Lucy Lawless

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour plus Archive interview, Lucy Lawless discusses her experience in drama school and her early roles as a guest star on New Zealand television. She talks of hosting the series Air New Zealand Holiday, recounts being cast in an early role on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and shares how she was later cast as "Xena" on the same show. She recalls her transition from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys to her own series, Xena: Warrior Princess, and details the ways in which the character changed for the spin-off. Lawless speaks at length about "Xena", her effect on popular culture, and her status as a feminist icon. She speaks of her stint as the Cylon "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica, and touches on her guest roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The L Word, and Saturday Night Live. She recalls being cast as "Lucretia" on Spartacus, and describes the difficulties the series encountered due to the untimely death of lead actor Andy Whitfield. Finally, she outlines her role on Parks and Recreation, speaks of career highs, and offers her philosophy of acting. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on August 21, 2013 in North Hollywood, California.

"There were lots of letters from people who wanted me to be 'Xena.' If people choose to make the character you played into a hero of theirs, they can do that. They'll say, 'you gave me courage to help me get out of an abusive relationship,' or 'it helped me come out to my parents,' or 'it helped me get off drugs and become a teacher.' I say, 'well, you did that. I can't take any credit for it. Congratulations to you.'" 

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Lucy Lawless on the special effects and stunts on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on working with Kevin Sorbo as "Hercules" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Lucy Lawless on her character of "Lucretia" on Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on playing the Cylon "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica
Lucy Lawless on hosting Saturday Night Live
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on television she watched as a child
On appearing on the sketch comedy show Funny Business; on going to drama school; on various guest-starring roles on New Zealand television
On appearing in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  made-for-television movie; on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; on the popularity of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
On the spin-off of "Xena" into her own series, Xena: Warrior Princess; on the character of "Xena" on Xena: Warrior Princess; on the costumes and stunts on the show

Chapter 2

On the world of Xena: Warrior Princess; on "Xena's" relationship with "Gabrielle" on Xena: Warrior Princess; on her co-stars on the show
On the atmosphere on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess; on the production process of Xena: Warrior Princess; on censorship of the show
On fan reaction to Xena: Warrior Princess; on dealing with her fame and being a feminist icon; on the different genres included in Xena: Warrior Princess and her favorite episodes of the show; on the end and legacy of Xena: Warrior Princess
On hosting Saturday Night Live; on various guest starring roles; on playing the Cylon "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica 

Chapter 3

On the end of her character on Battlestar Galactia; on appearing on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Celebrity Duets  and The L Word; on guest-starring on Flight of the Concords
On being cast on Spartacus; on her Spartacus  character "Lucretia"; on Andy Whitfield as "Spartacus" and his illness
On Liam McIntyre taking over the role of "Spartacus" on Spartacus; on her Spartacus co-stars; on her character "Lucretia's" backstory on Spartacus  
On the costumes and wigs of Spartacus; on her favorite moments of Spartacus; on the end of her character "Lucretia"
On her fans; on appearing on No Ordinary Family and Parks and Recreation; on then-current projects

Chapter 4

On how celebrity has affected her; on her involvement with Green Peace; on what she likes about acting and her approach to acting
On how television has changed for actors since she started; on advice to an aspiring actor; on her achievements and regrets and where she sees herself in the future
Shows

Battlestar Galactica (2004-09)

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Lucy Lawless on joining the cast of Battlestar Galactica
Lucy Lawless on playing the Cylon "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica
Lucy Lawless on the character of "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica
Lucy Lawless on her Battlestar Galactica co-workers
Lucy Lawless on leaving Battlestar Galactica and the legacy of the show

Curb Your Enthusiasm

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Lucy Lawless on guest-starring on Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

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Lucy Lawless on co-starring in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  made-for-television movie
Lucy Lawless on appearing in the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  series in an earlier role
Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 
Lucy Lawless on working with Kevin Sorbo as "Hercules" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

Parks and Recreation

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Lucy Lawless on playing "Diane" on Parks and Recreation

Saturday Night Live

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Lucy Lawless on hosting Saturday Night Live

