Official Xena Convention 2008 in Burbank: Renee´s and Lucy´s appearance
The crowd is getting warmed up by an auction of memorabilia... although the crowd's actually maybe a little bit hot already. Thirty minutes until Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor take the stage.
They'll be followed by actor Ted Raimi (Joxer) -- I might be backstage talking to Lucy and Renee at that point so I'm not sure if I'll be able to cover that or not. Then after Ted will be XWP producers R. J. Stewart and Liz Friedman.
In case you have any old Xena memorabilia lying around, they just auctioned off signed posters of Lucy and Renee for over $500 each. I"m thinking sadly of all the goodies I had back in the day. Whoever coined the term "decluttering" owes me.
They're showing a video called "The Look of Love" featuing Xena and Gabrielle's sweetest moments. The crowd loves it.
They followed that up with a video tribute to Lucy set to the music of Joan Jett. I've always had a fantasy of a Xena vid to "Bad Reputation," but this one was Jett's cover of the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song. I love fandom.
And in walks Renee O'Connor and the standing room only crowd jumps around screaming and applauding.
Renee's wearing faded jeans, a black tank, and a gray sweater. She spoils the entire audience's experience of Boogeyman 2 by revealing what happens to her character in it -- which I'll kindly not compound be repeating it.
Singing at the Roxy, which she did last night, was something she can now check off her lifetime to-do list. Lucy asked her if she preferred to sing a duet to "Stop Draggin' Your Heart Around" or dance with her to "I Wanna Kiss You All Over."
Renee said they usually don't talk on the phone, they just text all day. Awwww.
She said she was over at Lucy's the other night, and walked in on Lucy sitting on the floor singing while Renee's little girl, Iris, danced around. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
Her cowboy film has been picked up by Lion's Gate and should be released this year.
Renee's been doing a lot of writing, mostly about her life.
Fan asked about her appearance on Army Wives.
Renee: "How much did Katherine tell you?" "I've never played anyone who seduced anyone. I mean, I didn't seduce Xena. She seduced me."
As to Katherine saying Renee would be the "aggressor," she said: "I said I wanted to explore my sexuality -- but I meant something like getting up on stage with Lucy and singing and dancing."
A fan asked how she would research her role as a lesbian. (Laughter.) She said she's reading a selection of stories by women called "The Veiled Monologues," about how women from the Middle Eastern cultures deal with their sexuality.
A fan yells out, "Read fan fiction!"
Renee: "The thought crossed my mind. I have a lot of reference books."
Fan: Read some tonight with Lucy!
Renee: No, tonight is "Ask Xena."
Fan: You got your abs back again. But where's your belly ring.
Renee: "It's next to my sink in the kitchen." Says she's going to get it put back in.
She's working out again, doing Tae Kwan Do. "It feels like I'm getting my body back. I love the discipline of the martial arts."
"I am going to put on "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I"m playing Maggie the Cat." Next year.
She's trying to option a book. She said it's hard for a female director to make a woman's story. She likes doing projects people say can't be done.
Her daughter Iris is 2, and likes to run around the house naked with a pink tutu on her head. And Renee's mom claims this is just like Renee.
Fan: Of all six seasons what was your best kiss.
Renee: Well, Ted Raimi's pretty hot. Beteween him and Xena it's a toss up.
Fan: Lucy said you.
Renee: Lucy said me? Then I'm gonna say Ted.
Fan: What are shared characteristics of Renee and Gabrielle?
Renee: Hmmm, I don't know. Name something about Gabrielle and I'll tell you if it's true.
Crowd: Bouncy, giddy, spiritual. Passion for life.
Steven Sears went to the microphone and said: You know how to cook with her juices.
Renee blushed, and then introduced Lucy. Standing ovation and screams.
Lucy quizzes the audience on how we liked the concert last night. Then she re-enacts a bit of Yentl, which she calls "the greatest movie ever made."
Lucy fangirled Kenny Loggins a little, and said meeting him and singing with him on Celebrity Duets kind of ruined her idolization of him -- when you meet your idols, they become real to you and it ruins it. "That's why we must never become too close, darlings, or you'll never come back."
She laments the effect of the writers' strike on Battlestar Galactica.
