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12 January 2010

Lucy interview in AfterElton's Spartacus review

From The Winter TV Preview!

When It's On: The show premieres Friday January 22nd at 10 PM on Starz.

The Great Gay Says: "People in Hollywood were like, 'Why? Why are you doing that? Spartacus sounds like Xena again," Lucy Lawless tells the Great Gay. "And I was like, 'I don't know. It's really good.'"

Regarding the show's much-discussed female and male nudity, Lawless says, "I have to be naked on screen. I'm terrified. I hate it. But if it's right to fulfill a scene, and it's what a character would do, you gotta go there, because that part, I'm an artist. No matter what my pathetic middle-class morals [say], I want to be truthful more than I want to protect myself. [Anyway], there's plenty of things for people who like bosoms, and there's plenty of things for those who like naked male bodies. However, all that stuff is meaningless unless you care about the character."

News submitted by Barbara Davies.



12 January 2010

Chicago Now Spartacus Article: Blood, sweat and cheers

Swords, sweat and sex.

That heady mix saturates "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," the epic drama premiering Jan. 22 on Starz.

The cable network's epic based on the life of the slave-turned-gladiator-turned-rebel-against-Rome, Spartacus (Andy Whitfield), leads the pack of mid-season TV shows that are heavy on thrills, chills and heart-pounding action.

"It's hardcore, man," star Lucy Lawless said at Comic-Con last summer.

She should know. The former "Battlestar Galactica" co-star slashed her way to fame in the 1990s wielding sword and chakram as "Xena: Warrior Princess."

"Spartacus" isn't for the faint of heart. A cross between HBO's sexy "Rome" and the films "300" and "Gladiator," it delivers bold action both in the Coliseum and between the sheets.

"I'm pretty sure you haven't seen anything like this before on TV," writer and exec producer Steven S. DeKnight said.

Lawless cold-blooded Lucretia crosses paths with Spartacus, a Thracian soldier sold into slavery, when he is bought buy her husband to be molded into a money-making gladiator. Spartacus fights to survive so he can find his wife and free her from slavery. Lawless remembers her fighting skills from "Xena," but she won't be using them. Lucretia's more sexy schemer than battle-hardened warrior princess.

"I get some action, buddy," she told a fan at Comic-Con, it's just in the bedroom. "I don't like Spartacus, but I sure like the other gladiators."


News submitted by Barbara Davies



10 January 2010

LA Times Articles: Starz lives by the sword

Like 'Spartacus,' Starz lives by the sword

The pay-cable channel hopes to attract attention with its bloody, steamy take on the gladiator tale. Green screen helps save some green. [...]

The cable outlet, best known as an outlet for studio features, is joining the industry's rush into original series programming. "Spartacus" is a flashy, big-budget attempt to forge a brand, complete with a big-name costar ( Lucy Lawless, erstwhile heroine of the syndicated "Xena: Warrior Princess") and the heavily stylized, comic-book-like use of green-screen technology familiar from movies like "300" and "Sin City." [...]

The green-screen technology enabled the producers to cut costs, with a price tag of less than $3 million per episode, less than the typical broadcast series budget. "Empire" and "Rome" were shot using Italian studios and locations, where expenses quickly mounted. "Spartacus" took advantage of tax breaks in New Zealand -- where Tapert and Lawless now spend much of the year -- and was shot entirely on soundstages, with effects and settings filled in later by computer. [...]

Whitfield, who plays the title role, noted that a PG-13 version of "Spartacus" is scheduled to be shown in his native Australia.

"I'm anxious to see it," he said with a wry chuckle. "I can't imagine what's in it."




5 January 2010

Lucy Interview - Tribune News 04-Jan-2010

ImageIt's back to sword and sandals for Lucy Xena' Lawless

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

PASADENA, Calif. - Lucy Lawless, who played "Xena: Warrior Princess" for six years, is a warrior in her own right. A New Zealand scrapper who doesn't acknowledge borders of any kind, she's managed to be true to herself in spite of the notoriety that show brought.

When "Xena" ended she wasn't worried, she says, in a small dressing room at a hotel here. "Because I live in the moment. There is no past, there is no future. I wish sometimes I could plan something, but more than a week ahead, I have no idea. I'm not made to multi-task, organize. The greatest talent I have is the talent to surrender to the demands of whatever comes along," she says.

Lawless has always been like that ever since she quit college to experience "adventures" in Europe. "There are a lot of people who multi-task they're on the phone, they're arranging things," she says.

