What happened to the actors of “Xena: Warrior Princess” after 25 years

“Xena: Warrior Princess” is one of the most popular TV series of the 90s. It was released from 1995 to 2001. For the first time, the sexy warrior appeared in the series “The Amazing Journeys of Hercules” as a villain. The audience liked the image, and the producers decided to film a separate story about her. Filming took place in New Zealand, where the film crew and actors moved for six years. On the 25th anniversary of the series, we tell you how the lives of its main characters turned out.


For the role, she changed her skin and hair color

At first, model Vanessa Angel (Lisa in Marvels of Science) was cast for the role of Xena, but she fell ill. So the New Zealand actress got the role of Lucy Lawless by luck.

“The role literally fell on my head. Everyone the producers called was sick or refused. I was given the role because I was free and had starred in several roles in “The Amazing Journeys of Hercules.” When I got the call, I was on the weekend, fighting a cold and trying to clearly explain to my daughter the importance of hiking and camping. And we were in the town of Podunk, where local newspapers were supposed to not be published for several days. The last newspaper contained a horoscope for the next three days. We read it and laughed. Mine said: Fame and fortune await you. Journey overseas. It will be something that changes your life. Someone from another country will call you. That day they called me about Zena,” said the actress.

For the role of Xena, the actress had to dye her hair from blonde to brunette and regularly use self-tanning. Although the actress herself insisted that Zena should be dark-skinned - she thought it was sexier. All complex stunts were performed by stuntmen for Lawless, but she performed the famous war cry herself, without any special effects.

“Our executive producers wanted an Arabic battle cry: the tongue moves from side to side and then up. But I was never able to repeat all these movements. But this one came out quite naturally for me. And I can do it loudly and long enough without harming my throat. The actress spoke about a very useful quality. “In the beginning, some people hated him. But it’s like with Tarzan: we need such tricks. Why does Xena perform all sorts of acrobatic stunts when she can walk calmly? Let’s be frank to make it more effective,” said Lucy.

In the USA, Xena became an icon of feminism, which surprised Lawless herself. According to the actress, she has never encountered sexism in New Zealand.

Starred in many famous films

Immediately after the end of “Xena,” Lucy starred in episodes of famous films and TV series — “The X-Files,” “Boogeyman,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Veronica Mars” and “CSI Miami.” Lucy also appeared as a “screaming blonde” and a punk girl in the first two parts of “Spider-Man”.

A few years later, Lucy managed to get out of episodic roles. She starred in the TV series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” and “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” in 2010-2011, where she played Lucrezia Borgia - countess, duchess and illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI. For the role, the artist dyed her hair again - this time red.

In 2012-2014, Lawless played the role of Diane in the comedy series Parks and Recreation and voiced several characters in the cartoon American Dad!

In 2014-2015, she played Isabelle in the Marvel television series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and again the Countess in the series “Salem” about witches. Her latest project is a television series in the genre of horror comedy “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” There she again met her colleague from the series “Xena: Warrior Princess” Ted Raimi (Joxter).

She gave birth at the same time both in life and on the screen

Lucy has three children from two husbands. She divorced the first one in 1995 due to the actress’s busyness on the set. In 1998, Lucy married Xena: Warrior Princess executive producer and Pacific Renaissance Pictures director Robert Tapert. Since Lucy was pregnant during filming, Xena became pregnant in season five. In the episode "God Fears the Child", she gives birth to a daughter, Eve. In the future, she will become the wife of the Roman Emperor Augustus and a fierce warrior known as Livia and the “Champion of Rome.”

Lucy Lawless is a Greenpeace environmental activist. In February 2012, she and 6 friends hijacked an oil production vessel off the coast of New Zealand. It was heading to drill wells off the coast of Alaska. Lucy and her friends held the ship for three days. She was subsequently arrested and charged with burglary. The court sentenced her to a fine and 120 hours of community service. The actress herself said that she does not regret the incident and plans to continue collaborating with Greenpeace.

