Welcome to the Xenaverse
Bitch of Rome: You've played a character named Eva and one of your favourite movies is All About Eve. Do you find that interesting now that you've played the role of Eve, Xena's daughter?
Adrienne Wilkinson: There was nothing particular about the movie but everyone [on set] was making references about All About Eve and things like that. And the character was kind of wily and you didn't know what to expect. So it was kinda fun. It wasn't until afterwards that I made the reference because it was after I had booked the job that I even learned anything about the storyline for Eve.
BoR: Eve is a deeply complex character with twenty-five years of unknown history. What events do you believe shaped her into the uncaring killer she was introduced as?
AW: I think that Augustus [was] incredibly determined and very eager to have an empire. And she just grew up seeing that constantly, just seeing the struggle for power and what it gains him. I think she was very influenced by that.
I think it was just a combination of just being an angry, young woman, who doesn't have a mother. I don't think she's been told anything about her mother or anything at all. I think she is just an angry young woman that is just very determined and wants to have the best life she can have and she's been surrounded by all of these powerful people and she wants at least that if not more. So I think that's what sort of created her.
BoR: Did you try to think of these events before you had to find her character?
AW: To a certain extent, yeah. More emotionally then I actually thought of the specific events but just how it is that she would be reacting to everything and just emotionally, what's behind a person that is that eager for power? That, oh my gosh, to kill somebody, you know? To have absolutely no qualms about it and no remorse is pretty intense.
So just figuring out how blindly ambitious she was, was sort of where I had to come from.
BoR: Did you get a lot of time to prepare?
AW: Not really. Not a lot. I was learning a little bit more, day by day. Unfortunately for me, I didn't know a whole lot about the story and I wasn't really familiar with the current storyline with the entire plot of Xena. So for it me it was sort of learning all about who Callisto was and who Xena was. Just sort of how they're storylines also always sort of play into history.
Just figure out a little bit about the time frame and what they tend to like on the show. What they tend to lean towards. How the people who are evil, show that they're evil. That was pretty crazy.
BoR: What led to your decision for Eve's battle yell?
AW: Oooh! That was a funny one. The battle yell isn't actually done while you're filming. It's done in the looping afterwards. I was just doing a lot of screaming 'cause it helps you breathe and gets you going and most of the people that you're fighting with, they scream anyway so it's sort of like your only defense.
It was after I had finished filming the first three and I was back in Los Angles and I was doing looping and voice-overs and [they] said, "You know what? We wanna come up with a yell and we need it today." They played me recordings of Xena's yell and Callisto screaming and we just played around for about a half an hour and I swear I didn't know what I was doing.
I was literally just screaming for a half and hour and when they found something that they liked, they played it back so I could sort of get used to it and they all agreed on that one and it's history from there. (laughs)
BoR: How are you most like Eve?
AW: Oooh, how am I most like Eve? I'm certainly very ambitious. I'm certainly determined, but it doesn't show itself in the same way.
BoR: I hope not!
AW: (laughing) Exactly. That would be bad. Gosh, I don't know. Just in her eagerness. That she wants answers and she wants to know what's behind everything. She doesn't want anything hidden from her.
Whether she was ready to accept her mother or not, she did wanna know the whole story. She wanted to know everything behind it and she wanted to make the decision as opposed to having it forced on her. I would say things like that are certainly similar.
BoR: What was your favourite line?
AW: Oh god, my favourite line. (laughs) I didn't even say it, but it was a big joke on [set]. It was the season finale ["Motherhood"], when Gabrielle stabs me in the back and it's something Xena says later in the show. She's like, "Nice thrust Gabrielle." (laughs) Everybody was joking about that one.
It was hilarious 'cause it wasn't actually meant to be as sarcastic, but the way it's written, you just couldn't help it. Everybody was talking about it. It was a pretty funny one.
BoR: Is there any particular Eve one you like?
AW: Just for notoriety, the fact that I'm screaming as Livia. I just think that's hilarious because I had to [do] that so many times. Just screaming in so many different ways. Then a week later I totally accept that I'm not Livia. (laughs) So it's pretty funny.
BoR: Whenever Eve gets upset she just starts trashing the room and breaking things and blowing a spaz. Did you enjoy filming those scenes?
AW: It's the first time I've ever dealt with breakaway stuff. It was interesting because it made me look great, but it was hilarious because the filming schedule is pretty tight and not to mention they don't have an enormous amount of extra material for breaking.
So they try to do those scenes as quickly as possible. You just sort of mimic in the rehearsal what you're gonna throw and what you're gonna kick and want you're gonna do. Then when it comes time to film it, you don't even know where stuff is going. You kick and it goes into the camera.
You just have no idea. We did that one twice and I think that they took the beginning of one and the end of another is how it looks like it turned out. It was amazing how it looks on film, 'cause she looks so strong, when actually if you lean on it too hard, the vase would fall apart.
(laughs) It certainly makes you look good.
BoR: In both "Livia" and "Eve," Xena stands over Eve, holding her chakram on her or [doing The Pinch] and both times, Eve asks Xena to kill her. Why do you think Eve wants Xena to kill her so much?
AW: I think she thinks that Xena is the only one worthy. If she has to die and aside from that I think that Xena is the only person in her history that's been able to pull that over on her, that's been able to get her into that position of having to beg for her life if need be. She has so much pride that she would never beg for her life. She would much rather die then to have to. God forbid she would ever have to apologize or accept someone else's opinion.
So I think it's a combination of that. She doesn't even want to live if she knows someone has gotten the better of her because she has just so much pride.
In "Eve" I thought it was actually a little more desperate because in "Livia" she was humiliated. She'd actually lost a battle. Everything that she knew had fallen apart. She was not longer going to be an empress and she had lost her army and she lost her way. She wasn't even killing people with any certain intent. She was just killing them because she was angry and frustrated.
Unfortunately, not every scene can make it in so the transition isn't sometimes as obvious but just the fact that she was so confused and desperate and she's still so eager but every step, it's harder for her to reach her goal. It's just getting farther and farther away.
She didn't want to accept anybody as her mother. Even though Xena is obviously worthy, it's just that she's never had to deal with that. It's never entered her realm that she can remember.
BoR: "Livia" marked your first appearance and you often hold a very deep look on Eve's face. What are you thinking at those moments or what is Eve thinking?
AW: Livia was so calculating. I think her mind races. Just a mile a minute. Just searching for what the answers could be.
When Xena and Ares were kissing, I think it was just the end of her world. It was the ultimate betrayal to her, but at the same time half of it is just her plot of, "What is my next move?" Like her life was sort of a chess game. Figuring out where she was going from her because she was furious and heartbroken and betrayed and all of those different things.
