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Gabrielle, Warrior Princess? The envy of men and women the world over, the faithful Gabrielle is Xena’s right-hand woman. Renee O’Connor talks about being the warrior princess’s conscience.
Here's an excerpt from our five-page feature, which includes an easy-to-swallow Season One Guide and a heroic quantity of photos

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When 23-year-old Renee O’Connor first auditioned for the role of Deianeira in the two hour action adventure Hercules and the Lost Kingdom, she little dreamt that cavorting around with a mythical superhero would lead to further, bigger adventures of her own. But, in the true spirit of Hollywood, executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi were so impressed with her performance opposite Hercules star Kevin Sorbo that they signed her up to accompany another of their legendary characters, Xena, the Warrior Princess played by the irrepressible Lucy Lawless.

Three years down the line and with a new season about to start on UK television, this quietly spoken, unassuming young woman is looking forward to seeing what the writers have in store for her steadily maturing alter-ego in Season Four. Having once described the character of Gabrielle as “a romantic storyteller with a passion for adventure.” O’Connor now feels that the time is ripe for Gabrielle to come into her own. “She’s changed so much, especially during the third season, that it’s inevitable.”

Reminiscing on the powerful story arc which saw her belief in Xena falter and led Gabrielle to eventually betray and move against her other half, O’Connor explains that the dynamics behind the portrayal were “unlike any other than I’ve ever been in, in my normal life and very much epitomized the relationship between them [Xena and Gabrielle] at that moment in time.”

It remains to be seen whether or not the rift can be permanently healed, but O’Connor feels that “for Gabrielle, the new season will be like a voyage of maturity… she’s moving to a point where she either has to become more like Xena or take some kind of extreme action to preserve her own identity.” fans of the Xenaverse take note – it may not be all sweetness and wry quips this time round...

Thomasina Gibson

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