Lucy Lawless Talks Season 3 Of My Life Is Murder - Exclusive Interview

"My Life Is Murder" is returning for Season 3 on October 10, with Lucy Lawless once again at the center of the show as the unstoppable investigator Alexa Crowe. She's rejoined by loveable cast members Ebony Vagulans, Rawiri Jobe, Joe Naufahu, Martin Henderson, new cast member Tatum Warren-Ngata, and wonderful guest stars each episode. The series somehow manages to remain a fun and lighthearted watch despite each episode centering around a different murder mystery. Anyone new to the show can catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 on Acorn TV.

Lawless sat down for an exclusive interview with The List to discuss the upcoming season. She opened up about her amazing experience with the cast as well as some of her favorite episodes coming up. The actress, who is well-known for her roles in "Spartacus" and "Xena: Warrior Princess," also shared what makes her role as Alexa Crowe so different from any work she's played before and why she thinks so many fans love Alexa.

How My Life Is Murder is different from other crime series

This series is interesting because even though it has the subject matter of murder, it doesn't get too dark, and it's still quite enjoyable. How do you feel like you've been able to strike that balance with the tone?

We didn't want [that dark tone]. We thought the world was so nasty at the time, and we didn't want to be putting that out into the universe. You've still got to have a murderer crime, but we thought the world had seen enough of blue-lipped girls wrapped in plastic — it's horrifying.

That's not what our show is about. Our show is about hanging out with a lot of people that you want to be your family. They're people that you think could be your friends, and they're in a beautiful, sassy environment, and they have a bit of justice at the end and take down some rich bad guys because that's the most satisfying kind of murderer to take down.

Absolutely. What do you think sets your show apart from other crime shows in a similar genre to it?

I like the urban nature of it. I like that it's a transgressive female character of a certain age who ... The feedback I'm getting on the streets is a lot of people want to be like her, because she lives her life in a bold way and doesn't mind breaking the rules from time to time. She's kind of funny, and even though she does bend the rules sometimes, she's basically on the side of right. That makes you feel good that you've got a naughty friend who's a good person.

The relationship with My Life Is Murder cast

One of the most enjoyable parts of the show is your character's relationship with her partner Madison, played by Ebony Vagulans. What's your dynamic like while you're working together?

The moment that I met [Ebony], I met her right before she auditioned. I always go out to meet people and put them at their ease so that the first time they see me isn't when they walk into the audition room, because I want them to be relaxed so that they can give their best performance. There was something about her that met me face to face where I was like, "I love this person who happens to be a fricking powerful actress. This is somebody that I could be next to day in, day out, and I'll never get annoyed with this person" — which is a big part of it.

A TV show is like getting married — you're getting married to the producers, and you're getting married to your co-stars, so you want to choose wisely. You want the best possible actor, number one, but you also want the best possible person, and we found that in Ebony. Every time she's on screen, she's so luminous, and she's so funny, and you can tell her intellect, every kind of intellect, EQ, IQ. I don't know if there's a PQ or a word for psychic intelligence — whatever it is, she is top-tier.

When you're watching the show, it seems like the whole cast has a fun dynamic that you want to be part of. Do you have that same fun energy behind the scenes?

I want to be part of it. I love it with Ra [Rawiri Jobe] and Joe [Joseph Naufahu], and now with Martin [Henderson] and also Nelly who plays Martin's daughter, my brother's daughter. The family got more interesting, and with Beth [Tatum Warren-Ngata] too. The family gets a little bigger this season.

Lucy Lawless' favorite episodes this season

Each episode of the show has its own self-contained story with the murder mystery. Do you have any storylines that you were excited about this season?

Oh, all of them. Some storylines are so good that I wish they were 90-minute movies. The first episode takes place in the world of tango. It's very interesting. It delves into real politics that happened in Chile in the '80s, and I wish that episode was 90 minutes long. That's my dream, that one season there will be 90-minuters so that we can really get our teeth into all the characters and have a bit of breathing space to let that story flourish.

Within those episodes, you have these actors coming in, but usually, they're just in that one episode. What's that like? You have the core cast, but then you have these amazing people coming for a second.

Sometimes, somebody's so good you want to keep them. Such hilarious actresses are coming this season that blew my socks off. People that I knew from ... They might have done a small role in "Spartacus," or I met them in passing at some event — they came on and knocked my socks off. They were so funny and wicked and great additions. I want to collect them and keep them and have them recur. Some villains or even some of the ancillary characters are like, "We have to have them back. Find a way to bring them back."

How playing Alexa is different than her roles in Spartacus and Xena

A lot of people know you from "Spartacus" and from "Xena: Warrior Princess." How do you feel playing Alexa compares to those experiences for you?

All those roles are difficult — they're really hard. All those experiences were hard to shoot for different reasons. "Xena" was incredibly difficult physically; it was challenging, and I was young and learning the ropes and all that stuff. "Spartacus" was challenging because of things like nudity, which you would think isn't such a big deal in this day and age, but it was a big deal. It was hard psychologically.

But Alexa is such a pleasure character-wise. I love Lucretia because it was wonderfully intelligent. The machinations of her mind and what she was up against were ... really fertile for me as an actress; playing that barren old woman was amazing. Alexa's the polar opposite. This character is a celebration of being single ... Her heart is full. Her house is full, fuller than she wants it to be.

She's got it all. She's a successful human being because ... there's nothing out there that she needs. She just is interacting with the world and trying to do the right thing and catch some bad guys. But she's fun in a way. She's the most fun to watch because [it's] delightful. It's an easy show to like, in my opinion. Even I like it.

You've been playing her for a few years. Do you feel like she's changed from who she was in Season 1 to the way she is now with Season 3 coming out?

It's getting quite improvisational in a way. Definitely, there's a script. By no means am I saying that we're improvving the script, but there are an awful lot of our personal characteristics in all the roles now. We're starting to play a lot more fun. All the characters are now more like the people they are in real life, as everybody relaxes into our roles and the writers make space for that.

Season 3 of "My Life Is Murder" returns Monday, October 10 on Acorn TV.

This interview was edited for clarity.