14 June 2011

Women Who Run With Warrior Princesses - Renee Interview Austin Chronicle 1998


Here's an older interview from 1998 with Renee.

Women Who Run With Warrior Princesses
Reneé O'Connor ROCs
By Kate X Messer, Fri., Feb. 13, 1998

Everything you know is wrong. Every legend, story, myth, belief.... The real history of the world was recorded long ago by a young writer who traveled the globe with a fierce warrior, creating and recording history as it really was. Blasphemy? This is the premise that drives the plot of Xena: Warrior Princess (XWP), the Rob Tapert/Sam (Evil Dead, Darkman) Raimi-produced television series which boasts the conceit that women had a hell of a lot more to do with history than we were led to believe. The two lead characters serve as proof: Xena, the warrior, and her trusty sidekick, the buoyant, idealistic Gabrielle. Gabrielle, the Bard of Potidaea and Xena's bestest friend, is portrayed with warmth, wit, and Old World charm by native Texan Reneé O'Connor. O'Connor was the natural choice for Gabrielle, after her portrayal of a similar character, Deianeira, in one of the original Hercules telefeatures.

Born February 15, 1971 near Houston, O'Connor was raised by her mom, Sandra, who now runs the International Reneé O'Connor Fan Club (see sidebar) and is married to Threadgill's purveyor Eddie Wilson. Even before the age of 12, when O'Connor enrolled in Houston's Alley Theatre, her mom was convinced that she was headed for a life of professional make-believe. O'Connor was encouraged to pursue acting at the High School of the Performing & Visual Arts in Houston; her first professional gig was as a dancing Porky Pig at Astro World, soon after which she moved to L.A. By 1989, Disney picked her up for serials on the Mickey Mouse Club. From there, the parts came more frequently: She appeared in episodes of Tales From the Crypt and The Rockford Files and worked with Cheryl Ladd in the Danielle Steele miniseries Changes.

This interview was conducted in two sessions, shortly before and shortly after the Wilsons visited her in New Zealand, where XWP is shot. Reneé O'Connor's level of achievement thus far in her young career, some might say, is positively Herculean.

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-- Submitted by Barbara Davies