Lucy Lawless Interview On 'Spartacus,' Nudity, Her Merkin, Xena
Lucy Lawless played the almighty Xena, in what was an international success as a fantasy television series Xena: Warrior Princess. Now, Lawless is having fun in and out of her clothes on Starz' hit Spartacus.
Born in New Zealand, Lawless first became interetsed in acting when she starred in a grade school musical at the age of ten. She initially had wanted to become a singer as well, even studying opera. Lawless made her first television appearance in the New Zealand television series Funny Business. In 1994, she appeared as an Amazon woman in Hercules and the Amazon Women, a role which would eventually turn into her character Xena.
These days, Lawless is getting fit for her role in Spartacus. “My character is not supposed to be ripped," she told Uinterview exclusively. "It’s ancient Rome. It’s not like they were popping off to the gym every two seconds. I must admit, I have beefed up my exercise routine in the interim.”
- Q: Have you had a chance to talk to your Spartacus co-star Andy Whitfield since he was diagnosed with cancer? - Erik Meers
- A: Yes, he is going strong. He's a bit bored and he's doing a bit of photography work. I think it's going really well. He's doing better than he was last month. You know once the treatment is all under his belt, and he'll be raring to go in September when we start shooting again.
- Q: What has been your favorite scene to work on in the show so far? - Erik Meers
- A: I always like the scenes with women because they're so dangerous. What people say and what people mean are completely different things. They're keeping these very polite smiles on their face, but really they're just stabbing you in the back. Don't turn your backs in Ancient Rome.
- Q: Your husband is one of the creators of the show. What does he think about all the nude scenes that you're in? - Erik Meers
- A: It's nice to see him at work. I don't know, you'd have to ask him.
- Q: You have a merkin [a pubic wig] for the show. Have you gotten to use it? - Erik Meers
- A: I think everyone's got [a merkin] just for fun. Mine, I haven't had to break it out yet. Though [laughs] next season, maybe! Yeah, wait for it!
- Q: They gave the men prosthetics as well. Who's using one? - Erik Meers
- A: I don't know, a couple are stapled to the wall. I'm not sure if they've used them yet. Nobody's telling!
- Q: In preparation for all these scenes where you get to expose yourself, have you felt the need to go back to the gym and get into fighting shape for the show? - Erik Meers
- A: My character is not supposed to be ripped. She's a woman. It's Ancient Rome. It's not like they were popping off to the gym every two seconds, but they were very image conscious, that's for sure. I must admit that I have beefed up my exercise routine in the interim. Since I finished the show, I'm doing a lot more squats and even running now.
- Q: The show has brought movie-like production values to TV. What's the feedback you've gotten from the network? - Erik Meers
- A: They were supportive right from the start. They really had the conviction that we had made a show that was very brave. And you've got to be, to get attention these days to penetrate the market, you've got to be pretty outrageous and prepared to go there. I think they pushed us to go there until we found the boundary of what the show wanted to be and then we sort of pulled back and went, 'Oh yeah, okay, we don't need to go past that point...' The show really found it's place.
- Q: Do you still have a very big following from your Xena days? - Erik Meers
- A: Oh, yeah, they're amazing. I couldn't be luckier. They're the most incredibly loyal fans, they're incredible supportive even though I go off on wild tangents. They understand the difference between Xena and Lucy and they love me anyway. I'm very grateful for the bold support they've given me. It's a great stage to jump off from.
- Q: Would you ever consider going back and doing a follow-up to Xena? - Erik Meers
- A: Well, I would, but apart from me and Rob, there doesn't seem to be anyone else interested in doing that. And Renee, I think Renee [O'Connor] would be into it.
- Q: What are you doing in your time off before you go back to working on Spartacus? - Erik Meers
- A: Well, I'm doing sailing lessons today with my kid's school because we live in Auckland, New Zealand, the "city of sails." And I'm having a good life. At some point, I need to get back to work and I'm on the look out for a project to keep me busy in the interim.
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