Lucy Lawless is still a law unto herself
Lawless (left), who played Xena: Warrior Princess for six years, is a warrior in her own right.
A New Zealand scrapper who doesn’t acknowledge borders of any kind, she’s managed to be true to herself despite the notoriety that show brought.
When Xena ended she was not worried, she says, chatting in a small dressing room at a hotel in Pasadena, California.
‘‘Because I live in the moment, there is no past, there is no future. I wish sometimes I could plan something, but more than a week ahead, I have no idea. I’m not made to multi-task or organise,’’ she says.
‘‘The greatest talent I have is the talent to surrender to the demands of whatever comes along.’’
Lawless has been like that ever since she quit university to experience ‘‘adventures’’ in Europe.
‘‘There are a lot of people who multi-task; they’re on the phone, they’re arranging things,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s too hard for me. My brain would explode if I had to do any of that stuff. Sometimes I wish I could do that because my life is quite full of chaos. I have, like, a dirt-track of a brain. If it’s not on the dirt-track it might as well not exist. I really think this is in my genes.’’
Lawless finds herself on a different kind of dirt trail in TV series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which premieres January 22 in the US, with an Australian season to follow at a date yet to be confirmed.
‘‘I play Lucretia, kind of the Lady Macbeth character,’’ Lawless says, leaning on her elbow. ‘‘And my husband owns the gladiator school and the gladiators are fancy horse flesh. I’m desperate to provide him with an heir.
‘‘I love my husband, but we’re political animals and the fear of annihilation is really high— in Roman society, it’s dog-eat-dog.’’
Her real husband, Robert Tapert, is executive producer of Spartacus, shot in New Zealand. The couple have two young sons.
At first Lawless didn’t want to do Spartacus: ‘‘I fought it tooth and nail. I was so happy in Los Angeles . . . and the kids were in school but they needed a father and he was committed to New Zealand.’’