More live-blogging of the Xena Convention in Burbank! To see all Xena Con posts, click here.
We’re back at Day 2 of the convention with XWP producers R. J.
Stewart and out lesbian Liz Friedman, both wearing WGA pins — Liz is a
I was backstage talking to Lucy and Renee –
reports to come, and photos — during Ted Raimi’s appearance, so no
Joxer fix. Sorry. I also missed the very beginning of R. J. and Liz,
although I understand he took some heat over Xena’s death at the end of
Jumping right in with a question asked of Liz about lesbian TV today:
can’t stop walking the L Word, but it’s awful. It’s the worst written
show on TV. It’s not a good show. And Cashmere Mafia, they suckered us
in with the pilot, but by episode three she’s flirting with guys
Fan asked if Liz is disappointed that Xena and Gabrielle never kissed.
Liz: I don’t think so.
R. J.: Steve is.
Liz: Deeply. (Laughter) I think we did what was right for the show.
Liz says R. J. also used to tell her she didn’t have to write the episodes so well.
Fan: Props to Liz for being the only out member of the cast/crew.
As opposed to the hundreds of other closeted people? (Laughter and
applause.) Forgive me, I mock becuase I love. No, it was no issue for
me. It was my first job out of college. Rob has some story about me
being there my first week wearing a leather jacket with a big Queer
Nation sticker on the back. They knew about me and it was no issue. I
was the one who kept saying to the studio no one would ever know that
Gabrielle and Xena were gay.
R. J.: You were at first not comfortable with the Internet rumors that they were, although you ended up embracing it.
At first I thought we’d have to do all kinds of things to avoid that
impression, but instead we raced headlong right into it.
R. J.: Bath scenes and everything.
Fan: You are all talking
as if XWP and the company that created it was a miracle from the sky
that couldn’t ever happen again. Is XWP a once in a lifetime thing or
couldn’t you do something else again?
R.J.: You mean are we too lazy to do it again?
Liz: Long list of reasons.
R.J.: Rob and I discuss it and we’d like to do something again.
There was a certain great luck of fate. If Vanessa Angel hadn’t gotten
sick, Lucy wouldn’t have been Xena. If the dead hour after Hercules
didn’t happen, and they asked us to do a series about Xena… it is a
little bit of a miracle.
Fan: Do you think Gabrielle was meant to be a warrior?
R. J.: In a more perfect world, no, but the way it played out, that’s who she was, and she was a fabulous warrior.
A fan thanked R. J. for inventing Callisto — much love for her bad self from everyone on stage and in the audience.
A fan asked about favorite campfire scenes. Liz named the ending of "Many Happy Returns."
They were called off the staqe. Liz said, "We must serve our masters," and they left to a standing ovation.
Update at 7 PM Pacific Time: Heading out to Lucy’s concert. I heard
she and Renee have something different planned tonight. I’ll report
back tonight or in the morning.