Lucy Lawless - SFX Magazine October 1998 The Kick Inside

SFX Magazine
(UK Magazine)

October 1998


It's a case of from here to maternity, according to the recently married Warrior Princess alias actress Lucy Lawless. "I'll play Xena pregnant!" she tells Eric Blackmore

The past year has been a wild ride for Lucy Lawless, the five-foot, ten inch dark beauty who stars as the impossibly athletic Xena: Warrior Princess. Last Autumn she starred as Rizzo in the musical "Grease" on Broadway - a particularly impressive feat considering she was still recovering from shattering her pelvis in a dozen places during a horse-riding accident only a few months before, while shooting a sketch for The tonight show with Jay Leno.

Earlier this year, on Saturday 28 March - the day before her 30th birthday - she married Rob Tapert 43, one of Xena's executive producers. The ceremony was held at St. Monica's Catholic church in
Santa Monica in front of 300 guests flown in from such diverse places as Detroit, Michigan and Auckland, New Zealand.

Daisy, her ten year old daughter by her first marriage, was in attendance and accompanied the newlyweds on thier honeymoon at a lush resort in Mexico and a brief visit to Northern California's tranquil wine country in Napa Valley.

After knocking off 22 episodes of America's favourite one-hour syndicated show, Lawless is currently taking a few months off, pottering around her new home on the outskirts of Auckland and enjoying the fruits of her hard physical labour.But new hubby Tapert is still out and about. "He's in the US now" explains Lawless "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 the national budget of an emerging country, but it's worth it."

An there are no plans for a change in lifestyle to fit in with their marital status? "No, Rob's life is full beyond his imagination, writing and strategizing on how to best handle the production company" admits Lawless. "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 to always be there for him, as he is for me. We're totally supportive of each other's mental and physical health and whatever other stresses come with our jobs.We get peace of mind as partners."

But now she's a married woman, Lawless is seriously considering about hanging up Xena's trade-mark leather basque, admitting she'll only continue for, "a couple more years. But I do want to work, doing two movies a year and spending the other 6 months with my kids. I want to have more kids. Three sounds like a really good number to me, but I don't know if that's three more or two more. Let's see what life allows. I want everything - a loving family and a succesful, 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."

But wouldn't getting pregnant mean quitting the very physical demands of a show like Xena?

" I don't know .... We'll roll with the punches" she laughs "In perfect health, its concievable that we'd hide the pregnancy by filming Xena standing behind a bush, peeking around the trunk of a tree or standing in water up to her neck. It has been done before with actresses hiding behind refrigerator doors or big planters"

Why not make things easier and actually incorporate the pregnancy into the plot - make Xena herself pregnant, for instance?

"Its never been discussed. But just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it's impossible. I rather fancy Xena wheeling a little baby carriage across the savanna. I think it would give people something to talk about."

Much has been made in the US of the lesbian overtonesd in the realationship between Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle (Renee O'Conner), and its's a game Lawless is happy to play along with.
" I'm not tired of it; I just don't think about it anymore. I'm very thankful to the NewYork lesbian community because they were the first ones to latch on to the show ion a cultish way and make it hip. I'm totally comfortable with that. To me it's like saying Xena has grey eyes instead of Blue. Big deal! I'm sure most gay people don't think about being gay all day long. We could make a big deal out of it and say 'Oh gosh, she's not (a lesbian)" or ' Yes, she is" and then alienate a part of our audience. Why on earth would any show want to do that? We don't have a mind to and it isn't an insult to us. That's a very '90's way of looking at the world, isn't it? It just doesn't hurt us or make a difference one way or another."

Despite her wish to break into the movies, Lawless isn't making ridiculous sacrifices for the sake of her career. "I don't go back and forth to LA 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 recently cancelled a week long trip to the states to discuss some film projects and do a couple of chat shows because I knew I'd come back home in a worse physical condition. To avoid a complete physical collapse, I stayed home."

But she has a warning for any Xena fans who have beben drooling over apparently "naked photos of her on the Net. " they're not real, unless somebody's looked into my bedroom. I wouldn't even bother logging on to find out that sort of thing. It's garbage. They just doctored them. There are no nude photos of Lucy Lawless."