Lucy Lawless, star of Xena Warrior Princess and now Battlestar
Galactica graciously agreed to be interviewed in between working on
the Adam Sandler movie "Bedtime Stories" and preparing for her UK
Concert debut in London
next month. Since I personally love The Actor's Studio...we did our
own version with Lucy. It's a wide ranging interview covering a
great many topics including Lucy's expections for her acting career,
being challenged for her role on Darkroom, what the fans mean to
her, her singing, acting again with Renee O'Connor in Bitch Slap and
her upcoming movie Bedtime Stories.
Many thanks to Lucy for taking the time out from her busy schedule
for this interview. I hope you all enjoy the interview - it's Lucy
at her candid best.
you started out what were your expectations for your
I thought I'd be doing Shakespeare!
I dreamed of going to the Old Vic' in London or R.A.D.A but early
motherhood made me do an about-face. Plus even if I hadn't had a baby
early, I didn't know how I would ever afford to go. I had never known anyone
who had blazed a trail ahead of me, so it was very much a case of following my
nose towards an acting career.
Did you always have ambitions of working in the
US? Did you ever entertain the idea of working in the UK, Canadian, or the
Australian entertainment industry?
never thought about America. London
was always the big acting beacon for me. All my
acting heroes were English.
You've worked in film, television, and theater. Is
there one that you enjoy more than another, or do you just enjoy the
I really have to choose? I think we working actors do whatever is in front of
us. Though i disdain to work with nasty, cheap, venal people. Life is way too
When actors talk about working on stage compared
to film or television. It's normally about the differences of what it gives
or teaches them. What are your thoughts about stage work? What does being in
front of a theater audience give you or taught
taught me don't try to do a play when you are pregnant. I did 'The Vagina
Monologues' when expecting my third child. It was impossible to remember my
lines and i could hardly get through a performance.
You have played a variety of roles since Xena
ended. How do you go about picking your
often do roles just to help out a friend. I try to do a good job. Generally
speaking, I only want to work with people I love and respect.
Of all the things that have happened to you
professionally, what moments stand out for you and
I adored playing
Dorothy in 'Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes'. The magic of doing a musical took me right
back to my high-school days. It is seriously the most romantic thing in the
world to sing those songs on
stage with some handsome, talented cast, and everything is so sparkly and
the choir is behind you. it is the BEST!
Your role in
was unlike any role we've seen you play. What drew you to the role? You
have been quoted a few times saying "I don't play wives". What was special
about the Cheryl character?
wanted to try my hand at playing someone who was a victim and an addict. i
always play tough chicks but this woman was truly beaten down by her addiction
and her abusive relationship. This was the first time I was truly scared about
fulfilling a role. I did not know if I would be believable in the role. But
from an acting perspective, I was pretty pleased with the result.
We have heard you talk about working with Anthony
Quinn, but you were also in an episode of
New Adventures of the Black Stallion in 1993, did you work with Mickey Rooney? If
so what was he like?
I didn't have much to
do with him. I do remember that he had an enormous
that he would swirl around and scare the crew by showing all his fillings
every couple of minutes. Almost like a nervous thing -like people crack their
Can you tell us a little about
Bedtime Stories and
your role of Aspen?
am playing Guy Pearce's twisted girlfriend, Aspen. We are out to stomp on
Sandler's character's dreams. She is a bitchy ex-model type, who has attached
herself to a man to get ahead in the hotel trade. She drives her man like a
The problem with working at Camp-Sandler is that you are ruined for working
anywhere else. It is seriously the most fun crew I've been with since Xena.
Comedy is always more fun than drama to work on.
You're also making some cameo appearances on the
new Eric Gruendeman project Bitch Slap. You playing Mother Superior to
O'Connor's Sister Batrille, What's in store for the fans that have waited so
long to see you and Renee work together
Ren and I have a
great shorthand. We understand one another perfectly.
definitely want to work with her again. Plus, she is one of my
on the planet. A lot of water has gone under our bridge.
Any plans to work with Rob
[Rob Tapert] again? You have hinted
about it in the past? What kind of projects would the two of you like to do
one day. At the moment our careers are diverging but that's healthy. Our
relationship would fall apart if we depended on the other to make our projects
You've written and performed your own material
when it comes to singing. Have you ever considered writing and performing your
material for film or television?
No, I have tried but
that is not my grace. I have talent but it is unable to
marshaled like that. I have to be at the end of the creative process, not
beginning. That's just the way it is.
Is there a story out there that you would like to
tell on screen that hasn't been done yet?
Don't think like that.
Has working on the
concerts lived up to your
has been a great way to meet the fans. I try to give them something of myself
or tell them something that they can't find out anywhere else. Each show is
What does it give you creatively that acting
It gives me the
pressure to produce from the bottom up, creatively. I love it
You did some judging on
would you like to do more of that kind of work. Looking for and helping new
Not my gift. I have to be on the front line myself. I can only exist on the
What is your favorite song and
favourite song at present is 'G.L.O.R.I.A.' by Pattti Smith. I am going
to perform it in London. All my dykey fans will be very happy. And the whole
set is influenced by it.
How did you get involved with the
I got involved over
one particularly gruesome death of an abused infant,
reported in the
NZ Herald. The case was so prominent and
tragic that here was no way that we New Zealanders could look the
way. Along with some other famous Kiwis, we started a movement to fund a
Multi-agency-Center in Auckland under the auspices of the
Starship Foundation, the funding arm of the national Children's Hospital,
known as 'The Starship'. It's called Pua waitahi and the model is working
though sadly, the centre will never close due to lack of use.
all the things I have ever been a part of (however small my contribution),
would be the greatest.
Are you surprised by the support your fans give
the Charities you choose?
am so grateful to all my fans for their support over the years of my charities
and others. i never ask the fans to give.
Instead I encourage them to enrich their own communities and world in their
own way. I am so completely humbled by 'Feel the Love' Day. I think it is a
powerful example of how my fans do not so much celebrate the tv show 'Xena',
so much as practise the spirit of the show, which is all about looking after
the little guy, respect for self, others and our planet. What's not to love
I'm going to "borrow" from The Actor's Studio and
ask you the top 10 questions:
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
kitchen fan. bad frequency for me.
Can't hear anything else.
What is your favorite curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
chicken-sexer. Reportedly the
most stressful job of all. Ahead of even flight-controller.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the
"Where have you been?! You're on in
Many thanks to Lucy
Lawless for granting AUSXIP this interview. I hope you enjoyed it as
much as we did.
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