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{short description of image}     Alexandra Tydings as Aphrodite  
selected from TV Zone #109
Alexandra Tydings shakes up Hercules as the goddess Aphrodite, and takes Xena for a drink
This issue also features Lucy Lawless interviewed on Xena: Warrior Princess: "My life has changed in every conceivable way but it's all fun and part of the game..."

When Alexandra Tydings accepted the role of Aphrodite, the sexy surfer chick and goddess of love in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, she had no idea what sort of feedback she would get after finishing her first episode of the tongue-in-cheek Fantasy series. As Tydings laughingly recalls, “When I came back to LA, the response was basically all of my friends saying, ‘Did you get work done? Where did you get those boobs? I’ve never seen them before!’ That was everyone’s response, and a really good friend of mine who’s now my manager said, ‘You were great, where did you get those boobs?’ That’s really all anyone wanted to talk about, and of course my answer was, ‘Wonder Bra and the magic of Hollywood’.”

Aphrodite was originally introduced in the episode, The Apple as a somewhat ditzy, Valley girl-type character, but Tydings quickly realized there was more to the goddess than was apparent at first glance. “There were mostly blondes in the audition, and I was actually a little surprised; I tend to not look around too much, because it can really screw up your head. You start saying, ‘Oh, she’s prettier than me, she’s taller than me, everybody’s shorter than me!’ but a lot of girls were wearing leather and stuff, which was kind of weird, and then Beth (casting director Beth Hymson, who had cast her in a guest role in another Universal series, the short-lived Vanishing Sun) came out to walk me in, and said, ‘Now, one thing I want to tell you: a lot of girls are playing her like she’s stupid, and she’s definitely not stupid; she’s not a bimbo.’ I said, ‘Okay, it never even occurred to me that she would be a bimbo,’ because the episode was The Apple, and she was so manipulative, so it never would have occurred to me that she was dumb,”

For some actors, the prospect of flying half a world away to New Zealand where the series is filmed, could be a bit daunting, but Tydings was fortunate to have met leading man Kevin Sorbo (also that episode’s director) before shooting. “I was booked in December,” she explains, “and was going down the second or third of January, and because it was Christmas time, he happened to be on his way back home and was going to be in LA for a few days, so he called and said7 ‘I’m going to be in LA for a few days; do you want to hook up?’ It was really lovely, because when I got down there on the very first day, they get you off the plane and put you right to work; they put you straight into wardrobe, and it’s not a hard day, but you’re working and his was one of the first faces I saw when I got there, which was really nice.”

It wasn’t long before Tydings was asked to work on Hercules’s sister series, Xena: Warrior Princess. Her first appearance was in the ‘Xena-lite’ episode, For Him The Bell Tolls, with lead Lucy Lawless still recovering from a horseback riding accident sustained in the States. “I had met her that one time on the set when she had just come out of the hospital, and I think the next time I went down there, I brought my grandma with me, and one night, I went out to dinner with what my friend Debbie calls “the brass,” and Lucy was there, and it was the first time I’d spent very much time with her, and Kevin was there and Rob and Eric; all these powerful, important people, and Lucy sat at the comer next to my grandma and talked to her the entire dinner, and I thought, ‘Wow, she’s a cool lady!'”

Joe Nazzaro
 
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