Lucy goes lawless protesting aboard drillship
Lucy Lawless on the Noble Discoverer
February 24th, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Lucy goes lawless protesting aboard drillship

Who wants to get in a fight with Xena the Warrior Princess?

It seems that a major oil corporation doesn't have much of a choice. On Thursday Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena, and six other Greenpeace activists illegally boarded a drilling ship leased to Shell Oil off New Zealand's western shore. The group reached a 174-foot drilling tower and held a sign "Stop Shell #SaveTheArctic."

CNN spoke with Lawless on the Noble Discoverer Friday morning, the middle of the night in New Zealand. It was cold and noisy and she wasn't getting much sleep. But the actress didn't seem bothered at all. Asked to describe how she and the other protesters got on board, she said, "We walked like human beings wearing hard hats (but) I don't want to give away any trade secrets."

Greenpeace, in a statement, said the group had actually scaled the drillship which was in the Port of Taranaki in New Zealand. The activists were told to get off. But Lawless and the protesters refused to cooperate.

"We thanked them for adhering to their protocol," Lawless said, stressing that the exchange between the activists and authorities has been peaceful. "We know we'll be arrested. We have no choice but to stay where we are and send our message to the world."

Lawless said the activists are prepared to hunker down until their anti-Arctic drilling point is made. By early Friday afternoon it appeared that it was - stories were popping up across the Web and in news outlets across the globe about the stunt.

"We feel very much that what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic anymore," Lawless said. "An oil spill can never be cleaned up because of the remoteness and the freezing temperatures. We risk trashing whole ecosystems and poisoning them from plankton on up. It's absolutely unthinkable."

The Noble Discoverer is owned by Noble Corporation and is contracted for operation by Shell, according to Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh.

Lawless and the other activists have "occupied" the drillship to prevent it from departing on a "6,000 nautical mile journey from New Zealand to the remote Arctic to start an exploratory oil drilling program that threatens to devastate the Alaskan coastline," Greenpeace spokeswoman Szabina Mozes said.

"We are disappointed that Greenpeace has chosen this method to protest," op de Weegh wrote in an e-mail to CNN. "Actions such as this jeopardize the safety of everyone involved. While we respect the right of individuals to express their point of view, the priority should be the safety of Noble's personnel and that of the protestors."

Shell is investigating how the activists got on board, op de Weegh wrote.

Lawless, a longtime environmental activist, has never done any protesting as extreme as this. She said she thought about her three children and her family when deciding whether to participate in the Noble Discoverer demonstration.

"The oil that is captured will be burnt in the air to rain more destruction down on our grand children," she said.

Lawless has no idea how many days she and the group will be out to sea. She brought some chocolate and peanuts with her.

"We're here as long as it takes," she said.

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Filed under: Environment
soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. Splinter48708

    Well, I have a lot of respect for Lucy Lawless and even respect her stance on oil drilling in general. However, here is the USA, we are overly dependent on foreign oil. This is shipping hard earned US dollars overseas to OPEC nations and others that happily have us by the stones. Obama wanted to know what we'd spend an extra $40 per paycheck on, right? Well, that money might be put into someone's gas tank and Big Oil is going to be laughing all the way to the bank when fuel prices hit projected record highs in the next few months.

    Yet, we have oil reserves under our own soil that the environmentalists won't let us touch. We had a chance to get an oil pipeline into the USA and Obama basically tore up the permit applications himself...So, those jobs that should have gone to folks in the USA will now be taken by "John Chinaman" who will happily watch the Americans begging for mercy and maybe some Vaseline as well. So, not only has Obama not created jobs in the USA, he'd rather keep the USA sucking the oil teat of other countries and make our economy tank cause we can't go anywhere with $5/gallon across most of the country and pushing $5.50 or $6 in California!

    And, CNN/AP...Lucy Lawless has moved on from playing Xena. That was almost a decade ago when Xena ended with her death. Might want to find another way to typecast her...LOL!

    February 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      Uh, the Keystone pipeline is in Canada, not under our own soil. And Obama didn't tear up the contract, he wanted to grant it to appease his big oil campaign contributors, he was just too scared to until the cameras were gone. Environmentalists haven't stopped anything. We import 60% of our oil because Texas has run dry, my friend.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The problem isn't our dependency on foreign oil, it's our dependency on oil. Drilling here, putting in a pipeline, they are just band-aids and just pushes the problem ahead for our children. Instead of drilling we should be putting that money towards developing cleaner, better ways to power our world. Higher gas prices force us to look for alternatives. Plus most economists say that even if we drilled here it would have very little effect on gas prices and those affects wouldn't be seen for at least 10 years.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      @Anchorite - You're a dumba$$. The Keystone was supposed to run through the US to the Texas coast, and Texas certainly isn't dry. Jacka$$.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • leelanau

      Until any of the know-nothing boneheads on this site present with their own efforts all the energy required to run this planet at it's current level of operation, they need to pipe down (pardon the pun). NO RESOURCE or TECHNOLOGY in the history of earth can remotely rival that of ORGANIC fossil fuels in the advancement of the standard of living of humankind. It is only tragically ironic that the availability and use of such resources lead to warmer homes, more available nutritive foods, greater travel and the ensuing educational benefit that all these resources delivered, and continue to, so much so as to the point that no one has anything productive left to learn,(tongue-in-cheek for all you socialists with zero sense of sarcasm) hence the vitriol and self-loathing of the environmental left.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Levi

    Even for greenpeace she shows her chest

    February 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wilfong321654

    Lucy who?