So I think it was a combination of just plotting out her next battle, plotting out her next move and just taking a minute to let it soak in because it was so much to deal with. It was just such an ugly thing.
To me, that was one of the hardest parts of the show to play realistically. We all talked about it because there's so much [with] that relationship. The triangle between Xena and Ares and I. When you really think about how awful that is, it's just so Greek and gross actually. And we never got to get into that. We all wanted to too but there wasn't time to cover all the plot points. What would you think? How would you react to that because everything about it is so awful?
BoR: In the party scene, both you and Ms. Lawless had your faces painted really, really pale. I was just curious as to why that was.
AW: It was the choice of the make-up artist. Tracy Hention is my make-up artist and she is amazing. Oh my god, she's just gifted. She does amazing things.
My make-up took forever with that one, mostly because the eyes were so dark and the skin was supposed to be so white, it was making sure that [none] of the eye shadow [fell] on the cheeks.
It was supposed to be a bacchanalia and I don't really know the history of that type of event but going with a cross between how the eighteen hundreds, European make-up was very pale. Just something that was a little crazy looking, a little dangerous, a little off.
[For] my make-up, I didn't have any colour on my face except for my lips and eyes and it made you look so creepy. The eyes were just intense and the hair was huge and the clothes were beautiful.
I had heard them speaking that particularly that entire episode developed because they wanted to have that party because it's just so garish and beautiful at the same time. I was so glad that we got to do that.
BoR: You did some wonderful acting when Xena and Eve faced off for the first time. You and Ms. Lawless played really well off of each other and it grew as the episode went on.
For your first scene with Xena, how did you decide how Eve would act?
AW: Oh gosh. It's funny because in first episode I barely got to play with Xena at all. In the fighting scenes, ninety percent of the time, you're fighting with the double and practically all I did the first time was fight. I really had one scene that was directly face-to-face and that was in the banquet hall and that scene, it was fabulous.
It was about the first time that I had really got to work with Lucy and I had been there for a few days and I had sort of made the rounds. I was a lot more comfortable and Lucy is just so amazing. She's just such an amazing person. She walks into a room and she lights up the set and she's just exciting to be around and interesting and she's just so good at what she does.
The biggest thing that I had to overcome was just the fighting. For me that was a tremendous thing for me to have to carry that first week because you're learning the choreography basically right when you're about to do it.
She's brilliant with it. I mean she's done it for so long, she can practically do it in her sleep. You have to be strong enough because she such a strong character, she as such an amazing presence that you have to be strong enough.
I sort of played Livia like a petulant teenager even though twenty-five years have passed. Her relationship with her mother is sort of what many teenage girls got through with their mother probably around fourteen. Everything that they know is right. Their parents don't know anything, their parents are so foolish, they just don't understand, they just don't get it. She walking into my life taking everything away so I think I was furious and I thought I was right. I think it was also that pent-up anger that we didn't really get to acknowledge, but the fact that I must have felt totally abandoned. For twenty-five years, where has she been? I didn't even know who she was. I hadn't even heard her name. No one even mentioned her to me.
[She] ruins everything, which is the exact opposite of what the parent that you've always wanted to have should do. There was that dynamic and then there was just the petulance of, "What are you doing taking my boyfriend?"
AW: (laughs) And taking away the fact that I was about to become the empress and taking away the fact that all of Rome loved me and then she came back and they were so in love with her that they immediately go back to following her. Sort of everything that I knew was gone.
BoR: Eve was riding horseback for most of the fight in the arena. Have you have previous riding experience?
AW: I do. I have to say that the editors and the stunt riders make me look amazing. [They] make me look like I am the best rider in the world and those scenes. When you're dealing with a horse they film those scenes five seconds at a time, literally. You film just one pass.
The horses are amazing. They're just so well trained to deal with everything. It's funny. The horse that I was riding was very sensitive to the word, "Action." I was supposed to be still, [but] when they yelled, "Action," the horse would bolt.
(laughs) The horse that I was riding in that episode was named Blackie and it was a recently retired racehorse. I hear that and I just freak out. I was just like, "Oh my god, what am I doing?"
I did have riding experience. My mom loved horses. She actually trains Tennessee Walkers right now mostly. She just adores horses. I've been around them a lot, but I've never had to ride for a show until now. I had never had the experience of trying to make a horse hit a mark. (laughs)
On this particular show there's so many other things to deal with. Almost every scene has smoke in it. Then there's torches and just different noises and things that horses generally don't like.
AW: That certainly made a difference, but they made me look amazing. I certainly can't take the credit for that. I was able to pull off what was necessary, [but] mostly everything that makes me look amazing had nothing to do with me.
BoR: You are just the queen when it comes to glaring.
AW: I love that! (laughs)
BoR: It's just intense and people are just feeling these shivers. What state of mind do you have to be in to deliver such a cold, hard glare?
AW: This is hilarious. My family will love this question if they see this interview. (laughs) Again, I'd love to take the credit for that, but it really has nothing to do with it. My family would call that "The Richie Look". It's a family name, Richie. It's just a birth right in our family. We have this amazing glare that the kids get around the terrible twos.
AW: It's so funny, 'cause they can point it out in practically anything you do. Anytime you're supposed to be angry, it just sort of comes out. I don't even know where it comes from. The whole family [goes], "Oh, I see the Richie look." They just automatically know it. It certainly doesn't come from any particular place. Especially since they did such wonderful eye make-up, I tried to communicate a lot with my eyes and tried to make them as cold and as angry and as fierce, just 'cause eyes are so expressive. They express a million emotions. I defiantly tried to play off of that.
It was funny to hear my family's response. They're like, "Acting? That's not acting. You're just flashing back to the terrible twos."
BoR: Moving onto "Eve," I didn't think it was possible for you to act any colder then you did in "Livia," but you far surpassed that performance. Was that due to spending more time as the character or just by knowing what she had been doing?
AW: It was sort of a combination. I'd defiantly been around the character more, but it was nice because "Eve" is probably my favourite episode that I've ever done. I just loved it. I was just so much more desperate. I had a lot more to play with.
I had the fact that I did know she was my mother. In "Livia" I was just completely trying to deny it. I didn't even want to hear about it. The fact that I'd realized it and my whole world was spinning out of control. Just combined with the events. When the whole Joxer thing happens, that's enough to make you evil until the end, [killing this] wonderful, loveable character. But even that, I think she was just so scared, so desperate and I just loved that episode. I loved the fight scenes, I thought what they had managed to do in the cathedral was amazing. I loved all of the scenes that were working in that particular episode.
