The Betty Interview: Lucy Lawless
The former Xena star opens up to BettyConfidential about loving being a brunette, hating Celine Dion and grinning and bearing it through all the sex scenes on her new series, Spartacus.
Lucy Lawless is glad she’s gone back to the dark side again. The 41-year-old, best known for her career-defining role as a butt-kicking babe on Xena: Warrior Princess, was a blonde for a number of years. “I looked really good, but there are four billion other blonde people in Hollywood,” the New Zealand native tells BettyConfidential. “I just got used to it and going unrecognized was the norm to me and all of a sudden I colored my hair dark and — bang! — I’m totally famous again. It’s so weird.” On her new show, the Starz gladiator drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Lucy is more likely to be noticed for her character Lucretia’s wrath — as well as her rack. But that doesn’t exactly sit well with her. “For a Down Under person, it’s really hard to reconcile everyone’s body obsession,” Lucy admits. “It’s nice to feel sexy, but you never want to feel like just a piece of meat!”
For those who haven’t seen Spartacus, why should they be tuning in every Friday?
It’s just a bloody-good adventure and you want to be on it. The Romans were a hedonistic, cruel bunch. So you can live vicariously through these self-rewarding people who follow impulses that are completely forbidden to us. It’s a rockin’ ride!
It’s not all fantasy. You play Lucretia, who desperately wants to have a baby. That’s something a lot of women can relate to.
She has a huge desire for kids, and she’s told that she’s too old and lacking to be a mom. You feel her pain and so you understand why she goes off the rails morally.
What’s the toughest part of the role?
Sex scenes! They are quite hard to do, but they’re always dramatically important. So you justify the discomfort.
How do you get through them?
I learned long ago just to grit my teeth and get on with the stuff that is hard. The worst thing in the world to me is to have to do an action scene, and I don’t have to do those any more so I’ll feign sex with a gladiator any day. I’m just glad I don’t have to do any of that dumb-ass fighting [like on Xena]!