Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor are on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess. Lucy calls Renee over to her trailer.
LUCY - "Hey Ren! Come here, come here, I got it!" Lucy flips through the pages of the latest script.
RENEE - "Is it in there?"
LUCY - "I don't know, hold on a sec."
She continues flipping through the pages. Lucy flips to the final page and looks at Renee dejectedly.
RENEE - "Still not in there?"
LL - "Nope! I don't get it. Haven't these people ever heard of Ellen? And what about Emma? Xena can kill 20 bloody men without impetus, but she can't kiss her own grrlfriend! What kind of convoluted syllogistics is that?"
ROC - "Censor syllo---- whatever. Lemme see that." Lucy shares the script as they go through it page by page.
LL - "Here, look, there's a scene where Xena and Gabrielle are in a tavern and Gabrielle looks Xena up and down like she's a totally sybaritic warrior babe."
ROC - "That's cool. But why do they always have Gabrielle making the goo goo eyes? Xena should be able to do that too."
LL - "Xena? Making goo goo eyes? No way, mate! Remember when they made her do that with Ulysses? What a cataclysmic fiasco that was!"
ROC - "Yeah, but that was Ulysses."
LL - "You got a point there."
ROC - "Well, maybe she can just give Gabrielle a sultry look or something."
LL - "Yeah, that would be cool . Hey, I like this dialogue. This must be the gratuitous subtext scene. 'A scumbag type walks up to X/G and says 'Are you ladies alone?'. Then Xena says, 'No we're together'. Then she cracks his skull with her sword and eventually slices him in two. Then Gabrielle says with a grin 'Xena, you didn't have to do that'and hugs her and then-----' the bloody scene cuts to an exterior shot!"
ROC - "See what I mean? They could have let Gabrielle give her a 'thank you' kiss right there. She just saved her life, for Chrissakes."
LL - (laughs) "Can you imagine how crazy that would make the hornie lesbians? And this thing airs right before Burbank, too! I wouldn't get out of that hotel alive!"
ROC -(laughs) "Hey, sounds like a party! But don't you think it's politically incorrect to call them 'hornie lesbians'?"
LL - "That's what they call themselves."
ROC - "They do?"
LL - "Meow Mix."
ROC - "Come on, Luce, don't go rubbing that in again. Anyway, what about this scene? X/G are riding on Argo and when they stop, Xena gets down easily but Gabrielle falls down to the ground. Xena helps her up and puts her arm around Gabrielle and asks 'are you all right?'"
LL - "Again? How many fucking ways can I say that line?"
ROC (giggle) "Yeah. But wouldn't that be a great spot for a kiss? In the movies, it's a classic ploy when two people are in love, one falls down and the other helps them up. First they stare into each other's eyes and then it always ends with a kiss."
LL - "Yeah, that would be grandiloquent, but I don't think they'll allow it, they'll just cut it out. So when we do that scene and I help you up, gyrate your hips against me a little bit. It'll be subtext-y enough to infiltrate even the Baptists' homes in the Bible Belt."
ROC - (guffaws) "Lucy, sometimes, you are just too wicked."
LL - (laughs) "I told you, I want to procure world domination through subterfuge. So, is Gabrielle behind Xena on Argo again?"
ROC - "Yup."
LL - "I wish they'd change that. For once I'd like to see Xena's arms around Gabrielle on that horse. Wouldn't that be cute? It's already in all the fanfic anyway, you can't escape it."
ROC - (points) "Here! here! What about the opening scene? Xena wakes up and Gabrielle's arm is around her waist. She tries to get up but Gabrielle is passed out like a log. I think they're trying for a comedic scene here. Listen to this. Gabrielle snuggles up to Xena some more and then she murmurs----'Perdicus'?"
LL - "Perdicus?!?!"
ROC - "Yup! That loser. Again."
LL - "Oh, for fuck's sake! Hell, it was only a 7 minute marriage. Seven FUCKING minutes!!! And you only kissed Scott once, right?!"
ROC - "Uh, Luce, it was twice. Beware Greeks, remember?"
LL - "Yeah, yeah, whatever. I just think we should open the bloody ep. with Xena waking up Gabrielle with a long kiss and then begin the plot and go on with the rest of the story. Who watches the teaser anyway?"
Lucy starts singing "A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh...." Renee joins in "As time goes by."
ROC - "Hey, Luce, I just got a nefarious idea."
LL - (raises an eyebrow) "Nefarious? Why, Renee, I do believe I'm rubbing off on you."
