Being a leading lady is nothing new for Lucy Lawless. She has had no shortage of notable roles since she donned her armor, flung her Chakram through the air, and ventured into mystical lands with her companion Gabrielle. That said, to me the clear cut signs of a legendary actor isn’t their ability to lead but also their ability to come into a well established story late in the game and elevate it to a higher level of greatness without steamrolling the foundation created by other characters. That’s why I’ve decided to collect what I believe to be Lucy Lawless’s best roles, particularly the ones where she entered a popular TV show as a pivotal supporting character and added something special.
1. Battlestar Galactica – D’Anna Biers/Number Three
Joining the cast of Battlestar Galactica in the midst of season 2 her character proved to be one of the more complicated iterations of cylon seen throughout the shows four season run. Along with the love triangle with Six and Gaius Baltar, D’Anna was also plagued with visions of The Final Five, leading to a religious fascination involving the revelation of their identities and some, shall we say, self destructive habits. Her efforts to discover who The Final Five cylons were led to her being deemed dysfunctional and nearly destroyed by her fellow synthetic friends. Of course this did not end so well for them.
2. Parks and Recreation – Diane Lewis
Who can tame the heart of Ron Swanson? I think a warrior princess can. After several enjoyable episodes dedicated to the love life of our unfriendliest neighborhood Director of Parks and Recreation, he finally met his match. It was nice to see Lucy Lawless get a chance to play within a comedic setting and surprising to see the impact her seemingly low-key role had on the plot. She challenges Leslie’s relationship with Ron and also challenges Ron’s need to be off the grid, leading both of these key characters to reevaluate things about themselves and change.
3. Salem – Countess Marburg
Yet another role where she plays a villain capable of resurrection and eternal life, except this time instead of synthetic humans the story involves witches and blood magic.
Set at the height of the Salem witch trials the show fictionalizes the the witch-panic in a way it normally isn’t seen by going full on with the witchy-ness. This show shocked with it’s imagery and showcased many incredible performances. Acting as the primary villain for season two, Countess Marburg is revealed to be one of, if not the, oldest witch alive. The power struggle between her and Mary Sibley was fun to see unfold. It was refreshing to see a story play out about the topic of puritanical witchcraft that wasn’t just a mystery thriller that leaves the viewer to decide if something’s supernatural or not. Salem’s answer to that was essentially, “There’s some supernatural shit going on here. We’re gonna show it to you in the grossest/sexiest way possible. Deal with it”.
4. Ash vs Evil Dead – Ruby Knowby
By far my all-time favorite Lucy Lawless role. Once again collaborating with Sam Raimi, she joined the cast as a bit of an antihero, but I suppose one could argue that every character on this show has a little antihero in them. Ruby is incredible, not just because of the pink hair evolution, but because of the fact that she is a relentless demon fighting badass… who is also a demon herself. Don’t want to spoil too much because I really think anyone who hasn’t seen Ash vs Evil Dead should drop everything and watch it immediately. The notable friction between her no-nonsense methods and Ash’s brash machismo lead to some great comedic moments in the thick of the action.
5. Wynonna Earp – Mama Earp (*hopefully*)
Yes, I realize this one is a bit of a pipe dream at the moment but, I believe the fandom gods are with us on this one. If any actor is capable of jumping on board a show fueled by the power of beautifully flawed badass female characters and making it more amazing than it already is, Lucy Lawless is that actor. At this point even if it doesn’t happen, she’s already left a notable mark on the Wynonna Earp world by engaging in the casting conversation and trolling showrunner Emily Andras in the best way possible.
Had the weirdest dream last night. Can’t wait to tell my new girlfriend about it. pic.twitter.com/lup545hJx7
— Emily Andras (@emtothea) September 14, 2017