How Xena plans to rise from dead

Last updated 05:00 04/08/2013

COMEBACK: Lucy Lawless says a new Xena series would ‘‘give the fans what they want’’.

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Xena may yet rise from the grave.

TV bosses in the United States are rumoured to be considering bringing back the cult show that turned Lucy Lawless into a worldwide pin-up and feminist icon.

And the Kiwi lead star knows how Xena: Warrior Princess Part 2 should kick off.

The original series ran for six years and 134 episodes until June 18, 2001. In the shock finale, Xena was slain and decapitated.

"The fans were always devastated that we cut Xena's head off. We thought we were telling a strong storyline and it was hilarious, but it broke their hearts," Lawless said.

With a possible relaunch in the air, she has mentally scripted a series-opening plot. "In my dreams it would be that Renee [O'Connor, who played Gabrielle] and I, and Ted [Raimi], who played Joxer, would come back and basically stick Xena's head back on her and go on a quest," Lawless said. "At the end you introduce this new Warrior Princess, hand it over and let them run with it. So we could put the family back together, give the fans what they want, reinvigorate the brand and hand it on to a new generation."

Lawless is amazed by the continued dedication of her fans. "They will show up wherever you go, which is lovely because people are more inclined to cast you - that is how it works in our business - that is currency.

"If you stick with the fans, Dave Dobbyn taught me, they will stick with you. You would be nothing without your fans."

Hundreds of fans have already booked tickets to see Lawless in the Auckland Theatre Company's production of Chicago, November 1-24, at Q theatre.



Lucy Lawless may be adored by millions as the kick-ass heroine Xena, but the Kiwi screen queen was delighted to perform for a much smaller group of fans - residents of an Auckland rest home who she entertained as part of a court sentence.

In February, Lawless was sentenced to 120 hours' community work after having earlier pleaded guilty to illegally boarding an oil ship in Taranaki as part of an anti-mining demonstration in February 2012.

She has served her "time" by performing at the rest home, including in its dementia ward. "When you make a whole room of people who seem catatonic laugh or do their exercises . . . it was awesome. I loved it, it was like the best job I ever had. I do interpretive dance. All the nurses and helpers would goad me to be the class clown.

"The residents like some fresh energy coming in. I'd wear coloured pants and have flowers in my hair so they would have something daffy to look at."

Lawless continued to entertain residents after completing her community work. "It was an utter privilege and I remain in contact. I have a lot of friends there. I go back all the time."

She also welcomed residents to her family's Auckland home last month. "Instead of going around Cornwall Park in the rain it is better that they come [to my house] and have a cup of tea."

Lawless said the venue for her community work had opened up her eyes, and heart, to the plight of people affected by dementia.

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"These are very accomplished people. They have all been somebody in their lives. But because of their immobility, they are not even able to probably go to their own children's homes because there are stairs. They can only do little outings."

She hoped others would follow her lead and visit local rest homes.

"If you have a few hours to kill every week, and you don't know what to do with yourself, go and visit. They are always up for it and it is so fun.

"These are young people in old bodies. They are delightful."

- Sunday News

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