AUSXIP - Lucy Lawless Files - Articles - 2004 Magazines
May 1 - 7, 2004
Interview with Lucy Lawless
Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless goes into battel once more for a new series about some of history's most charismatic Warrior Women
It's almost midnight in Los Angeles, drawing an end to a long day of interviews for former Xena-Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless. Although it's late, her voice is full of enthusiasm as she discusses her new five-part Discovery Channel series Warrior Women.
In what is a heady mix of historical sleuthing and provocative brought to life history's most charismatic women warriors-Featured among them are French French to victory over the British only to be burnt at the stake; Boudica, the queen who brought the Roman Empire to its knees in Britain; Chinese heroine Hua Mulan. who challenged the emperor of China in search of justice; the Irish pirate Grace O'Malley, who mastered sail and sword and won the respect of Queen Elizabeth I; and Apache warrior Lozen, the wife to Geronimo who used her psychic abilities to lead her people to Mexico and on to safety.
Hosted by Lucy, each hour-long programme investigates the life and times of these real warrior women and examines the myths that surround them.
Shot on location in France, Ireland, Britain, China and New Mexico, Lucy's biggest challenge proved to be the weather.
"We sat on hillsides getting blown off cliffs and waiting for the perfect time until everything was ready to film," she says. "It's a matter of trying to brush your hair in a gale, which is just impossible.
"But it was great fun too, I got to run around the world like a crazy teenager with a whole lot of other overgrown teenagers. It was a great taste of intellectual freedom. In Tact, it was one of the most exciting jobs I've ever done."
Having played the role of the leather-clad Xena for six seasons, Lucy believes viewers will relate to these warriors of old.
"It brings balance to the lives of some incredible human beings. Some of these lives are glorious and others are vain glories that end tragically.
"Our job was to bring life into their stories. We put a new slant on theories. In the case of Joan of Arc we put forward the question of her vanity. Was she simply a troubled youth? Did she have a personality disorder? Today, perhaps, there'd be medication to help with her afflictions. But in the time in which she lived, all was superstition and her beliefs were supernatural. Unfortunately, she paid dearly with her life and was burnt at the stake. Nobody deserves that.
"And she was so young. That's a terribly sad tale that ended badly. So not all of these stories end well, but they are people who deserve some respect."
When asked if she could see herself in any of the women featured in the series, the mother of three takes just a moment to contemplate. "I'd like to believe I have some of their attributes. I think we all have a little bit of them within us. Personally, Td compare myself mostly with Grace O'Malley. My ancestry is from the same area, so I understand the culture she came from, she said. Lucy says that besides story telling and history, there is a message within the Warrior
"The triumph of the human spirit. The endeavour. The burning need to be true to one's self and your goal and what you believe is your purpose in life.
"It's no secret. There's a long and rich history of women's achievements. Many of us tend to think this is a new phenomenon but in fact, women have always been leaders of men. It's simply that it was written out of history."
Lucy Lawless is forever being hounded by fans asking whether Xena will return from the dead...yet again.
"There's talk of a movie, which I would consider, although no one is completely sure who owns the rights," says Lucy.
"There was some sort of glitch way back in the beginning and now it would be a huge matter of litigation.
"It's a great role, that's the truth, and if you're an actress who wants to play fascinating characters, you just can't do greater than Xena because she's very tormented and strong and yet vulnerable in all of the wrong places.
"I'd love to play the lead role in a film," she laughs. "But who wouldn't?"
Story: Jeanette L Gibbs