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        14 February 2012

KT's Con 2012 Report - Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor

Con 2012 Lucy and Renee Report
by KT

Click here for Main 2012 Xena Con Page | Photos

ImageOkay, a few corrections from my prior posts, with thanks to the folks who passed this info on to me: I said, “She said something about there being a picture of one little red shoe on the ground and she immediately said, “Oh, that’s too small!” (to be mine). Actually, she was looking out into the crowd and was saying that at the moment about the first shoe that was held up. Which was, cool enough, a little child sized version of the ruby slippers Dorothy in Oz wore. And which became one of the pairs of shoes donated to the homeless.

I said, “Someone asked something like even though Lucy is now a star herself, does she feel like she’s one when she meets other stars. (Something along that line.) Lucy said she’s still excited about meeting some stars. She said, “Neil Patrick Harris, Colin Firth”

A friend wrote that she remembered the question more as something like does she ever get fangirlish over any stars even though she is a star. And are there any stars that she wants to meet. She did mention Neil Patrick Harris and Colin Firth and then added that Neil was a friend of a friend and she still hasn't met him.

The same friend said that she thinks Lucy was talking about Madonna as being able to sniff out the heterosexual dude in a crowd. And then she informed me that Brittney’s bra brought in $6,000 for charity. Whoot!

Okay—Lucy and Renee:

A fan said, “We need to find a way to get Renee on the show” (Spartacus). (Not sure which “we” she was talking about--she didn’t seem to have someone with her at the mike. Perhaps she meant she, Lucy and Renee; or she, Lucy, Renee and the Xena fan base, or she and the whole wide world at large?)

I think neither Lucy nor Renee said anything for a moment or two and just kind of stood there looking at her. Then Lucy looked at Renee and said something like “You’d have to get your kit off”. (British empire slang for taking your clothes off.) Lucy brought up the merkin again and repeated a comment she made at a previous con--that she essentially wanted a merkin that would cover her from the waist to the knee, one that would make her look like Mr. Tumnus. (A faun character in the Narnia series).

I’m pretty sure that Renee never said anything in answer at all. Lucy then said something like you can’t take two (established?) characters from a previous show and put them into another one, because it throws the balance off for the new show and essentially would be putting a burden on it. (Note: I hadn’t written any of Lucy’s answer down. But as I read my note about Mr. Thumnus, for some strange reason I suddenly remembered Lucy talking about this. I think this is a pretty close approximation.)

A fan asked something like which non-Xena character did Lucy most enjoy playing on the show. People around me began to mumbleanswer with a laugh in their voice, “Meg”. And then Lucy said, “Meg”. (It suddenly strikes me that all the old-time con going fans should just scream out the answers along with the stars. Perhaps we could do synchronized gestures as we do too.) In interviews Lucy has said that Meg has been in her life for a long time and that Meg is very like her.

Then I have written down, “Last jokie episode that Michael Hurst directed”. And then Renee saying, “There was no resolution”. (Possibly yet another round of the ever popular question on what did Xena say at the end of “You Are There” when the camera “lost” the picture and sound? Or just another disgruntled fan suggestion for what would have been a better final ep?)

Then I have Lucy saying, “What? A drag queen show?” Lucy laughed and said, “Renee didn’t know people did that. I played a man on Xena—Renee’s ‘People do that?’” said by Luce in amazed tone of voice.

Lucy joked about how when she played a man in Many Happy Returns, she would go up in drag to the guys on the crew and flirt with them. They didn’t recognize her and got ticked off with the “guy”.

At one point, she was talking about something in answer to a question. And suddenly said, “I can’t remember what the question was. So I’m gonna say, ‘No’”.

A fan asked Lucy what her favorite thing about Xena was. “My favorite thing about Xena was her friend Gabrielle”. Huge whoops of delight from some folks in the audience. This is pretty much Lucy’s stock answer for that guestion—I’ve heard her say that at least three times already at cons.

(You know, with all the new people we’ve got, you’d think we’d get some new questions.)

A very young girl came up to the mike. I didn’t jot down what she asked, but Renee smiled at her and said to us, “I’ve been watching her grow up”. I think she asked the girl how old she was and she answered, “Thirteen. I’ve been coming to the con every year since I was 10.”

I think we’re back on “What’s your favorite episode” because I have written down in my notebook, “Renee—“Friend in Need” Lucy (who apparently is still somewhat shell-shocked from the horrified response of a number of fans to FIN) said with some surprise, “That’s your favorite?” Then Lucy says, “What sticks in my mind is the terrible ones. The dogs.” She didn’t share with us which ones these were, however.

I think that Renee also mentioned liking The Debt—which she had not mentioned before. The Debt is the one almost everyone else associated with the show always mentions as one of their favorites, one they’re most proud of and I had wondered in the past why Renee didn’t. And then thinking about it one day,I remembered that Gabrielle’s actions were not real commendable in that ep—and everything suddenly became clear to me. So while I think Renee mentioned the Debt, it’s possible I was hallucinating it.