Spartacus

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Lucy Lawless on being cast on Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on her character of "Lucretia" on Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on the action scenes and censorship of Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on Andy Whitfield as "Spartacus" on Spartacus  and his illness
Lucy Lawless on Liam McIntyre taking over the role of Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on her Spartacus  co-stars
Lucy Lawless on the atmosphere on the set of Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on her character "Lucretia's" backstory on Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on the wigs and costumes of Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on the end of her character "Lucretia" on Spartacus

Tarzan

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Lucy Lawless on guest-starring on Tarzan

Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The

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Lucy Lawless on being injured on the set of The Tonight Show

X-Files, The

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Lucy Lawless on guest-starring on The X-Files

Xena: Warrior Princess

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Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 
Lucy Lawless on the popularity of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Lucy Lawless on Xena: Warrior Princess spinning off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Lucy Lawless on her first day on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the character of "Xena" on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on "Xena's" wardrobe on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on "Xena's" accent on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the special effects and stunts on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on "Xena's" world on Xena: Warrior Princess  and the lesbian overtones of the show
Lucy Lawless on "Xena's" relationship with "Gabrielle" on Xena: Warrior Princess 
Lucy Lawless on her Xena: Warrior Princess co-stars
Lucy Lawless on the atmosphere on the set of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the production process for Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on censorship of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the merchandising of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on fan reaction to Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess and being a feminist icon
Lucy Lawless on the slapstick comedy in Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on working with Bruce Campbell on Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on Xena: Warrior Princess switching back and forth between genres
Lucy Lawless on her favorite episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on classic episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess 
Lucy Lawless on her least favorite episode of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on animated shows
Lucy Lawless on the end of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the possibility of a re-imagining of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the legacy of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on being typecast as "Xena"
Topics

Advice

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Lucy Lawless on her advice to an aspiring actor

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Lucy Lawless on censorship of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on the action scenes and censorship of Spartacus

Characters & Catchphrases

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Lucy Lawless on the character of "Xena" on Xena: Warrior Princess

Diversity in Television

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Lucy Lawless on Xena's world on Xena: Warrior Princess  and the lesbian overtones of the show
Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess  and being a feminist icon
Lucy Lawless on how television has changed for women and in general since she started acting

Fame & Celebrity

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Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess  and being a feminist icon
Lucy Lawless on how celebrity has affected her

First Big Break

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Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

Historic Events and Social Change

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Lucy Lawless on Xena's world on Xena: Warrior Princess  and the lesbian overtones of the show
Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess  and being a feminist icon
Lucy Lawless on how television has changed for women and in general since she started acting

LGBTQ

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Lucy Lawless on Xena's world on Xena: Warrior Princess  and the lesbian overtones of the show
Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess  and being a feminist icon

Pivotal Career Moments

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Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

Pop Culture

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Lucy Lawless on the character of "Xena" on Xena: Warrior Princess

Television Industry

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Lucy Lawless on censorship of Xena: Warrior Princess
Lucy Lawless on dealing with her fame from Xena: Warrior Princess  and being a feminist icon
Lucy Lawless on the action scenes and censorship of Spartacus
Lucy Lawless on her advice to an aspiring actor
Lucy Lawless on how celebrity has affected her

Women

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Lucy Lawless on how television has changed for women and in general since she started acting
Professions

Actress

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Lucy Lawless on what she likes about acting and her approach to acting
Lucy Lawless on her advice to an aspiring actor

Performers

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Lucy Lawless on what she likes about acting and her approach to acting
Lucy Lawless on her advice to an aspiring actor
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

View Genre
Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Xena Warrior Princess  (Part 1)
Lucy Lawless on playing "Xena" on Xena: Warrior Princess  (Part 2)
Lucy Lawless on playing "Lucretia" on Spartacus

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

View Genre
Lucy Lawless on playing the Cylon "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica  (Part 1)
Lucy Lawless on playing "D'Anna Biers" on Battlestar Galactica  (Part 2) 
People

Ted Danson

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Lucy Lawless on guest-starring on Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Larry David

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Lucy Lawless on guest-starring on Curb Your Enthusiasm 

Jean Stapleton

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Lucy Lawless on appearing on Ray Bradbury Theater with Jean Stapleton 

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