BoR: Did you get to see the actual village set with all the villagers that she had killed?
AW: My part was actually filmed early in the morning and then later in the day they had everyone up on the crucifix and all of that. While I was [filming] we just had tons of background action, tons of stunt people that were fighting and pillaging the villagers. Everything was on fire and just all sorts of mayhem was going around.
That particular scene I loved. I was just eating that scene up. I just loved it so much! It's so funny because I've noticed in the shows that I've seen of Xena, sort of goes back and forth between having no blood in its episodes to having massive amounts and the director Mark [Beesley], he's like, "I just want buckets of blood in this episode."
That episode starts with me raising my sword to my face and it's covered in blood. That was hilarious because literally I had a bucket of blood beside me that I would have the sword sticking in and when he yelled, "Action," I would pull it up to my face. So there was just blood dripping everywhere.
It was just so gross. You know that's gonna play on camera, but by that point, I was much more confident in knowing how to be evil and what I was doing and it was hilarious because the reality is, when I chop that poor man's head off, I'm actually chopping cabbage.
Just being able to keep that anger up, but it's amazing what atmosphere can do for you. If it was just me doing that scene, I would not have had the success with it that I had, compared to having all of that action behind you and having so many stunt people and all of the extras are just covered head-to-toe with blood.
BoR: In this episode you have to spend a lot of time as the evil Eve and [working with] the dark side of her. Do you ever have trouble leaving the emotions on the set?
AW: No. Not with this character and I don't know why that is. Maybe just because it's so polar opposite. I'm not someone who ever wants revenge or vengeance. I'm not a fighter. I would come [to the] set and it sort of bothered me if I was in it too much.
I'm one of those people that as soon as they yell, "Cut," I break character immediately. And it's just that kind of show 'cause it's so extreme that that happens a lot. The very first day, I had been rehearsing this particular battle scene. That was the first thing I ever did on Xena and I'm just overwhelmed. The costume was unbelievably uncomfortable and I'm just practicing kicking this guy in the face.
We go to role camera and it's my first shot and we have very little time and we're doing it and I fight. It was either six or seven guys that I fought in that particular battle scene. I get to this guy and I kick him in the face like I'm supposed to and he does a back flip. I was so shocked, because he'd never done that in rehearsal and I didn't know that was gonna happen. I was just like, "Oh my god! That's amazing!" The camera's rolling and everyone's like, "No, no, no, no."
AW: It always took me a minute to get worked up. It was great. Rick [Jacobson] directed "Livia" and he just kept [going], "Don't be afraid to go bigger. Just be as big as you can." Because sometimes it feels ridiculous, but once they've added the sound effects and once you realize most of it was outdoors so your voice, even when you're screaming is not as loud as it seems. It's all of those things together. It ended up looking beautiful, but at the time, you were just so unsure as to how exactly it would turn out.
BoR: I liked how Eve jumped from fierce warrior to very child-like, like when she told Xena, "I told you, my name is Livia!" Was that due to the fact that she never had much of a childhood or because she was forced to confront the mother who had abandoned her?
AW: Mostly it was because she's never had the chance to act that way with the emperor. I think it's something that's always been inside her. I loved that. I don't have any idea how much of the fan base thought that that was a good choice or not, but [Mark Beesley] and I decided that she should be a little whiney and a little bit immature.
There were a couple of times in the first two episodes where that happened and just reverted back to that childhood and reverting back to being just very immature, where she's not even wanting to accept what the actual reality of the situation is, only wanting someone to fix it. Wanting someone to make it better, 'cause that's how her life has been. Her life has been fairly easy. She's always been the best at what she's done, people have always worshipped her and in whatever state she's happened to have been in, whether as a warrior, or having Ares after you, that's gotta give you a pretty [swelled head].
AW: So all those things combined. I think Xena's the first person that has pushed her buttons, whether she's realizing it as a mother or not. Just knowing that's the first person that hasn't given her everything she wanted and for that matter, actually stood in her way and put her foot down. That probably brought out of her emotions and actions that she'd never even dealt with before. She was a spoiled brat. She had everything.
BoR: You and Ms. O'Connor had several great moments and played off each other really well. Do you think it was harder to make the connection between Eve and Gabrielle then it was between Eve and Xena?
AW: I loved working with Renee. I love her work. She's there one hundred percent of the time, so into getting exactly what is necessary at the moment. I just love her, she's just amazing. When I had to do scenes with her, I really was scared of them a little but because I didn't really know what Renee's reaction would be as the character, especially after the Joxer incident. Of course I need to be a little fearful of her at that moment, but at the same time, with a mother you do sort of have an idea of the emotions that would be going through you, but I didn't have any real relationship that I could remember with [Gabrielle]. I really had no idea how to play those.
At first we just played the intelligence of Livia. We played Livia immediately knowing how important Gabrielle was to Xena. So just using her as a pawn. Hopefully that worked. Hopefully that made Livia look intelligent, because she got it. Livia understood what was important to Xena, what cards to play to hopefully get the upper hand.
BoR: In the final act you're holding your sword out and then Lawless throws the chakram at you. It hits the sword, which drops and breaks the chakram into two pieces and you catch it. Obviously at some point it became a computer generated imagine, so what did you have to do to film that moment?
AW: It's amazing what they can do. My part was super easy.
AW: (laughing) I held the sword out and they said, "Chakram!" and I dropped it. (laughs) Then I was holding the chakram, which was already in two pieces, down at my sides and when they yelled, "Action" I brought it up to my face like I was just catching it. So my part was incredibly simple.
Most of the special effects are amazing. Obviously I'm not doing my own back flips.
AW: There's this incredible acrobatic Xena and your job is to jump up and look like I'm landing. My job is completely simple and all the stunts and special effects, it's amazing. It can be tedious because it takes awhile because it does have to be exactly perfect. You have to match what they're able to do, but at the same time, it's not a challenge with your talent, 'cause those are some of the easiest things to do physically. It's just being able to make sure that they're exactly right for the special effects.
BoR: In one of the most beautiful and powerful moments on Xena, the light washes over Eve and shows her moments from her childhood and how much Xena loved her. What did you do to pull that emotion forward?
AW: That's sort of an interesting one too. Lucy had actually filmed her part and she just did this amazing job where the light shines on her and the director was talking her through it. He was just giving her other images. "Think of your son. Think about how much he means to you and how much it means to have your daughter back and how scary it would be to lose her." And she was crying.
