Many thanks to snugglegrrl for the transcript

Chicago Tribune

23 June 2001

No pain is Lawless' gain

For six seasons, `Xena' star agonized over the endless stream of battle

By Allan Johnson
Tribune television writer
June 23, 2001

Now that "Xena: Warrior Princess" has signed off for the final time
after six seasons, Lucy Lawless can make a startling revelation about a
long-standing element of the series.

It's not about the relationship between the battle-screeching,
furious-fighting female of ancient Greece and her plucky sidekick
Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor), although more hints of their bond are
revealed in the rousing two-hour series finale at 7 p.m. Saturday on
WGN-Ch. 9.

The real disclosure is the star of "Xena" was never as keen on her
fighting sequences as one might think -- far from it, in fact.

"To the very last day of `Xena' I never liked the fights . . . it's
totally unnatural to me," Lawless admits with a laugh. "I would just
bite my tongue and get on with it. Because I knew that as soon as I got
started, the sooner the pain would be over."

Lawless, 33, has been pain-free for about three months. The New
Zealand-born actress has been taking it easy, enjoying her 12- and 1
1/2-year-old daughters, and taking a refresher class in German.

"I need to do some things outside of the industry," she says, "and get
a bit of spontaneity in my life and be with my family."

Lawless plans to take a year off before going back to work. When she
does return, she might find herself hitting stunt people less, and
making co-stars laugh more, thanks to interest from some sitcoms that
have inquired about her services.

"There's a lot of humor in `Xena,' and I guess they saw me on `Saturday
Night Live,' or they saw me on `Just Shoot Me,'" she says. "It's

Viewers around the world have seen Lawless on "Xena," an international
hit that goes out in grand style, with the two warrior women traveling
to China to right a wrong Xena caused when she was a barbaric killing
machine years earlier.

The episode contains scenes that shed light on exactly how they feel
about each other. Although their supposed physical attraction is a
popular topic of conversation. Lawless says it's not because of any
underlying messages she and O'Connor have given out.

"Renee and I always played the show totally straight. That's probably
why we got away with it," Lawless says. "That seemed to have the effect
of letting people read into it whatever they wanted."

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