"It's too hard for me. My brain would explode if I had to do any of that stuff ... Sometimes I wish I could do that because my life is quite full of chaos. I keep it really simple. I have, like, a dirt-track of a brain. If it's not on the dirt-track it might as well not exist. I really think this is in my genes. It's a problem sometimes, but not for me because I'm still on the dirt trail," she laughs.

Lawless finds herself on a new kind of dirt trail in Starz's series, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," premiering Jan. 22.

"I play Lucretia, kind of the Lady Macbeth character," says Lawless, leaning on her elbow. "And my husband owns the gladiator school and the gladiators are fancy horseflesh, and I'm desperate to provide him with an heir. I love my husband, but we're political animals and the fear of annihilation is really high - in Roman society it's dog-eat-dog."

Her real-life husband, Robert Tapert, is executive producer of "Spartacus," which was shot in New Zealand. They have two sons, 7 and 9.



4 January 2010

Lucy Interview - Film Review Online 03-01-10

ImageIn Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s new costume drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Lucy Lawless portrays Lucretia, who along with her husband Batiatus (John Hannah), own a gladiator camp.

Devious and manipulative, the character couldn’t be more different than the one which propelled her to stardom, Xena, the Princess Warrior. It was a role that would change her personal life forever as well, as she met and married Rob Tapert during the run of the series.

Now back in New Zealand working on the series, Lawless enthusiastically spoke of her role and the show.

Read Full Interview



18 December 2009

Lawless Promises `A Truckload Of Blood' From NZ

ImageWellington, Dec 18 NZPA - New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless says there's a "truckload of blood," in her new cable television series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, being filmed at Auckland.

""Life was very cheap then," she said of the Roman era in which the sword-and-sandals series was set.

Lawless told the Jacksonville Observer the series was set in hard times: "You're looking for the triumph of the human spirit in a sea of degradation."

The former Xena: Warrior Princess star is working long hours on the series created by her husband, former Xena producer Rob Tapert. The show, to debut on the Starz channel in the USA next month, has Tapert, Sam Raimi and Josh Donen as executive producers.

The show stars Australian actor Andy Whitfield as the gladiator Spartacus, and Lawless as Lucretia, whose husband (John Hannah) owns a gladiator camp. That's very handy for Lucretia, who is sexually voracious and fancies gladiators.

Asked how it was to shoot steamy sex scenes with her husband wandering around nearby, Lawless said: "He doesn't wander around on those days. He's not interested in being part of that equation on set. He's in the office working - on visual effects or editing or whatever. It's not emotional, you know, these scenes. Everybody is very professional and just wants to get the job done."

When she's done for the day, she heads home to Julius, 10, and Judah, 7, her sons with Tapert.

"My kids are of an age where they've had a lot of one-on-one with mum time. Now they've got their own social lives," she said. "They know I'm coming back. They can do without me for 12 hours.

"While it wasn't part of my plan to leave America -- I was having a great life with all my wonderful friends -- it's good for the family," Lawless said.



16 December 2009

Spartacus Article & Promo Pics Emmy Magazine

ImageEmmy Magazine Issue 6, 2009 has a spectacular 10 page article on Spartacus Blood and Sand. Fantastic article with some very interesting info in it.

Included in the promo pics is the elusive Lucretia and Batiatus couple shot that we've seen a small version of. This version takes the whole page :)

It's available to buy online at Emmy Magazine Issue 6, 2009 Price $5.00 USD

starting page 55 and it also has a spectacular promo advert for the show near the front of the magazine.

The cover is The Simpsons



11 December 2009

Top Five Female TV Characters

There's been some godawful depictions of women on television. Luckily there's been some awesome characters that help make up for it. This list is restricted to series I've seen; I've also ruled out BBC adaptations of classic novels - otherwise it would be nothing but Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice or Margaret Hale from North & South.

The Top Five Well-Rounded, Fleshed-Out, Properly Three-Dimensional Female Characters in Popular Television.

#4 Xena Warrior Princess

It's the shameless pick for superhero character of choice. Xena: Warrior Princess is often ridiculed for its Sapphic overtones and high camp episodes - but regular viewers know the series had bold, often epic story arcs, played out by a ballsy yet charming cast. At its centre is Lucy Lawless, undeniably brilliant as the repentant warlord on a quest to undo the wrongs of her past. Not needing Hercules' immortal parentage, or Buffy's "supernatural" powers, Xena is all-woman killing machine, highly-trained, intense, focused, deadly and above all, wise. She struggles with being "good", and the glint of joy in Lawless' eyes during fight scenes shows how much she loves to be bad. Xena's reliance on a tight group of close friends demonstrates the importance social interaction plays in helping people make good choices.

