AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Files - Flawless Print - Lucy Articles

Woman's Weekly
NZ Edition

September 1998.

Thanks to Liz Wilson for the transcript

Section: Your Lives, your stories

Title: Our day with Xena Author: Not attributed - but it's Anthony Launer Picture: Lucy Lawless with Anthony Launer and his daughters Alicia and Shai-ann. [Lucy dressed as Xena, with Argo]


Xena fan Anthony Launer had a dream come true when he won a competition to take his family from Brisbane [Australia] to New Zealand to meet Lucy Lawless, star of Xena: Warrior Princess.

"I've always been a huge fan of Xena and Hercules and dreamed about meeting their stars, Lucy and Kevin Sorbo. My chance came through a competition by our local newspaper newspaper and a TV station that runs both shows. My wife, Aline, and !, and our daughters Alicia, 10, and Shai-ann, 5, were so keen to win we entered 830 times. When they told us we'd won, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. We flew to Auckland-- our first time in a plane-- and that night, thinking about our meeting with Xena, I felt like a five-year-old on the night before Christmas.

"We were taken to the show's costume and props department at Renaissance Pictures, where we bumped into Kevin Smith, who plays Ares-- the god of war-- being fitted for a new costume. He was only too happy to be photographed with us and he took time out to stay and chat. Then, on the main set, we saw Lucy sitting in the distance waiting for her next scene. She looked so much more beautiful than she does on TV. She turned and said, 'You must be the lucky Launer family.'

"As we shook her soft hand, I was star-struck. We talked about Australia and how she used to live there. We kept talking with Lucy inbetween takes and then her husband, Rob Tapert, who's Xena's executive producer, showed us around the set. Rob told us how Lucy fell off her horse and injured her knee and how she had to stand waist deep in cold, swampy water. In one scene, when Lucy had a heap of live rats dropped on her while crawling through a tunnel, she got bitten and scratched and had to have a tetanus shot.

"We had lunch with Lucy and Rob and then went to Lucy's trailer where she autographed posters and photos for us. Then she pulled out a stunt sword and gave it to Alicia and Shai-ann. The girls' eyes lit up. We got a few photos with Lucy and she hugged our girls goodbye. "I went back into the studio with Lucy where she signed a few more autographs for me while her hairdresser brushed her hair. We talked about hair extensions and her marriage to Rob and I said my goodbyes with a kiss on Lucy's cheek.

"We did some sightseeing in Auckland and then, two days later, we visited Lucy again on location. Lucy walked over wearing her full Xena outfit. She greeted us again with her big, beautiful smile, looking every bit the perfect Warrior Princess.

"Lucy called her daughter, Daisy, over to have a talk with us. Alicia's first question to Daisy was, 'What's it like to have a famous mum?' Daisy said, 'It's all right.' At first Daisy found it funny seeing her mum running around with fighting blades in her leather dress. 'But now I'm used to it,' she says.

"Lucy got called for her next scene. She said goodbye with a big hug and a dimpled smile. Meeting Xena was an experience we'll never forget."