AMERICA ONLINE CHAT,
April 23, 1997
- 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!
* * * * * * *
- It is my pleasure to present to you,
Reneé O'Connor. Welcome to AOL!
- Hello everybody. It is about time.
- Here we go with the questions for
tonight. EtainBron starts us off with this question:
- How long did it take to learn how to
use the quarterstaff?
- I am still learning. Every fight scene
I learn a new move. I usually hit someone while they aren't looking.
- Yogzilla has a couple questions for our
- 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.
- 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.
- Rippper22 has a question about
- Hows life in New Zealand compared to
- 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.
- SueSteiny poses this question:
- Hi Reneé! What episodes do you enjoy
doing more - the funny or the more serious ones?
- 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.
- RagnaROC has a aesthetics question for
- Do you like the coloring of your hair
now and will you keep it?
- What color do I have on TV at the
moment? Just kidding. I love it when it has the warm red tones.
- Deva4Life wants to know if Reneé and
her character have anything in common:
- Are you anything like Gabrielle?
- Unfortunately, I have all the quirky
silly characteristics of Gabrielle.
- Cindywool wants to know about Reneé's
- Your character has grown a lot, do you
like the changes she has gone through?
- I love the fact that the writers keep
Gabrielle sensitive to the world around her. Even though she is faced with
- SGPernicu wants to know what a typical
day is like:
- What months are you in New Zealand and
what is your typical working day like?
- 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
- Shandarr5 wants to know if Reneé is
"adventurous" as well:
- Reneé, WELCOME! Would you consider
your life to be as adventurous as Gabrielle's?
- 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.
- Leaf hrc wants Reneé to compare all of
- Which do you like best: the Poteidaian
peasant garb, the Amazon outfit, or the Bilious Green Sports Bra?
- Which do you like best? We are
preparing for next season's outfit.
- JOhn30inD has this speculative
- Any inklings of a Xena movie in
- 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.
- Ruve1 has this question to pose:
- 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!
- I am 5'4" and do you really want
to know how much I weigh?
- DRENO195 wants to know if Reneé will
venture to behind the camera:
- 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
- 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.
- Galloway has this question about the
- 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?
- Callisto is definitely her own woman.
You would have to ask the writers about that.
- Trbl007 wants to know what's in Reneé's
- What would you like to do theatrically
in the future?
- 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.
- Hessiphus asks these two questions:
- How come there aren't more references
to Greek mythology? And why did Ambrosia look like melted gummy bears?
- They taste wonderful as well. I think
we are trying to pursue other areas of religion.
- John30inD wants to know if Reneé will
be appearing on a talk show in the future:
- Are you going on any TV talk shows such
as Letterman or Leno in the near future?
- I have no plans to go on any talk
shows. The few weeks that I have off from filming are full of interviews to
- Rippper22 poses this thought-provoking
- 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
- Nexzia wants to know who is Reneé's
- Renee, Who is the one person that has
inspired you the most in your career? Paula
- 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.
- EpnEph wants to know if Reneé would
change anything about her character, Gabrielle:
- 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?
- Her boots. I think we should make
Gabrielle walk around the country in tennis shoes. What do you think?
- Goofyde wants to know more about how
Reneé stays in shape:
- Is there a special type of workout you
do to keep fit?
- I continue to run. I like to lift
weights twice a week. Chasing Xena around is enough of a workout, actually.
- PenandSwr wants to know about this:
- 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?
- Gabrielle will never leave Xena's side.
She is a loyal sidekick to the very end.
- LCope has a question concerning the
official fan club and website:
- 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
- What are we doing now? Thanks Mom for
all the work if you are out there.
- BHall7736 has this to ask:
- Reneé you started acting at a very
young age, did you always know you wanted to pursue this carreer?
- 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
- SGPernicu has an Internet-related
- How do you feel about your enormous
popularity on the internet and do you go online in New Zealand?
- 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.
- Cynmongir wants to know this:
- 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.
- 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.
- LDCorrea wants to know how much input
Renee has in her character:
- Reneé: Do you have much input on the
direction and development of Gabrielle? (Lucia)
- 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.
- Narpi 469 wants to know what Reneé
does off the set:
- What are your hobbies?
- What hobbies? I still love to go to
movies. And sleep.
- XenaWP27 has this interesting question:
- What is the fuzzy white thing at the
end of Gabrielle's staff?
- I tend to ask that question frequently.
I am allergic to it. Just kidding.
- JJgrinner wants to know the secret to
- How do you keep your skirt from riding
up in a fight scene?
- I can't! I can't! I can't! I can't!
