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EG Magazine
New Zealand Herald - TV Guide supplement

7 December 2000

Many thanks to Tracey from Kiwi Attic for the transcript and the scans
You can order the magazine from Kiwi Attic at

Xena's last fight

07.12.2000 By LOUISA CLEAVE

egmaglucy.jpg (17180 bytes)Lucy Lawless has been swamped with offers from major American television studios — but says she will not commit herself to another Xena-length contract.

But don’t be surprised if you see her pop up in a major sitcom or drama, following in the footsteps of stars who have made guest appearances on shows like Friends (Bruce Willis, Elle Macpherson) or Ally McBeal (Robert Downey jun).

Lawless is more than half way through filming the sixth and final series of the fantasy-adventure show which made her a star in the United States and around the world. Just days after the show was officially cancelled Lawless was “flooded with the most unbelievable offers” from major television companies such as NBC, Fox and Warner Bros.

“They were all tremendously good to me and some of them said anything you want to shoot we want to shoot with you,” she says. “It was pretty amazing, but I cannot imagine giving my heart to any other character for another six years,” she

Lawless says she has been talking to her manager about guest appearances, a popular Hollywood tactic to boost the profile of long-running shows.

“I told all those people who initially approached me that I’m not ready to sign up for a long term commitment,”says Lawless.

But we might see her pop up on Fox Television’s Ally McBeal?

“Yeah, right,” she laughs, then adds: “There is a lot of television that’s worth doing these days. If you see Robert Downey jun popping up on shows like Ally McBeal, and if he can do it, genius that he is, then I’m certainly not too
good for it.”

After six years of donning the warrior princess’ trademark leather skirt and breastplate, Lawless is looking forward to a break at the end of March.

She is happy to spend some time recuperating with her family knowing, as she puts it, “you’re invited to the party. I’m going to be so exhausted, and I’m so loving my kids at the moment. This is just a time in my life where I should not be giving my attention away to other things. It’s time to put some energy into my family and community.”

Lawless, married to American producer Rob Tapert, says at this stage she is not considering moving to Los Angeles full time to take advantage of job opportunities.

“New Zealand will always be our primary home and you can go away for short bursts. Rob and I are not keen to raise our children in LA [but] that might be where he has to work.”

Lawless says she is looking forward to the possibility of having another two children.
Six years on the show has “whizzed by” and Lawless is expecting an emotional exit when it comes to shooting Xena’s last fight.

“Everybody who has worked on it wants to be there for the last episode and I know that people will be coming out of the woodwork for the last scene. There’s going to be people who worked on it four years ago turn up. And all the girls from the workroom who never get to come on set, I know they’re going to be there.

“It’s an enormous family and we’ve been through some difficult times together, and some great times. There have been marriages and births and divorces — far more marriages and births than divorces. I’m overwhelmed with what an awesome experience it’s been.”

The last series, largely filmed through the Auckland winter, has not been any less physically demanding than previous years.

An episode called The Abyss called for Lawless to spend the majority of the episode in swimming pools with outboard motors simulating rapids, and inside a water-filled cave.

“There was lots of drowning action and that’s really hard yakka,” says Lawless, sounding happy to have turned up for work on this particular day but turned away because she was not needed for filming.

[MaryD - Hard yakka means hard work is aussie/kiwi speak]

“Apparently they train Navy SEALS to be cold and wet because that’s the most demoralising conditions the human body can find itself in, I totally relate to that!”
Lawless says she is yet to find out how Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor) will make their exit.

She does not have any preference on storylines except that the final stays true to the spirit of the show.

“I certainly want the series to go out on a high note and I guess I would want Xena and Gabrielle to go out on a glorious note, but I don’t know what that would be.
“The friendship endures and that is what the show is about, the triumph of good over evil and friendship. The triumph of the human spirit.”

Xena: The Warrior Princess
Tuesday, TV4, 8:30 pm

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