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2011 Messages from Lucy

Seasons Greetings, Everybody!

I am in the sweltering heat of New Caledonia with the family.  Tomorrow we go further afield and it will be the last time I have Internet for a while so I am wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah now.  There are snowflakes painted on a few shops in Noumea, but otherwise you can hardly tell it's the festive season.  I am glad to be away from the mince pies, chocolate and fruit cake in NZ that one eats not because you like it, but because it's traditional.  On the other hand, here you have incredible French food and croissants for breakfast.  Unavoidable, I'm afraid.

I am so pasty white, it's embarrassing.  I will slather on another layer of fake tan so my winter glow won't scream "TOURIST" everywhere we go.

It is very lovely here.  We love the markets and the people are friendly and using my schoolgirl French is always a thrill.  One of my sons is a natural linguist so it is exciting to see him figuring it all out.

I must say, 2011 was a toughie.  I am happy to bid it farewell and start fresh.  I've got a few missions to accomplish.  Got to get new pals for Queenie the Chicken, who has never forgiven me for taking away her clutch of 11 rotten eggs.  She was starving to death as she tried to hatch them.  I thought she'd run away as we couldn't find her for a week.  I put up posters all round the neighbourhood screaming, "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHICKEN?"  Turns out she had just gone broody and hidden under our very noses.  I think she's had a psychotic break.  Well, you would, wouldn't you?

Since Timmy the Cat got run over, I have lavished my attentions on Queenie.  She used to be my chook, but she's gone sour on me.  I'm going to ask Wildman (who works on Sparty in the leather-making dept.) for some chicks for the Queen.  Hopefully she will adopt them and all will be well.

Will let you know.

Happy Holidays!

P.S.  All my Christmases came at once!  When my neighbour put this in my letterbox.  Must have seen my poster.





Dear New Zealand Government,

I and many other new Zealanders are putting you on notice that your courting Deep Sea Oil Drillers is totally unacceptable to us.  Petrobras already has an uncontrollable leak off their own coast which is spewing filth into their own marine environment.

Why are you giving offshore oil companies carte blanche to risk OUR fisheries, OUR coastal way of life, OUR clean green brand upon which all our premium exports rely?

Do you work for us or for them?!

Your answer, please?
Lucy Lawless

(In her inimitable way, Lucy gets back at the person who tweeted she was at the Occupy Oakland Protest. 

The story is that I got arrested for throwing my shoe at a policeman and that the crowd was chanting, “free Xena!”
Our official response was “No Comment! (…but Lucy says if anyone finds her shoe, could they please return it?)”


Dead Icons Edie Sedgwick and Jimmy Dean

Lucy responds to Feel the Love Week Pledges

How gorgeous.
I am going to have to step up my own pledge to honor these good folks hmmm . . . what to do?

I can't believe you are still doing this year after year.
You all bring me such hope!

So in honor of You and Feel the Love Week, I am going to make that call on installing solar panels on my house.  I have been meaning to for ages but when I am in production, nothing else happens.

I feel that I am only now emerging from a year in a Capuan cave.  It was not without its delights.  A day on set with Viva is always a good day.  Craig Parker and newcomer, Hanna Mangan Lawrence are wicked good fun too.  I got to do some wild work with Nick this season which made us both very happy.

My husband gave his first public talk at 'Thrive', which I guess is a convention for up-and-comers in business.  I went along as support and I have to say, he blew me away!  I had no idea he could talk like that for twenty minutes or so.  He was very fluid and relaxed, funny and gracious and educative.  I am so proud of him.  Frankly, he put me in the shade.  I have done a little bit of public talking but only when I am in front of a bunch of Xena fans am I truly at ease.

I guess the key is to be your authentic self, to talk on your own subject.  In any case, Rob knocked my socks off.

Lots and lots of love to you all,
Lucy Lu

Rugby World Cup!

I, of all people!  I have been swept away with the excitement in Auckland.  Here to see the mighty All Blacks play the Wallabies in semi-finals.
Game starts in 40 mins.
Go, All Blacks!!!

Love Letter To Our Crew

We are winding up filming the second series of Spartacus.

It's been a doozy.  I must say that Liam McIntyre has pulled it off with style.  I forgot how terrified I was to find myself in the lead role of an action series.  How much weirder must it be to inherit the role from a great star like Andy Whitfield?  Perhaps it was lucky that Liam was so green to start with.  Who else would dare?  Anyhow, Liam fully inhabits the role in a new way.  I am so proud for him.  He is going to be a big fat star and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Good on ya, mate!

