Canadian Global Television Network
Transcript by bjStranger (ROCanuck)
31 December 1996
This interview aired on December 31, 1996 at 2:30 p.m. on the Canadian Global Television Network show,
ENTERTAINMENT DESK, hosted by Elaine Loring. The interview was conducted by Bill Ralston on location in Auckland New Zealand. There are square bracket around words or phrases that the transcriber could not clearly make
Up next, move over Pamela Anderson Lee, there's a new face on the horizon [that's been causing] heatwaves all across the continent. The fabulous Xena the Warrior Princess, next! But first a look a this week's top box office draws.
<other Entertainment Desk stories>
It's the kind of series that could have gone either way -- disappear into oblivion or become a cult hit. Xena the Warrior Princess went the latter thanks to its star New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless. Bill Ralston met up with Lawless on location in Auckland; and he files this report.
<scene from CHARIOTS OF WAR - Xena back flippin' in hand to hand combat with a guy wearing a spike helmet on a black sand beach>
Now call me old fashioned, but there's something strangely simply alluring about lithe lubidinous lethally armed Amazons in skimpy gravity defying wonder bra'd leather corsettes.
<scene of on location shoot in progress - on a brown sand beach (same location as TEN LITTLE WARLORDS with rock promontory on right); shot of LL dressed as a queen wearing gold chain mail over her chest, gold and blue robe, gold headpiece with beads hanging down around her face. She lifts some gold booty in her hands and lets it trickle out. A handsome clean shaven close cropped dark haired man (George Clooney-like), wearing
soldier's armour (Ulysses?), comes up behind her. They hold hands and tenderly kiss. The two are surrounded by cameras and crew. The shot changes to shot of camera and director>
[On double line] millions of hormonally charged young Americans have also tuned in and turned on to Xena a surprise box office success beyond just cult appeal. It's turned Lucy Lawless into a serious star in the U.S.
<scene from [?] of Xena and a handsome clean shaven shoulder length fair haired man>
So what have we got to talk about?
Well, how about how you feel about the show.
<scene back at the beach on location - LL in the queen character costume she is seated with the ocean behind her, waves crashing; a light breeze catches the bangs of her hair and the sun slants across her face from the right; most of the shot is in closeup but you can see camera, equipment and crew wandering about in the background>
It is terrific and I fear it's about to end...<takes deep breath, about to continue>
[Do you mean], do you ever wake up and pinch yourself...or you are regularly?
I regularly pinch myself to make sure I don't take it for granted. You know, I know what it means to be out of work. Um, I know how hard everybody else here works and I don't want to let them down. You know, by [whinging], getting spoilt. You've got to just keep slapping yourself on the hand, you know. [Instead of saying], "Where's my Winnebego!" <laughs>
<scene from SINS OF THE PAST - Xena, dressed in her white shift, has just unburied her weapons and starts fighting with Draco's man>
With Xena the Warrior Princess, we're talking Robo-babe, an estrogen enriched [geno lano], with deep Pacific blue eyes legions of fans can drown in and a wardrobe that should carry a health warning for any red blooded male. <sound of transcriber gagging>
Your with Draco! <whoosh!> Tell him Xena says hello. <whap!>
<scene back at beach on location, LL and interviewer seated>
It's really for an older... ah, market. It's [ ], sexier, darker. Um, this character is slightly mean...well, has a dark past, it's that. And um, so it's that...
She's a goody though. She's a goody?
Oh she has to be a goody because anti-heroes don't sustain a series. But she's certainly got the devil on her shoulder, and uh; and so you watch it because you don't know which way she's going go, you know; <waggles her left forefinger back and forth> because all her natural instincts are to fight, not plea, not reason. And that's her battle every episode, is to overcome her natural instincts.
<scene from CHARIOTS OF WAR - the fellow with the spike helmet is shooting arrows at Xena; she's catching them, one! two!; but then another one catches her in the gut and she falls>
<scene from SINS OF THE PAST - Xena chakrams the cyclops pants down and
he topples over>
Ok, it ain't Hamlet, but there's a wry, [ ], [campy] sense of humour that lifts it well above the mundane.
<back to scene at beach on location, LL and interviewer seated>
<laughs> Terrifically funny! Yes! In the States they write about them being...ah, mirthless, you know; and I suppose it's because we have such fun shooting this show that it seems to me like the funniest [ever invented]. <giggling> And I get to do other things, you know. I get to play other characters and...um, doubles of myself--evil double, even more evil doubles, then I get to be a dopey ditzy princess, and I get to be the mad nymphomaniac tramp, and, you know the [be a buffoon] tramp. <big Lucy grin>
<scene from SINS OF THE PAST - Gabrielle and the Poteidaia girls are being rounded up; Xena, wearing shift, has just stepped out from her cover in the bushes; she's yet to recover her weapons>
You round up the girls! <girls screaming> Let me take care of this one!
Oh yeah, fat chance! Now you get the idea that Lucy, like Xena could turn autograph hunting into a blood sport.
<back to scene at beach on location, LL and interviewer seated>
I'm flattered, you know, that people look at me in supermarkets and things now but...
Pretty hard isn't it? With it going on tv here, you're going to find yourself a lot more [non]... Because you had this wonderful anonymity up to now, up to a point.
<a cloud passes across her face, her brows furrow, she sucks her lower lip in under her teeth>
Yeah, I'm trying not to, um, to get defensive about it; because I do find it really alarming when..., when confronted with it, particularly here. Um, but I'm, you know, I'm determined not to get cross, <laughs> <BG> I'm determined not to become reclusive. That's the natural reaction I think is, oh I'm not going there again, I don't need that.
You are a warrior princess though. They should be very careful trying to come up to you if you don't want them to!
<as she listens to the above a crooked, close mouthed smile forms on her face finally turning into a big Lucy <grin> Damn right! <laughs>
<scene at beach on location - LL in queen costume walking around amongst crew and equipment; shot of her standing still as a woman with extremely bright red hair smoothes down LL's hair; shot of LL having a hearty laugh with the crew>
Ah-ha! Well just remember all that the next time you run into Lucy at [Wooleys] where she still lives near her family in the quiet Auckland suburb she grew up in, commuting to the U.S. whenever the production company needs her there for promotion. And that can be a little too often for her liking. Despite things like the sheer, fantastic, gut wrenching glamour of it all.
<scene at beach on location, LL and interviewer seated>
Two percent glamour and ninety-eight percent hard work and good behaviour and the glamour comes when you go off to the States and you get to <laughs>, these fantastical conventions, and they buy you...they put you in wonderful, cost, not costumes, um, you know gowns and things, so there is a bit of that and it's got to sustain you! <laughs>
How awful for you, really! Do you get to keep the gear?
<listening to the above, LL throws back her head and heartally laughs>
Yes I do! But I've nowhere to wear it! I never get to go out!
<scene of beach on location; more of the scene being shot with LL as
the queen character and the George Clooney-like (Ulysses?) character>
Now hold on, it can't be she finds it hard to get a date. Several million heart papitating viewers can't be wrong. It's just working fourteen hours a day on sets like this one on Auckland's [Central] Beach means that social options can be a little limited.
<scene at beach on location - LL and the crew crowded together peering at a
By the way that's me trying to look like a cool movie mogal type as Lucy and the cast watch a rerun of the morning's lip smacking, [face sucking], sword wielding, groin kicking action!
<scene SINS OF THE PAST - Xena at the end of her fight with Draco; she topples him and jumps down landing triumphantly on his chest>
Hey, that's Hollywood!
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