— I would like more famous people to join us. There are a lot of people with more influence than me, and I don't know where they spend their time. They could be doing something more important. Why be famous if you don't use your popularity for good? “I can’t imagine,” says the actress.

Lucy also tried to start a singing career. Before the series, she performed in theatrical musicals. She recorded the soundtrack for several episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess.” In 2007 she made her debut with her own concert in Hollywood.


Went from “damsel in distress” to mini-bikini warrior

Renee began acting at the age of 16. She appeared in commercials for McDonald's and The Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel. The producers noticed the girl in the film “Flood”. She was cast from hundreds of applicants for the role of Gabriella. Since childhood, the actress had a complex about her figure, as she was a well-fed child. Therefore, for her role in the series, Renee took up rock climbing, running and even kickboxing. Sports came easily to her, since Renee is a “fighting Texas girl.”

“I don’t want to disfigure my body, but just emphasize it.” I don't want muscles like Schwarzenegger. I always listen to myself, that is, if I am very tired, I will move on to a simple exercise, jump on a trampoline or just take a walk. Well, if I have more than enough energy, then I’ll give it my all and train for an hour and a half. “In general, I don’t like tedious, boring exercises,” said the actress.

Although Renee managed to get into shape, she was uncomfortable in Gabriella’s outfits, which became more and more revealing with each season. From a long-haired prude she turned into a sexy warrior with a short haircut.

— Over the past seasons, Gabrielle’s outfits have become more and more revealing. Can I take at least one chest plate? “In fact, I believe that Gabrielle’s choice of costumes depends on the situation in which she is,” recalled the performer of the role of Xena. “The outfit changes correspond to her own development from an innocent girl to a warrior.” Sometimes all you can do is laugh when all the actors around are in furs and warm clothes and Gabrielle appears in their background, dressed in a “mini bikini”.

Unlike Lawless, O'Connor performed almost all of her own stunts in the series. To stay in shape, she worked out regularly.

What Xena: Warrior Princess looks like in 2020 and why the series is worth re-watching

Today the TV series “Xena: Warrior Princess” turns 25 years old, and this should be celebrated somehow. Our editor Natasha decided to look at fantasy from the perspective of 2020. What emotions does Xena evoke when you watch it again now? And how does the series generally look in today's world?

I remember that “Xena” was on TV for some time in the morning slot, because of this, throughout the summer holidays I woke up at eight in the morning (oh, this young naive organism that did not value precious sleep!) and literally devoured the series. Then it seemed to me that Xena was real and in some forest on the other side of the planet she was really killing all sorts of villains in her cool outfit. Now, of course, I didn’t watch “Xena” at eight in the morning, and certainly didn’t go looking for it in the woods. But even without this, the series gave me a mountain of thoughts and emotions.

Firstly, for a long time I could not understand the plot and somehow immerse myself in the series. “Xena” turned out to be such a giant of nostalgia that in the first episodes I didn’t follow what was happening at all, but only remembered school, how I was in pajamas with cars (hello to everyone who has older brothers and the automatic inheritance of the entire closet) lying in the living room, at home There is thin tulle hanging in the window, and I am constantly bending because of the sun's rays. I watch a series, eat on the couch while my parents are at work and I can crumble, I jump up sharply during an advertisement, wave an imaginary sword (Xena 2.0), and when it ends, I go to bed to watch more. And so the round of memories increases, childhood is remembered as a whole, and watching “Xena” in 2020 automatically becomes background. I have to rewind. So be prepared for a wave of nostalgia.

Probably, “Xena” evokes a warm feeling also because 20 years ago, when it began to be shown on Russian television, there was no such scope in the choice of series. And even more so, there was no Netflix with its endless library of projects. Not everyone had the Internet, so they swallowed everything from the TV. And if you really liked the series, then you weren’t too lazy to get up at eight in the morning.

What else dawned on me: “Xena” has the strangest dialogue possible! Most of them are so banal or illogical that it is generally unclear why the characters talk like this:

Magician : - Only a chosen one can pass here. If you are the chosen one, you will pass. Yes, you are the chosen one! A woman with a dark past.