    February 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      That's OK youngster I'm sure that show had parental control locked into your TV.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Been off so long... I had to look it up. Greenpeace has a very poor reputation among environmental groups & I'm old enough to remember when Rainbow Warrior was cited for polluting harbors with raw sewage. They are all about the look at me showboating. A perfect place for a rusting armored princess. I hope she enjoys the cavity search, because Greenpeace has quite the reputation as an eco terror group.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maxetluc

    How original . . . washed-up actress pulls dumb stunt to get publicity for herself and – she hopes – revive her flagging career ...

    February 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      How original, no-name loser on CNN comments section criticizing others for their sacrifices.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      Washed up??? Have you not watched Spartacus?

      February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      She has a niche. The next time they do an ancient civilization with armor show they will take her down from her shelf & dust her off again. Of course at this rate, it will be to play someone's grandmother! She pigeonholed herself playing the metal chested types after this new role. She has had very few roles for a 43 year old actress, especially considering her 2nd husband is a producer.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mel


    February 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    she certainly is lawless!!! lol i will be here all week folks

    February 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ben

    Ironic with her second boob job with petrolium based products involved in making them to stretch her protest shirt out...

    February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Summer

      Lucy is completely natural. She hasn't had any cosmetic work done.

      February 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JT

    "activists illegally boarded a drilling ship"

    Arrest them. End of story.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Winston5

      ...apparently not. 😉

      February 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cpc65

    She should join FEMEN. She'll get more attention that way. Let's just say those ladies don't have their protest slogans on their shirts. Or even wear shirts at all for that matter.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dana

    I remember some erotic scenes with Zena and Gabriel.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      Apparently you don't remember too well, since it's XENA and GABRIELLE

      February 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin

    Cut her throat!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • AB

      What is wrong with you?

      February 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick1948

    Throw em back in the ocean. They got there on their own, let them get to shore on their own.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Robert

    Greenpeace is neither. By opposing nuclear power, they have increased the number of coal-fired power plants. They resort to non-peaceful and illegal means. So they are neither green nor peaceful.

    They are misguided, misinformed nirvanists.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    Lucy, show a your naturals!!

    February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BethTX

      Wait a few days. If this doesn't get her back into the spotlight it will be hello, Playboy.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LucySUckThis

    Lucy, of course, flew to New Zealand first class on a (fuel burning) aircraft and rented a (gas fueled) car to get her from Auckland to Port of Taranaki . She ate at eateries where the local seafood was caught by (diesel fueled) ships and then shipped to the restuarant kitchens by (gas fueled) truck. All her beverages and snacks were also shipped to local stores by (diesel fueled) trucks.

    Her intentions and lifestyle are seemingly in conflict. If she was a true enviornmentalist, she'd be living off the land in a remote land. How can environmentalists claim to support an environmental cause when they rely on un-environmental supply-chain systems to maintain their quality of life? It's blatantly hypocritical.

    February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • js007

      At least she's trying to change the system – what are you doing about it??

      February 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheKillingWords

      Celebrities doing this kind of thing usually do it only to get their names in the headlines. Works every time. And if she REALLY wanted to make a statement, (I can understand taking a ship to cross the ocean), she can hike to the activist's location.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      haha dude honestly can you republicans come up w/an argument that doesn't involve flat out making stuff up. You know nothing about Lawless, but that doesn't stop you from pretending.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      You are irrational and out of touch. How many people "live of the land" and off the electric grid. Very few. Not all environmentalists can afford the cost to make such a move in their lives. And it isn't a practical solution to the problem for a select few to move off the grid and live off the land. So yes, we fly when we must. We drive like everyone else. But we promote change in every other aspect in our lives. We drive less. Eat Local when we can. Use organic & fair trade products. Use less energy. That's where we start.

      You can support the environmental causes and still drive a car you know.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Maxine, so it's do as I say, not as I do? Makes sense.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyTake

      Lucy Lawless is FROM New Zealand. She likely did not take a plane. Even if she did so what? The point is not to make people stop flying planes but eventually make planes cleaner and raise awareness that other energy sources are needed. Good for you Lucy ...

      February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxine

      @Matt – How do you propose she travel? By Boat? We live in a gas driven society and world. Of course she's going to use oil and burn oil and eat foods delivered by oil all because that's the world we live in. There's no way to get around it.

      At least she's promoting change. You can be pro-environment and drive a car and fly a plane. That's something your closed small mind can't seem to grasp.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agreed

      I agree with Maxine. We have no other option other than to drive/fly/use motorized boats.

      She isn't going to swim or row herself there. How could she?

      It isn't hypocritical to drive a car occasionally and tell people they should drive less. It isn't hypocritical to grow some of your food and eat out in restaurants some night while telling people to try and eat local. It isn't hypocritical to get on top of an oil rig and protest against drilling in the arctic when there's no other practical option of getting from your home to wherever in this world without using something that burns oil.

      I'm proud to say I support ending our dependence on oil and switching to new renewable energy technologies. But I know when I give speeches and talks to groups of people, I have to burn oil to drive to those events in hopes that one day the next generation won't.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • leelanau

      @js007, your statement says it all, doesn't it? until YOU change everything YOU do, YOU have ZERO credibility to tell ANYONE else how to live theie life. Your ignorance (and millions of others who suffer the same emotional disability) to this simple concept is the crux of the very struggle for change.

      February 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyGirl

      Lucy lives in New Zealand

      February 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xena the hypocrite

      To all those who say it isn't hypocritical to fly across the ocean to then take a speed boat and repel up the oil rig ... you are full of crap. It IS hypocritical and ....even self-righteous. Who are you to say that her cause is more important that the guy that is flying across the ocean to save children in an orphanage or even for that matter to provide for his family and take care of his kids?

      I love the response ... she lives in New Zealand. So she flies to Hollywood every time she get's an acting gig.... that's the spirit.

      February 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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