(Lisa's comments: 'This transcript is of an interview with Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor, Ted Raimi and Xena creator Robert Tapert . United Kingdom Xena interviews are very rare . So this was a delight to watch.')
Xena opening credits.
Ted Raimi: "She's a tough sexy Bitch"
Lucy Lawless: "who's a bitch but likeable"
Renee O'Connor: "She was strong, intelligent but also beautiful."
Raimi: "I you ask a guy it's totally fantasy time.
End of opening sequence.
Narrator: "The reality behind the fantasy is Lucy Lawless from New Zealand - a teenage mum who became a beauty Queen. In 1990 she became a TV fitness instructor when she auditioned for a new American action series.
Rob Tapert: "I went down to New Zealand and met up with Lucy that night and she was um I thought she was crazy."
Lawless: "Unbeknownst to him, I was going through a marriage breakdown and I was sitting blubbing in the corner at some party."
Tapert: "She showed up at dinner and it was like a real tight school marm and I went, 'She is crazy.'"
Lawless: "He turned to the producer and said 'Are you kidding me? This is the girl we are going to base the series on? This is going to be a complete disaster.'"
Xena: "My name is Xena, some call me the warrior princess, some call me murderer."
Voice over: "She was in fact a butch woman in a pagan never never land, seeking redemption from her wicked past with the help of her sensitive sidekick."
Renee: "Gabrielle saw everything in Xena she thought she could be and decided she was going to be her best friend for the rest of Xena's life."
Lawless: "Big chick and a little chick righting wrongs and singing songs."
Clip from Season 3 Tsunami: Xena and Gabby walk along the beach.
Gabrielle: "What do we do now?"
Xena: "I guess its just another average day."
Lawless: "I went out of my way to make Xena as male as possible. She's the kind of woman you can have a beer with and not talk that much. She's not gonna say, 'Does my ass look big in this?'"
VO: No but a couple of other things do.
Renee: "She was a brute - she was the hard-core woman who could take on ten men at a time."
Xena clip: Xena takes on 3 men.
Lawless: "I tell you a secret though. The armbands were kinda Xena because they make you look like you have biceps and I have none and never did."
Cut to clip of Gabrielle using Xena's Chankram to cut a fish . Xena enraged by this.
VO: "Xena's favourite plaything was a large ring. She called it her chakram."
Lawless: "Oh, loved the chakram because you just throw it and does all the work and then you catch it." (Lucy mimed the action of Xena catching her chakram)
Clip from Season 3 Been There Done That when Xena's Chakram is bouncing against the buildings .
VO: And you thought this was a kids show.
Raimi: "Kids would see it and go oh a kids show great and the next episode Xena's grabbing a guy's head and lobbing it off." (Raimi mimes Xena lobbing a guy's head off with great improvised sound effects.)
Season 2 clip from The Price. Xena cuts a guy's head and Gabrielle yells "Xena, no!"
Lawless: "It was really not made for children."
VO: "No there was whole other market in mind."
Clip of a guy falling for our hero
Man in love with Xena: "Beautiful."
Lawless "They like a tough girl in leather. They might want to go to bed with her, but they don't want to take her home to mother, you know, they don't want to come home to this every night - too scary."
Gabrielle: "Another one's falling for you."
ROC: "I think every man likes a woman in leather." Raimi: "It's true, there is that certain fantasy. Also that whip fantasy that just, you know, she's got a whip "
Clip of Xena using her whip to catch Autolycas in the Vanishing Act episode.
VO: "Xena liked to fight hard and liked to play hard."
Clip of Xena and Mark Antony eating a picnic.
Tapert: "Xena had a real affinity with bad boys."
Clip from Comedy of Eros: Xena giving Draco a massage.
Raimi: "She likes a big tough warrior types. She behaves like a man. She finds a good looking guy, gets laid, she's done, kicks him out, I've got work to do, I've got cities to save. Get out. GO!"
Clip of Xena laying down she does not fancy this roman guard (I don't know what episode this is)
VO: "The Genitals were all wrong for a start."
Tapert: "When we started Xena the one directive we were given that this is not a lesbian show."
VO: "So they were careful to avoid any lesbian innuendo."
Clip of A Day in the Life's famous bath scene.
Xena: "Are you sitting on the soap?"
Gabrielle: "I was wondering what that was."
ROC: "What do you do when you have no one else travelling with you? Someone has to scrub your back."
Lawless: "I always liked the fact that she might have been or she might not have been."
Raimi: "Joxer isn't even sure if they are gay."
Clip from Been There Done That
Joxer: "Is that a hickey "
Raimi: "He's always wonderingyou know, there's little looks that they give each other and looking round like: Are they gay? Are they not gay?"
Tapert: "I say they sexually experimented."
VO: "They teased the audience and each other."
Clip: Gabby and Xena are in a lake nude. Gabrielle catches a fish with her bare hands.
Lawless: "The lesbian community really seized Xena and took it as their own."
Clip of the Marching Xena's lesbian group. All dressed up as either Gabrielle or Xena.
VO: "Who are these people?"
Raimi: "Fantasy and science fiction fans are generally of a secluded nature. You know, to put it kindly."
Xena Fan: "I wish I had a friend as dedicated as Gabrielle is, or as Xena is."
Lawless: "Oh yeah, there are a lot of fans who (giggles) that we should not talk about."
Xena Fan: "Yeah, either of them play their cards right they could have me."
VO: "Sadly, Xena's unique blend of sapphic promise and extreme violence is no more. The final show was filmed last year.
Lawless: "For me it came as a relief because it was exhausting."
Clip of Xena flying through the air after a log had hit her.
Raimi: "It was nice to go out as one of the number 1 shows. You know, it felt really good."
ROC: "We wanted to go out with a bang. I think we did."
Clip from Friend in Need. Xena and Gabrielle's kiss.
VO: "Yes, that sort of bang. The show climaxed with Xena at last confirming her sexual orientation."
Lawless: "I could not believe it - I came home and went: 'She's gay!'"
VO: "Their love affair was cut short. Literally."
Clip of Xena's getting beheaded.
VO: "Beheaded, just as things are getting interesting."
Lawless: "It was a cool show. I'm proud of it."
Final clip of Xena knocking out a opponent and saying:
Xena: "Nice try."
© Lisa Rees
Transcripted 22nd November
5.30 pm GMT