Then it came times to do my coverage. I was already very emotional because of that, but it's interesting how they did it because they weren't exactly sure how they were going to do that part. At first the messages were going to be delivered by an angel who came to see me and all of this other stuff was happening. At that moment, they made a choice because the lighting was so beautiful in the cathedral. It's amazing that they were even able to get as much coverage as they did 'cause they had this enormous light and [I'm] literally looking directly into [it]. It was so hard to keep my eyes open and it sort of made my eyes water anyway because it was so blinding. Afterwards you couldn't even see anything.
They did that a couple of times and [Mark] just talked me thought it. "Think of your own mother. Think about what it means that you're about to do. Just think of that dynamic." They told me a little bit about some of the images that they were gonna show so I could think about that a little bit but it was just sort of a combination. I was so impressed with the final version. I just loved it.
BoR: Moving onto "Motherhood". Eve had a lot of injuries throughout the episode, so how much longer did you have to sit in the make-up chair for?
AW: (laughs) Oh it was so gross. My hair was so disgusting in that episode 'cause I have a hairpiece that goes on top of my real hair and it was just gross. Everyday we had more stuff done to it and it was made out of real human hair, but it had to stay consistent. We couldn't wash it because it would throw off the continuity.
Everyday they put this nasty thing on top of my head and everyday it got worse. The make-up took awhile and again, it was Tracy Henton that did my make-up so not only does she do make-up that makes you look beautiful, I just looked like I was at Death's door in that one. The worst part about it was the smell. You've got glue under all this make-up [and] the make-up smells like all sorts of different things and I'm super sensitive to smells so it was the worst thing having to deal with that everyday. It's just uncomfortable because it sticks to your skin and you just feel dirty. It's just not a fun feeling.
The part where the make-up looked the most amazing was out in the desert. It's unfortunate 'cause they didn't get to keep very much of that. They kept just a tiny, tiny fragment. The fragment that they kept was about the last thing that we filmed out in the desert and I'd been sitting in front of a wind machine for probably almost five hours by that time. Just having that sand hit my face, it was just embedded in all of the make-up so it just made me look that much more disgusting.
It added an effect that Tracy just couldn't have 'cause it was just because of the environment that we were in. I just loved that part. The stuff out in the desert just turned out looking beautiful.
BoR: Going into the desert scene, do you ever feel a little strange when you have to let go like that when you're just wailing in the desert and there's all these people standing around you. Does that ever feel weird?
AW: Oh it feels super weird. Wind machines are just yucky. They're just uncomfortable. In general they're not that fun, but in the desert it was awful because it's just blowing sand at you. I had sand in my teeth [and] after every take they were washing out my eyes 'cause I had so much sand in my eyes. I had sand coming out of my eyes for three days. It was so terribly uncomfortable. When I finally finished that I got to brush my teeth, was like the best thing that had ever happened to me in my whole life 'cause at that point, you're just so miserable.
It's funny. I remember talking to Renee about this last time. We were talking about the things you would never in a million years do in real life, that, when you need to do it on film, you just do it. You just decide, "Okay, this needs to be done" and you just accept it. For one thing, I wouldn't be walking out in front of fifty people wearing just that teeny, tiny skirt. You just feel weird anyway. You just feel totally weird as it is and then you've got the wind machine going and you're constantly worried that things are showing that you don't want (laughing) showing. It's just not incredibly comfortable, so just the wailing part becomes one of the last things you're thinking of 'cause by that point you just want to get it over with 'cause you just don't wanna sit in front of the wind machine 'cause it's freezing and uncomfortable and ugh! It's just not much fun at all.
BoR: How were the close-ups to the horse-dragging scenes filmed?
AW: Oh gosh. A combination of ways. The part that they did with me (laughing) it was actually fun and very easy. It wasn't scary at all, but it sounds kinda scary.
They had a blanket tied to the back of a four-wheeler and I was tied onto the blanket and [dragged] behind [it]. The camera guy was on a second four-wheeler and they just drove side-by-side. I was just wailing and freaking out and I wasn't actually in any danger. That part was completely acting 'cause if I wanted to, I could have slept. It was like being on a waterbed. (laughs) We're [in] the desert, it was completely comfortable and they weren't going terribly fast. It wasn't actually scary at all.
Part of it, because they had to see the ground, they used a dummy. I still had a stunt double. To be honest, I can normally tell in a second whether it's me or her, but they did such a good job with the editing [and because] there's so much hair, I couldn't even tell which parts were me and which parts weren't. Unfortunately for her they don't have as many precautions taken so I'm not actually sure how they filmed it with her, but I'm sure it wasn't quite as easy as a ride as it had been for me. (chuckles)
BoR: (laughs) I just wanted to say that the scene in the tent with Eli's followers, that was just a beautiful moment.
AW: I love that. You don't even know how much it means to me to hear that because there were so many points throughout the story where the stage directions are like, "She should cry" or "She should be upset" and I just didn't feel it so many times.
[For] that part, it didn't say anything about crying or being upset. She was just supposed to be sort of irritating basically. It wasn't supposed to be any sort of revelation on her part at all. You just know the moments that hit you and that moment just hit me. In the desert I did wanna die and I'm finally admitting why 'cause I've never taken responsibility for any lives until that moment.
I really appreciate hearing that. It was nice 'cause everybody agreed at the time, but you just don't know until it's actually finished.
BoR: So O'Connor is standing behind you with the Furies, the sai over her head and everyone's talking to her and on the other side, O'Connor's there as Hope and she's screaming, "Kill her! Kill her!" Did you find it hard to completely ignore everything that's going on since Eve isn't supposed to hear or see any of this?
AW: A little, but mostly because that scene took for-ever. It took at least a day just because with Renee playing both parts, there were all the costume changes, a lot of green screen action happening, both with the Furies and with Renee talking to herself. It had to be exact so that she wasn't overlapping herself. It took a long time.
It was an amazing scene because Renee did a fabulous job with it and she had a double [Susan Brady who] was great too. They were fabulous with that scene. Really, there were moments when it was hard to ignore it because they were building and building and building and you're about to get stabbed. (laughs) So [I had to] appear completely calm for it to work.
Renee's such a sweat heart. She would never hurt anyone for anything. At the same time, in things like that, there's a little bit of danger 'cause I can't see anything. We ended up timing it, where when she would scream, would mean that she's bringing the sai down and that's when I would react. But she had to be so close, that what ended up happening was she would get me with her fingertips. She would run her fingers along my back so that I would know that's when I'm getting stabbed. But you've done it so many times by the end of the day and there's no escaping that it's just creepy.
That was one of the scenes where, just pretending that you don't know any of the other stuff is happening around you, that one actually was [hard]. Especially because I've gone from being a person who knows everything that's happening, a person who's ready for any battle, that no one ever pulls one over on her to a person who's now just completely open and vulnerable.
