The majority of Gabrielle's stunts and fight scenes was performed by Renee O'Connor herself, including the backflip from "The Abyss" where Gabrielle kicks a cannibal in the face mid-flight, which was done without any wirework.
Won Hitfix's first March Madness Heroes vs Villains in 2014. A highly contentious match-up between fandoms, Xena beat out the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman, Buffy, Dr. Who, Jack Bauer, and Walter White to take the title as champion.
Much debate surrounded the possible lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, which the writers deliberately kept ambiguous. Since the demise of the show however, Lucy Lawless has stated that she believes the characters were romantically involved.
In 1996, while rehearsing a skit for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Lucy Lawless fractured her pelvis when she was thrown clear from her horse. As a result, several episodes of Season 2 had to be edited to accommodate her recovery. Some of them were changed so Lucy could have a very slight appearance (in one episode she only appears as archive footage), and they created some brand new episodes.
Before her own series, Xena made her debut in a three-episode arc of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995). Vanessa Angel was the original choice to play her, but when the actress became too ill to fly to New Zealand to film, Lucy Lawless was cast instead.
Karl Urban was originally intended to reprise his role as Cupid during the "Twilight of the Gods" storyarc in Season 5, but was unable to return due to filming "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy as the character Eomer. Karl Urban eventually returned in Season 6 as his equally popular character Julius Caesar. When asked about the fate of Cupid at a convention, Karl replied that he remained at Mount Olympus with Aphrodite and Ares - the only two surviving Greek Gods.
Gabrielle had a total of 7 regular outfits over the course of the series. Starting off with a Greek Farmgirl's dress in Season 1, Gabrielle would upgrade to 3 different Amazon outfits, a yellow two-piece Indian garment and two warrior bikini costumes.
Rob Tapert on why and how he picked Xena's weapon: "I had a book of ancient weapons and I saw this weird discus called the Chakram and I said let's give her this because it can return and we'll never have another character use it. John Schulian [series writer] said he hated it and said we should cut around it. I told him 'that weapon is the coolest thing I'd ever seen' - it's her signature piece".
The planet Eris which was discovered in 2005, was nicknamed Xena, after the heroine of the TV series, by the team that found it. Though it wasn't given the name officially, it's moon was named Dysnomia, after the Greek goddess of lawlessness which bares a similarity to the name of the actress that plays Xena, Lucy Lawless.
Gabrielle's fighting style was a mix of martial arts, kickboxing and acrobatics. Her two trademark weapons - the fighting staff and the sais - are both part of a Japanese fighting style known as Okinawan Kobudo.
The show was originally set in Greece, but by the third season the show began to take place in Rome, Egypt, China, Japan, Siberia, Norway, North Africa and India. In addition to the Greek mythology, Hinduism and Christianity were also introduced through several story arcs.
While she was auditioning for the role of Gabrielle, Renée O'Connor was standing on a chair reading the lines for Rob Tapert. Renee fell off the chair, which made Tapert remember her while he was casting.
A Day in the Life (#2.15) came about because Rob Tapert wanted it make an episode which had as little action as possible giving Lucy Lawless (Xena) a chance to recover from her injury making it like a documentary. The story followed Xena and Gabrielle on a seemingly mundane typical day.
Lucy Lawless played 6 characters in the series: Xena, Princess Diana, Meg (5 times), Leah, Annie Day (twice), and Melinda Pappas. This makes it a total of 8 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played two other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Lysia(movie) and Lyla.
Renee O'Connor played 4 characters in the series: Gabrielle, Hope (3 times), Janice Covington, and Mattie (twice). This makes it a total of 7 characters that she played in the Xena/Hercules franchise, as she played three other characters in Hercules The Legendary Journeys: Sunny Day, The Executioner, and Deianeira(movie).
In the end titles of almost every episode there are a few funny lines, known as "disclaimer", which usually end with "the production of this motion picture". They're related to the content of the episode. Several episodes in Season 1 have no disclaimer; from Season 2 onwards every episode gets one.
In season two, Xena's ratings soared past it's predecessor, 'Hercules the Legendary Journeys,' becoming the number one syndicated action show. It continued to lead Hercules every subsequent year both series aired.
