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AMERICA ONLINE CHAT, April 23, 1997

 

Reneé O'Connor

 

OnlineHost:

Reneé O'Connor stars as fast-talking young Gabrielle, Xena's plucky traveling companion and devoted best friend, in the hit syndicated series Xena: Warrior Princess. Described by Reneé as "a romantic storyteller with a passion for adventure," Gabrielle often saves the Warrior Princess from her darker impulses and is the perfect foil for Xena's wit. Welcome to AOL!

* * * * * * *

 

AOLiveMC1:
It is my pleasure to present to you, Reneé O'Connor. Welcome to AOL!
Reneé:
Hello everybody. It is about time.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Here we go with the questions for tonight. EtainBron starts us off with this question:
Question:
How long did it take to learn how to use the quarterstaff?
Reneé:
I am still learning. Every fight scene I learn a new move. I usually hit someone while they aren't looking.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Yogzilla has a couple questions for our guest:
Question:
The only thing that surpasses your beauty is your talent. How many of your own stunts do you do, and how long do you train with the staff each day?? For a tough question: M&M's - - plain or peanut?? Have a good night.
Reneé:
Thanks for the compliment. I do all my own stunts that don't involve any jumping over crates. In between scenes I do a couple of twirls until they take the staff away from me but that is about it. That is all the practice I get.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Rippper22 has a question about geography:
Question:
Hows life in New Zealand compared to Austin?
Reneé:
Well, I never actually lived in Austin. I only visit occasionally to see my mother. New Zealand is very cosmopolitan. It reminds me of San Francisco.

 

AOLiveMC1:
SueSteiny poses this question:
Question:
Hi Reneé! What episodes do you enjoy doing more - the funny or the more serious ones?
Reneé:
I love all the comedic episodes. Especially the ones where I can play off of Lucy's wild antics. The dramatic ones are challenging as well but it is more fun to play around the set.

 

AOLiveMC1:
RagnaROC has a aesthetics question for Reneé:
Question:
Do you like the coloring of your hair now and will you keep it?
Reneé:
What color do I have on TV at the moment? Just kidding. I love it when it has the warm red tones.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Deva4Life wants to know if Reneé and her character have anything in common:
Question:
Are you anything like Gabrielle?
Reneé:
Unfortunately, I have all the quirky silly characteristics of Gabrielle.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Cindywool wants to know about Reneé's character:
Question:
Your character has grown a lot, do you like the changes she has gone through?
Reneé:
I love the fact that the writers keep Gabrielle sensitive to the world around her. Even though she is faced with such adversity.

 

AOLiveMC1:
SGPernicu wants to know what a typical day is like:
Question:
What months are you in New Zealand and what is your typical working day like?
Reneé:
I live in New Zealand all year. Except for the few weeks we have for hiatus. At that time, I usually try to return home to visit the family. I usually wake up about 4:30 in the morning. I work a 12 hour filming day to end up returning home to prepare for the next day's scenes.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Shandarr5 wants to know if Reneé is "adventurous" as well:
Question:
Reneé, WELCOME! Would you consider your life to be as adventurous as Gabrielle's?
Reneé:
I wish I could travel around the world as quickly as Gabrielle and Xena do. I also wish I was as tough with the staff as she is.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Leaf hrc wants Reneé to compare all of these:
Question:
Which do you like best: the Poteidaian peasant garb, the Amazon outfit, or the Bilious Green Sports Bra?
Reneé:
Which do you like best? We are preparing for next season's outfit.

 

AOLiveMC1:
JOhn30inD has this speculative question:
Question:
Any inklings of a Xena movie in the future?
Reneé:
I haven't heard much about a Xena movie. I think we are all putting as much energy as we can right now into the series itself.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Ruve1 has this question to pose:
Question:
I love Xena and Gabrielle as roles models because I am a six feet one inch girl, and am always made to feel like a big savage. You women look enormous. Would you please tell me what your real size is? i.e.height and weight!
Reneé:
I am 5'4" and do you really want to know how much I weigh?

