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7 March 2005


It's been 3 1/2 years since Lucy Lawless wrapped up her "Xena: Warrior Princess' series, and she's spent most of that time focusing on marriage, her two sons and her move from New Zealand to the United States. Now she's picking up her professional pace again, starting with a guesting on tonight's "Two and a Half Men,' and continuing with the currently shooting CBS movie "Locusts.'

"This was the first time I was able to hook into a real sitcom, and I love it. I started off doing a lot of comedy in New Zealand,' reports the 5-foot-10 1/2-inch beauty, who's a blonde in the episode in which Charlie Sheen's character develops a powerful attraction for her -- a cumbersome matter when he's trying to pass himself off as gay.

"Locusts' has Lawless as a scientist working for the Department of Agriculture when a bio-catastrophe unleashes a plague of you-know-what. That has meant working with a lot of insects, but she remains unfazed by the critters she's had crawling on her body, face, mouth, etc. "Thank God for CGI. At least we don't have to deal with a million of them,' she notes.

Lawless would like to hook into another series now that commuting is no longer an issue. She made the move to the States less than a year ago, "but I've been coming and going for years. I have tremendous friends in Los Angeles and New York, and now I'm really digging Louisiana.'

Meanwhile, her and husband Bob Tapert's sons, ages 2 and 5, are digging in Louisiana -- in the back yard of the house in which they're staying in New Orleans. "They've got crawfish in the back yard. With two little boys, we have this continuing disgusting menagerie of creatures -- snakes and millipedes. Having the kids here, it could not be better,' says Lucy.