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Lucy Lawless: 2024 Election Would Break Up Ron Swanson and Her ‘Parks & Rec’ Character
Lucy Lawless in “My Life is Murder,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” and “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

Lucy Lawless is well aware of the “long shadow” her iconic role in “Xena: Warrior Princess” has cast over her career.

The series, which aired 134 episodes across six seasons, is what introduced her to the masses. And while Lawless wasn’t particularly fond of performing the show’s grueling action scenes at the time, she carried that fighting spirit along with her well after “Xena” wrapped in 2001 – particularly in her drive to create stories she believes in.

Her latest, the Acorn TV series “My Life is Murder,” is one example of a project Lawless fought to bring to life. In it, the actor plays private detective Alexa Crowe, who has a talent for solving bizarre murders that unfold in Australia and New Zealand.

While Lawless, 56, was immediately drawn to the charming, bread-baking PI, not everyone felt as strongly about bringing the character’s story to the screen. But Lawless was determined to make it happen and opted to sign on as an executive producer.

“When you have the idea, but no money, you have to go fight for it,” she says.

For the latest interview in BI’s Role Play series, Lawless talks about hating her stuntwork on “Xena,” why a reboot wouldn’t be all that groundbreaking now, and what it was like grappling with the “culture of anxiety” when she joined the “Battlestar Galactica” cast.
Lucy Lawless as Xena in “Xena: Warrior Princess.”

It’s been over 20 years since “Xena: Warrior Princess” ended. If given the chance to do it all again, Lawless notes there are a few things she would change. For instance, she would have left some dangerous stunts to early CGI, such as the fire-breathing scenes that once burned off her eyebrows. She also regrets the injuries she sustained, including breaking her pelvis during a “Xena” skit on the Jay Leno show.

Despite the challenges, she still finds herself grateful for the experience. While initially, she wasn’t keen on the intense action, over time, she has come to appreciate the skills she developed. She laughs, recalling her school nickname, “Unco,” short for uncoordinated, and acknowledges the cosmic joke of being cast as a warrior princess.

Xena has become a queer icon due to her unofficial relationship with Gabrielle. Asked about the possibility of a reboot with an outright gay Xena, Lawless believes this wouldn’t be particularly groundbreaking today as audiences are more accepting. By the end of the original series, it was clear to the creators and fans that Xena was indeed gay. She explains that at the time, ambiguous storytelling allowed for wider acceptance among diverse viewers.

Regarding how audiences perceive her now, Lawless admits that “Xena” casts the longest shadow over her career. However, roles in shows like “Parks and Rec” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” have introduced her to new audiences unfamiliar with her iconic warrior role.
Tricia Helfer as Number Six and Lucy Lawless as D’anna Biers in “Battlestar Galactica.”

When joining “Battlestar Galactica” in season two to play D’anna Biers, Lawless encountered a unique challenge. The show’s set had a palpable culture of anxiety. Because of strict spoiler policies, cast members never knew if their characters would be killed off, leading to significant nervousness on set.

Despite the challenges, Lawless appreciated the experience. She shares that working all day in dark, space-themed sets without exposure to natural light contributed to the tense atmosphere. The existing cast and crew felt apprehensive about new arrivals, fearing their arrival might signal another’s departure. However, these concerns stemmed from insecurity rather than unfriendliness.

Lawless’ role as Diane in “Parks and Recreation” is another fan favorite. When asked what her character and Ron Swanson might be doing in 2024, she jokes that political tensions around the election might have strained their relationship.
Lucy Lawless as Ruby in “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

Talking about “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Lawless fondly recalls her time on set. She enjoyed the campy horror genre and found the gore-filled prosthetics amusing. One memorable moment involved wearing prosthetic guts all day while filming a scene where a demon baby eats its way out of her character Ruby.

If given the chance to revisit Ruby, Lawless envisions a hilariously antagonistic relationship between Ruby and Bruce Campbell’s character, echoing the dysfunctional dynamic of once playing Ron Swanson’s wife on “Parks and Rec.”
Photojournalist Margaret Moth in “Never Look Away.”

With nearly a hundred credits to her name, Lawless wishes more attention were given to “My Life is Murder” and her directorial debut, “Never Look Away,” a documentary about war journalist Margaret Moth.

Initially, she had no intention of directing, but a heartfelt email from Joe Duran, Margaret Moth’s best friend, convinced her otherwise. Moth, a CNN camera person from New Zealand, survived a severe injury during the war in Sarajevo in 1992. Lawless’s determination to bring Moth’s story to life pushed her to take on the role of director for the first time.

Working on “My Life is Murder” is like a joyful break for Lawless, filled with laughter and fun. Filmmaking, on the other hand, is a blend of terror, excitement, and stress that she craves. Balancing both worlds, she feels fulfilled, constantly driven by her passion for storytelling and advocacy.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

“My Life is Murder” season four is now streaming on Acorn TV.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: Business Insider