 

AOLiveMC1:
DRENO195 wants to know if Reneé will venture to behind the camera:
Question:
Greetings, Reneé! I love the work you've done. I read in an interview, that you were becoming more adept behind the camera. Will we be seeing an episode of X:WP under your direction in the near future? Thanks, Don/DRENO195
Reneé:
Thanks. I am annoying all the cameramen and directors at the present time. I think I will take a few more years to become adept in that area.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Galloway has this question about the show's characters:
Question:
Hi Reneé. I've heard that Hudson Leick may be returning for another guest spot as Callisto. My question is, do you see Gabrielle as someone who might "reach" Callisto (or want to) like Hercules "reached" Xena?
Reneé:
Callisto is definitely her own woman. You would have to ask the writers about that.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Trbl007 wants to know what's in Reneé's future:
Question:
What would you like to do theatrically in the future?
Reneé:
I have no desire right now to pursue anything beyond Xena. I am learning more behind the scenes. Which is my desire at the moment.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Hessiphus asks these two questions:
Question:
How come there aren't more references to Greek mythology? And why did Ambrosia look like melted gummy bears?
Reneé:
They taste wonderful as well. I think we are trying to pursue other areas of religion.

 

AOLiveMC1:
John30inD wants to know if Reneé will be appearing on a talk show in the future:
Question:
Are you going on any TV talk shows such as Letterman or Leno in the near future?
Reneé:
I have no plans to go on any talk shows. The few weeks that I have off from filming are full of interviews to come.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Rippper22 poses this thought-provoking question:
Question:
I'm curious about some of the lesbian overtones the show has taken during a couple of recent episodes. Is that going to be a trend, or was that a misinterpretation by the viewing audience?

 

AOLiveMC1:
Nexzia wants to know who is Reneé's role model:
Question:
Renee, Who is the one person that has inspired you the most in your career? Paula
Reneé:
I have several favorite actresses such as Jessica Lange and Sally Field, Holly Hunter that I choose to look at to learn more about my craft. I would have to say that I owe a lot of my inspiration to the different teachers I have had over the last 10 years.

 

AOLiveMC1:
EpnEph wants to know if Reneé would change anything about her character, Gabrielle:
Question:
It's obvious you enjoy playing Gabrielle, making her such a fabulous 3 dimensional character. But if you could change one thing about her, what would it be?
Reneé:
Her boots. I think we should make Gabrielle walk around the country in tennis shoes. What do you think?

 

AOLiveMC1:
Goofyde wants to know more about how Reneé stays in shape:
Question:
Is there a special type of workout you do to keep fit?
Reneé:
I continue to run. I like to lift weights twice a week. Chasing Xena around is enough of a workout, actually.

 

AOLiveMC1:
PenandSwr wants to know about this:
Question:
Gabrielle has gone from "tagalong" to a very capable character (such as Amazon Queen). Gabrielle and Xena complement each other well, but how much more independent will Gabby become?
Reneé:
Gabrielle will never leave Xena's side. She is a loyal sidekick to the very end.

 

AOLiveMC1:
LCope has a question concerning the official fan club and website:
Question:
I am a member of your official fan club and want to let you know that your mom is doing a great job with the club and AOL your website. When do you plan on getting a new message to your fans?
Reneé:
What are we doing now? Thanks Mom for all the work if you are out there.

 

AOLiveMC1:
BHall7736 has this to ask:
Question:
Reneé you started acting at a very young age, did you always know you wanted to pursue this carreer?
Reneé:
I was always a ham. Any type of acting or performance is a way for me to express myself. I knew this at a young age.

 

AOLiveMC1:
SGPernicu has an Internet-related question:
Question:
How do you feel about your enormous popularity on the internet and do you go online in New Zealand?
Reneé:
Occasionally, I will browse the net. I think it is great that we can see the opinions of all the fans from around the world. We have a direct connection to you whether you realize it or not.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Cynmongir wants to know this:
Question:
Where can I get a photo for my 5 year old. she loves Xena and Gabrielle she has Xena and Hercules dolls. I like that she knows women have power even though its fantasy. But moms an Asst VP and women are capable of many things. Comment.
Reneé:
Please write to my fan club in Austin, Texas. It is on the net you will receive more stuff than you could ever want. I think that we are lucky to have a show where you can find true women who are strong and intelligent and we owe that to the Xena staff. They are very passionate about the show.

 

AOLiveMC1:
LDCorrea wants to know how much input Renee has in her character:
Question:
Reneé: Do you have much input on the direction and development of Gabrielle? (Lucia)
Reneé:
I trust the writers completely. They are very loyal to the character of Gabrielle and as long as they continue to love her I feel very safe with whatever direction they decide.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Narpi 469 wants to know what Reneé does off the set:
Question:
What are your hobbies?
Reneé:
What hobbies? I still love to go to movies. And sleep.

