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Celebrity Insider: Lucy Lawless

Dot SoCal GLBT News Magazine
(California, USA)

February 2007

Scanned by Teresa Ortega / Transcribed by MaryD

From the Editor's Page

Another form of Aphrodite is found in the celebrity feature with Lucy Lawless (pg. 54). Despite her popular and pre- ferred image as Xena the Warrior Princess, the real beau-ty of Lawless lies more in her ability to share love. The true beauty reflected by her interview is discovered in her deep appreciation and gratitude for her fans.


Main Article

Former Xena Warrior Princess is one hot mama! Find out about her latest acting/singing career, everlasting lesbian following and her upcoming Dinah Shore Weekend performance

She was chosen Mrs. New Zealand in 1989, but Lucy Lawless is probably better known for her breakout title role in Xena: Warrior Princess, which ran for six consecutive seasons (1995-2001), and from which Lawless developed a huge lesbian cult following.

Currently, Lawless can be found on the critically acclaimed television show remake of Battlestar Galactica, which is currently filming in Vancouver.

After finishing runner-up on Celebrity Duets, Lawless has started a singing tour. In January she performed the show "Lucy Lawless: Come to Mama" at the Roxy to a sold-out crowd.

Lawless will also perform live at Girl Bar's Dinah Shore weekend in March at the "Pure White Party" as an acknowledgment to her lesbian following. Having once seduced her lesbian devotees by sword, Lawless will now wow and tease more than 3,000 women in white with song.

In an exclusive interview with dot Newsmagazine, Lawless shares with us her warrior past, her musical charm and beautiful presence, and her future in a very personable and appreciative gesture to her fans.

dot Newsmagazine: How do you identify?

Lucy Lawless: I don't bother. I am fortunate to pass as heteronormal. If you're straight, you're not forced to confront a sexual identity.

dot: As a straight woman, how does it feel to have such a huge lesbian cult following?

Lawless: Fine. I don't care who people love, as long as they love. It's not like I am a major sex symbol at home, though I could be when the children are around If doesn't to me what people are or how they identify.

dot: Xena made you an international celebrity and lesbian icon. What was it like to play a warrior woman when you're really a domestic goddess?

Lawless: Man, you pulled that one out of the fire. I am not worthy of domestic goddess, but it is a total honor and a riot to be a Warrior Princess. It's better than being perceived as the world's greatest housewife. I suck at that stuff. I feel being portrayed as Xena is way more fabulous than who I really am.

dot: Name the tune that best describes the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle.

Lawless: "It's the Hard-Knock Life."

dot: Do you appreciate your gay and lesbian following, and can you comment on it?

Lawless: I am going to sing at the Roxy and the show is for my fans. My fans are coming to spend an evening with me. Whatever I choose to sing is really about the relationship I have with my fans, Singing at the show is like having an intimate conversation with my fans. Many of the songs that I perform for the show are written by women. I realize my most profound influences are from women performers like Chrissie Hynde, Etta James, Melissa Etheridge and Janis Joplin. Women vocalists have impacted me far more than men. Dylan's hot. Bob Dylan will always be hot. But, it is something about the way women sing that resonates with me. At the end of the Roxy show, I am going sing the Pretender's I'll Stand by You." For me, the show is about my relationship with my fans and the song is a promise-if you stick with your fans, they will stick with you.

dot: What is happening and upcoming with you role D'Anna Biers on Battlestar Galactica?

Lawless: Can't tell you-she gets her comeuppance in a very interesting way, 1 am thrilled with the way my character ends up-very darkly humorous. Lucy has a peculiar streak where her sense of humor is concerned. I thought it was a very strong story line to cut off Xena's head, but the fans hated it. I suppose it was very cruel to cut off Xena's head, and now that darkness, which I find humorous, has sort of followed me.

dot: What is D'Anna's hottest moment on Battlestar?

Lawless: For about two seconds, she has a menage a trois. But, there was no swing in it on the day of filming.

dot: How is the character D'Anna similar to or different from Xena? Or to Lucy Lawless?

Lawless: The tone of the two shows are so different. I think they are driven by completely opposite drives and impulses. They are poles apart. All of my characters are who I could be given the circumstance. My job is to make the role of the character real. How do I make this role real? Sometimes I think, are you kidding me? You want me to do what? My job as an actress is to bring it together even if the writing goes against me. I have to pull it off. I have to make the role authentic.

dot: Is that your philosophy about life—make it authentic?

Lawless: It is important to me. I have no intention of living someone else's idea of me. I have not signed on to any long-range TV shows. I can't do something that is bad for me, boring or that will make me be a pain in the ass to be around. I am not interested in being miserable. It would be a huge lose-lose situation, especially since I have small children. I do what feels right to me. My gut has a very strong opinion. I am allergic to being bored-or rather, I am happy.

dot: Now, that you are singing and performing as Lucy Lawless, do people still typecast you as Xena?

Lawless: It is not a bad thing to be typecast as a single female lead. I can't complain. Being Xena has done nothing but good for me.

dot: What is the demographic for Xena?

Lawless: Large women in comfortable shoes-and I love 'em. So many of my fans are brilliant-smart women that have huge hearts and great ethics. I have come to really love them. Have you heard of Lucy Lawless Feel the Love Week? My fans are so amazing. In October, they take one week where they try to enrich the community that they live in. It is in the spirit of the Xena show. They have taken it and made it a movement for spreading love. They have given meaning to my career. It's incredible to see people care for strangers. I am totally humbled by Feel the Love Week.

dot: Describe your experience on Celebrity Duets.

Lawless: So good. I was fortunate. Celebrity Duets is not cutthroat behind the scenes like some of the other shows. I am sure it would have been better TV if we were bitchier. I would love to tell Marie Osmond—Mo, as I call her—where to go. The best thing about it is I kicked my singing phobia. Now I am doing the Roxy show. I am doing the "Rebel Yell."

dot: What was your most graceful moment on Celebrity Duets?

Lawless: My most graceful moment was when I kicked the microphone stand. When it comes to grace, I think it is something divine. Grace is something that moves your body and hits the audience too. When I was singing 'Tell Mama"-a song from a list of my 10 favorite things to sing, a song that was arranged just for me-was my most graceful moment. It just rocked my world. It was like a drug. And it propelled me to do the Roxy show.

dot: Did finishing runner-up on Celebrity Duets contribute to your January concert at the Roxy? How? Why or why not?

Lawless: I just want to get out there and perform.

dot: Describe your live concert singing experience in comparison to singing on CD.

Lawless: It's different to perform live rather than on TV. But my audience is supportive. I told all my fans to wear deodorant. I don't want them smelling like a bunch of truckers.

dot: Beyond the Roxy, what are your singing career plans?

Lawless: I want to take the show to New York if it goes well. I will keep the fire going, it's a raging fervor. I have to go in that direction. Putting on a good show and feeling the love-it's all about singing at this moment. I don't know how to do anything else. I am just a performer. I am going to keep plying my trade with as much enthusiasm as possible.

dot: Any other voice or singing plans? Acting?

Lawless: The ideal situation for me is acting and singing. I'd like to go to Broadway or go to Vegas and do theater. I am not in the position to do it right now. My children are very young kids that need some stability. It has become untenable to drag kids around. If I do something like that, it will have to be in the summer. Their well-being is, paramount. I want them to be well-adjusted adults. I am not hurting for fun. I'm still having a lot of fun.