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When Renaissance Pictures folded, was there panic or were the big budget movies already starting to come in?

They definitely left a huge gap because they had employed so many people. And it had been long term gigs for hundreds of people. So there was a lull when they left, and there were a couple of very lean years for lots of people because the gigs that are ongoing and such, series like Xena and Hercules, there are not many and youíre reliant on commercials or various films coming over. Then that was quite sparse for awhile but now, it took a couple of years to recover, but we have.

What kind of experiences do you have with fans? I know itís different in New Zealand for actors than it is in America. Are you ever recognized on the street for either Xena or Shortland Street?

No, not really. A few times. Thereís a few people who have, definitely. But Iíve been off the air, and in New Zealand they really donít do reruns of local shows. They might do reruns of American bought shows, but not at all for New Zealand shows.

What do you think of the American fans and the way they react to you?

Itís definitely something. The Xena fan base, itís very different than from say, for instance, the Shortland Street fan base which is a New Zealand-type thing. And the whole convention thing is completely unknown. We donít do that back at home. Itís a completely novel and unique kind of experience and itís great. The Xena fans are always very positive. Theyíre always very graciousÖand very enthusiastic. For instance, the showís been off the air for so many years but you still have that same kind of following and interest which I think is just a phenomenon! [laughs]

Now for the big news that will probably leave half your fans heartbroken. Youíre newly engaged. I want to say congratulations once againÖand make sure that itís okay spill the beans about your future nuptials.

Thank you. Yes, feel free. His nameís Michael Walker. He asked me on the 27th of December, which was the day of the tsunami. [laughs]

Oh no!

It was classic. My Mumís boyfriend had come up. And we had just announced our engagement and he said ĎAh well, you know the Earth moved on this day.í And we were all blank. We hadnít watched the news. And he said, ĎWell you know thereĎs like thirty-thousand people dead overseas right now.í So weíre going to remember that.

part 7