TOTAL TRANSFORMATION Beautiful Ingénue
Plays Leather- clad Dominatrix Eurotrip
BY JOSH HERMAN
"I think I’m a funny person. I even remember the moment I realized the value of comedy," says the 5’10" Lucy Lawless, who looks nothing like the Grecian character she made mythic on television’s "Xena: Warrior Princess." "I was 8 years old and I was sitting in class," she continues. "I had this epiphany that if I acted stupid, I could get away with a lot of stuff. It eased a lot of tension."
Lawless will be funny all the way to the sex shop if her new film, Eurotrip, with a film tag that reads, "From the producers who took audiences on a Road Trip and back to Old School, is any indication. In the film, Lawless squirms into latex as Madame Vandersexxx, a dominatrix who teaches the Euro-trippers a lesson in Germanic BDSM.
"When I saw this role, I thought, ‘Here we go — another bondage outfit!’" Lawless says with a laugh, alluding to her Xena bodices. Not being able to find anything fitting in their Prague location, the filmmakers sent her around London to a place she dubbed "Rubberland."
"[Rubberland] is this part of London that has all these really dodgy shops where people live for rubber. [The costume designer] would take me into shops and say, ‘This is my friend Lucy, she’s making a movie in Prague.’ And they’d say ‘Oh, yeah, that’s great! Come out back and I’ll show you the good stuff.’
"They thought I was a porn star! And I said [of some of the outfits], ‘That’s not even anatomically correct, don’t show me that!’" They finally located the right boots, stockings and skin-tight outfit that make Lawless look like "Batgirl," she muses.
But why would a cult hero go through all of this — searching London-based BDSM shops— just for a small cameo in a teen flick film? "Big cameo, baby. I love these [filmmakers], that’s why I did it," Lawless admits. "They told me it was an ‘extreme character filming in Prague.’ What kind of a nut would I be to not want to have that life experience?"
Lawless is sane enough, however, to know that her young children probably shouldn’t see this film. "They’ll say, ‘You look hot, mommy!’ No. The little guys won’t see this role until they’re old enough to be embarrassed by me."
But hopefully they’ll see her in another comedic role soon. "Slowly it’s starting to happen," Lawless says of her reinvention as a laugh-getter. "The thing is, I took so many years off to have kids. Career wise, I could have been building on what I had done before, but [Hollywood] doesn’t want to see [me as a comedic actor]."
She tells a recent story where Mike Judge (Office Space, "King Of The Hill") wanted to meet with her. "I just raced down to Venice Beach to meet him," Lawless says, recalling the moment with pure excitement. "I started reading, and saw the part was for an ‘enormous woman stuffed in tights like [wrestler] Chyna on a bad hair day.’ I thought it was because he had discovered I was a comic genius. But no, it’s because I look like Chyna."
That’s show business.
"I don’t take business seriously, though," Lawless adds with a laugh. "It’s acting that I take seriously."
Eurotrip is currently in theaters.