Xena : Yes, it's me.

The magician simply reasoned with himself and, for some unknown reason, decided that Xena was the chosen one after all. Fortunately, Xena later confirmed his guess.

Of course, today the special effects of “Xena” will not surprise anyone, they look funny, but funny in a good way: after all, this is not a deliberate move to make the series visually unconvincing, this is simply the level of fantasy production available at that time.

It is curious that the plot of “Xena” looks great in the modern world: action scenes, a spirit of adventure, two friends fighting evil - this has not yet been abandoned in cinema and, it seems, this outline can remain interesting to the viewer for a long time. In addition, “Xena” is about feminism, which is certainly relevant today.

The question of the heroine’s sexual orientation is also interesting today. Knowing about her homosexuality, on the second viewing you perceive all the dialogues of the heroine with Gabrielle differently: in every second replica there is a double bottom, and the glances clearly hint at something more than just friendship. This also has a big impact on the credibility of the series in general: at the first viewing, it seemed that the creators were open to us, because the genre does not involve these_this_twists. And already with the realization, there is a feeling that we are only being shown a part of their life - when the series ends, they will stop hiding their feelings.

Of course, the likelihood that Xena could appear now in the form in which it was created 25 years ago is microscopic. The humor must be so meta to release the series in this form. It’s probably strange to watch “Xena” for the first time today, but rewatch it for the sake of a wave of nostalgia and warm emotions, because in front of you is the same, good old Xena. Especially today - it’s her birthday.

Xena - the Queen of Warriors. Their king is

Yours Twice Two.

Makes films and writes paintings

After the series, in 2003, Renee founded the independent film company Rock Pictures. There she holds the position of producer and director. The first film she shot on her own is called “Diamonds and Guns”:. This is a romantic comedy about two friends who travel to Las Vegas to find true love. The film took 5 years to film.

In 2009, Renee released her second film, “Unspoken Words.” In it she played the main role.

— At first it was very difficult for me to direct. I was not used to bossing people around, I took everything very personally, and spent too much time behind the camera. Now, looking back, I must say that it was a wonderful experience. I would also like to make a musical or a cooking show.

Rene rarely appears in films. From 2010 to 2014 she acted only in short films. The last film with her participation was “Bitchy Things” (2009). In it she was an actress, screenwriter, producer and director.

Renee took up drawing. In 2005 she opened her own exhibition of paintings in Los Angeles. She is also a master of the martial arts taekwondo, shinkendo, karate bo. He is proficient with nunchucks, sai and katana.

The actress actively supports the Alisa Ann Ruch charitable foundation of Southern California, which specializes in helping people affected by fires.

She also created her own foundation, “The Renée O'Connor Outreach Fund,” designed to raise funds for expensive medical services for low-income families.

In 2000, Renee married New Zealand businessman and restaurant owner Steve Muir. A year later, their son was born, Miles William Muir. In 2005, the couple divorced.

In 2003, while still married, while filming the short film “Enter,” Renee met actor Jed Sura. In 2006, their daughter Iris Sura O'Connor was born.


Became a weak man in a world of strong women

Ted has a famous older brother, director Sam Raimi. It was he who brought his brother to the set of “Xena,” since he was its producer.

“They felt it was a series with a female lead. It was almost the only show of its kind at the time. And it just so happened that it was fantasy, but I guess that didn't matter, and then there was me, a stupid man who didn't even highlight the positive aspects of the other two heroines, other than the fact that I was obviously dumber and weaker than them, which was normal, but they didn’t want any men in the series,” the actor said.

The character was intended to be not only clumsy, but also annoying. Tad himself came up with a song that Joxter used to annoy both Gabrielle and all the spectators.

“I just decided I had to write a song.” I kept coming up to director Josh Baker and saying, “What about that line? What about this one? Is this funny? But is this funny?” And together we came up with a melody. Actually, if you listen closely, I took some phrases from the cartoons that I watched as a child, combined them and created a cute heroic song for myself. Now, 20 years later and hundreds of millions of requests for this song, it has become as much a joy as it is a pain in the ass,” the actor shared.