On Spartacus we are surrounded by genius in every department. The crew, makeup, wardrobe, SFX, editing, sound & music departments make all the actors look better than we are.

Obviously we would all be waiting tables without the writers putting words in our mouths.

And thanks, too, to all the unnamed production assistants and caterers without whom this production just wouldn't go.

We would be lost without you.

9/13/11 -- On the passing of Andy Whitfield

Dear Friends, a trust fund has been set up for Andy's family.  We are all keen to let Vashti know that her unwavering support of her husband's career was very much appreciated.  Without her, Andy would never have left his career as a structural engineer to fulfill his dreams.  She put her own career on hold to back him up.  Filming schedules often leave the partner holding the baby 60 + hours a week for months on end.  Andy's wife was a tower of strength through thick and thin.  We want her to know how touched we were by his portrayal of Spartacus and how grateful we are for her part in it.
Blessings always,

The most important thing for Andy is that his family are supported in their future and so a facility has been established for anyone who wishes to contribute.
Bank details for accepting payment to Andy Whitfield’s Estate.
Please note, this is an AUD currency account based in Australia so any transfers will be deemed foreign transfers on their end.
HSBC Bank Australia
Account Name:  RGM Artist Group Pty Ltd Trust Account
Swift Code:  HKBAAU2S
Branch Code:  343-001
Account No:  206 036 002
Currency:  AUD
Reference:   ‘Whitfield Donation’

Obviously, Andy Whitfield left an indelible mark on all of us in the Spartacus family.  He was a gentle man who never said a bad word about anyone, a gifted photographer, engineer (no really!) and a brilliant actor. Andy's incandescent film presence made men want to be him and women want to marry him.
Andy's two babies will always know that their Daddy cherished them and their mother, Vashti, above all things.
How lucky we were to have him grace all our lives.
Godspeed, Andy!
Lucy L

-- Petition against new offshore oil drilling in NZ

I've just signed the petition against new oil and coal expansion in NZ.  NZ needs a vision of the future that doesn't include dangerous offshore oil drilling.

I am having a wee cry about losing my two friends, “Tonto” and “The Lone Ranger” which are the first artworks I ever bought with my Xena pay packet.  They are magnificent photos by the now world famous, Michael Parekowhai.  He was the big noise at the Venice Biennale this year.  I really love everything he does.


These photos are like childhood friends to me.  I love their humour and politics.  They seem to say, "I'm Big, I'm Camp and I'm here to stay!"  I admire this quality in others.  I like people that are fruity and comfortable in their skin and ready for action.

I am so committed to raising $$ and awareness of Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III that I am going to let these go to auction next week in New York.  It is run by an outfit called CHARITYBUZZ.

Please help spread the word especially to people in the art world.
These are landmark works of a major talent.

They are also auctioning off a dinner with me, though frankly, I recommend you go for the photos!

Love the World!
Lucy Lu

This is a little tiny Archey's Frog, native to NZ.  I used a Nikon's macro lens and shot all manner of small things.  During the anti-mining campaign, I struck up an email relationship with Phil Bishop, “The Frogman” of Otago University (Zoology Department).  He allowed me to get close to these tiny specimens which few humans ever get close to.  They are very shy, endangered and terrestrial.  Their babies skip the tadpole stage and instead complete that part of the life-cycle within the shell of their wee eggs.

Even though I photographed many tiny things, fungi, etc, it was Phil's frogs that I wanted to display.  They are great indicators of the health of their ecosystems.  We need to protect even these tiny citizens!

I am auctioning a meet and greet as part of the Greenpeace Int'l auction to raise money for the Rainbow Warrior III.  I am selling some artwork and personal jewelry.  After all, it's not worth shit without a clean planet.

Auction is Aug 24 in NY.

I am on a mission to raise money so that the Rainbow Warrior can battle “The Oncelers,” as Dr Seuss called them, that are raping our planet.  A sustainable future is within our grasp.  Evolve now!
Love, love, love,


Just to try to prove to my son that I am not so uncool, I begged Matt Smith (Dr Who) to have a photo with me.  I heard he was at the EW party at Comic-Con and spent 45 minutes trying to find him.  Big ups from my 11-year-old!

At Jane Goodall Conference

In Dunedin.  Jane is one of the best speakers I have ever seen.  A fascinating being.  I learned a lot.  She is here talking about her Roots & Shoots movement which helps people set themselves up to be part of the solution for a sustainable world.  It is primarily aimed at children, but also has chapters for grown ups.  I am going to look into it a bit more deeply.

