Many thanks to Normal Ruffell

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While Hercules tends to tease, its spin-off show Xena: Warrior Princess takes things more seriously. Xena (played by Lucy Lawless) is a more soulful and enigmatic character than Kevin Sorbo’s droll, meat-and-potatoes Herc. Co-creator and executive producer Rob Tapert says Xena was deliberately given a more mature perspective. "The thing that stands out about the Hercules character is his decency," Tapert notes. "It’s pretty basic and easy to understand. With Xena, we have a character whose way of carrying herself states, ‘I have something to say, but I can’t quite say it yet.’ That will deepen, actually, before it’s resolved." Lawless is a native of New Zealand, where the shows are shot, so she doesn’t have to deal with the homesickness US-born Sorbo contends with while shooting Hercules. Tapert credits movies from Hong Kong with inspiring his vision of Xena: "The female superheroines you see in Hong Kong fantasy and action films have the same kind of steely resolve we gave Xena. There weren’t really a lot of television precedents to draw from, or that we would want to draw from. I think the last female superheroine on television was Wonder Woman. Lawless chimes in: "I’ve just had a sudden urge to cross my wrists in front of my chest."

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