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Just For Kicks
Xena Warrior Princess is a big hit on Sky 2. But don't take her
too seriously, says star Lucy Lawless

Sky TV Guide

October 1996

You know the usual scene? A simpering blonde cowering behind some strapping hunk while he valiantly fends off the baddies? Well, forget it! This is the Nineties and sisters are doing it for themselves. Leading the charge is the raven-haired, six-foot tall Kiwi, Lucy Lawless, otherwise known as Xena: Warrior Princess and currently wowing audiences on Sky 2. In her on-screen guise Lucy is a lean, mean fighting machine who, along with sharp-tongued sidekick Gabrielle, played by Renee O'Connor, puts the fear of God into any evil wrong-doers who dare cross her path.

Modern day heroine

A hard-hitting, high-kicking modern day heroine, Xena was such a success in her three-episode appearance on Sky l's
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys that she was immediately given the limelight in her own series. Not that Lawless, who's been described as looking rather like Demi Moore's more statuesque sister, was surprised at Xena's incredible impact. 'She is a woman who doesn't see herself as at all limited by her femininity,' she reasons, 'and I think people find that very appealing.'

Much the same can be said for Lawless herself, who once worked as a miner in the Australian out- back, digging, hauling and driving trucks with the best of them!

'I never believed in glass ceilings or in being handicapped because I'm a woman,' explains the onetime tomboy who modelled herself on her four older brothers. But she did have one problem when taking on the role of Xena. Given the nicknamed 'Unco' at school because she was so uncoordinated, Lawless' toughest challenge was mastering the control of the necessary arts skills.

'I've never thought of myself as a very physical person,' she insists, despite boasting a physique that would put most people to shame. 'I've had a lot of training, however, which helped a lot. But unlike Hercules star Kevin Sorbo, who is a sportsman from way back, it doesn't come naturally to me.'

Not anti-men

Try telling that to the snarling centaurs and wicked warlords she manages to dispatch this month with one kick of that
lengthy leg!

Indeed, in America Xena has been hailed as a feminist icon. But it's an accolade that doesn't rest too easily with Lawless. 'Xena is not anti-men and we're not male-bashing in any way,' she quickly and firmly points out. What Lawless would prefer is that the show be seen simply as good, entertaining fun. And bearing in mind her mighty karate chop, few would argue with that!

Xena: Warrior Princess fights evil on Sky 2, Sundays at 7pm.


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