I was visiting with a friend whom I only get to see at cons and so we both decided to spend time together and skip some of the events. One of the things we skipped was Katherine Fugate’s appearance. She wrote another one of her little plays and had brought along a clutch of people to perform it for us.

Another friend told me who all was in the play but the only name I recognized was Claudia Black. I was kind of sorry I missed seeing her because I love Farscape—there were so many strong female characters and really good storylines in that show. But it was good to visit with my friend. The other people in the play were apparently mostly on web shows online—I’d never heard of them nor their shows either.

The play ended with “Gabrielle”, (who—in a real stretch—was played by Renee), proposing to “Xena” who was played by Claudia Black. Which made perfect sense to me—I remember saying to my long-suffering honey years ago that the only other actress I’d ever seen who might have been almost as good as Xena as Lucy was, was—Claudia Black!

I don’t THINK it was announced that Renee would be in the play. If not, I’m sure that just like a couple of years ago when they had a “Bitch Slap” movie panel at the con and Michael Hurst and Renee made surprise guest appearances as their characters, there was probably a whole bunch of cell phones ripped out to call fans who were not there. And I’m just betting that within minutes, there was an avalanche of women racing into the hall

Not to spoil anything, but “Xena” accepts and then the grrls kiss each other.

Anyway, during Lucy and Renee’s appearance, a fan mentioned Katherine’s play and asked if they would perform the last bit. One of them said that they didn’t have the script. Sharon Delaney said that they had a copy in the back. There was a little discussion on it and it was decided that Katherine wouldn’t mind. Ever happy to oblige, they said okay, they would do the final scene for us.

Now Renee of course had been in the play, but Lucy hadn’t been. And this appeared to be an impromptu fan request so I don’t think Lucy had any idea what the play was about. They were getting near the end of their time on stage when someone brought up the play again. I think Lucy said something about having to run to the airport. A number of fans howled out that they HAD to do the play before they left. A disembodied hand suddenly thrust a handful of papers through the curtain behind them and Renee grabbed them and began to shuffle through them.

There seemed to be quite a few pages, but Renee finally got them organized and they started the reading.

Lucy heard the first few lines in which Gabrielle talked to Xena about her undying love for her and said, “Oh my god…”

The prose was a bit purple. Lucy began to laugh and ad lib – she was having a good time. I have written down a line—Renee was saying some of the lines and then held up the paper for Lucy to read. Lucy read, “And love like we do” and then she turned to the side, struck a pose and made a HUGE wink at the audience. It was hilarious. Renee continued reading lines of love and Lucy teased, “Not to put too fine a point on it”. Then Renee read, “I love you Xena”. Lucy acted stunned and then quickly said, “Shhhh! They can hear you!” The audience roared at this line—which was a perfect nod to “The love story is hidden within sub-text” mind set that many fans brought to their viewing of the show.

Renee read something like “Being with you—stops my breath”. Lucy said, “Oh, that ain’t healthy, Gabrielle”. (Surely an ad-lib—don’t ya think? Doesn’t sound like Fugate to me.) Somewhere in there Lucy also ad-libbed, “No PDA’s, no PDA’s! (Public Displays of Affection—a possible issue with any matched up couple, but suckily very relevant for same sex couples.)

And then the big line from Gabrielle—“Xena—will you marry me?”

Lucy gave a HUGE “YESSSSS” (She was also laughing so hard she could barely talk). At this point, they were up to the kiss. Now afterward, I was told by friends that Renee and Claudia had shared a little peck on the cheek and a hug at that point in the script. Lucy being the big goof that she is, grabbed Renee, turned her own back to the audience and then bent Renee backwards over her arm into a classic swoon kiss tableau. Renee enlivened it by kicking one foot up into the air either intentionally or perhaps she was just off-balance from having been literally swept off her feet. I doubt you could have heard a nuclear bomb go off, the fans in the room were screaming and cheering so loudly.

Due to the fact that Lucy had turned her back to us and that her hair had fallen down over her and Renee’s faces, there were MAJOR discussions afterwards—“I think they really kissed” “Who can tell?” “I KNOW in my heart they kissed”.

It was a quick dip. Lucy straightened up, dragging Renee back up on her feet with her. And then said something like, “You've been waiting years to see this”. Renee grinned hugely and said, “Fifteen years”.

And that was it. Their time was up. They began to wave and blow us kisses and Lucy yelled out how great we are. Renee also tried to get some words in. The applause was thunderous as usual and as usual accompanied by hooting, hollerin’, whooping and cheering and the sound of ancient knees cracking as everyone leapt to their feet. (A few of us leapt to our feet in old knee induced slow motion, but hey, once you’re on your feet, a leap is a leap.)

And that was it. The end of the last Xena con—at least until the 2013 con rolls around next January.




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