After the series, Ted appeared only in small roles. For example, in the series “Twin Peaks” (as a guy in rocker clothes who is killed by Windom Earle), “Legend of the Seeker”, “Supernatural”, “CSI New York” and the film “Cool Girls”. Sam has filmed comics about Spider-Man, and in 2021 he will direct the film for Marvel “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Tad sometimes co-authors some of his brother's scripts.


Didn't have time to get to Hollywood and star with Bruce Willis

Kevin also got into the series by accident. His wife Suzanne advised him to go to the casting. Kevin's only acting experience was in school theater. But he was approved for the role due to his strong physique, as Smith played rugby.

Almost immediately after the end of the series, on February 6, 2002, during the filming of the film "Valiant Warriors 2: Return to Tao" in China, Kevin suffered a serious head injury after a fall. He was first taken to a local hospital and then transported to Beijing. There he fell into a coma and died ten days later without regaining consciousness. Kevin is survived by three sons - Oscar, Willard and Tyrone.

“The first thing that comes to mind when I remember meeting Kevin is my thoughts that he is most likely a narcissistic turkey, like all the handsome actors in Los Angeles,” recalled the actor’s colleague on the series Ted Raimi. — To communicate with such people who think that they can actually play, I had to gather all my will into a fist. However, Kevin knew all his lines by heart and I realized that there would be no problems working with him. He just came up to me and introduced himself: “Hi, what do you do? My name is Kevin Smith." We joked that compared to Lucy and Renee, we were veterans on the show. Kevin has never been someone who can only do one trick, unlike many actors. He was tireless and dealt with any situation. If something didn't work, he tried again and again. Many actors cannot stand the blows of fate, but he was persistent,” recalls Ted Raimi.

Before his death, Kevin managed to star in the film “Gods of the River World” as the king of the vandals. The film was released in 2003. He was also cast in a Bruce Willis film. This would be his first Hollywood experience.


From goddess to housewife with flower beds

After the series, she starred in only one film - “The Wire” (2008). It's a crime drama about Baltimore cops. In 2020, she managed to make a film based on her own script, “The Trial of Hannah Porn.” This is a story about “the ongoing struggle for control of women’s bodies.” The film received the “Best of Fringe” award at the Charm City Fringe Film Festival.

“In addition to acting, I have worked as a dance studio secretary, a university women's center coordinator, a women's equality advisor, a model, a waitress, a thrift store clothing saleswoman, a video store employee, a singer and drummer in the bands Annabelle's Drum, and She Looks So Naked.” " One summer I helped demolish a building. It was called construction, but all I did was tear out supports. It was a lot of fun,” said the actress.

Then Alexandra wrote the script, produced and directed the film “Rainbow Bridge”. It tells the story of the colliding lives of two women who find themselves in difficult legal and emotional situations in the United States.

Tydings completely immersed herself in family life. She has two children. He is interested in gardening. Speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.

“I’m grateful to be alive.” For having so much love in my life. Family, friends, lovers, animals. The adventure, the education, the opportunities that I have. My teachers. Amazing creative people I've worked with. My mother, who fought so hard for me. Love, freedom, angels, dancing, laughter, sex, sunshine, rain, creativity and rebirth.


Psylocke from Marvel Comics

Psylocke originally appeared in the pages of Captain Britain comics as his twin sister. She later joined the X-Men as a mutant who simultaneously possessed telekinesis and telepathy. Psylocke cosplay was made by Alisa Arefieva. Photographer - 412ART.

I'm an adult, I want to see this!

One day I found a wig that resembled Psylocke's hairstyle.
That's when I decided to cosplay her. True, I eventually replaced the wig, but the idea of ​​​​the image of this mutant remained. I also liked her story, especially the one told in the comics. During the shooting itself, it was necessary to toss the belt to create the effect of movement. My cats, who were in the studio, wanted to play with him, and they simply did not let us film. I wrapped the belt twice so that its ends did not lie on the floor and the cats could not reach them. This was the only way we could finish filming.

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