I loved filming "Motherhood," it was really exciting, but it was such a huge switch that there were moments when it was uncomfortable, because you're like, "No, no, no."
There really were moments like that. There were moments when you just feel a little silly because you want to make sure it's true to the character. But I think, hopefully, it worked okay.
BoR: Were you on the set when Lawless did the fire-breathing?
BoR: And what did you think of that?
[Interviewer's Note: Lucy Lawless has performed the fire breathing stunt numerous times for real on Xena. She stopped during the middle of the series, but in "Motherhood" it appeared to be a live stunt again.]
AW: Again, special effects are amazing. Because when you're in the moment, everything feels real to you and there was fire all over. I've never dealt with that much fire as they did that day. It was a little overwhelming.
I'm not scared of fire but there's just moments when, even though you know it's completely safe. The fire literally is an inch from you and it gets a little scary. Especially because my outfit was not easy to move in [and] if I had gotten near flame, it would have been gone in a second. Things like that, they make you a little nervous.
When Lucy blew the fire, she was actually just spitting a big thing of water. It wasn't actually scary, but it didn't take away from the reality. What's happening is the director's screaming, "And now, okay, you breath the fire and we all duck." Even though it's just water it's scary because you're right there believing every second of it. But the fire is completely special effect.
I think probably it's because of me was one of the reasons that it was just water because in that scene, I'm literally right below her. Even though they were doing close-ups on her, they were doing the coverage on me at the same time and she was maybe a foot and a half above me.
Most of the set, when it was time, it was so unbelievably hot in there just because, for every take the whole place was basically engulfed in flame. So everything in there was on fire and they really did have explosions going off and things that you weren't necessarily prepared for.
BoR: When Xena drags Gabrielle and Eve out of the tavern it just looks absolutely miserable out. Was it raining on set or was that rain machines?
AW: Oh my god, that was (laughing) so miserable. Hilarious. Once I got back to the States, I kept saying, "If I had known what it is that would have been asked of me before I had gone down there, I would have been too scared to go." Every day I was doing something that I hadn't done before. Whether it was the wind machine or the rain machine or the fire or the spider!
AW: Or being in the ocean or being dragged behind a four-wheeler. It's like every single day there were these things that they would literally tell me [about] ten minutes before. (laughing) The thing is, that was great! If I had time to worry about it, I'm sure I would have been freaking out, so I just accomplish one thing at a time (laughing) and we'd move onto the next one.
It was amazing that rain. It was awful. I'm not someone who enjoys the cold at all. I do not do well in cold weather and I was soaked, all of us were soaked to the bone. It was so miserable 'cause it was the last day of the day and it's not like a regular rain machine. It's a monsoon. (laughing) It's like a hurricane.
AW: It's just powerful, it's heavy rain that just pelts you and soaks you and it's freezing 'cause we did that scene three times [or] we might have done it more then that. We did have to keep doing it and poor Renee was the worst because at least I didn't have to lay on the ground. Renee was laying on the ground that is freezing, covered by all of this other stuff.
It was the first time they'd used a rain machine in a long time, so the artists hadn't been really thinking about it I guess. I didn't have any water-proof mascara on and I looked hilarious. Not just my mascara. Everything was just in rivers running down my face. (laughs) Thank goodness they didn't have to do close-ups during that part. That was...unbelievably uncomfortable.
[And] there's Alex standing there with an umbrella, saying her lines and we're like, "Oh gosh."
BoR: I love the scene where Eve calls Xena "Mother" and then, just a moment later, she's crouching behind Xena's skirt calling Ares a "lying bastard."
AW: I loved that. They didn't have me saying [anything]. They had Ares coming in and Ares and Xena having this moment and I didn't day anything. When we did the first read, that was the only thing I insisted on. I said, "I don't care what it is I do or say." It didn't feel right to me not to say anything 'cause two weeks prior we had been in this fabulous relationship, then he sort of turned into a father figure to me and then just completely abandoned me. For me to just accept that, I thought, "Even if Eve is so much more accepting then Livia was. Even if I wouldn't be as full of fury to kill him, at the time I just couldn't let that pass without anything.
Just for time reasons, we could only add the one line, but everybody agreed that that definitely made a difference. Still, I [have] no idea what the story line could be from now on, but anything that would involve Ares, I can't imagine that they couldn't make a reference to that every once and awhile. If nothing else, it was huge to me, 'cause just thinking of what that meant to my character.
BoR: The Avondale spider at the end is the same kind used in the movie Arachnophobia. Did that make you not want to hold it or did Lawless give you some pointers since she had one on her face in another episode?
AW: Lucy and I had talked about it. (laughing) This was before I had met the spider and they actually had a spider rehearsal, where the day before I had to be with the spider. They introduced me to it and [I] petted it and they made me play with it. I'm not scared of spiders, but I definitely don't like them. (laughs)
I'm definitely not a fan of spiders and I knew that there was nothing harmful about this spider. They don't bite, they're not poisonous, they can't sting you or anything, so I knew that, technically, it was okay, but most of my life, I lived in the mid-west and if you see a spider that size in the mid-west, it can do damage to you. It weighs nothing. It's as light as a cotton-ball. It's just huge.
It was a little overwhelming. Not that I was scared of it, but I was shaking and little bit just because it was something that I didn't want to deal with, kind of. It's, "Okay, we're about to role camera and you get the spider." The worst part about it was that they have such long legs that they move very quickly.
In the scene I had to get up and leave and the spider-wrangler was just outside of the frame. He had his eyes on the spider the whole time because it's big, long, gross and I think it's an endangered species. It's certainly a protected species in New Zealand. So he was there to make sure nothing happened to the spider, but they also don't like to be scared and they're not jumping spiders, but they can jump off of you if they're not happy.
So here I am, holding this incredibly valuable spider and I have to get up and move and before you can move, you have to cup the spider, you have to put it in a dark place, so I put my hand over it. They squish down and they become still. Every time I had to do that, I was scared to death that I had squished the spider. It's so light that you can't really tell and I was nervous, so I was sort of fumbling and I had a very small time frame. I had maybe one line of dialogue to be able to capture this spider so I could move. I'm so nervous that, 'cause it was so light that I had squished it and I didn't know. I [was] totally worried and sort of grossed out by that. At the same time, I was completely scared that it might have jumped off of me and here I've got my hand cupped over nothing and I don't even realize it.
It was so important. They were so worried about this spider. Ugh. Crazy.
