this is a test

NZ Herald: Lucy’s Fascination With Crime and Justice 7 August 2019


Lucy’s Fascination With Crime and Justice

New Zealand Herald
7 August 2019

Written by Mark Kennedy
Associated Press


The next time you find yourself in a courtroom, look around. There’s a chance you might spot Lucy Lawless there, too.

The actress is fascinated by trials and on days when she’s not working will often go to court as a member of the public.

“It just teaches you so much about life and your own society and justice and about yourself,” says Lawless.

Lawless, 51, attended a murder trial in New Zealand, jury selection for a grisly case in Louisiana and was at Jeffrey Epstein’s bail hearing in New York last month when the financier faced sex trafficking charges.

On that rainy day, she watched Epstein “shamble in”, acting shaky. “Sedate is not the right word. It was sombre. And methodical. And meticulous. And all over in 20 minutes,” she says.

Lawless’ fascination with crime has filtered into her latest project, the new crime TV series My Life is

Murder, coming soon to TVNZ. “This much more closely mirrors my own personal interests,” she says.

Lawless plays Alexa Crowe, an exhomicide detective who bakes bread, loves Crowded House, speaks German and corrects people’s grammar when she’s not chasing baddies. She is a fully realised modern woman — unfiltered, sexy, funny and prone to giving advice.

In a typical scene, a villain holding a knife orders Alexa to stand up. “Get up slow,” he snarls. She responds calmly: “I think you’ll find ‘slowly’ is the adverb.”

There are differences between Alexa and Lawless. One is the character’s love of bread, which on the show is a symbol of new life. Lawless is gluten intolerant.

“It’s kind of a joke that I’m always up to my elbows in flour. But I sure

earned my intolerance. For 40 years, I ate bread like a mad thing and I know what it tastes like alright.”

The show, set in Melbourne, Australia, explores closed worlds — undertakers, models, escorts and even bicyclist enthusiasts nicknamed MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra). The show also tweaks conventions, casting a woman as a mob boss or making Alexa’s neighbour a millennial rather than a crusty older woman.

“I just want to give people a little psychic holiday from all the grim stuff so they can recharge the batteries and go back out there and fight the good fight,” Lawless said.

Creator Claire Tonkin wrote Alexa with Lawless in mind. “There’s a lot of me in the character and that’s the advantage of having writers build something around you. I’m a very lucky woman,” says Lawless.

Matthew Graham, the general manager of Acorn TV, which specialises in offering British and Australian TV shows, says Lawless’ show continues the push for strong, relatable female leads.

“We love Lucy Lawless. We love her strength, her vivaciousness, her intelligence and her sense of humour. We think that My Life is Murder is the perfect vehicle to showcase all of that,” he says.

Lawless’ strength and humour were present when she burst into the public’s consciousness as Xena in a show that mixed dark mythology, action, campy humour and sly sexuality. It aired from 1995 to 2001.

“It was fun. It was about universal themes, of the triumph of the human spirit: love, courage and, of course, hate and fear underneath that,” Lawless says.

Lawless constantly hears from fans about how the show empowered them, especially from people who feel marginalised — minorities, invalids, and gay men and women. She once asked an African-American woman why it resonated with black women. That woman’s response: “African-American women feel that they need to be warrior women every day of their lives.”

Activism is something she takes seriously and calls the environment “my No. 1 commitment”. She was arrested in 2012 for protesting Arctic oil drilling with Greenpeace and says the movement needs to keep going.

“You get compassion fatigue. You go, ‘I’ve only got so much bandwidth, and this is making my heart hurt’ and the world’s really heart-hurty right now,” she said.

“So to keep us buoyant, we’ve got to start hearing about the great innovations and people who are doing good work and there’s tons of it out there.”

NY Post: Lawless Bakes Bread and Solves Crimes In New Series

Image637004535633923598L UCY Lawless says “serendipity” brought her back to TV as crimesolver Alexa Crowe in “My Life Is Murder,” premiering Aug. 5 on Acorn TV.

“I was in New Zealand raising my kids, and now that my kids don’t seem to need me in the same way, the time was right,” says Lawless, 51, who shot the 10-episode series on location in Melbourne, Australia. “[Series executive producer] Claire Tonkin contacted me on the day that I happened to be in Sydney for Gay Pride. I said, ‘You’ve got an hour and a half on Sunday if you want to meet.’ She was the right person at the right time with the right idea and it was time for me to step up. And I was close to home if my [17-yearold] son needed me.”

In the series, Alexa is an investigator who left the Melbourne police department following the death of her husband. Content with baking bread at home, she’s unofficially recruited back into action by her former boss, Detective Inspector Keiran Hussy (Bernard Curry), who teams her with ambitious upstart Madison Feliciano (Ebony Vagulans) to help solve puzzling murders. Their pairing adds a touch of whimsy to the series since they’re both obsessive — Alexa over her new German breadmaking machine and Madison over her high-tech vacuum cleaner. “Alexa has been hiding from the world baking bread, which is kind of a metaphor for a new life and doing something organic and wholesome,” says Lawless. “She has not progressed since her husband died and she went into a bit of a grief hole. Ironically, it’s getting involved with murderers again that brings her back to life … so she can climb out and process her grief properly. “And Madison is in love with her vacuum cleaner,” she says. “When we were developing the story I was like, ‘C’mon, we can’t have two women in love with their machines!’ They were like, ‘No, this is great [for] the lean-in factor.’ There are little curious things that make you go towards the show because they’re peculiar, but believable.”

