January 1999 Issue
Many many thanks to Casey for the transcript & scans below
Hot From Hollywood - Her athletic form leaves us awestruck. Yet Xena's Lucy Lawless plans to get fitter for a baby.
Interview article by Eric Blackmoor
The past year has been a wild ride for Lucy Lawless, the 1.77m dark-haired beauty who stars as the impossibly athletic title character in Xena:Warrior Princess. Last year, she starred as Rizzo in the musical Grease on Broadway - a particularly impressive feat considering she was still recovering from a shattered pelvis from a horse-riding accident that happened while she was shooting for an American late night show.
The day before her 30th birthday last March, she married Rob Tapert, 43, one of Xena's executive producers. More than 300 guests attended, including Daisy, her 10-year-old daughter from her first marriage, who also tagged along on the couple's exotic honeymoon in Mexico.
Currently Lawless is winding down, basking in her new home on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand, and enjoying the fruits of her hard labor.
Q: Given your schedules, how often do you see Rob these days?
A: It's not as bad as you think, though he is in America at the moment writing more horrific things for us to do on Xena. Rob's here (in New Zealand) at least nine months of the year. He'll go away for two weeks, then stay at home for five or six weeks. We talk at least once a day, so our monthly telephone bill is probably the size of a developing country's national budget!
Q: How often do you join your husband in Los Angeles?
A: I don't go back and forth much - especially while filming Xena, which is all done in New Zealand - because I tend to get tired in the middle of the season. I once cancelled a trip to the States to discuss some film projects and appear on several chat shows because I knew I would come home in poor physical condition. I stayed at home to avoid a complete collapse.
Q: Given that Rob also produces Hercules: The Legendary Journey and Young Hercules, are you thinking of ways to ease his workload in favor of more family time?
A: No, Rob's life is full beyond his imagination, writing and strategising on how to best handle the production company. I don't plan on taking him away from that. I want him to be happy and fulfilled, and do as much or as little as he wants. My aim is always to be there for him, as he is for me. We're totally supportive of each other.
Q: Do you see a time when you'll move from Auckland to Beverly Hills?
A: No, this is home - with lots of friends, my parents, and six brothers and sisters. New Zealand is a comfortable, fun place with a fantastic life-style. It's a country geared for living; America is designed for work.
Q: Speaking of home, there are reports that you threw your daughter out of a moving aeroplane from great heights - why did you do it?
A: Daisy needed some discipline (laughs). Actually, it wasn't my idea. Her dad (restaurant manager Garth Lawless) is a skydiver, and she's always wanted to go up with him. I think Daisy just wanted to prove her independence. I would lose my mother's license if I showed too much support, so I put up a little bit of fuss.
Q: Would you let Daisy skydive again?
A: (Sighs) She's 10, and she wants to do it again. I would try to stop it becoming a habit. The point is not to give it too much life of its own.
Q: How long do you plan to star in Xena: Warrior Princess?
A: A couple of years. But I do want to spend the other six months of the year with my kids. I want to have more kids - three sounds like a really good number to me, but I don't know if there's three more or two more! Let's see what life allows.
Q: With your career in high gear, is that possible?
A: I want everything - a loving family and a successful, long-lasting career. Now that I've reached this stage in my life, I have to develop a new attitude towards it all and start making things happen. Time is whizzing by.
Q: As the Xena character is so physically demanding, would you quit the show the moment you got pregnant?
A: I don't know, we'll roll with the punches (laughs). If I'm in perfect health, it's possible that we could hide the pregnancy by filming Xena standing behind a bush, peeking around a tree trunk or standing up to her neck in water. It's been done before - with actresses hiding behind refrigerator doors and big planters!
Q: In a politically correct world, is it right to show a pregnant superhero fighting bad guys?
A: Just because it hasn't happened yet in television history doesn't mean it's impossible. I rather fancy Xena wheeling a little baby pram across the savanna! I think it would give people something to talk about (laughs).
Q: What are you doing to stay in shape for an eventual pregnancy?
A: I have decided to change my life-style in some ways and have gotten really good about exercise again. I've been a bit slack about working out until recently, but it just hit me that in the next 10 years, whatever is hanging about my body when I'm 40 is never, ever going to go away. So I'd better do something about it now while I can.
Q: What do you want to do once Xena: Warrior Princess runs its course?
A: Keep on acting - because I'm not good at anything else! In fact, I don't think I'm really all that good, but I am competent at it. There have been times where I've gone, 'Oh my God, why am I doing this at all?' After some soul-searching, I believe this is what God wanted me to do. I think I have a gift in making people feel the emotions I put into my character on screen. I know that acting isn't exactly open-heart surgery or anything life-saving or critical in that sense, but it's a perfectly noble career.
There are 3 pics of Lucy in this article: 1. Rob and Lucy - Lucy is wearing a blue long-sleeved blouse Caption: Lucy Lawless, the Amazonian star of Xena: Warrior Princess, married one of the show's producers, Rob Tapert, in March last year.
2. Xena, holding up the chakram in her right hand
3. Lucy, in a black leotard sitting on a orange sofa chair. Caption: After kicking butt and turning mighty men to pulp in Xena: Warrior Princess, which is breaking ratings records in more than 60 countries, Lawless now plans to take a couple of months off to relax in her new home on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand, and to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
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