BoR: You mentioned that the fight scenes were something interesting to learn. You did an amazing job, by the way. Did you find that challenging to get into something so intense, so quick?
AW: Very. Especially because it was stuff that was so foreign to me. Like they decided that my character would be basically just the sword stuff. So the stuff I'm really good at, they didn't really use, 'cause I'm good at kicking [since] I'm a dancer. I'm pretty flexible and I've got pretty good control over my legs and they ended up just using the sword. That was so hard for me, just because, forever, you're told not to hit people.
I was so afraid I was gonna hurt someone. I couldn't even handle that. I couldn't. I was so upset at just the thought that I could hurt somebody and if you don't really go all out, it looks horrible and it doesn't work. I finally figured that out because I need the same thing. If the stunt people didn't really hit me, then I couldn't have the right reaction.
Everybody is safe and it is choreographed, so unless somebody just makes a big blunder, you know exactly what's happening and you're not really gonna get hurt, but just actually giving it the force that it needed because I was so worried about that. Just learning the moves, like learning what I was supposed to do wasn't that hard.
I found it much harder to fight on sand then anything else. Some of my first scenes were on sand. When you fight, you fight flat footed and just from doing ballet and stuff, I naturally point my toes, so I would get my feet buried in sand and I was just doing silly things that I didn't even realize were that detrimental.
Mostly it was just because I was scared because the stunt people, these guys are so in shape that they're just these huge, totally built, marshal arts experts. These guys are so good, they're just such professionals, so you're a little intimidated anyway just because you want to do a job that is good enough and you want to be, not only for yourself, but for them, you want to be just amazing. You wanna just surprise them and be fabulous.
I remember I did a scene with Lucy's stunt double. I remember how shocked I was because I was supposed to bang her head into this table. No one had told me that it was a breakaway table and during all the rehearsals, of course, you don't actually break the table, so I had no idea. We go to do this take and I'm smashing her head into the table and her head really goes through the table and breaks it! I freaked out. I thought, "Oh my god. This poor woman."
Here I am, it's all choreography. You're not actually hurting them at all and especially something like that, she's the one doing the motion. It's her head going back and forth and your hand just happens to be on it. I was so worried that I had just done some horrible damage to her. (laughs)
BoR: Did you keep going?
AW: We did! We kept going but it was because she was so cool. "No, keep going. Keep going. You're fine!" It was great, because, otherwise, I just would have lost it. But it was great. Little things like that.
I mean the stunt girls are so amazing and all of them wear wigs to suit whoever it is that they're doubling that day. I remember one day in the course of about an hour, during the course of doing these stunts, me, my stunt double and Lucy's stunt double, all of us lost our wigs. It was hilarious. One of us right after the other. Everybody was just laughing 'cause it was so crazy. It's one of those things that almost never happens and for it to happen to all three of us...
BoR: Did you get to do any of the flipping or flying in the harnesses?
AW: I didn't. At first I thought I was going to. The first episode was so huge, we didn't get all of my scenes done right at first, so I did some work just with second unit and some people had told me I might get to, but I didn't even think it's something that they'd worry about. It would mean teaching me all of that and they didn't really have time to and they're so good at what they do, all of the stunt people. Unfortunately for me because I think I would love that 'cause I'm not scared of heights and I just think it would be super fun. Maybe some day.
BoR: Can you tell me anything about your upcoming roles in "Heart of Darkness," "The Haunting of Amphipolis," and "Who's Gurkhan?"?
AW: What can I tell you? I can tell you I love "The Haunting of Amphipolis". I haven't seen anything of it, just the little stuff that we've done, that I was present for. It's going to be amazing. I don't think that Xena has ever done anything like this before.
Eve is very religious. She's incredibly devout now. She basically isn't doing any fighting and she's sort of the shepherd of the flock right now. She's watching over everybody and trying to make sure everybody's making good decisions and she's sort of the one who's full of wisdom right now. I have absolutely no idea what could happen to her from there on, but it's interesting.
The first two episodes tie together and then the third one was dealing a little more with what had actually happened during the twenty-five years that [Xena] and [Gabrielle] were asleep.
It's really interesting what they've done with it and, oh my god, in "The Haunting of Amphipolis," Renee just --ugh --all I will say is Renee's make-up is unbelievable. She goes through some amazing thing. Trust me, it will be exciting to see. She did a wonderful job and the make-up is just outstanding.
BoR: After filming six episodes of Xena now, do you have any bloopers to share?
AW: Oh gosh. Bloopers. Actually (laughs) the worst thing that's happened to me, my very first thing I ever did on Xena was my first fight scene. It's actually the opening sequence in "Livia".
It's the first thing that I had done and my scene was the last one of the day. We probably had forty-five minutes to get it. It was the first time I had ever had to the choreography in my full costume and (laughs) it was actually the guy when I kicked him he did the back flip. It was that guy. The very first time we did it, 'cause we didn't really have much time to rehearse that scene so they [asked], "Are you comfortable?" and I said, "Yeah, let's go." (laughs) It's the first time we were doing that scene on film and when I went to kick that guy, my pants split all the way, all the way from the front to the back.
BoR: (laughs) Oh no!
AW: It was awful. I was so mortified and I didn't know what to do and sort of keep fighting, but it was awful because I was so distracted.
AW: And the stunt guy comes up and he's like, "Um...that was about twenty percent right. You could do about eighty percent better." And I was like, "Um...I need to talk to wardrobe for a minute." (laughs) It was funny. They had three or four pairs of [pants] anyway. They made them with a material that actually stretched so that was good because I'm sure that problem would have been reoccurring with all the horseback riding and stuff.
BoR: Did the cape ever become a problem?
AW: It always was a problem. I loved that cape. I thought it just made the outfit. I loved it, but it was supposed to be long enough that it sort of would drape over the horse and things like that. When we ere doing the fight scenes, they would have to pin it up and they'd have to sew it to different parts of my outfit so that it would stay in place. It was basically sown there everyday up on the shoulders, but the part that was the problem was that it was so long that it [dragged] on the ground. Anytime I'd have to step backward, I'd step right on it. That was the worst part.
BoR: Lawless and the others are known for pulling practical jokes on set. Did anyone pull one on you?
AW: I don't think so. "I don't think so." As if I wouldn't remember that. (laughs) Actually there wasn't a whole lot of practical joking going on, on set. I had the most amazing time. Lucy's so sweet. Once a week, she would bring treats.
The day when we were filming in Joxer's tavern and everything was on fire and it was so awfully hot, she went and bought ice cream bard from everybody. Just little things like that that are so sweet, just made everyone's day and they made it so much easier to get through.
BoR: We heard about the french fries on "Who's Gurkhan?".
