Interview: Lucy Lawless Tones it Down For “Spartacus”

 
 

AE: Is part of what attracted you to the role the fact that Lucretia is so different from Xena, that she’s a villain?

LL:
I think it’s just that she becomes more Machiavellian as things go against her and her husband. She thinks she’s right all the time. She’s forced to do these terrible things. She knows they’re not okay, but she doesn’t have any choice. If someone does something to upset the family business, her husband and the gladiator thing, then somebody has to die for it. She’s going to enable and cover and carry it off. She really shores up her husband no matter what. She’s survival of the fittest. And she loves her husband. The fact that they’re so damn dysfunctional is just adds a twist to the drama.

AE: I know you’ve spent the last ten years talking about Xena, but I have to tell you how much pleasure that show gave me. Sitting with you now, I’m reminded how moved I was in that final episode when Xena faded away, dead, and Gabrielle (played by Renee O’Connor) was left on the boat, alone.

LL:
I kind of wish we hadn’t done that, actually. At the time, we thought that was a really strong choice, but I think it really hurt the fans.

AE: My theory has always been that Xena and Gabrielle traded places. They completed each other and Gabrielle became the warrior and Xena became the selfless person of total good, like Gabrielle.

LL:
And isn’t it funny how when someone dies, you do somehow absorb them, and they are now available to you all the time. Maybe with the time that’s left, the fans will become less…

AE: They’re still angry.

LL:
They’re still angry?

AE: They’re still angry, but I thought it was great. The six years they had together were great, and the show ends when the relationship ends. I don’t like the idea of them going on in episodes that I don’t get to watch. So it worked for me, but I know other people…

LL:
I think it actually hurt them. It’s all like telling a bad placed joke, or laughing at some another group’s expense. You’re like, "Come on, it’s funny!" But then it’s like, "But it really hurts people." And finally the penny drops and you go, "Oh. That’s why it’s not funny, because somebody is in pain."

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