29 March 2001
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GOODBYE TO THE WARRIOR PRINCESS
UPDATED: 06:34PM THURSDAY 29 MARCH
This is the week, New Zealand must lose its most successful make-believe heroine.
The final day of shooting for Xena, the warrior princess, is tomorrow.
For her fans .. who you might call Generation X .. the breast plates and leather will be packed away, the weapons laid down, and peace will reign in medieval American telly land.
The cries of battle will no longer be heard in the foothills of Waitakari,... It's no secret that Pacific Renaissance pictures is packing up and moving out. The secret is what's the final fate of the warrior princess.
"Can't say, you're going to have to watch...They didn't tell me - no kidding I only got the final pages last night... all a big mystery" says Lucy.
Lucy Lawless who came to world wide fame in 1996 with the screening of the first series of Xena.
Next week she'll just be be unemployed .. looking forward to a holiday... and after that, the unknown.
"There's a slight feeling of unease when you're on the edge of a huge change in your life and you don't know what's coming ... but mostly we're really proud to have been through so much together," she says.
Xena has run for 134 episodes, used 8 million feet of filmstock. pumped $400 million into the local economy. It's employed thousands of kiwis as actors, extras and crew.
At it's peak pacific rena was employing 700 people on Xena, Hercules and one other production. Today they're down to 250.
Kiwi director Garth Maxwell has directed 12 episodes of Xena, an experience he says can't be matched in terms of big budget and big action.
"Lucy had to behead a roman ... bombs, horses, speed manuliption...Biggest thing I think I've ever seen shot."
Xena screens in 115 countries and is a top rater in the US.
There's a hint of sadness at the end of an era - but there are some things Lucy won't miss...
"I think working in skimpy costumes through the winter... demoralizing...," says Lucy.
Every button, buckle and boot is being sorted and packed. Xean's costumes will be auctioned and the last shots of the final scenes in the final episode will roll onto film and into history tomorrow.
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