AW: Yeah! That and sometimes her daughter would swing by and visit the set and [Lucy] would make sure that her daughter would stop at the little grocery mart and just buy some bags of candy to pass around.
BoR: There's rumours online that the show replacing Jack of All Trades will be a Xena spin-off, which makes everyone think it's going to be about Eve. Can you confirm or deny?
AW: I can do neither. I've heard those rumours but only through things like rumours that have been relayed online and stuff like that. I do know that obviously they're going to have to replace Jack and/or if this ends up being Xena's last season, I'm sure that they will have to find a show that will replace Xena as well.
No one that has anything to do with production has mentioned anything like that to me. Just the idea of it in the back of my mind if pretty exciting, at the time it's a little scary too. (laughs) So who knows?
BoR: If Eve were to get her own show, you'd be following the footsteps of the very few powerful women characters on TV and they tend to develop huge followings. If you were to become such a role model, what you say to the people who look up to you, both young and old, male and female?
AW: I would be so honoured to be put in that position. I would simply hope I'm doing justice to the character that has created such a following. Xena has such a following because she's, among other things, she's so inspirational. She's so strong and fierce and just amazing. You just want to emulate her, you want to be like her. I would hope that I would be that fantastic. I would hope I would be that amazing.
That's the good and bad thing about thinking of a spin-off because if it had something to do with Eve, if it was some Eve: Warrior Princess thing, the scary thing is, who could do a better job then Lucy? She's so fantastic. It's a little daunting because there's just no way to do a better job then she has. She's done such an amazing job, which [is] obvious because of the following. It's obvious by how many people in how many places just love her.
It would be so exciting, so amazing to part of and I can't say that I wouldn't absolutely love it, but it's also a teeny, tiny bit scary.
BoR: Have you ever attended any Xena conventions and what do you think of Xena fans?
AW: I haven't attended any conventions. I'm planning to later this year. As long as the schedule works, I believe my first one is the end of August. I believe it's in New Jersey. That will be my very first. I'm very excited to go. I think it will be tons of fun and very exciting. I have to say about the Xena fans I'm just amazed by how loyal they are, by how much they do for the show.
One of the questions they asked when I first got the job was, "What's it like to know that a show has such a huge following and that people can be very sensitive about it if they don't like you. If you don't do a good job, they're gonna be upset." The thing is it's actually incredibly positive because it so motivates you to do the best job that you can. In the end, you have to be happy with your own job. Maybe it's not the choices everybody would have made, but hopefully, if you do the best job that you can do, whatever is it that's motivating you, hopefully they will like it.
It's amazing for me because it's this almost instant feedback. As opposed to most shows you could do, this show, you know what people think. If you want to, you can certainly find out, because people are very vocal about whether they like it or not. I personally find it very helpful and the more that I hear about it, the more I hear specifics about how many different fan types there are and how many fans there are, specific fan events and things like that, I'm just amazed. I'm completely shocked by just how fabulous the fans are.
BoR: Speaking of fan events, would you ever think of attending one?
AW: To be honest, you have brought to light something I didn't even know about. I wouldn't be against doing something [like that but] I'm sort of walking this fine line. It's so funny because I'm trying to figure how much to try and get into all of the events because I have no idea how long my journey with Xena will last.
BoR: Have you filmed in any other countries besides the US and New Zealand?
AW: No I haven't.
BoR: Is there any you'd like to film in?
AW: Oh gosh, what wouldn't I like to film in? I am so eager to go to Europe that I can hardly stand it. I'm a bit obsessed with Italy, whether it's for work purposes or just vacation. I'm just in love with the country and all the artwork and the history. I'd love to go there. I'd love to go to Greece. Gosh, where wouldn't I like to go?
When it comes right down to it, that's one of the most fabulous parts about choosing this career. The right jobs can take you to some amazing places. The fact that you're in an amazing place and the fact that you're actually making a little money while you're there is pretty cool. That's one of my favourite things about this job.
BoR: Do you prefer acting on stage, film or television?
AW: All of it for different reasons. I love stage work because it's instant gratification. An audience lets you know immediately what they love and what they don't. An audience is probably the best director you can have. It's because they're right there being completely honest with you.
It's so interesting to do film and TV because you do have the chance to edit. You do have the chance to get the angle and get special effects and just coverage that you really can't when you're doing something live. There is nothing like live performing. As silly as it sounds, just being an actor in general, there's a bit of live performing in that. Even though it's strictly in front of the crew which is anywhere from ten to fifty people, depending on what you're doing. Even that, it's getting that emotional response. Whether it's just from the director, just knowing that you've done something that's honest and good and really gets to the heart of something. It's just makes all the difference in the world.
BoR: What has been your favourite acting experience?
AW: I've had such luck in the jobs I've been able to get. They all taught me so much, they've all been such fabulous jobs for me to have. I've just had really good experiences. Some of the things that are most important to me are things that I've done just in showcases or even in classes where all I'm doing is one scene from a specific work because I'm able to work long enough. I can't say anything gets perfect, I'm sure anything can be improved on, but where you just feel you've done it exactly how you're meant to do it.
The only thing that is frustrating about television and very often about film too is that it's so fast. You don't rehearse at all practically when you're doing television. Your rehearse is basically a camera rehearsal. The work that you do is your own individual as opposed to being able to work with the other actors and really get something down. It's really gratifying to be able to have the time to do that.
At the same time, oh my gosh, when you do something on film that you see later that really captured a moment, that is so gratifying. Just teeny, teeny tiny things. It's like what you mentioned earlier in "Motherhood" about the scene in the tent. Just something like that. When you have a moment like that, where it just works, you just feel great. It's the most amazing feeling. It will last for days. I love it. It's why I do the job.
BoR: What method of acting do you use?
AW: A little bit of everything. The teacher that I studied with is Ken Learner and he has studied with everyone and he uses a combination and pretty much it just depends on what's required of me. I'm pretty open emotionally so I'm not someone who has a hard time coming up with most emotions as long as I can put myself in that place.
Generally speaking, I'm blessed for being able to do that. Once I understand the circumstances and how I thin the character feels, I pretty much just get there. But there's moments when you need techniques and things. There's certain things where you use substitution. When I'm talking to Lucy, who's supposed to be my mother, I think of my mother and sort of put [her] in that place.
Not that I did that this particular time. My mother was so worried about that. (laughs) My mom's like, "I just know you were talking to me. You were so angry." And I'm like, "Mom. Come on now."
AW: It's just little things like that. I sort of think acting is just searching for truths. It's all communication.
