"I almost put makeup on for you. And then I thought better of it," I said when Lucy Lawless and I jumped on a Zoom call to discuss My Life Is Murder Season 2.

That frank talk didn't deter Lucy at all. "Oh, good for you. No, I did put makeup on for you, but many hours ago," she said.

Let's be honest. COVID has changed a lot of things, like the desire to dress up, for instance. But it was not the motivation for the location of My Life Is Murder moving from Australia to New Zealand. Lucy just wanted to return home and share it with you.

It doesn't even affect the story that much, Lucy said. She was apprehensive about "being able to reproduce that with an entirely new crew and a lot of new players and new writers," but she's very thankful to say that they did.

Part of that is because Ebony Vagulans, who plays Alexa Crowe's trusty right hand, Madison, made the transition to New Zealand. With her presence, Lucy says, "you really get the same show in a new glittering city."

"So it's a bit of armchair tourism for you all," Lucy said. "And I'm excited because it's my hometown, and I've always wanted to show it off. And it's a beautiful environment."

One of the first scenes of the second season finds Alexa meeting with the new detective in her life, Harry Henare (Rawiri Jobe), at the top of Auckland's Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

As they chat, visitors are dropping by as they experience a sort of bungee jump to get the full Sky Tower experience. If it freaked me out, Lucy says she has done a lot of that sort of thing.

"I don't like it, but I would do it for charity, or I did it because it was part of a job," Lucy said. "They'd throw me out of helicopters over mountain ranges on an 800-foot bungee, by the way. And that was really not at all fun, but I was 23 and couldn't say no and just did it."

Looking back, the Sky Tower doesn't impress her much. "I actually find that one very sedate because it's not really free fall. You don't get to terminal velocity. You just go down on a wire, and that's a bit lame."

Still, it seemed like a significant gesture on Ebony's part to leave her country behind for a while to film Season 2. Alexa and Madison make a great team on the show and losing that would have been tough. Lucy says that Ebony "could not wait to get there, and she cannot wait to get back."

Lucy feels very lucky to have her talented costar plucked right out of drama school. She said, "We were her first serious job, and I just saw her and went, 'I'll have you thank you.' Because not only do I get the feeling that she would be a cool person to be chained to for a long time, she's such a star.

"She's just a star. So you want to be able to throw to your star and let them carry a scene while you're having a sleep. Didn't happen. It didn't happen. But the idea is that I want to plant the idea that she can carry the show if I'm ever having a mental health break or something."

Alexa without Madison, Lucy said, is like "Xena without Gabrielle. Ebony's a very special find. That'd be one of the things I'm proudest of in my entire career is finding that girl."

The rest of their cast from My Life Is Murder Season 1, though, stayed behind. It just wouldn't have made much sense, and logistically, the actors have lives in Australia they wouldn't want to leave behind.

Enter Harry and Reuben (Joe Naufahu), the purveyor of a local coffee shop, who fit in beautifully as Alexa settles once again in her hometown.

"I want to have some sexy younger men because why not? I'd like to see more of them because they're actually laugh-out-loud, incredibly funny men and really witty and ironic, just really quite brilliant," Lucy said.

With as beloved as Captain Thunderbolt was to fans of the show, the cat couldn't make the transition, either. "He did get left behind. He got recast. Re-cat," Lucy joked. The new feline is Chowder.

Lucy felt bad for the cat, whose real name is Zeppelin. It was so hot while they were filming that even the cat was sweating. "His hair was coming off. And I'm trying to hold him like I know him. This is the first day we've ever filmed, and he's like, 'Get your hands off me, you hot cow.'

"He was not having it, but he's such a star. You only get them for three seconds at a time, but they're so beautiful. Geez, if we all had the star power of a cat on screen, we'd all be getting Oscars every three seconds."

Although I noticed while watching the second season screeners made available to critics that Alexa was doing her part to save the environment by going without air conditioning (much to Madison's dismay) and giving Reuben a tsk-tsk when he left the door open on the restaurant, wasting electricity, Lucy doesn't believe that her character shares her passion for environmental issues.

"Well, is Alexa really like that? She says she's like that, but you know that she's quirky. She's not really an ideologue or anything. She just wants what she wants in that moment and thinks everybody else should do what she says, but a bit of a hypocrite. And she doesn't mind telling a lie every now and again."

