Lucy Lawless plays Lucretia in the upcoming Spartacus: Blood and Sand for the Starz network. Windy City Times called her up halfway around the world to get the scoop on the warrior princess' new project.
Windy City Times: G'day, mate! How's New Zealand this time of year?
Lucy Lawless: It's hot and muggy. It's been incredibly tropical.
WCT: It's the opposite here. You are done filming the first season of Spartacus, correct?
Lucy Lawless: Yes. You are all going to be disappointed but there are only 13 episodes.
WCT: Well, I watched three of them so far. Your part seemed smaller in the first one but is getting juicier each episode.
Lucy Lawless: They start off introducing Spartacus but later the characters get more of an in.
WCT: How did you get involved with the series in the first place?
Lucy Lawless: Well, my husband is the executive producer. He asked me if I would do it. We are very hands off on one another's projects. We don't put pressure to be in each other's things. But it sounded so good, especially the role. I knew the show was going to be great. It is something he has been working on for many years. He found the right writer to work the characters with intricacy and grace in this really brutal world. The project really took off after that.
WCT: The way this show is shot is visually amazing. Tell our readers about your character.
Lucy Lawless: My character is kind of a Lady Macbeth character. She's dying to have a baby. She's slightly over the hill. She is scrambling, as she should be, for social status. She and her husband have fallen on hard times. My husband has not been living up to the promise of his forefathers. They are clawing their way to success. If you think about it back in Roman times there was no safety net, no social security, no salvation army. No one is going to come and help you out. Everything was hard won. This is a bit of Deadwood meets Gladiator.
WCT: You look amazing in the role and get to play quite a temptress.
Lucy Lawless: It's a really great role, yes.
WCT: Your hair is completely different for this part.
Lucy Lawless: It's a big hair show! The eight-pound hairdo, it is really fun to transform my look. You will see with my character that when she bonds with the pretty girl from Rome, kind of a Paris Hilton character, she wants to be her BFF and is sort of morphing into her. Now she has blonde hair. They were big into wigs so that is quite historically accurate. We tried to keep things pretty real.
WCT: I loved it when you ripped off your wig in that one scene!
Lucy Lawless: Oh, you got to see that? That was in one of the earlier episodes. My head was wrapped in an Egyptian cotton, which is what absolutely what they would have done. It was just cool!
WCT: Since we are talking about wigs, I saw you as a judge for Rupaul's Drag Race show last season.
Lucy Lawless: They were fabulous. RuPaul is just the most fabulous phenomenon. Ru, just him, is bloody gorgeous! Really beautiful inside and out, I am really a huge fan. Not even just the persona of him in drag but what a glorious human being.
WCT: I interviewed him this past year.
Lucy Lawless: He's just a descent man and a fabulous woman.
WCT: You are such a big supporter of the gay community.
Lucy Lawless: I am so grateful for all they have done for me too.
WCT: I watched you on Angel of Death the Web series with Zoe Bell, your stuntwoman from Xena.
Lucy Lawless: Ohh, right. I have to be honest and say that it is obviously not my project but if I can I like to help out my friends who are making their start in things. I can't always do it but it was really fun. That was with Zoe Bell and I might do something for Renee O' Connor this year who played Gabrielle.
WCT: You played Wonder Woman in the Justice League: Final Frontier cartoon. They should just give you the live-action movie!
Lucy Lawless: They should hurry up and do it! She's a dark and weird chick, [ laughs ] the weirder the better.
WCT: You play Mother Superior in the new movie Bitch Slap.
Lucy Lawless: That was me again playing a cameo for Eric and Rick, who we also met on Xena. It's unashamedly a sexploitation movie.
WCT: You played Rizzo in Grease. Would you like to do more musicals?
Lucy Lawless: Yes, oh my god. Musicals are the most romantic thing. You know what? When you get to a certain age you think romance is for the birds. But honest to god, musicals make you believe in magic. Like you used to feel when Tinkerbell did that thing with her wand over the castle and the fireworks went off. Especially when you get the song and the guy is singing to you and has the most beautiful singing voice in the world. It's absolutely enchanting.
WCT: Is there a particular musical that you would want to do?
Lucy Lawless: I wish I could do Yentl. I saw it on my own when I was 13. It made me think that Jews were the most romantic people! [ Laughs ] I thought, "One day I must get me one of those," but never happened.
WCT: Barbara was perfect in that.
Lucy Lawless: Barbara… she was amazing.
WCT: Well, I really like your new project with Spartacus. It looks very liberating to be on cable television.
Lucy Lawless: Yes and the healthiest love affair is actually between the two gay men. One of the warriors is a gay man and his boyfriend. Which doesn't mean they are going to live happily ever after because nobody does on this show. It is an equal opportunity destroyer, because ( sings ) "Everybody dies!"
WCT: See? You could do a musical version of the show. I didn't see the part with the gay guys yet.
Lucy Lawless: Oh, you are going to have to watch.
WCT: I will.
Lucy Lawless: Homosexuality was not the drama in those days that it is now. The way that people were identified sexually was much more fluid back then. I think it had little to do with their orientation.
WCT: Anything else you want to say about the show?
Lucy Lawless: I am just so proud of it. I am so proud of everybody's work and we had a ball. Five stars, guys, you don't want to miss this!
WCT: Happy New Year! Cheers!
It has just been announced that the series Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been renewed for a second season. Hop on the chariot and come along for the ride when it premieres Jan. 22. Visit starz.com for information and listings.