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Xena, Space Princess?

Chicago Tribune

9 September 2005

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This time, Lawless' secret 'Galactica' weapon is her accent

"Battlestar Galactica" fans are going to hear something from former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless that many have not experienced—her own New Zealand accent.

"You haven't heard it yet, you know," Lawless says.

"There seems to be a spate of things where they really want me to do {the accent]," she says.

"I really resisted at first.... I really didn't want to do my own. I don't know why. I just felt like it's doing a trick or something. Finally, I said OK."

"It's interesting in this case, because [my character's] a journalist, and Australians have such a reputation for having been such a major presence in the world of tabloid journalism."

In the "Final Cut" episode of Sci Fi Channel's space opera, airing at 9 p.m. Friday, Lawless plays D'Anna Biers, a reporter for the Fleet News Service.

In the wake of shootings of civilian protesters on another ship by troops from Galactica, President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and Capt. Adama (Edward James Olmos) grant D'Anna unlimited access to the space cruiser and its crew in hopes of improving relations between civilians and the military. When D'Anna stumbles across a couple of hot stories, she has to decide whether she'll go along with her original plan to do a hatchet job or instead do a more balanced portrayal of life aboard the lead vessel of a ragtag space fleet of human refugees fleeing an army of mechanistic Cylons.

Asked whom she used as an inspiration for D'Anna, Lawless cites one of CNN's most visible reporters.
"With all respect to Christiane Amanpour, but you know how she turns her collar up? I just wanted to have things like that. I wanted her to be threatening, just in terms of fashion," she says.

"Everybody else on Galactica is struggling. ... My character actually has some great clothes and changes of clothes. She's annoying in that way. I wanted her to get people's backs up from the start. My character's got all the bells and whistles and will not apologize for it, thank you very much."

Adding a bit of cinema verite, D'Anna's news footage will be incorporated in the episode.

"I really was covering things," Lawless says. "We were really rolling video. We were making a film within a film."

Lawless has also become a "Galactica" fan. "It's really interesting and with so many possibilities. Like with the Cylons, where are they? Do they have a soul? Are they, in fact, going to turn out to be the good guys in the end?

"The other thing that's really new about the show is the prize at the end of every episode isn't some great philosophical feelgood message—it's pure survival. Just getting through another 12 hours is bloody victory for these people. You're rooting for them all the time, because you feel they are

Lucy Lawless on the 'Galactica' crew
Because Lucy Lawless played a TV reporter on "Battlestar Galactica," she had the
chance to work with many of the series' regulars.
"I was interviewing them all, so I got a real bloody good look at the cast and crew," she says. Edward James Olmos, who plays Captain Adama: "He's such a darling."
Olmos and Mary McDonnell, who plays President Roslyn: "Legends."
Trisha Heifer, who plays humanoid Cylon Number Six, and Kandyse McClure, who plays Petty Office Dualla: 1 got to hang out with them more than others. They're sweet as could be and highly intelligent young women."
Michael Hogan, who plays Col. Saul Tigh: "Oh, my God, that guy is hysterical. You have no idea when you see him on screen, but he is such a goofball. I really fell in love with him."—