Dawn, the nosy neighbor from the first season, obviously didn't carry over to My Life Is Murder Season 2, but Lucy misses that dynamic. "Dawn was a millennial, and she was always right and looking down her nose at Alexa, which was a really great dynamic to have."

Dawn was originally written to be an older woman, but it reminded Lucy too much of Bewitched's Mrs. Kravits. Lucy thought they needed someone more like her daughter, a millennial, always right and nailing you for it, which is rather unpleasant.

"So I think what we're seeing here is an absence of Dawn. And now that you mention it, I'm going to make sure that it gets in the next season. I want that punitive character living next door," Lucy said.

Alexa's new home recalls all of the things we loved about her home in Australia. Even the kitchen looks very similar, which was purposefully done. "We want the fans to have a sense of homecoming.

"And at the end of the episode, there's always that homecoming scene that makes you feel good and whole, justice has been achieved, and the family is intact in this lovely little jewel box of a home. So yes, that is by no means an accident."

If you loved her first place, you're going to fall in love again with a new place that is begging for you to move right in.

Alexa has a bit more room in Auckland, and that's because they filmed in an actual building in Australia, and they've got a set for Season 2. The real coup for the season is the guest stars.

"I love Martin Henderson coming on, and Bill Shatner and Jay Ryan. And, oh my gosh, obviously, Renee O'Connor is the dream cast for me. And to bring her to play with me on Murder space is really fun," she said of her Xena costar.

Some of those guests will be more seen in the episodes than others. "We couldn't get Bill Shatner here to New Zealand on a whim, so we beamed him in," she said. "His role is integral, but that's all I'll say."

Even with the impressive list of talent that lined up to join her in My Life Is Murder, she couldn't get everyone she would have liked. But it worked out, anyway.

"There was one sexy actor who I really wanted to play my dad. And when he couldn't, wouldn't, didn't feel like playing my dad, it was Claire [Tonkin] who said, 'What about if we changed the role to your brother?' And we all went, 'Ooh, that's cool.'

"Because the relationship with the father was kind of done and dusted, right? You're just rehashing the same old childhood, whatever the ripple effect of that is. But with a brother, it's an ongoing relationship. It's a little bit conditional, with brothers, right?

"It's just like, if I have to, I can cut you loose ... So there's a bit more push me, pull you with a brother. And that became Martin Henderson. We just lucked out that Martin was up for it and available. And so, he plays my naughty younger brother," she said with a sly grin.

Alexa hasn't forgotten her past, and she still grieves for her husband. But that's not a deterrent to her still living life fully. "Well, the great thing about these women is that they have sex lives, and they're modern women, and they don't apologize for it. Nothing bad happens to them," Lucy said.

"I like that she's a modern urban woman. She's 53, and she has a love life, and she's solving crimes and baking bread and just being her crazy self. She doesn't care what other people think. We all want to be just a little bit more like that, I think."

The day before we talked, I had seen Lucy on a TCA panel in which she declared her dislike for live-action and genre programming. It surprised me since I've previously chatted with her for Salem and Ash Vs. Evil Dead. When I asked her about it, she made her feelings on the issue clear. "Hate it," Lucy said without hesitation.

Alexa is much closer to the woman behind the character than most other characters she's played before. "[She's] so much closer to me because I'm not actually an ancient Roman woman. I am not an ancient Greek woman. I am not a demon," she laughed.

"I'm a modern Kiwi woman. And [My Life Is Murder] just gives me stuff to ad-lib and throw stuff in that is of the moment and that is organic and fun, just because you're feeling it at the time. And sometimes, that makes it in the final cut. There was much more Lucy in this one."

She was never Xena, she said, and the moment they called cut, she let Xena go. But then again, she's never let her go. "I'm so grateful. That is the best thing that ever happened to me. And I got to meet my husband, have my children. It helped me buy a house, gave me a wonderful, incredible, faithful, supportive fan base. What's not to like?"

Hopefully, you're eager to watch My Life Is Murder Season 2. Lucy's advice is simple. "Just some tasty little murder mysteries, which your favorite hangout gang is on. We're inviting you into our living room to go on this little jaunt with us and rustle up some justice and some pussycat love and some good food and the odd glass of wine."

My Life Is Murder Season 2 premieres on Acorn TV on Monday, August 30.



source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2021/08/lucy-lawless-shares-her-hometown-as-my-life-is-murder-changes-ve/

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