- IF2XDREAM is curious to find out about
- Will there be more blooper tapes to
purchase, like the one that is supposed to come with the fan club kit?
- I actually haven't seen any of the
blooper tapes. You would have to talk to the fan club president about that.
- Krystle 8 wants to know about Reneé's
- Do you wear color contacts?
- No, I don't. My eye color seems to
change depending on the lighting that our director of photography shines at
- Shandarr5 wants to know if Reneé
- Do you sing, and if so, would you
consider singing on the show with Lucy?
- Lucy would love it if I sang with her.
I can harmonize with anyone. This is a serious joke.
- RC 1231 wants to know how Reneé feels
about her character's huge popularity:
- How do you feel being such a massive
draw to the show? I mean most classical sidekicks have never had such a
- I appreciate all the loyalty that the
fans have shown to Gabrielle. We are lucky that Lucy and I have such great
- Sekhmet20 offers this comparison:
- 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
- Didn't we all? I like to keep all parts
of Gabrielle's personality intact.
- Nuttree1 wants to know which outfit has
caught Reneé's fancy:
- Your character has gone through soooo
many outfits in just two seasons. Do you have a favorite one?
- I like them all actually. However, the
normal Gabrielle costume keeps getting smaller.
- JuBenniso wants to know how Reneé
prepares for her show and her character:
- 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?
- 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.
- ICRITTERI wants to know about this:
- Obviously playing Gabby has been one of
your best jobs...what was your worst?
- Ha, ha, ha. Is this from Laguna Beach?
You tell me what my first? Sorry, it was supposed to be You tell me first.
- Ephane wants to know how Reneé became
a part of the cast:
- how did you get the part of Gabrielle?
- 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!
- Jossi has a food-related question:
- what is your fav dish ...do you hope to
settle in the restaurant business like your fam?
- 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.
- RnRPresen wants to know about this:
- 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?
- I don't think we should be discussing
this, do you? Knock on wood.
- Bunnykins wants to know what it's like
to be an actress:
- 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?
- 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.
- SilverC79 is curious to find out about
- Are you and lucy as good friends off
cammera as you are on?
- Yes we are. I can tell Lucy anything.
Probably more information than she needs or wants to know.
- Nuttree1 wants to know about the price
- Now that the show has hit it big, do
you miss the anonymity you once had?
- Actually, most people don't recognize
me out of costume. I must seem much taller. Ha, ha, ha.
- LALaura90 wants to know about this
- What influenced your decision to bare
your midriff in the second season?
- The costume designer got a twitch in
- DARC LYTE has this to ask:
- 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.
- Does she really die? I think you should
wait for the movie.
- Pixie904 wants to know if Reneé knows
- I'd like to know what martial arts 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!
- KBroce wants to know how Reneé got
onto the show, Hercules:
- How did you know about the available
part in the show Hercules?
- I went to an audition that afternoon at
the last minute. And... fate took a hand.
- JQuiver wants to know:
- Reneé--do you enjoy reading novels
that deal with fantasy and sci-fi?
- 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.
- JoxrPinat wants to know if Reneé's
character will expand her fighting horizons:
- Ms. O'Connor--Will we be seeing your
character branch out into other fighting styles other than the staff?
- I don't believe Gabrielle is as tough
as she thinks she is without her staff.
- AllChicke wants to know about Reneé's
first television appearance:
- Reneé, what was your first time on
- I think I was in a McDonald's
commercial when I was 16. That would be it.
- Amber2cut wants to know how Lucy's
accident affected the show:
- How did the shooting schedule effect
you when LUCY was hurt?
- 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
- AllChicke has another question, this
one about Reneé's favorite Xena episode:
- Hey Reneé, how are you tonight? I was
wondering what your fav episode is.
- 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.
- BAGaynor wants to know how this works:
- 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?
- 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
- Beth Dr wants Reneé to give us a
little extra tidbit about her character:
- Can you tell us something about
Gabrielle that we don't know? And thanks for coming tonight!
- I think you know more about the
character than I do. Can you tell me what is in her bag?
- Mythweaver asks a question that many
out there would probably love to know about:
- What was your most embarrasing moment
on Xena: Warrior Princess?
- My most embarassing moment to date
would be the skinny dipping scene in Altared States. It was a bit of
- SnowManDM wants to know:
- 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?
- 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.
- I'm sorry to say that time's almost up
and so we have time for one final question from the audience.
- Xeena28 ends our show on this one:
- 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?
- I don't think I will. How about
something small and furry instead?
- 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?
- Thank you all so much. This was much
easier than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed it. Goodnight.
- Goodnight, Reneé. And goodnight to our
audience out there. Until next time, AOL!
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