7 November 1998
Translated from the French
Many many thanks to Rose from Canada for transcribing this article
( An exclusive interview by NOEMIA YOUNG )
( FOR 7 JOURS INTERNATIONAL DATED 7 NOVEMBER 1998)
"I FEEL READY FOR A LONG AND PASSIONATE MARRIAGE"
Lucy divorced Garth Lawless, the father of her daughther Daisy, in 1995.She remarried with Robert Tapert, 43 years old, who is the delegated producer of Hercules and of Xena. The 30 year old actress admits that her love for her new husband sometimes complicates her work experiences with him.
Lucy explains how she has overcome the difficulties imposed on her by the Xena episodes that were made last winter. This actress for whom spirituality is important shares with us her experiences and her hopes.
LUCY, YOU MARRIED ROBERT TAPERT THE PRODUCER OF THE XENA SERIES. CAN YOU SPEAK TO US ABOUT WHAT YOU FELT THAT DAY ?
The day of my wedding was the most beautiful day of my life. It was magnificient. Rob and I have been raised in the irish catholic religion and we have chosen the the way of traditionnal marriage. For us it was the most significant way to emphasize our commitement towards each other.I feel ready to live a long and passionate marriage. It is our intention to be together for the rest of our lives.
HAS IT BEEN HARD TO WORK WITH YOUR SPOUSE SINCE YOU GOT MARRIED ?
I found it a lot easier to work with him when I first fell in love with him. Now that I am even more in love with him , it has become more difficult. Last winter, the filming was physically trying. It was cold and humid and, because of that I started to be down in the dumps: I had this feeling of disgust, anxiety, even horror, and that started to invade all aspects of my life. I could not bring myself to talk obout this problem on the site, and the fact that the deligated producer of the show is my husband made the situation worse. But after having sensed that it was the cold that I found unbearable, and not my work, I managed to sort everything out and look for solutions. I changed my attitude and now I am a lot happier.
HAS YOUR MARRIAGE CHANGED THE WAY YOU HAVE IMAGINED YOUR CAREER ?
Yes. I turned 30 years old the day that I married Rob. Presently I am at a crossroad. You know, I have all that a woman can desire: I have found the man of my dreams, I have a daughter in good health and happy, I have the role that I desired, I know glory, I earn a good living, I have nice clothes; however all of that does not fulfill me. I am I not infinitly happy? I imagine that is my destiny.Since my wedding, I am on a spiritual quest. During one of the more sombre moments of my existence,I bought cassettes of a known guru, and I can assure you that he has changed my life.
WHAT RESULTS HAVE YOU NOTICED AFTER HAVING TAKEN THAT STEP?
I feel a lot less stress than before when I have to fulfill my professional obligations. I put things in perspective. For example, if I do not have the shoes that it takes to participate on the Jay Leno show, I do not worry about it anymore. What is essential is that I be with people that I love. I am waiting for a sign that will indicate to me what meaning I must give to my life, but right now my existance is satisfactory.
HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR NEW HUSBAND'S NAME?
No. I continue using the family name of my daughter Daisy's father, because I do not want her to feel abandonned .
WILL YOU LEAVE AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND) AND GO LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES?
I can not answer that question at this moment. In fact I am very happy that I do not have to decide that yet.I can neither leave Daisy nor distance her from her father, who is a wonderfull man.That will be, without doubt,the great lesson that I must understand of my existence: chose between glory and a family life. When I am old, I would never forgive myself for not having taken that last choice, because I would find myself alone, and nobody can suffer that.
NOW THAT YOU ARE MARRIED TO AN AMERICAN,IS THAT CHOICE MORE DIFFICULT?
Yes, I am torn. I had to leave New Zealand for this interview(which was done in Los Angeles) but I returned a day earlier than planned because I could not stand being separated from my husband any longer. Useless to say that he was suprised and happy to see me. Since my daughter needs me Rob comes to join me more and more in New Zealand. Him and I are together 9 months a year. Besides that, we speak to each other two or three times each day.For the moment it works well, but we know that we will have to find another way to do that.
WHAT ATTITUDE HAD YOU ADOPTED TOWARDS YOUR DAUGHTER dAISY, DURING THE TUMULTUOUS PERIOD WHERE SHE GOT TO KNOW HER STEPFATHER?
But that period was not tumultuous at al! On the contrairy it did her a lot of good.Besides,I do not impose on her my beliefs or my theories. It is discouraging to have a mother that always gives lessons in morality. I prefee preaching by example, very simply. The best gift that I can give her, is to show her that I am a happy mother. I want daisy to understand that life is good and generous and that most people are kind.
A FEW YEARS AGO, WHEN YOU WERE VISITING LOS ANGELES, YOU FRACTURED YOU PELVIS. ARE YOU COMPLETLY RECOVERED?
Yes, and it did not take me a lot of time to recover, because I was determined to heal quickly. 8 days after the accident, I could get up. But I had to use a wheelchair for a certain period, which was very disagreable. It is not a very fashionable accesssory.
YOUR SHOW IS VERY DEMANDING PHYSICALLY . DO YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFULL SO AS TO NOT GET INJURED?
Yes, because I am a very intense worker. The filming crew has to assure itself that I do not risk breaking my neck,specialy when I get on a horse when the ground is wet. I try to be prudent, because a lot of people count on my presence to pay their mortgage. I feel responsible because I too have a mortgage to pay. (laughter)
WERE YOU TALL WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?
Yes, I was already tall at school, but that never represented a problem for me. I sometimes admired the beautifull small children, charming and delicate,but I did not want to look like them. Today I am 5 feet 10 inches.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE AN ATHLETE? AND DO YOU FOLLOW A STRICT DIET?
Yes , I once thought that I was an athlete, but I unfortunately was the only one to think that! (laughter) Since my work is not enough to keep me in form, I follow a diet and I run every morning at 5 am; like that I keep warm during the filming, which is sometimes difficult to endure because of the cold and the humidity.
HAVE YOU TAKEN ANY COURSES IN MARTIAL ARTS ?
You know, the stunts that I do in the battle scenes that we see in Xena resemble more a dance than a fight. But I followed, during a few weeks, the teachings of a martial arts trainer in Los Angeles. I learnt from my mistakes: after having received short and precise blows- I once had a black eye, a tooth scraped and many ligaments stretched- I refined my attention and developped my reflexes. Now, they are faster,
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE TO YOUR DAUGHTER?
I tell her how magnificient it is to be tall.I encourage her to always accept her physique. I try also to never give a negative image of myself, no matter what my feelings are. I also avoid disparaging others. It would not be a good example for her.
HAS THE SHOW XENA HELPED YOU TO VANQUISH YOUR PERSONNAL DEMONS?
The discipline that it imposed on me has helped me a lot. Xena is very evolved, she is authentic; today she is a part of me. I hope evidently to play a lot of other roles. I also would like to be producing when I get to 40 - 50 years old.