Lawless, a New Zealand native, shot to fame nearly 25 years ago as “Xena: Warrior Princess” (1995-2001), and says there are similarities to that series in Alexa’s relationship with Madison and Xena’s friendship with sidekick Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor).

“The thing that differentiates Alexa from any other character I’ve played is that she’s sexually quite liberated,” says Lawless. “Her first murder case [in the series opener] involves a rent boy and there’s a kind of ‘will she or won’t she?’ effect. But I do see parallels with ‘Xena’ in that Madison is totally my sidekick, like Gabrielle, so there’s a ‘girl power’ element.”

Lawless says she’s open to the idea of resurrecting “Xena” — but it won’t involve her husband, series co-creator Rob Tapert. “Look, they tried to do it and get my husband in on it but he said ‘I honestly cannot think of a way to do it better than I already did it’ … He’s afraid he’s going to make some really sh—y version,” she says. “I made this comment during an interview like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ and got like 100 e-mails: ‘Give us a call!’

“I did see a promo with Linda Hamilton for the reboot of ‘Terminator’ and I was like, ‘Yes! They nailed it!’ It was admiration and jealousy and I was like, why are they not doing that with Xena? Bring back me and Renee as the ages we are now and hand the baton over. I’m not signing a six-year [TV] contract to play Xena, but as a movie? Great!”

Find out more about Lucy’s role on My Life is Murder by going to the AUSXIP My Life is Murder subsite

US TV Guide August 5-18: With Enough Swagger To Make A Warrior Princess Proud

My Life is Murder will premiere on Acorn TV on 5 August. US TV Guide has a write up about the show.

WITH ENOUGH SWAGGER to make even a war­rior princess like Xena proud, Lucy Lawless has a ball solving crimes that wouldn’t make Columbo break a sweat. A sparkling Melbourne looks like heaven on earth In a souffle-llght Australian mystery series that doesn’t so much ask whodunit but how’s she going to solve It.

For widow and retired detective Alexa Crowe, the off-the-book cases provided by a former colleague (Bernard Curry) are catnip. Flirty and saucy, Alexa disarms her obvious prey before going In for the kill, all while learning to work a German food processor, wrangle a stubborn stray cat and mentor the requisite millennial tech whiz (Ebony Vagulans) who worships her.
Mind candy for sure, but tasty enough If you’ve had your fill of grit.

Rating 3/5




Find out more about Lucy’s role on My Life is Murder by going to the AUSXIP My Life is Murder subsite

Scan: Lucy’s Killer Instincts (My Life is Murder) The Daily Examiner 10 July 2019


The Daily Examiner
10 July 2019

Lucy’s Killer Instincts

Former Xena star is back on the small screen in a drama about a subject close to her heart, writes Seanna Cronin

TRUE crime junkie Lucy Lawless is happy to have one foot in the world of cop dramas.

The award-winning actor, who rose to fame as the fierce star of cult TV hit Xena: Warrior Princess, returns to our screens in the Melbourne-filmed drama My Life is Murder.

“I like that it’s not exactly a procedural,” she tells The Guide.

“It goes into really delicious, tasty worlds, like the most fabulous party you’re never invited to. We’re entering those worlds to solve crime.

“What MasterChef is to cooking shows this is to crime solving shows. Visually, it’s really luxurious and rich.

“There’s a lot of humour through the whole series. It’s racy, but not sexually.”

Lawless, 51, stars as Alexa Crowe – a charismatic and complex former homicide detective. Fearless and unapologetic, Alexa’s unique insights into the darker quirks of human nature allow her to prod, provoke and push as she unravels the truth behind the most baffling and bizarre crimes.

Even though she’s left the force, former colleague and long-time friend Detective Inspector Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry) brings her back to “consult” on some of his trickier cases, teaming her up with young data analyst Maddison (Ebony Vagulans).

My Life is Murder is the first leading TV role for Vagulans, who was accepted straight from high school into NIDA at the age of 17.

“Working with Ebony was just a dream. She came at 200mph and there was no having to school her. She is going to have a really long career and I’m going to take full credit for her success (laughs),” she says.

“I love the girl pal aspect that’s developing, but they’re still an odd couple because of the age difference. The only thing that makes it tolerable for a slight misanthrope like Alexa to tolerate having a youngster around is that she’s a really smart cookie.”

Wentworth star Leah Purcell directed the first two episodes.

“What a force of nature. Leah helped us all find our bearings in this new world,” Lawless says. “With Ebony and I and (writer, producer) Claire Tonkin, this is such a strong women’s production – with a lot of great people who happen to be males along for the ride.”

The series has attracted some talented guest stars including Magda Szubanski, Don Hany, Danielle Cormack and Ryan Corr, but the real scene-stealer is Lawless’s feline co-star Captain Thunderbolt.

“I’ve worked with buckets of rats, locusts, cockroaches, big spiders in my mouth, lots of horses of course, but this is my first cat,” she says. “He’s a bit of a drama king. He commands the set of course. I wanted him in all my scenes because I love cats but sometimes he decided the scene was over.”


Find out more about Lucy’s role on My Life is Murder by going to the AUSXIP My Life is Murder subsite