Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lucy Lawless
She became an icon on the campy but highly successful television series "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995-2001). At 43, Lucy Lawless remains fit for battle, or in the case of her current series, "Spartacus: Vengeance," nudity. Among the New Zealander's other assets is her voice. She once considered opera as a career path. Although Ms. Lawless is heterosexual, married twice with three children, Xena's sexuality was always suspect. In the last episode, the Warrior Princess basically came out of the closet, which garnered Ms. Lawless a loyal lesbian following. Currently, she is playing Lucretia, a Roman woman who has lost everything and stops at nothing to regain her power and position. The second season of "Spartacus: Vengeance" airs on the premium channel Starz 10 p.m. Fridays. Nudity, violence and a lot more make it appropriate for mature audiences only.
Were you into science fiction or mythology as child?
No -- zero. We did lots of acting, my friend Michelle and I. We were always adapting fairy tales and things and putting them on for the old folks. My mother ran the senior citizens brigade or whatever it was called. So we would do that sort of thing all the time as play. I don't know how this happened to me.
I also read you were interested in opera at one point but decided against it because you didn't like the lifestyle.
Well, I thought I'd have to be a big fatty. No, no, really, the truth is that's not my gift to sing that way. So even though I love singing to this day, not opera but other things, acting just comes first.
How comfortable are you doing the semi-nude and nude scenes?
Not at all, zero comfortable. Oh, God, it makes me sick.
It doesn't get easier?
No, it doesn't. You'd think it would, but it doesn't. But you know what? You believe in the role, and you just soldier on through and be as professional as you can because the scenes are not about sex. I don't care what anyone says, it's not porn. There's a transaction of power going on. Somebody's getting screwed, and it's not about sex [laughing].
So with that said, there has to be pressure to stay in shape.
Yes, I try but [laughing] that's a mystery to me, that whole discipline thing. I do work out with a trainer, but I don't know. You can go 10 pounds up and maybe 3 pounds down but tend to stay in a certain zone.