AE: Lucretia has lost everything. Is she going to be insane with vengeance this series?
LL: Yes, but it’s not going to be what you think. It’s not a simple vengeance. It’s a dish best served very very cold.
AE: How is she feeling about Crixius at this point? Because it seemed like there were genuine feelings that had developed between the two of them, but now Crixius has gone off and joined…
LL: Well, I don’t think feelings developed between them. I think she got confused. She confused sex and love. He never confused it. He knows what love is. He had it with Naevia and he’ll continue to chase that love through this series. By watching a documentary about women in England who see male prostitutes, [I learned they] inevitably would fall in love with the male prostitute who would then have to break it off with them. The prostitute will service their egos and whatnot – and the women start to confuse sex with love. I used that in Lucretia’s relations with Crixius. She might have thought she loved Crixus – but she only ever really loved her husband, truly. It was just a bit of confusion there. And Crixius sorted her out.
AE: It feels like in a way Hollywood hasn’t discovered you. It seems like you should have your own show again at some point. Is that something you’re interested in?
LL: Uhm, I don’t know what that would be. I can tell you that it seems to be fated that I do…. I don’t know, I’ve had fantastic roles, so I’m not complaining. Look at the incredible roles I’ve had in my life. And I work with my husband. My beloved. The father of my children. And in a country that I love and that my kids enjoy growing up in.
AE: So this is the career Lucy Lawless was meant to have.
LL: I’m so very happy and so grateful. I think Lucretia is one of the best roles on television for a woman ever.
AE: Talk about playing Xena versus Lucretia.
LL: It’s a very different kind of acting, actually. Xena was a little bit comic book-y. Whereas this is more graphic novel. And you have to play it very straight. Otherwise it becomes farce. There’s no eyebrows being raised. There’s no Wha-Wha! [duck call]
Yeah, you just have to play this real straight. So it requires that I don’t act. That I just be it. So it’s a great adventure for me to have this alternate life playing Lucretia. I feel like I’m her when I’m doing it.
AE: Xena might have been comic book-y but ultimate it had great heart and truth to it. My partner and I still watch that final scene where you’re in the boat with Gabrielle and you disappear
AE: I don’t mean to be corny, but every time I see it, I cry. It was great. Earlier, Steven [DeKnight] and I talked about how genre television doesn’t seem to get the respect that it deserves.
LL: I know, but can I complain? I really do these things for my own pleasure… and because I make a living at it. But uh, if you’re looking for more than getting paid and great job satisfaction then I think you’re off track a little? For me? I’d be off track. It’d be nice to get some love from your peers. But you know, if you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you’re with. I’m perfectly happy.
Spartacus: Vengeance premieres Friday, January 27th at 10pm EST on Starz