Also, she kicks a lot of ass. And I wish I could kick a lot of ass. And I imagine there'd be a fair few females who would prefer to be avenging self-reliant warriors much more than "Save me!" Disney princesses.

Read More

News submitted by Barbara Davies



7 December 2009

Sunday News - Warrior Lucy Fights For Planet

ImageThe Sunday News has an EXCELLENT interview with Lucy about the Sign On Campaign and Saturday's Planet A March and Concert in Auckland.

Sunday News 6 December 2009

Warrior Lucy Fights For Planet - Lawless From Xena To Greener Campaigner

LUCY Lawless became a worldwide sensation playing the lead role of Xena: Warrior Princess in the cult TV series. But now the Kiwi actress and mum-of-three is determined to save the planet as an environmental warrior leading Greenpeace's Sign On campaign.

"I just see myself as a human being, a mother and somebody who loves this planet." Lawless, 41, told Sunday News.

Read Full Article



7 December 2009

Sunday Star Times - Climate For Change 6 Dec 09

ImageThousands of people, eager to draw attention to climate change issues, gathered or marched in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch yesterday, calling for a good outcome from the United Nations conference in Copenhagen which starts tomorrow.

Organised as part of the Greenpeace ‘‘Sign On’’ campaign, which calls for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, the march in Auckland was followed by a concert featuring Opshop and Don McGlashan.

Boosting the ranks in the City of Sails were Greenpeace celebrity climate ambassadors Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby and Robyn Malcolm, who have all been vocal about the need for Prime Minister John Key to attend the United Nations climate change conference.

They were pleased that Key has done a U-turn, announcing last week that he will be joining the big-wigs of international politics in Copenhagen after months of saying he was not going to attend.

Lawless said it took a big man to change his mind. ‘‘I’m absolutely thrilled that he’s going. There’s a real groundswell of support for a 40% emissions reduction by 2020 and I’m glad he’s seeing that the people of New Zealand do care.’’

Read Full Article



2 December 2009

Greenpeace Concert goes Live on Ziln

Greenpeace Concert goes Live on Ziln
Wednesday, 2 December 2009, 3:06 pm
Press Release: Ziln

Greeenpeace Concert goes Live on Ziln

The Greenpeace "Planet A" concert in Auckland's Myers Park on Saturday afternoon is going to make history!!

It will be the first New Zealand free public concert broadcast live over the Internet and carried on Ziln - New Zealand's internet television service. (

Wherever they are in New Zealand, viewers will be able to tune in and watch the concert in high quality over the internet on Ziln.

"Planet A" is the culmination of the Greenpeace "Sign On" Climate campaign and features Midnight Youth, Op Shop, Kirsten Morrell and Don McGlashan, with Greenpeace Ambassadors Lucy Lawless and Keisha Castle-Hughes and MC Rhys Darby.

There'll also be a giant haka to challenge New Zealand's representatives going to the climate summit.

Multi-camera live coverage and streaming of the concert is being provided by e-cast live to the internet on Ziln from 2:30- 6:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

And from Monday night the entire concert will be available to view on-demand for the rest of the year on the Ziln website -


Related Sites
AUSXIP Lucy & Planet A Concert Info Page
AUSXIP Lucy Sign On Info Page
AUSXIP Flawless Diva - Lucy's Music Site



2 December 2009

Rob Interview Spartacus Mention - The West Australian

The film industry in Auckland must breathe a huge sigh of relief every time US producer Rob Tapert arrives in town.

His close links to the NZ city began in the 1990s with the making of the Hercules series and Xena: Warrior Princess and now he is back living there, having just finished making a new swords-and-sandals series, Spartacus, and with a second series of Legend of the Seeker underway.

And with long-time partner Sam Raimi he has shot a "bunch of horror movies" there over the years.

The first series of Legend of the Seeker has just begun on Fox8.

It is based on Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth novels and stars Australian actors Craig Horner (Blue Water High), Jessica Marais (Packed to the Rafters) and Bruce Spence (The Matrix Revolutions), along with Jay Laga'aia (Water Rats, Xena), who grew up in Auckland.

When we speak, Tapert is in Sydney on holiday with his wife Lucy Lawless, who starred in Xena and is also in Spartacus.

Read Full Interview