Lucy Lawless talks about My Life Is Murder and the importance of a good work environment

My Life Is Murder -- Courtesy of Acorn TV
My Life Is Murder -- Courtesy of Acorn TV /

Lucy Lawless is bringing Alexa Crowe to life in My Life Is Murder. In this exclusive interview, she talks about the series and working with good people.

Lucy Lawless is one of the most recognizable actresses in the world. In the 1990s, she stepped onto our screens as Xena and since then she’s taken on impressive role after impressive role. Constantly following her heart, it’s clear to see that she enjoys her work and bringing the roles to life on screen. Now she’s stepping into the role of Alexa Crowe in My Life Is Murder.

The Australian series will air on Acorn TV in North America and you can already watch the first two episodes. Each episode after will be released on a weekly basis and it’s most definitely a series you want to check out if you love the Agatha Christie-style shows.

Lawless took time out of her busy schedule to talk to Hidden Remote exclusively about My Life Is Murder and why she chose this show as her next project.

Hidden Remote: I’ll start by saying that Xena was always my inspiration growing up. She was the woman I wanted to be. She was one of these characters that was fierce and independent and that was exactly what I wanted to be.

Lucy Lawless: Right on!

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HR: I’ve noticed some similarities between Xena and Alexa Crowe in My Life Is Murder. Is this something that drew you to Alexa?

Lawless: No, because the character wasn’t written! Claire [Tonkin] came to me. We met in Sydney and I just fell in love with her. I knew she and I could be colleagues, she was someone I wanted to jump into the foxhole with.

It’s risky to make a TV show with people I don’t know, in a country and city I’ve never been to. This could have gone horribly wrong, but I met her and took a chance. And 13 months later we were wrapping, which was extraordinarily quick. The scripts weren’t even written at that time.

HR: Wow! That is quick!

Lawless: The role was written for me and I was given lots of scope to ad-lib, and I expect that to go even further.

HR: I love that it was written for you and that you didn’t have to fit into this mold.

Lawless: Oh, I was on it before the writers were.

HR: What can you tell us about Alexa in My Life Is Murder?

Lawless: She’s an ex-cop, who lost her husband in the line of duty. She takes her death hard and goes to ground to grieve. She bakes bread until her former colleague hands her tasty little cold cases. She gets sucked into one and it feels so good that she realizes she’s back.

She’s not a rule follower. Because she’s now no longer a police officer, she’s able to indulge that side of her.

My Life Is Murder — Courtesy of Acorn TV
My Life Is Murder — Courtesy of Acorn TV /

HR: Something I’ve loved seeing is this relationship between cop and private eye [Kieran and Alexa]. It’s not a typical one. They share information and are chummy. Was that important in the development?

Lawless: Well, he’s the one that hands her the mission. He knows what will hook her, knowing there’s one kooky little fact that will interest her. Otherwise, she has no reason to do it. He hooks her into these gnarly little mysteries.

His department doesn’t have the money or time to follow up every cold case. He also sics a new sidekick on her in the form of Madison, played by Ebony Vagulans, and Alexa doesn’t want anything to do with this kid but finds her so irresistibly charming and clever that the three form a sort of family. That family will grow as we go on, including Captain Thunderbolt, the stray cat who finds Alexa.

HR: The three of you have such excellent chemistry together. What was it like developing that chemistry and the characters?

Lawless: It’s not a character but who she is. We’re giving [Ebony] the words and she’s delivering them in her own style. Because we liked her style before we gave her the words, I knew that this was my sidekick. I think she’s going to have an enormous career.

My Life Is Murder — Courtesy of Acorn TV
My Life Is Murder — Courtesy of Acorn TV /

HR: I hope to see more from Ebony. From what I’ve seen in My Life Is Murder, she’s absolutely brilliant.

Lawless: Madison is one of those characters you know she’s smart enough to figure something out without being spoon-fed by Alexa, which would drive her crazy. It would drive me crazy. This wasn’t just a head and heart decision to bring her on, but my gut decision.

HR: You’ve done so many different shows and genres. Is there one particular genre that you like or do you enjoy switching between them?

Lawless: didn’t plan that or even realize that had happened. It’s only now that people have started making those comments that I think “oh yeah, that was cool.” It was just that this was the next big idea in front of me and I wanted to do it.

I never want to repeat something, do something that I feel like I’ve done it before. I live in the sensation of doing it and not necessarily in the final product.

It’s my colleagues who will make or break something for me. I can only work with people I like and those who have a great work ethic and are joyful.

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Watch My Life Is Murder on Acorn TV with a FREE 7-day trial of Amazon Channels! /

HR: It shows on screen too.

Lawless: Yeah, no lazy, unkind people.

HR: It takes up so much time in your day that you have to enjoy it.

Lawless: Yes! I’ve got no time not to enjoy myself. It’s really hard work, so you need people who know how to practice gratitude; those who know they’re the lucky ones.

HR: There are so many people who would love to do what you’re doing.

Lawless: Totally! Everyone I work with has to know of the good fortune they have in life?

HR: Is there anything you hope that fans of the show can get out of the show?

Lawless: I want people to have something a little like Cheers, where you can check into this gorgeous little experience for an hour and have a psychic break from the grimness out there, so you can recharge and get away from Twitter. I find it really dark these days. We need some good news and celebrate something fun just for the sake of being alive.

HR: One thing I liked about each episode is that the case is wrapped up at the end.

Lawless: Yeah, it’s satisfying. It is in the classic Agatha Christie format, which is satisfying to the audience. I would like to see if we could step into Columbo, where you see the murderer up close and it becomes a cat and mouse game between murderer and Alexa.

HR: Has it been renewed for a second season?

Lawless: No, but I’m optimistic. I can think no other way.

HR: It should be renewed. I’ll say that.

Lawless: If the viewers like it, we’re coming back.

Next. 5 reasons to watch My Life Is Murder. dark

My Life Is Murder Episodes 1 and 2 are now available on Acorn TV with new episodes being released on a weekly basis. This is definitely a murder mystery series you need to check out.