[ Image: A photo of Katie McGrath as Morgana from the TV series Merlin. A pale skinned woman with her dark hair in a plait, she wears an exceptionally fine chainmail shirt beneath a pair of metal bracers and a scalemail corset. Posed against a tree, she holds a sword above her head. ]
… and then it hit me that it would be super rad to pair PB & Marceline all Buffy/Faith style. I mean I know that Marceline is a vampire, and so maybe she has a more Spike-badass-thing going on… but for now enjoy this slash pair and who knows… maybe more to come.
By John Schulian
So it was with an untroubled mind that I went to my office one Sunday afternoon, with nobody else around, certainly not Tapert, and noodled with names until I settled on Xena. I haven’t the slightest idea where it came from. I just knew the warrior princess’s name had to start with an X because X, as Tapert and I and every sentient fan of the genre will tell you, X is cool. Xena, meanwhile, remained a mystery until I walked into my dry cleaner’s when the show was a hit and the man behind the counter enlightened me. “Is Russian name,” he said.
What I eventually wrote wasn’t a pilot script in the traditional sense. It was a script for “Hercules,” and if the Xena character worked out, she would be spun off into her own series. She appeared in three episodes and was transformed from a bloodthirsty, Hercules-hating harridan to a good woman intent on making amends for all the harm she had done. It all seems so simple now – I wrote it, we shot it, the syndication salesman went out and sold “Xena: Warrior Princess” as a series – but we one more miracle to get past the biggest hurdle of all, finding an actress to play Xena.
Our first choice couldn’t have been more wrong. Vanessa Angel was a delicate beauty you could have bruised with a hard look. Tapert sent her to take lessons in horseback riding, martial arts, and everything else he could think of to butch her up. But she was still cotton candy when she went off to spend the holidays in London. The plan was for her to fly back through L.A. on her way to New Zealand to shoot the first three “Hercules” episodes in 1995, the Xena trilogy. She never made it. The flu, she said when she called a day or two after Christmas, coughing and wheezing. Others attributed her backing out to what I’ll call the lovesick blues. Either way, we caught a break.
Of course we didn’t think so when we found ourselves without an actress to play Xena in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, annually the deadest week in Hollywood. Tapert and Raimi worked the phones relentlessly, calling every amply endowed actress who had ever paraded in front of them, and, brother, they knew hundreds, maybe thousands. They talked to redheads, blondes and brunettes, country girls and city hoochies, Asians, Latinas, and African-Americans, and they struck out every time. And then a young assistant producer named David Eick said the magic words: “What about Lucy Lawless?”
There was much hemming and hawing at first, even by Tapert, which must have inspired some interesting conversations when he was convincing Lucy to marry him. But everybody had definitely noticed her when she had acted in the Hercules movies and a series episode. Better yet, she was massively available when Tapert tracked her down. My memory tells me she was panning for gold in Australia with her first husband, and if that’s not the truth, I don’t want to know what is. I like the idea of Lucy being an earthy babe.
If she hadn’t been one on screen, too, our gooses would have been cooked. There was nothing to do but offer up prayers to the fickle gods of show business, the ones who rarely give with both hands, and wait for the first day’s dailies to arrive. I watched them in my office, alone. There was Lucy looking great on a horse and even better when she jumped off it to swing a sword the size of Vanessa Angel and kick the stuffing out of a gang of marauding thugs. I called David Eick instantly.
“She’s Xena,” I said.
Miracles do happen.
[ Image: A dark skinned woman with black dreadlocks wearing a leather top and a fierce expression poses with a white-handled katana, ready to deliver a powerful two-handed blow. ]
EW just released first photo
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Season 3 The Walking Dead
[ Description: A photo of black latina actress Gina Torres as Hel from the TV series Cleopatra 2525. Her dark hair has been styled into a series of short twisty braids, and she wears a shiny synthetic high collared bodice. ]
Quite frankly, while [Cleopatra 2525] was happening, “Galaxy Quest” was in theaters and I was Alan Rickman’s character. I would sit there while putting on my plastic gauntlets, thinking, “I’ve done classical theater, I’ve worked with Tony Award winning directors, and I’m running around in a bra and rubber hot pants saving the world.” But I love it now.Gina Torres, ladies & gentlemen.