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Best Bodies - Lucy Lawless

Who Weekly
(Australia)

3 November 1997

The producers of Xena Warrior Princess wanted the high-kick! the cult series to be a blonde. But the show's
star, New Zealander Lucy Lawless, whose locks are naturally ash-blonde, talked them out of it. "I said, 'She should be like an Amazonórounded and buxom and dark,' " says Lawless, 29, whose mental picture of Xena resembled Argentine tennis pro Gabriela Sabatini. After dying her hair black and adding extensions, the opera-trained actress (who has just finished playing teen vamp Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease) took on the Amazon look with ease. She's a statuesque 1.78m, says Xena's costume designer Ngila Dickson, "with magnificent shoulders, beautiful arms, lovely cleavage and a beautiful face". Playing such a feisty woman required some extra body-buffingóweight-lifting and boxing provided that until Lawless fractured her pelvis in a horseriding accident as she taped a stunt for The Tonight Show in the US last year. Since then, the divorced mother of Daisy, 9 (her fiance is Xena executive producer Rob Tapert), has taken up 50-minute swimming sessions and hour-long walks carrying 1.5kg handweights. "Exercise frees you up not to worry about the next day," explains Lawless, whose freezer is stocked with meat pies and whose favourite dish is spicy lamb curry, "and I can eat what I want!"