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Woman's Day

11 December 2000

Star Appeal - Lucy Lawless


When sexy Lucy Lawless, star of Xena: Warrior Princess, fell pregnant with her second child last year, art imitated life and Xena had a baby too. That's the clout Lucy had on the hit show - after all, she did marry the executive producer Rob Tapert in California in 1998. They share a $4 million Auckland home with baby Julius, 14 months, and Daisy, 12, Lucy's daughter from her first marriage. Xena has ended, but Lucy says "In the future, two movies a year and six months in New Zealand would be ideal!"


"It's ridiculous how much attention the media pay to silicone-inflated women parading generous curves on incredibly skinny bodies," says Lucy, whose favourite foods are lamb shanks and frozen yoghurt.

She believes women like that aren't real - "They're terrible male fantasies.I don't think I'm a typical woman either, but at least I have some muscle. The point is that girls who look up to Xena can see that they don't have to correspond to the preposterous kind of fashion-magazine images that make girls anorexic.

"I've got to say anorexia sort of bores me. You think you're going to get respect and attention, but it's quite the opposite. People are turned off, people dance around you. It's bad for your health and it's unhygenic. I lose patience with it.

"To any girls out there who are thinking of it, or are just getting into it, just quit your bloody nonsense! Enough already! It's a total waste of time. I speak from a little bit of experience. I used to quite like bulemia. I used to think that was fun."


"I'm not an intimidating beauty," insists Lucy. "Half my hair wasn't even mine (in the show). they imported a heap from Spain for me The extensions were ghastly. No one could run their fingers through my hair."

Ah, but that beautiful fringe set the world alight!

"I have young clients coming in all the time asking for that look," admits high-profile stylist Frederic Fekkai in New York.

For Lucy, the clean-cut fringe was a matter of keeping what works. "I'd had a fringe since childhood. It wasn't a fashion statement," Lucy laughs. "In a good scrape, you don't want hair in your eyes."

According to her friend, Xena costume designer Ngila Dickson, Lucy's loveliness lies in her "magnificent shoulders, beautiful armos, lovely cleavage and a beautiful face."

But ask Lucy what she likes best about herself, and you'll get a surprising reply. "I have nice feet," she says, "long and skinny with long toes. I wear my dark silk lingerie and paint my toenails and I feel like a kept woman."




Aside from riding horses as a kid, Lucy's never been sporty. "People must think I'm a martial artist. But I never had any of those skills before Xena, and when I developed them, it didn't translate to a sense of grace."

A few years ago, Lucy began the body-conditioning system Pilates. "I feel so confident now. I was never very confident physically." Pilates has also increased Lucy's stamina and given her "amazing" flexibility.

With her personal Pilates trainer, Maree Burmester, Lucy does up to three 90-minute sessions a week at Burmester's Pilates Body Studio in Auckland.

"I don't like to waste time. I don't have the time. I want to spend it doing the best possible thing for me. Pilates has given me the greatest returns," Lucy raves. "It sucks your butt up, tones the legs and shoulders. Nothing else gives you definition like it."






For her wedding to Rob Tapert, Lucy traded her leather miniskirt for a slinky, hand-beaded, silk-satin ivory gown, designed by her friend Ngila Dickson.

Lucy's pregnancy caused a headache for the Xena costume department as her first maternity outfit of leather didn't expand with her stomach. Modern fabrics were supposed to be taboo on the show, but eventually the benefits of Spandex won out.

"I'd never been comfortable before," says Lucy, who was outfitted in Lycra and a coat trimmed in sheared lamb over her Iron Age breastplate. "And no more iron underpants. I was even warm!"


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