When the whole production of modern mystery series My Life Is Murder relocated from Melbourne to Auckland for Season 2, Lucy Lawless made a happy discovery. An avid baker like plucky private eye Alexa Crowe, the actress used the working oven in her character’s apartment kitchen, along with the dough provided on the set, to make a cornucopia of carbs for the crew. “All that bread that you see me handling, we cooked it. We ate it. It was amazing,” Lawless says, “but now I’ve stopped because I’ve reignited my wheat intoleranc­e!”

That mortal admission yields a hearty laugh from the long-time actress and singer adored for her work in sci-fi/fantasy shows such as Xena: Warrior Princess, Battlestar Galactica, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and

Ash vs Evil Dead. Lawless, 53, then adds about My Life Is Murder, “I feel like modern life has been such hard yakka in the past five years that I didn’t want to be part of something that brings more sex and violence and gore to the world, and more anxiety. It’s not a crime show. It’s a show about justice, and good times, and the family that you create.”

You recently posted on Twitter about a new Xena action figure. Do you see one for Alexa in your future?

Well, we try to keep the action to a minimum, but I’m so over that stuff. It hurts my head! I mean, it literally hurts my head. I’m done with the action. Maybe if crime-fighting becomes the next big thing? Yeah, why the hell not? She could be slamming dough. Alexa the Deadly Dough? I do some crazy things with dough this season that should be in no bakery book, ever!

But Alexa has attracted cafe owner Reuben (Joe Naufahu) with her sourdough …

And one extremely handsome cop. We have this beautiful young guy, Harry, played by Rawiri Jobe. They have this sort of tetchy relationsh­ip at the start, but that goes somewhere else by the end of the season. He’s a younger man, so naturally there’s some sexual tension. [Laughs.] This is wish fulfilment, ladies! The pace of their relationsh­ip is nice and easy. Is that what you were seeking in a show, too? One that just grows on you? A modern, urban show that doesn’t have me crucified on a beach at 2am! And I get to wear modern clothes – you have no idea what a pleasure zips and elastic and Velcro are. To be able to get around on a scooter or e-bike. It’s just a beautiful and modern environmen­t that you can all see yourselves in. In fact, locals will recognise and really enjoy seeing their city.

As someone born and raised in Auckland, what did you want audiences to see?

The problem was more what would we not want to show. Ask any Aucklander and they would be like, “There is a plague of road cones. And the Sky Tower. Let’s not have the Sky Tower in the back of every shot!” The rest of it is gorgeous and the rest, you want it to be seen, and we really do take you there.

This season you reunite with some Xena and Spartacus stars and bring in guests like William Shatner. Was that fun?

Oh, so fun. I’ve known Bill for a few years. He’s so generous and kinda sprinkles a bit of a stardust on our little show, but there’s more surprises to come.

By Cynthia Wang

(My Life Is Murder Season 2 premieres Mon., Aug. 30 on Acorn TV)

This year has de nitely turned into a bit of an annus horribilis, but fans of The Crown have nally been given something to look forward to! The creators of the series ( lming for Season 5 is currently under way in the UK) have revealed snippets of the new actors playing members of the iconic Windsor family.

Here, is everything WHO knows about the return of the popular historical drama …


The role of Queen Elizabeth has been passed on to British actress Imelda Staunton, who is best wellknown for her portrayal of villain Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter franchise.

The upcoming season, which is set to hit screens in early 2022, will continue its exploratio­n of the Queen’s relationsh­ip with her husband Philip (Jonathan Pryce). However, a source told British newspaper The Sun that the late prince’s relationsh­ip with Penny Knatchbull (who was a special guest at his April funeral) is “set to ru e feathers” in the royal family.


Taking over the role of the Prince of Wales is Dominic West. Ironically, the actor who will portray Charles’ a air with Camilla Parker Bowles became embroiled in his own cheating scandal last year. West was spotted kissing and canoodling his much younger Pursuit of Love co-star Lily James while riding a scooter in Italy in October.


Elizabeth Debicki will play the beloved “People’s Princess”. Fans were astounded by the Aussie actress’ resemblanc­e to the late Diana Spencer. “I just got chills,” commented one on social media.


The fth season will follow the Windsors into the drama- lled ’90s. A tumultuous decade, the season will have plenty of storylines to choose from including Diana’s infamous Panorama interview and her divorce with Charles.

(The Crown Season 1-4 are streaming now on Net ix)

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 ??  ?? Lawless has teased there are more surprises to come in Season 2.
Lawless has teased there are more surprises to come in Season 2.
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 ??  ?? Doctor Doctor star Vagulans joins Lawless on the show.
Doctor Doctor star Vagulans joins Lawless on the show.
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