Season 3 of My Life Is Murder is set for its US premiere, and a few days ago series star Lucy Lawless spent a few minutes with me on a Zoom to chat about the show.
Getting to speak with members of the cast and crew of international television series is one of the best parts of my job. Occasionally a stressful one, too, if I am feeling particularly nervous about who I will be interviewing. Which was the case with Lucy Lawless.
I don’t get starstruck very easily, but in this case I was going to be Zooming with Xena, Warrior Princess! Granted, about her latest character, investigator Alexa Crowe in the hit mystery dramedy series My Life Is Murder, but still. My voice sounded an octave higher than it normally is, and my nervousness made me feel like I had had four espressos in five minutes. (I had only had two.) Zooming while Zooming, as it were…
(Text has been lightly edited for clarity.)
LJ: “The weather is turning cooler here, it’s grey, it’s cloudy, it’s kinda yucky, and… the show is like sunshine on a cloudy day. The stories are clever, it’s got humor, it’s just a wonderful show, and I’m so glad you’re back with ten new episodes.”
LL: “Thank you so much! Yeah, we wanted it to be a joyful show, because when we conceived of it, we thought the world was a bit bleak and we didn’t want to be part of feeding into that. So we decided, no, we don’t want blood and guts. We don’t want murdered children. We want a sense of justice and fulfillment, and we want it to be beautiful, like a jewel box, so that people want to just come and feed their souls a little bit. So we show my city to great effect, and it’s a bit of Auckland tourism, too, for people who are stuck at home.”
LJ: “Yeah, that’s another aspect of the show. My wanderlust kicks in every time…”
LL: “We want our worlds to be aspirational, so we’re lifting the curtain on low goings-on in high places, because that’s a bit of wish fulfillment, you know? So that the bad guys that we bring down are not the poor old meth addict on the corner, but some plastic surgeon who’s hurting people or fleecing people.”
LJ: “Well, you’ve got the crypto king.”
LL: “The crypto king, that’s right. So everybody’s quite fancy. Even our housewives! We have an episode featuring a bunch of housewives and, my god, it’s so funny. You know, people who are concerned with image, of course that’s not one of Alexa’s weaknesses, so it’s good to have that friction between her and people who live very fancy pants lives.”
LJ: “Also this season, there’s a new character that gets introduced, and she is quite the firecracker, this one. The character Beth.”
LL: “Tatum Warren-Ngata — yeah, she’s great. Just a talented, funny young actress. I worked with her on a show called Toke, where she was the breakout star. And I was like, ‘Get that girl,’ cos we were afraid that we couldn’t get Ebony in the country because New Zealand’s borders were locked down so tight. So we got Tatum, who’s a Kiwi. Then Tatum got sick and Ebony came and took all her lines back, and then Ebony got sick and Tatum came and took Madison’s lines in the rollover… Covid forced these changes, but it did give us the lovely Beth, so that’s how that came to be.”
LJ: “And once again, this season you’ve got some stellar guest stars — Craig Hall, Miriama McDowell, and Roy Billing.”
LL: “Yeah, he’s great.”
LJ: “Let me go back to Madison real quick. Will we see more of Madison actually back in Auckland? The storyline right now, in the screeners that I watched, is she’s in France…”
LL: “Oh yeah, she comes back, and in the fourth season she’ll be back with a vengeance, if there’s another season.”
LJ: “Ooh, fingers crossed!”
LL: “Half the show is the luminosity of Ebony Vagulans, so I wouldn’t want to do a show without her. She’s my sidekick, you know? You can’t have Xena without Gabrielle, and she’s my Gabrielle.”
LJ: “Do you ever have story ideas or ideas about situations that you would like to see Alexa in that you share with the writers?”
LL: “I don’t ever really think about Alexa, but yes, I do share ideas. Because we are delving into slightly closed communities — that’s part of our thing with My Life Is Murder — sometimes I discover a new side of the community that I’m like, ‘Ooh, this is really fertile. This is really happening now, and look how it affects these other people around them.’ So yes, I do have a few of those ideas, but inevitably, I give them an idea, and if they like it, they run with it and it turns into something else that I didn’t foresee because, you know, they work it. The writers, they’re brilliant, and that’s not my job; I’m not a writer. I love what they come up with; they come up with something better. But yeah, I am always firing ideas if I discover something new.”
LJ: “Cool. It actually sounds kind of juicy, what you discover… And you’ve got these great outfits in the new season. In the episode where the horse is the murder suspect, you want to breed your horse with the…”
LL: “Semen wars!… That really happens, by the way, in high-end horse breeding — semen smuggling. Somehow this really goes on. So it’s interesting, right?”
LJ: “Yeah! But what really caught my eye, when you were posing as that person, were those heels! The heels could not have been wider than a toothpick! How did you stand in those things?”
LL: “I only did for about ten meters. I didn’t walk further than thirty feet in them, and I was like, ‘Get these things off me!’ Yeah, I think those spiky stilettos are something that Alexa would never wear, given the choice, but since she was undercover, it was a chance for our costume designer, Sara, who’s a genius, to make me wear something awful…”
Not awful at all but awfully appealing and fun and entertaining is the new season of Lucy’s latest hit series, My Life Is Murder.
My Life Is Murder: Season 3, an Acorn Original, premieres in the US and Canada with its first two episodes (of ten) tomorrow, Monday, October 10, exclusively on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon. New episodes will debut in pairs through November 7.
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