Lucy Lawless
Regis & Kathie Lee Show
28 September 1997

Many thanks to W. Chan for this transcript

LL on Regis and KL 9/28/97 - transcription

L=Lucy Lawless, R=Regis, K=Kathie Lee

(clip of Xena fighting Ares from "The Furies")
R: Yeah.
K: She's just being heroic in her own way.
R: Just saying hello to the guy, that's all.
K: The way Xena does it.
R: Fierce and fearless.
K: Yes.
R: Pop culture hero Xena the Warrior Princess, currently making her stage
debut as Rizzo, yes, on Broadway.
K: Who's also fierce and fearless.
R: That's right, Rizzo of 'Grease' fame of course. Here's Lucy Lawless.
(LL enters, wearing a white top, tight-fitting red cardigan sweater, black
jeans and boots)
L: Hi!
R: Howya doing, Lucy? Nice to see you again.
K: Great to see you again.
R: Oh Lucy!
K: Lucy, Lucy, Lucy!
R: Yeah!
K: You look great.
L: Why thank you.
K: Are you exhausted, doing eight shows a week?
L: No I feel great only I bought this new cardigan and it's kinda too
short... I keep worrying about it.
R: It's all right with us. But anyway... Uhh, you know that we first met
K: New Orleans, and I was very sick.
L: And I had had the same thing.
R: I thought I was well, but anyway, she came out and sang. And we were
both surprised by her voice. I didn't know you were a singer too.
L: Ahh, yes, I forced myself to overcome a real phobia about singing in
public performace, believe it or not.
K: You seem to be enjoying it.
L: I am. I'm doing Broadway, and it was really the scariest possible
option for me this hiatus, but I took on this job and it's really been
filled with...
R: Rizzo. Rizzo with Grease. Sure.
K: She's got the best role, 'cause she's just such attitude.
L: Yeah. The second female lead is always the best one. There are always
more conflicting, a bit more...
K: Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and right. Uh Huh.
R: Now who's tougher in a no-holds barred fight? Rizzo or Xena?
L: Know what? Xena's tougher but she's also more under control. Rizzo's
a bit, um, a little more, a victim to her own...
R: Now how do you play an Italian-American young lady with that New
Zealand accent?
L: Well I don't. I drop the American..umm, the New Zealand accent.
R: And what do you sound like?
L: (in a gruff American accent) "How long are we supposed to play
babysitter for her?"
(applause and laughter)
R: Yeah, that'll do it. Nobody would think of New Zealand in a million
K: You just put on yourself, let me turn that up(?)... You know what
though, Reeg, she does a whole lot of, not just accents, but you speak
several languages, don't you?
L: I studied three languages at school in university and I went to...
K: Unusual languages.
L: Well, French, German and Italian. Not that kind of strange. I thought
K: I thought it was Greek and Zimbabwe or something.
L: No. I did learn a little of Hebrew when I came back, that's a really
fascinating language.
K: It's a lot of guttural.
L: Yeah I really like that.
(K hocks a bit)
K: Can't beat a good guttural voice, huh?
(L hocks a bit and says something in Hebrew(?))
R: You know, Xena has a very famous battle cry, almost as famous as
L: As you!
R: Well no...
K: Like Tarzan. That's his mating call.
R: Tarzan in the old movies had a mating call that everybody used to do.
What is your mating call like?
L: Right. Well, in crude terms, you're quite right, it is a gimmick. You
know, initially, we wanted something like Tarzan call for this character.
And uh, it's bastardization of an Arabic woman's cry which they do in
protest or in happy occasions. It's an all-purpous...
K: An all-purpous ululation.
R: An all-purpous yell, yeah.
L: I couldn't do it, I couldn't move my tongue the way they do it. So I,
you know, made up my own, and really, all I say is "ah la la, la la," but
very fast. And tell everyone they keep spelling it differently on the
Internet, but um, that's all it really is. But it's big...
R: Can we hear it?
(L lets loose the Xena battle cry and scares Regis in the process.
Audience cheers.)
R: Oh...
K: Now did that get you in the mood?
R: Yeah. Doesn't take much to get me in the mood..
L: Now can we hear yours?
R: No, no, that was Tarzan's scream. But I have heard a version of that in
L: Right. I see it on CNN every weekend.
R: Mmm hmm. So tell us about your life. You know, you kind of traveled
around the world before you settled down.
L: I did. I lived in the outback and I traveled around Europe on a
R: By yourself you lived in the outback. By yourself?
L: Actually no. I was joined there with a man I later married and the
father of my child, with whom I am longer with together but uh...
K: But he's still the father of your child.
L: But uh that's right the father of my child and a very good one. So um,
yes I was living there and we saw snakes and kangaroos and just outlandish
wildlife they had there.
R: What did you do there?
L: I worked for a goldmining company and we would um, map the earth and
really kind of boring hot and filthy work.
K: A lot of digging.
L: A lot of digging...
R: Looking for gold.
L: Yes. People think you're down in the mine with a little pick-axe, you
know like, a tribe of my (?) with a canary in a cage. But it's
not like that at all.
R: Now where else did you go through your travels?
L: I also worked for a travel show. I hosted a travel show around the
world. I went to Israel and Prague...
R: In television.
L: television, yeah. And I gave it up, there was nothing on the
horizon. I just knew I didn't want to be a (?). I didn't want to be a big
fish in a small bowl..pond. I um...
R: You wanted to be a big fish in a big pond.
L: No, I wanted to be an actress and it'll be my lifelong pursuit to be a
fine actress.
R: So you came to Hollywood...
L: I didn't, Hollywood came to me. Isn't that a trip?
R: Where did they find you for this role?
L: I was in New Zealand, they were filming Hercules. It was at that stage
an unknown series and um, the woman who had been training for a month to
play the part of Xena on a three episode arc on...
R: This was on Hercules, Kevin Sorbo...
L: sick and uh, the studio said "No you can't. Don't use that local
girl for goodness sake to fill in for her. You just used her. Here's a
list of five other actresses and every single one of them turned it down
because they didn't want to leave during pilot season, you know, to leave
R: And you were there.
L: It was New Year's Eve... It was New Year's Eve and I got this really
great horoscope, and we were laughing 'Fame and fortune await you,' and we
were going "Oh what a load of nonsense!" you know, throw that away. In
fact I went and I went and dug it out when..yeah.
R: And it happened. See, that's why you never get sick, do you? Never get
sick in this business, absolutely.
K: Some of my best opportunities came when someone else got sick. Sandy
Duncan got sick and I was called in to replace her to sing, open with Rich
Little. Did my first Vegas act that way. She was so sweet though. She left
a big bouquet of flowers in the dressing room. It said, 'Dear Kathie Lee,
if you're better than me, I'll kill you. Love Sandy'.
R: Those flowers did have a big snake in it as I recall.