Lucy was in a car accident and her loaner was a Monster Truck -- which is amusing as her regular car? A Prius. She's taking the kids to school in a Monster Truck.
She hit a deer, but he was all right: "Being hit by a Prius is like being hit by a bulldozer made of cake."
Fan: Did you do print modeling before XWP? Showed her an old photo spread with a headline that said "Lesbians love Xena." She laughed and said, "That was a very progressive headline for New Zealand at that time."
Lucy asked for Tarina in the crowd, and a woman who she said is a much loved fan, with no hair, came up, and Lucy hugged her. I don't actually know the story behind this -- anyone?
Lucy then recounted the tragic death of Kevin Smith who played Ares, God of War on Xena, and said his family needs help -- one of his children is autistic. There is an auction benefitting them on eBay. Info at http://www.jenniferwardlealand.com/.
Fan said a friend of hers has researched it, and over the last 13 years, Xenites have raised $12.2 million for charity!
Renee comes back out. I'm still not quite used to seeing a blonde Lucy and a red-headed Renee.
Fan: Does it bother your kids that you have such a big lesbian following?
Lucy: "My kids wouldn't mind unless I minded. We don't teach them to hate people."
Renee: "Good answer, Lucy."
Fan: Do you like Lucy better as a brunette or a blonde?
Renee: "I don't think Lucy can do anything wrong. I like both. But if I'm partial to one, it's the brunette. But I like them both."
Lucy: "I'm not just my hair, darling!"
Fan: My dad died a week after the convention last year. But I got a lot of strength from that weekend and I just wanted to thank you.
Lucy thanked her and gave her condolences.
Fan: You used to babysit for my twin sons when they were babies.
Renee: Tell us a story about Lucy being a babysitter.
Fan: I didn't pay very much.
Lucy asks for phtos of the boys grown up. It's very sweet. Awwwww.
Renee: How old were you?
Lucy: 14, 15.
Fan dressed as Callisto (Lucy says, "I'm afraid!") What was your favorite costume?
Lucy: The ending (?) costume. I still own it and I still wear it.
Renee: I didn't like the first Gabrielle outfit, with the long skirt.
Lucy: But that midriff thing was a good idea until the bitter winter.
A fan thanked Lucy for being a great role model, and Lucy said to thank the writers for that.
Someone asked about her stunts. Lucy said she did some of her own fighting. "Oh my god, I hit Kevin Sorbo so hard on the back of his head, right after Michael Hurst had given him 12 stitches in his head."
Renee: "Didn't they stop using weapons made out of steel after that?"
Fan: How would you have ended the series?
Lucy: Trailer park.
Lucy: Beer cans all around. And it could still happen.
Next question: I watch the show only in my socks. Is that weird?
Lucy laughed. "Ted, you're an ass and you always will be." (It's Ted Raimi, who played Joxer.)
Renee: We miss Ted. Parts of him.
Lucy asks for Missy Good, and says she couldn't read the fan fic Missy gave her to read on stage last night, but there were "double headed devices." And Lucy added that Katherine Fugate said she'd have written something for her, if it weren't for the writer's strike.
Fan: What was it like to kiss Renee O'Connor?
Renee: "Yes, Lucy, what was it like?"
Lucy: "It's the fan fiction again. (Laughter.) It's so hard to describe...."
Renee: "Because it's so amazing."
Fan: Can you describe yourself in six words?
Lucy: I - am - really - unprepared - and - unspontaneous.
Renee: I - can't - speak - in - six -words.
A fan asks them to do the Xena battle cry, and they do. Yay.
Fan: Your UK fans thank you, Lucy, for coming to the UK in May. Also, on the latest "Coffee Talk," Renee said she didn't know her sexuality until she was around you.
Lucy: She did?
Renee: "Lucy never listens to anything I say." Then Renee explains that being around someone strong and confident like Lucy impressed her and made her more confident in her sexuality.
Lucy: "It's a lot like being a stripper, isn't it, wearing those costumes."
Fan: Complimented Renee's work on her film "Diamonds and Guns." Said it inspired her to start her own business.
Fan: What are the three things you like about each other?
Lucy: "Renee is courageous, and pit bull like in going after what she wants. No one can tell her she can't do something."
Renee: "Lucy is gracious and authentic."
by Christie Keith