Lawless chatted recently about becoming a gay icon in the '90s, as well as being an ally within the LGBTQ+ community.
'Xena: Warrior Princess' was all sorts of amazing. Not only did Lucy Lawless become a gay icon for her portrayal of Xena in the live-action TV series, but she also showed the world that we were in desperate need of a powerful female lead.
Lawless' influence on pop culture during the series run from 1995 to 2001 paved the way for many other TV series with a strong female character in a central role to step forward. Following its release, 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch', 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', and 'Alias' all became instant hits too.
The series saw Lawless play the titular character, a bad-ass character who wields her trusty chakram in order to rid the world of evil as she attempts to get away from her dark past. She teams up with Renee O’Connor’s Gabrielle, and the pair of them have long been theorized by fans of being lovers. After all, it is implied during the series that they are soulmates.
Lucy Lawless and her gay icon realisation was discussed in length during a recent interview with Collider. Remembering the exact moment she and O'Connor found out about their new fanbase, she said: "I do remember the exact moment when it came to our attention, Renee and I, on the side of set reading this big, long scroll - because faxes came out in scrolls in those days - information from the Village Voice.
"It was Michale Musto writing about how Xena and Gabrielle were queer characters and we’re like, 'What the hell?' We were going, 'That’s crazy!' And we were both like, 'That’s cool'."
Taking on the role of a feminist, gay icon, and all-round influential character didn't necessarily become clear to the actor at first. She has fully embraced the LGBTQ+ community and went on to condemn violence against queer people. She said: "The fact that they should be judged unequal writ large is disgraceful and unacceptable.
"Good, good souls. I hate that kind of injustice against children. People are queer or straight or whatever they are from before the time they’re born, so to be adjudicating them as less than, getting those messages implicitly or explicitly from such an early age, it’s a violence to me.
"It’s violence against children, and that just goes throughout their lives so we want to eradicate that, stopping violence to children, telling them that they don’t belong. It’s so upsetting."
A 'Xena: Warrior Princess' reboot was in the pipeline at NCB a number of years ago, but it has since been cancelled. Sam Raimi was originally on board to return as executive producer.
You can check out the full Collider interview with Lucy Lawless below.