned from her mother, who, along with her father and Daisy, is in town visiting.

Lucy's acting career was a meteoric ride that began on a New Zealand travel show. Roles in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys TV movies led to a part on the series and finally to Xena. Along the way, she also co-starred in the lesbian-themed independent film Peach.

now that she's done Broadway, what's next? "Well," she sighs, "four million years of Xena and then, who knows? Something that keeps me moving forward like Grease! did. Sometimes I come home and I've found all new ways of screwing up. Every day I'm a little better in some part of it, and then I find another way to screw up somewhere else," she says, beginning to laugh. She gets serious rather quickly. "But it's part of it, you know? It's all part of it, and it makes me feel lalive."


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