Yahoo News

31 July 2001

Lucy's Latest Project "X"

Add another "X" to Lucy Lawless's résumé.

The former sword-swinging star of Xena: Warrior Princess has signed on for a guest stint on The X-Files, Fox announced today. Lawless will appear in the first two episodes of the sci-fi series' ninth season--which debuts Sunday, November 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT--but producers are remaining mum about her role.

Executive producer Frank Spotnitz would only provide a teaser. "We think we've found an interesting and unexpected way to have her join The X-Files family," he said in a statement.

A Fox spokeswoman says the New Zealand-born actress is signed for two episodes, with the possibility for more. Aside from the dearly departed David Duchovny, Chris Carter's conspiratorial series is returning this fall with the rest of its regulars, for what may or may not be (depending on who you ask) its final season. Gillian Anderson has hinted that next season may be Agent Scully's last, but her manager later insisted that nothing is set in stone.

As for Lawless, the 33-year-old actress had her own full-time TV gig up until last month, when her syndicated hit Xena went out in a bloody blaze of glory after six seasons. In a finale still being debated by irate fans, Lawless' femme-hero was shot with arrows and beheaded--instead of riding off into the sunset with galpal Gabrielle, as some had hoped.

Coincidentally, while Xena never shied away from its lesbian following, Lawless's guest role comes just as The X-Files deals with its own storyline raising questions about the sexual identity of Agent Monica Reyes, played by Annabeth Gish.

During the show's May season finale, Gish's character was seen cooing over an in-labor Agent Scully--leading some X-philes to wonder whether Agent Reyes was actually a lesbian. Internet message boards fueled speculation that her character may come out next season--but to those folks who think the erstwhile Xena would make a great girlfriend, producers said that probably won't happen.

"We talked about it," executive producer John Shiban told TV Guide last week, regarding the exploration of Agent Reyes' sexual orientation. "But we [ultimately decided] that it's the kind of baggage we didn't want to deal with with this kind of character right now. We had other ideas that we were more excited about.

"I can see where they got the idea," Shiban added, "but our intention was that it is non-sexual."

However, he cautioned, "On The X-Files, anything can happen. So I don't want to discount anything. Life is complicated."

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