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Karl Urban Still Thinks About Lucy Lawless While Shooting The Boys

Fans of Amazon Prime Video's edgy superhero satire "The Boys" are well familiar with actor Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, the closest character to a proper protagonist in the decidedly dark series. Some fans of "The Boys" might not know that Urban boasts decades of experience prior to his lead role on "The Boys," however. Over the course of his career, he appeared in the likes of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot and two "Lord of the Rings" movies, in addition to starring in the 2012 Judge Dredd film "Dredd," among some other notable works.

Before any of these films, Urban acted in "Xena: Warrior Princess." In fact, Urban was a "Xena" regular, and not even always as the same character — over the course of 12 appearances, Urban portrayed four distinct characters in total. These include the biblically-inspired Mael, the cannibal Kor, a version of the Greek god Cupid, and the historical Roman emperor Julius Caesar. Because of Urban's shapeshifting throughout his series tenure, his appearances arguably rank among some of the most paused "Xena" moments in the show's history.

As it turns out, "Xena" was more than just a career milestone for Urban. In a recent interview, Urban revealed that he continues to think about his time working opposite "Xena" star Lucy Lawless to this day.

Karl Urban wants to be for The Boys what Lucy Lawless was for Xena

On August 11, shortly after the conclusion of "The Boys" Season 3, GQ published a career-spanning video interview with Karl Urban to their YouTube channel. During a discussion of his time on "Xena: Warrior Princess," Urban characterized Lucy Lawless, who portrays the show's titular character, as someone he still looks to for inspiration today.

"Having the opportunity to work with Lucy Lawless and to see how a number one drives the show was an invaluable inspirational experience," Urban said. He then described how she went out of her way to motivate her fellow cast and crew members and was particularly mindful of ensuring that they made the most of their shooting time. "I still think of her, even today, when I'm shooting 'The Boys,' and the example that she set. She's an amazing woman."

Although their time working together on "Xena" is now well in the past — the series concluded in 2001 — "Xena" brought Urban and Lawless back together on at least one occasion, when the two appeared alongside their former co-stars Renee O'Connor and Kevin Sorbo at a comic convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2018 (via Twitter).

So, even though Urban and Lawless don't act opposite one another nowadays, their careers remain intertwined, be it through fan conventions, or the ways in which Urban attempts to emulate how Lawless led the cast and crew of "Xena" decades prior.