At dinner afterwards, she told us a heart-stopping story about the Detroit man who saved JoJo the chimp from drowning in the zoo moat and risking his life not once but twice as the other male chimps in the enclosure started moving towards him in a threatening manner.  When asked why he did it he said, "Because when I looked into his eyes they were the eyes of a man, and they were saying, 'Won't anybody help me?'"  In anycase, Jane told this story so masterfully that I nearly had a stroke, it was so stressful.

I didn't get any good pix on my phone but will see if someone else can forward me theirs.
Spread more joy!
Lots o love,

Your Birthday Toasts!
Oh, that really rocks, you guys!
I could not be happier.  I am going to read them out to my family and friends. What wonderful presents!!!
You make me feel that all is right with the world.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Fun Run”
Okay, Fun and Run are two words that should never be used in the same sentence.  That Britomart run for Christchurch was bloody torture!  My hamstrings are all in a bunch and very cross with me.  Damn that Andrew Young!  This is the end of our friendship for real.

Apart from Andrew, the company was great and we managed to have some laughs and raised a little bit of money for Christchurch.

My erstwhile mate, Andrew, who will now be referred to only as “Moneybags” or “Bags” for short, was nagging me to make a donation since they couldn't accept my cheque this morning.  When I finally got round to it, I saw quite a few donations from the Xenaverse.  You know, I don't ask you to jump on my bandwagons.  I am very happy that you give your hard earned cash to causes and people in your own communities.  Yet even without publicity, you found us out and gave to the people of Christchurch.

At the Starship, we are very aware of all the kids that had to be transferred to Auckland by air ambulance from quake-damaged hospitals in Christchurch or as a result of being buried beneath debris.  Sadly, many kids suffered amputations as a result.  So it's for them that we ran today.

Thanks for being there in spirit with us!
Got to hit the sack.
Early start tomorrow.

Thank-you everyone for your kindness and best wishes on my birthday.

I never truly understood that the online auction was a birthday present to me.  I was extremely blown away when I got it for the first time!  I was quite mute.  Thank-you all (especially Mary D) who organised it.  The Starship people are going to be shocked and delighted.  I know that will buy some incredible piece of equipment that will help heal a child or ease suffering.  You are very generous and I send warm blessings on you all from afar.  (I just took a few minutes out to pray in your direction!)

I had a lovely, lovely birthday.  When work was unexpectedly postponed, I caught up with Madeleine Sami and Ladyhawke for brunch at Alleluia Cafe on K Rd and then went out to play tennis very badly with pals in Mt. Eden.  The rest of the day was spent with my family.  My sister made the most gorgeous lemon cake I have ever seen and which we devoured over two days.  Thanks, Jos!

Now I have to get back to work on Sparty.  My internet has been down so I have been trying to do research on my little iPhone.  Not very good.  I am so excited by the new direction for my character.  Bizarre stuff!  Michael Hurst and I are psyched about what we're about to do.  Wish I could say what, but it would ruin the surprise.
Up and at 'em!

Not a great quality picture, but what a wonderful night!  In fact, the whole day was pretty magical from a performer's point of view.

I love the run up to being on stage, the nerves, the silly warm-up games, the way actors support one another, it's pure joy.  Plus, the audience brought the party and we raised buckets of money for Christchurch -- so Yay Everyone!
Well done, Ian Hughes (director/actor) and Toa Fraser (writer) for making it all happen.
Every single worker from ushers to stagehands and production, were doing it for free.  For some that was a month-long committment.  God bless 'em.
Sorry there's no footage.  I guess that's the whole point of theatre, you have to be there.
Thanks for letting me be part of it, guys.
What a blast!

Oh, this year I want them to spend an hour doing something out of the usual that nourishes them in some way.  Could be to do with health/friendship/something simple and life-affirming.  Please send a toast my way.  You can toast with drink or flowers or Twinkies, though I would suggest that Twinkies don't fit the definition of "nourishment,"  You know what I mean.
Please enjoy the simple things this year.
Be kind.

I am so, so sorry to all our Japanese friends!
It seems so silly to post this in the face of recent events in Japan. God bless us all!
But I am told we also need levity and an outward focus at times of tragedy so I am posting it anyway.
Be kind to one another.
Dance while ye may!
Love always,

(click image to play)

Ren was just in town for two nights on her way back from Australia and came to stay. It was just wonderful to see her.  She seems very happy and has an inner peace that you can't miss.  She is better than ever.