 

AOLiveMC1:
XenaWP27 has this interesting question:
Question:
What is the fuzzy white thing at the end of Gabrielle's staff?
Reneé:
I tend to ask that question frequently. I am allergic to it. Just kidding.

 

AOLiveMC1:
JJgrinner wants to know the secret to this:
Question:
How do you keep your skirt from riding up in a fight scene?
Reneé:
I can't! I can't! I can't! I can't!

 

AOLiveMC1:
IF2XDREAM is curious to find out about this:
Question:
Will there be more blooper tapes to purchase, like the one that is supposed to come with the fan club kit?
Reneé:
I actually haven't seen any of the blooper tapes. You would have to talk to the fan club president about that. Good luck.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Krystle 8 wants to know about Reneé's eye color:
Question:
Do you wear color contacts?
Reneé:
No, I don't. My eye color seems to change depending on the lighting that our director of photography shines at us.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Shandarr5 wants to know if Reneé sings:
Question:
Do you sing, and if so, would you consider singing on the show with Lucy?
Reneé:
Lucy would love it if I sang with her. I can harmonize with anyone. This is a serious joke.

 

AOLiveMC1:
RC 1231 wants to know how Reneé feels about her character's huge popularity:
Question:
How do you feel being such a massive draw to the show? I mean most classical sidekicks have never had such a large following.
Reneé:
I appreciate all the loyalty that the fans have shown to Gabrielle. We are lucky that Lucy and I have such great chemistry.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Sekhmet20 offers this comparison:
Question:
Question for Reneé: Gabrielle's maturity level seems to be all over the map this season (from adult equal-to-Xena to hero-worshipping kid). Is this due to episode shuffling because of Lucy's accident or is Gabby just having a rough "adolescence"?
Reneé:
Didn't we all? I like to keep all parts of Gabrielle's personality intact.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Nuttree1 wants to know which outfit has caught Reneé's fancy:
Question:
Your character has gone through soooo many outfits in just two seasons. Do you have a favorite one?
Reneé:
I like them all actually. However, the normal Gabrielle costume keeps getting smaller.

 

AOLiveMC1:
JuBenniso wants to know how Reneé prepares for her show and her character:
Question:
Each minute of XWP is so packed with either action or dialog that it would seem a ton of preparation is necessary. Do you have to do much "homework" for the episodes as far as memorization or rehearsing the choreography?
Reneé:
I always read an episode script at least three times. This is before we start filming it. Then, the night before we are required to shoot a scene I make sure I am word perfect.

 

AOLiveMC1:
ICRITTERI wants to know about this:
Question:
Obviously playing Gabby has been one of your best jobs...what was your worst?
Reneé:
Ha, ha, ha. Is this from Laguna Beach? You tell me what my first? Sorry, it was supposed to be You tell me first.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Ephane wants to know how Reneé became a part of the cast:
Question:
how did you get the part of Gabrielle?
Reneé:
I had worked for Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi twice before. When the character of Gabrielle was being thought about, they considered me for the role. Thank the Gods they did!

 

AOLiveMC1:
Jossi has a food-related question:
Question:
what is your fav dish ...do you hope to settle in the restaurant business like your fam?
Reneé:
I love mexican food.! I have been in the country for almost one week and I have had it 4 times already. I think I will stick to my day job.

 

AOLiveMC1:
RnRPresen wants to know about this:
Question:
Lucy had a black eye. Michael broke an arm. Kevin had to get stitches. Are you little scared it might be your turn to get hurt? Or do you already have a battlescar to share?
Reneé:
I don't think we should be discussing this, do you? Knock on wood.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Bunnykins wants to know what it's like to be an actress:
Question:
Reneé- I am also an actress...I have never done any major work but I hope I can...What's it like working the long hours and trying to have a life at the same time?
Reneé:
I believe as long as you are working at something you love the hours are worth enduring. You have to be persistent in this industry. That is for sure. Good luck.

 

AOLiveMC1:
SilverC79 is curious to find out about this:
Question:
Are you and lucy as good friends off cammera as you are on?
Reneé:
Yes we are. I can tell Lucy anything. Probably more information than she needs or wants to know.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Nuttree1 wants to know about the price of fame:
Question:
Now that the show has hit it big, do you miss the anonymity you once had?
Reneé:
Actually, most people don't recognize me out of costume. I must seem much taller. Ha, ha, ha.

 

AOLiveMC1:
LALaura90 wants to know about this change:
Question:
What influenced your decision to bare your midriff in the second season?
Reneé:
The costume designer got a twitch in her hand.