In a 2011 memoir at Alex Belth's Bronx Banter blog by one of Xena's creators, John Schulian, titled "From Ali to Xena" chapters 43, 44, 45 he describes how the character of Xena was created, and the success of casting Lucy Lawless.
There are two "The Simpsons" toy action figures of Xena/Lucy Lawless based on the 1999 Lucy Lawless' appearance in the "Treehouse of Horror X" special, "Desperately Xeeking Xena." The second one was released in 2014 as part of the 25 greatest guest stars series.
Jennifer Sky, who auditioned for Gabrielle, but lost out to Renee O'Connor, would later star in the short-lived "Cleopatra 2525" created by Xena creators Rob Tapert and R.J. Stewart. Coincidentally, Gina Torres who played Hel in "Cleopatra 2525", played Cleopatra in "The King of Assassins" (#3.8), Which Josephine Davison briefly assumed the role in "Antony and Cleopatra" (#5.18).
Sam Raimi is such a huge fan of Hong Kong cinema that the series was influenced by it. One such influence was Ching Siu-Tung's A Chinese Ghost Story (as can be seen in The Debt, Part 1). More influences can be detected if you browse the Xena + Hong Kong Connection site.
Xena's horse Argo was played by Tilly. She did many of the close-up shots with Lucy Lawless. She also had a body double, Mac, whom was used in second unit in long shots. And she had a stunt double, Barbie, who did most of the tricks such as kicking and rearing.
Subject of a 2015 io9-Observation Deck article titled 'Why Xena Warrior Princess Still Matters Today,' an in depth look at the show which explores the significance and influence the series maintains many years later.
The shows first two seasons were shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. From the third episode of the third season onwards (the first two episodes were actually shot at the end of season 2), it was filmed in 16:9 widescreen.
Lucy Lawless was pregnant during the fifth season and her pregnancy written into the series. In the episode God Fearing Child (#5.12), Xena gives birth to her daughter Eve. In real life, Lucy Lawless gave birth to her son, Julius, on October 16 1999.
Though there are many other instances of subtext in earlier episodes, and later throughout the series, the episode 'A Day in the Life' was the first to largely fuel speculation that Xena and Gabrielle had a romantic relationship. Encouraged by Renée O'Connor's ad lib "she likes what I do," Renee's own idea to add that in. Furthermore, the playful bathtub scene, and Gabrielle kissing Xena on the cheek as they lay side-by-side under the stars to sleep.
In a 2015 article, The Mary Sue, a popular geek culture online magazine, published an article titled 'Twenty Years Later, a Look at How Xena: Warrior Princess Changed Television' stating: "it's a perfect time to look back on the legacy of a show that changed pop culture forever."
Rob Tapert , a fan of Hong Kong martial arts films, sought roles models for Xena in the rich Asian movie heritage. More specifically, she was inspired by Brigitte Lin 's character in The Bride with White Hair (1993) , a warrior witch that walks through the gauntlet, survives, and changes her old ways.
Series 6 is the only season of the series to have nudity: The slave girl Milda's (Gina Varela) bare bottom could be seen in Whose Gurkhan (#6,4) and Xena and Gabrielle's bare breasts could be glimpsed and their bare bottoms are seen in Legacy (#6.5). Body doubles for Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor were used for this scene. In all preceding episodes, only Xena and Gabrielle's bare backs, bare shoulders and bare upper chests were seen.
In 2001. Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan did a photo shoot for a magazine. In one of the photos, Lucy Lawless and Jeri Ryan posed in their costumes as their characters Xena and Seven of Nine. Lucy Lawless is a month younger than Jeri Ryan and both "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Star Trek: Voyager" which both first aired in 1995, both ended in 2001.
In The Ides of March (#4.21), Caesar has a dream that Xena is having sex with him in woman-top-position and then stabs him with a knife. A nod to the classic 1992 suspense thriller Basic Instinct (1992) , which in that film, the main antagonist Catherine Tramell Sharon Stone is seen riding a man and then kills him with a ice-pick.