(click image for video)

We didn't get to film any more because all the people who wanted to see Ren stopped by.  What a treat for us all.

I finished up No Ordinary Family last week.  I actually got to do a scene where I torture the Powell family and naturally, I loved it!  Julie Benz is fun to be around and truly the mother energy on the show.  She really takes care of those two kids, encouraging and praising them when they do good work.  I was quite impressed.  Jimmy, who plays JJ on the show did tremendous work and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging with him.  He had the job of zipping up my dress every day on set.  Don't ask!

Dear God!
This earthquake disaster just doesn't quit!  We are still trying to track some overseas friends who were in Christchurch at the time.  I know they survived, but don't know where they are.

So many young faces on the list of confirmed dead.  It's just awful.

I am so moved by the efforts of the overseas search and rescue agencies.  The US news showed a huge contingent crewing up with a whole mobile hospital, water purifiers, etc.

It brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes to see my little country at a time of tragedy receiving the kindness of so many from far away.  We are so very grateful for your assistance.
God bless us all,

So in the break from Spartacus: Blood and Sand, I took on a fun little gig on Michael Chiklis' show, No Ordinary Family.  I left the Sky Tower in Auckland and flew straight to LA to finish the gig, and my, aren't my arms tired!  I am thinking up all the ways I can make Argo a more fabulous purchase for someone.  Perhaps if a Xena fan buys her, I will arrange a visit with the real Argo?  If a Sparty fan buys her, hmmm . . . the mind boggles!

I don't start prepping Lucretia for another month so I've got a heap of research to do to prepare for the fascinating twist of fate for Lucretia.

Curious?  I am so damned excited, I just can't wait!  It gets more challenging yet.

Big initiatives coming with Starship.  We are desperate to make things better for the kids in my country who have the greatest odds stacked against them.  I hope Argo finds a good price so that we can help publicize the new projects.  It's a small country with a tiny tax base so the Starship Foundation is vital to keep up the standard of care.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are photos of Tilly -- the real Argo -- from December 2010.


She has Cushings disease which gives her a fluffy coat but otherwise is very well.  She is now in her 20’s but still flies like a rocket.

She is very safe and loved by all the kids in her community.

Awww . . . ain't she cute?!

I just put Argo, my Water Horse, on the Starship truck and waved goodbye.  I got to see a couple of the horses done by the advertising agencies.  Oh man, they are so fancy!  All shiny and bedazzled.  My little horse is so simple beside them.

(click on the images for videos and larger pics)

It makes me feel like the time in primer 3 (6 years old) in Miss Lelo's class, when I wore the American Indian outfit made by my mother out of an onion sack and all the kids had store-bought costumes and I hastily took it off.

I haven't thought about that in years.

But that little onion-sack Indian was so cute and my pony is very charming in its own way, and crafted with much love.

She's off on her own adventure now!
Good Luck, Argo!

World's most Terrible Dog helps paint Horse -- Paint all inside the house! My fault. I did lay out the challenge of an unattended paintpot.

When I saw that Tricia Helfer, whom Lucy had worked with on Battlestar Galactica, was in her episodes of No Ordinary Family, I asked her how it was to work with Tricia again.  Lucy said, "Tricia is very sweet and a lovely energy to be around. It was nice to have someone familiar to ease me into a new work environment."

It was great to see Renee at the con the other day.  I did not understand that she had just shown a film that explores Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I only got there in time to see a lady crying about wanting to “do something” about  it.  I couldn't figure out how she got whipped up into such a frenzy.  It must have been some film!

I am sorry that I made a joke about bouncing back from the subject that made the lady weep.  I meant no disrespect to Ren or the serious condition of PTSD.  It's real and I have encountered it myself.  Sorry, Ren!  And to the director, too, my apologies.

I am headed back to NZ to paint a horse for Starship.  I have been looking at horses in art museum for inspiration.  The darn thing is huge, though, and very naturalistic so I'm not sure how to marry the influences which attract me and the real life mould of this statue. We'll see!

Hi All,
I am on my way to NYC to publicise Gods of the Arena.

It's always a mission for me to get frocks together for publicity.  I'm much happier getting up at 5 in the morning and being told what I'm wearing, saying and doing today.  A life of zero control.  That's what I do best.

I have lots of things on the boil this hiatus.  Quite a few offers to guest on shows.  It's becoming a juggle.

Hope you all had a happy New Year.  Let's make this the best yet.

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