R: Just asking, you know this lady has been all over the world now, with a
career, and before a career and so on and how did she like living in New
York, because it can kind of be a transition for people and uh, you seem
to love it.
L: I absolutely love it. The people here are..I find Americans generally
to have an open spirit but New Yorkers in particular...
K: They don't get a chance to get something to give them something to
cheer about.
L: I know I know. Believe it or not I think Americans have a slightly low
self-esteem about their public image around the world. But New Yorkers are
so up front..any aggression is totally in your face and then it's over
R: Do they know who they're dealing with? They're dealing with Xena! Have
you had any confrontations on the street?
L: No, people are very nice. I'm not...
K: You do your own stunts don't you pretty much?
L: No, I do the fights and i do the horseriding...
R: The animals..?
L: ...but as a rule, if you don't see my face, it's not me. and I work
with really ghastly animals. I'm waiting for snakes and spiders.
R: What have you worked with now on the show? Some rats?
L: Rats.
K: Hey I've been in show business my whole life. I've worked with a
million rats.
R: You've met all the rats in your lifetime.
L: No, I've had a rat dumped on me. Um..
K: You actually got bitten didn't you? You had to get a...
L: I got...It was just a precaution, but I got scratched. But, they were
(?) and they were so afraid and they would cling to me. I just had
<audience eeews)
K: They were afraid..they were afraid?!
L: But worse than rats is eels because eels..their muscularity is such
that they can move in one direction and their skin will move in another.
And it's slimy and it's so primitive that they're terrifying.
R: Do you do your battle cry to them when they get uh...?
L: I don't do anything. I just... when the camera's rolling I do
what I have to do as calmly and get these off me! and I'm outta it.
R: But not only animals she's got, you know, a lotta bad guys she has to
K: Hey it's a tough world.
R: ...and here's a clip of Xena taking on those bad guys. Take a look.
(clip of xena doing Three Stooges-style fights with some thugs)
K: That was Three Stooges in there!
L: It is absolutely Stooges.
R: You're absolutely right, choreography by the Three Stooges. Uh...
L: I only watched Three Stooges for the first time the night before. I
mean I kinda seen them but I just thought it's one of those guy things.
K: Oh they're so funny.
L: Now I absolutely adore them.
R: Yeah absolutely. Well uh you certainly took care of those guys. But
there's a lot of stuntwork in this. Can you show us a little stunt too?
L: I would love to. Who wants to hit him most?
K: Reeg. why don't you hit Reeg.
R: Why don't you..take me on if you like.
K: I'll you what. Just to prove that nobody really gets hurt in stunt
fights unless it's a terrible accident, um, it's all about angle of the
camera. Where are we? Over here.
(everyone stands up)
R: There's another camera over here.
L: We're on two here. And you're gonna pass a hit directly through my
R: I'm gonna try to slap your face. Like this.
L: From wide. Right. Okay.
R: You can stay quite far back. A camera has no depth perception so it
doesn't know if you are a foot away or five inches.
R: Oh really? I always thought they were this far away but they're not.
They're further than that. Okay so here we go. First punch is this. HA!
(Regis swings, lucy feints a hit)
L: Aaagh! Dammit, Reeg!
R: Did I really get her? And then what... You're gonna follow up on that?
L: Um, now where would we be? You come a little more here and you gotta
sell it for me. It's really more in the person who gets hit that makes the
magic work.
R: That's right. So I'm gonna slap you first and you're gonna punch me
back right?
L: All right. I'm gonna punch you that way and you're gonna... (gestures
opposite way)
R: Hey Xena, take this!
(Regis throws a punch, Lucy's head snaps sideways, she hits back, Regis
spins around in a tizzy)
R: Not bad.
K: That was great! I watched you on the monitor and it looked realistic.
R: She's on Grease till October 19. If you're coming to New York you
should see her. And Xena the Warrior Princess is in syndication right now.
We'll be right back with Scott Hamilton.


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