New Zealand Herald
17 January 2001
TV: Lucy Locket's roller-coaster ride to Hollywood adulation
Bu LOUISA CLEAVE
Raised in the "quaint village of Mount Albert," Noo Zeeland native Lucy Lawless set out to conquer the world.
E! Entertainment TV's celebrity profile of our famous actress is billed as a documentary about Lawless' "roller-coaster ride to fame and
"Learn of her private pain and life threatening accident."
Those who have taken even a passing interest in her career will find they probably know this A to Z story of Lucy Lawless already.
But E! does the gossip magazine-style job that it's supposed to do: entertains us with early career footage - remember those ASB ads and the Holiday travel show? - and lets us in on some personal anecdotes through
interviews with family members, old school friends, her agent and just about everyone else who has come into contact with Lawless since she was daddy's little girl with the nickname Lucy Locket.
Lawless is the schoolgirl who told her friends she wanted to be famous as they sat on Mt Albert and discussed their futures.
Now big-time talkshow host Jay Leno has a slot on her celebrity profile to talk about the time she fell off a horse filming a skit for his Tonight Show.
"It was awful, it was terrible. We didn't know what was going to happen."
This is probably not the sort of insight viewers are looking for, but there are plenty of anecdotes from those closer to the actress - including her parents and husband Rob Tapert - and an interview with Lawless.
You might not be fascinated with the evolution of Xena: Warrior Princess from a guest role on Hercules to a spin-off hit show which lasted six years.
But it's worth a look because it's not often we get to see a profile piece made for American viewers (E! Entertainment Television is a 24-hour network dedicated to the entertainment world) on one of our own.
Telling the story of leaving New Zealand at age 18 on a one-way ticket to Europe, Lawless and her family explain the concept of the big OE.
Discussing the arrival of her second child in 1999, Lawless explains that a water birth at home with midwife and doctor in attendance is quite common in New Zealand.
And it is amazing who E! has pulled from the woodwork to talk about Lawless.
Willy de Witt, the co-star of the late 80s sketch show Funny Business, talks about Lawless coming to work on the series which gave her a break into acting.
American actress Melissa Jaret Winokur, who appeared with her in the Broadway production of Grease, tells us that Lawless whispered to her on stage that Tapert had proposed, then told her to pass it on.
The programme highlights her charity work at home, including the campaign to stop child abuse, but fails to mention her 1989 home-town triumph at being crowned Mrs New Zealand.
We knew it already, but E! TV's celebrity profile tells us again.
Noo Zeeland native Lucy Lawless set out to conquer the world. And in Hollywood's eyes, that is exactly what she did.
Lucy Lawless: Kiwi Superstar
TV3, Wednesday, 7.30 pm