I heard one time that during the depression everyone was being as frugal as they possibly could. They're trying to make ends meet. One of the only things that didn't go down at all in the income they were generating was live theatre and movies. It goes to show, people crave communication. They just love it and you just love to be able to provide that.
You love to able to hit a moment where people feel like they've had an experience with you. That they've grown emotionally or learned something through that experience or maybe they can compare you to somebody else that it makes them understand that other person.
BoR: On your official site, it says that you'd like to write. Is that for TV, film or a novel and have you written anything yet?
AW: I've written a couple of things. My sister Tracey is a brilliant writer. She's written some fabulous things and she's in college, but when she graduates, I'm so eager to see what she does. She's already directed a couple of small things and they've just been amazing.
I'm great with plots. I am fabulous with coming up with interesting plots. I am terrible (laughs) with writing dialogues for multiple people. I end up writing for fifteen mes up on stage, not individuals.
Technically speaking, I would love to develop that skill because there's a couple projects that I really want to do and I want to be part of whether that's acting in them, producing them, whatever it happens to be. They're important enough to me that I really want to get them done. In my heart, I think I can do justice to it. Not that it would necessarily be easy for me.
There's just so many great stories out there that still need to be told. Hopefully [I'll find] a brilliant writer and I'll give them my lovely plot and let them develop it.
BoR: [Your site] also mentions that you'd like to direct. Would you like to do that for stage or the screen?
AW: Either or. I love directing. It's sort of just my personality type. I love acting. When you hit a moment, it's the best feeling ever, but I'm sort of naturally like a mom. I'm naturally a caretaker and I'm an organizer and I'm very much the person that puts everything together. I'm always the one in charge of projects. If they need to get done, give them to me and they'll get done.
I would love to do that just because I would love to be able to be the one that is in charge of the vision. The one who says, "These are the choices that the actors need to make. This is the story that we're telling." I know that I'm not at that point yet. I don't have enough experience to do justice to most projects yet. It's something that, eventually, I'd love to do. Just being able to nurture an actor to the point where it gets to that place. I've directed scenes before. I haven't ever directed a full play, but there's just something gratifying about seeing...
BoR: When they catch the moment?
AW: Yeah. Like when you lead them to it. There's something amazing about seeing something in a person that they don't even see in themselves and you're able to bring it out of them. I've experienced that far more as an actor then I have from the other side of it and that's the amazing thing. Those are the directors you just fall in love with, because they make you a better actor and it's a joy to be able to work them. So to be able to give that back, I think that must be an equally intense experience.
I'm actually fortunate. I really haven't worked with any poor directors. (laughs) I'm so grateful. Knock on wood for that.
It's simply amazing what an affect a director has because it's their vision that comes out in the end. Just thinking of Xena, just the little moments when Mark directed "Eve" and I just loved that first scene, he's the one who said, "Nope. She needs to be colder. She needs to enjoy this." It's nice too because, even just getting that permission, 'cause I totally thought that [was] the right choice, but I was scared to do it until he gave me permission.
I had always wanted her to love killing people. Super gross, but it just seems appropriate for her at that moment. I was so scared to and he's like, "No, no, no, no. She would enjoy it." And I was like, "Oh, I know." So I was able to do it and just having people being able to see that vision is really nice.
BoR: Can you tell me a little bit about the band you're a member of?
AW: Oh no, this is like the worst. (laughs) Their name is SLAMM, although that very possibly is being changed. SLAMM was the first letter of each of our names and it's sort of an urban pop group. There were five of us girls and what happened is, when I went to New Zealand this last time, it was right about the time we were supposed to sign our record deal. As it happened, the record company was very interested in the youth oriented market and ironically, I was the oldest girl in the group at twenty-two.
They were very eager in having a very young group and [in] the month I was gone, a lot of chemistry within the group was changed. They wanted a lot of our music to sound a lot younger and they wanted our image to be a lot younger and sweeter and basically they wanted us all to be teenagers and I wasn't incredibly eager with that idea.
I've had some really nice experience and some opportunities that are coming up with acting and we all sort of sat down and talked about it. I decided that, as much as I love this group and [even though] I was one of the founding members that started it all, I decided just to pursue acting for the moment and they decided to go younger.
The music is amazing so I'm sure they're going to be incredibly successful and I certainly wouldn't mind doing a solo project down the road. For right now, [though] I'm a little too in love with acting and too in love with my age at the moment to be playing younger.
BoR: Would you be willing to sing a little bit?
AW: Do you now you mean? Oh my gosh. (laughs) Oh my goodness. (laughs) Now I'm completely embarrassed.
AW: I don't mind singing. Oh gosh. I'll sign a little bit of an old Shirelle song. It's a new arrangement of it. "One Fine Day". I'll just sing a little for you.
(sings) "Arms I've longed for will open wide
and you'll be proud to have me right by your side.
One fine day, you're gonna want me for your girl." (stops)
BoR: I hope they let you sing on Xena.
AW: It's funny because we were going to sing this last time. [In] "The Haunting of Amphipolis" we were supposed to sing, but the song, we all just-didn't-like-it. (laughing) It was freezing and the horses were skittish and we were supposed to be singing on horseback.
BoR: I have one last question - who has been your role model or inspiration?
AW: Oh, who hasn't? I get inspired all the time. It's impossible to repeat a career. You really can't try but I've seen so many women that have so many beautiful careers. Some even younger then I am.
Natalie Portman I think has just the most amazing career. She's just brilliant and she makes brilliant choices. I love Audrey Hepburn. She's one of my favourites. There's so many actresses of the past that I love or even modern day, there's so many people that I just think are so gifted.
I love Angelina Jolie. I love her, I love Michelle Pfeiffer, I love Glen Close. Truly there's just so many people that they just inspire you all the time. Cate Blanchett. Last year Elizabeth was my favourite movie. Who wouldn't [have] died just to have done that role and done it just as well as she did it?
It's the good thing and the scary thing about choosing to be an actor. It's not like, "There's not any talent out there. I'm gonna make it in a second." There are so many talented people and it's being able to do something that leaves enough of a mark and emotionally, really takes somebody someplace so they don't forget you. Just being able to do that is such a luxury.
I have to say how shocked I was the first time I met Lucy Lawless. Amongst other reasons, besides the fact that she's such a dynamic, fabulous person, there was the fact that when I first met her, her baby was not even four months old yet and she looked fabulous. Just amazing. Little things like that are inspirational. Just the face that she's working so hard and she's such an amazing mother and she's just a brilliant business woman and a wonderful friend and all of the above.
So everyday, I'm so grateful that I've been surrounded by such amazing people. Hopefully it will help me to make good choices.