 

AOLiveMC1:
DARC LYTE has this to ask:
Question:
Miss O'Connor, it's been reported that your character dies in the animated movie. Does she remain dead, or is she brought back, or can you not say.
Reneé:
Does she really die? I think you should wait for the movie.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Pixie904 wants to know if Reneé knows martial arts:
Question:
I'd like to know what martial arts Reneé studies.
Reneé:
I learn moves off anyone I see dancing around. Actually, I study with the Hercules stunt double, Sam Williams, and I am constantly picking the brain of our stunt coordinators, Peter Bell and Mark Harris. They are fantastic!

 

AOLiveMC1:
KBroce wants to know how Reneé got onto the show, Hercules:
Question:
How did you know about the available part in the show Hercules?
Reneé:
I went to an audition that afternoon at the last minute. And... fate took a hand.

 

AOLiveMC1:
JQuiver wants to know:
Question:
Reneé--do you enjoy reading novels that deal with fantasy and sci-fi?
Reneé:
I mostly enjoy reading literature. Such as classics from Shakespeare, different American and Irish playrights. I also like to read novelists from other countries. Right now I am reading a novel called Leaning Towards Infinity which was written in Australia.

 

AOLiveMC1:
JoxrPinat wants to know if Reneé's character will expand her fighting horizons:
Question:
Ms. O'Connor--Will we be seeing your character branch out into other fighting styles other than the staff?
Reneé:
I don't believe Gabrielle is as tough as she thinks she is without her staff.

 

AOLiveMC1:
AllChicke wants to know about Reneé's first television appearance:
Question:
Reneé, what was your first time on television?
Reneé:
I think I was in a McDonald's commercial when I was 16. That would be it.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Amber2cut wants to know how Lucy's accident affected the show:
Question:
How did the shooting schedule effect you when LUCY was hurt?
Reneé:
Obviously, we all tried to continue our schedule with the show. Everybody was very understanding about putting in more time without Lucy's input into the role of Xena. I finally had a taste for the long hours that Lucy puts in. She puts in these hours day in and day out.

 

AOLiveMC1:
AllChicke has another question, this one about Reneé's favorite Xena episode:
Question:
Hey Reneé, how are you tonight? I was wondering what your fav episode is.
Reneé:
Good. Thanks. My favorite episode that has aired would be A Day In The Life. In this episode Lucy and I were allowed more screen time to play off of one another. Everyone had a great time on the set as well, watching and laughing.

 

AOLiveMC1:
BAGaynor wants to know how this works:
Question:
Hi Reneé, thanks for coming and thanks for the great work you do on the show! How far in advance do you know about show storylines? Do you read it when the script hits your lap a week before filming, or do the writers give hints of what they have planned?
Reneé:
If I am nice to the writers, they will give me a clue as to where Gabrielle might end up within the next few months. Most of the time we receive the scripts two weeks before we start filming.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Beth Dr wants Reneé to give us a little extra tidbit about her character:
Question:
Can you tell us something about Gabrielle that we don't know? And thanks for coming tonight!
Reneé:
I think you know more about the character than I do. Can you tell me what is in her bag?

 

AOLiveMC1:
Mythweaver asks a question that many out there would probably love to know about:
Question:
What was your most embarrasing moment on Xena: Warrior Princess?
Reneé:
My most embarassing moment to date would be the skinny dipping scene in Altared States. It was a bit of a laugh.

 

AOLiveMC1:
SnowManDM wants to know:
Question:
Hi I am a sophomore in High School and I am doing a report on Greek Mythology. I was wondering, how much of Xena is based on ancient Greek Myths?
Reneé:
Whenever we use a Greek myth in the show, you can count on the fact that the writers have done hours of research into the authenticity of the legend. It is up to the writers to whether or not we deal with any Greek heroes.

 

AOLiveMC1:
I'm sorry to say that time's almost up and so we have time for one final question from the audience.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Xeena28 ends our show on this one:
Question:
Reneé, there was a lot of debate at first about you not having a horse as opposed to Lucy. Do you ever see your character getting a horse?
Reneé:
I don't think I will. How about something small and furry instead?

 

AOLiveMC1:
Reneé, thank you for taking the time out of your day to appear with us tonight on AOL. Any final words for your faithful and adoring fans out there in the audience?
Reneé:
Thank you all so much. This was much easier than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed it. Goodnight.

 

AOLiveMC1:
Goodnight, Reneé. And goodnight to our audience out there. Until next time, AOL!

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