That's day's shooting starts with Xena and Gabrielle in their shared bedroll. Gabrielle has an arm around Xena's waist as Xena opens her eyes. Gabrielle snuggles against Xena more tightly and murmurs "Perdicus".
Xena lowers her voice to sound more masculine, "Yes, Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle moans, "Oh Perdicus!" as Xena takes her in her arms and kisses the sleeping woman until she awakens and kisses her back.
The kiss ends and Gabrielle opens her eyes and says dreamily, "Good morning, Xena". Xena answers, "Good morning, sweetie."
T.J. SCOTT - "CUT!!! CUT!!! CUT!!! Very funny! Lucy, you know better than that! And Renee, what were you thinking? What will your fellow Texans think?"
ROC - (under her breath) - "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!"
T.J. SCOTT - "Okay, let's take it from the top! Aaaaannnnnd ACTION!!!"
Lucy and Renee repeat the scene and add the kiss to the end just like the first time.
T.J. - "CUT!!! Did you two read the script? There is no kiss!"
LL AND ROC - "There isn't?"
T.J. - "Can we just do the script as it is, okay?"
LL - "Okay."
ROC - "Sure."
T.J. - "Rolling, aaaaaannnnd ACTION!!!"
Lucy and Renee repeat the scene with the added kiss at the end, and they extend it for good measure.
T.J. (exasperated) - "CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT!!! Lucy, don't bust my balls here. You know I don't mind the subtext, didn't I encourage it with you and Hudson? Hell, I'd love to see two hot chicks get it on, but please, you know how Rob gets when we go over budget."
LL - "Actually, I really wouldn't know. And how exactly are we going over budget?"
T.J. - "Come on, Lucy, you know they can't use that. Please, can we just do the scene the way the script is, please?"
LL - (stifing a smirk) "Well, it wasn't my idea."
T.J. - "Renee, don't get Lucy all riled up."
ROC - "Who, me? Rile?! (imitates a Texas drawl) I'm just a little 'ole grrl from the backwoods o'Texas tryin' to earn a livin' in this here for'gn country." (back to her normal voice) "Besides, I wasn't even there when Lucy was going to that lesbo bar and parties and stuff!"
LL - "And can those grrls part-y!!!"
LL and ROC exchange high fives.
T.J. - "Can we get back to work now?"
LL - "T.J. Didn't you think my voice was masculine enough?"
T.J. - "Lucy, please. Listen, I think you're a great actress. Just superb. Emmy. The Debt. You know I love you. But please, can we just do the scene like it was written? Please?"
LL - "Nope. You send someone over to Rob's office and get him over here with alacrity. I'm sure he'll agree with me."
T.J. - "Lucy, you know Rob's in L.A. He won't be back for a couple weeks."
LL - "He is? Daisy said she saw him just this morning."
T.J. - "She did. Zoom. Flight. Out. This morning."
LL (shrugs) - "Who knew?"
T. J. - "Can we get back to work now?"
LL - "We're still not changing that scene until I speak to Rob, right Ren?"
ROC - "Ahhhhh, yeah, ummmm, sure, Luce."
T. J. thinks to himself, geez, I hope Rob Field can fix up this mess.
Lucy and Renee are in Lucy's trailer to watch the latest episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. They especially want to see what TPTB did for the beginning of the ep. as they did not re-shoot the opening scene. Tapert was still in L.A. when the ep. was due for post-production and the scene was shipped to L.A. as is.
Xena wakes up in the bedroll she shares with Gabrielle. The bard has an arm firmly around Xena's waist and Gabrielle snuggles against Xena more tightly and murmurs "Perdicus".
Instead of a lower masculine sounding Lucy voice, a Melinda Pappas-like voice of Lucy, southern accent and all, is heard saying, "Yes, Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle moans, "Oh Perdicus!" A shot of Perdicus on his knees saying "Will you marry me?" interjects over the original shot where Xena took Gabrielle into her arms and kissed her. When the scene returns to Xena and Gabrielle, the bard is awake and says, "Good morning, Xena". Xena answers, "Good morning, sweetie." but instead of the word "sweetie" as Lucy originally said it, "sweetie" is overdubbed with "best friend".
Both LL and ROC groan. "BEST FRIEND?!"
LL - "You know what, Ren? I have a sagacious plan."
ROC - "I'm listening, we gotta do something."
LL - "Let's kiss in every scene!"
ROC - "Sounds like a plan!"
LL AND ROC SING - "A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh....As time goes by."
Return to The Bard's Corner