Cast

You know, it's funny, because there's no schwing. Kevin and I have worked together so much and if you have to kiss anyone, let it be Kevin Smith for all sorts of reasons. Not just because he's gorgeous, but because he's not confused about it. It's totally safe. And then the next episode (Amphipolis Under Siege) we had to do it so long all day, that it got to be like shaking hands.

Lucy Lawless, unknown interview - quote copied from TV.com Lucy Lawless Biography


Renee: I think if there was going to be one man in Xena's life, it would be Ares.

Rob: "Mr. Big."

Lucy: Yeah, Ares would be the Mr. Big, and we'd find out that his real name is Bryan.

Rob: I don't think Xena could have ever got together with Ares. He did too many bad things, over the years, to her that, if she ended up with him, she would just be another victim.

Renee (laughs): Wrong answer, Lucy -- I mean, wrong answer, Renee! I'm kidding. [Renee is facetiously speaking what is supposed to be Rob's line here -- i.e. playing Rob rebuking her for saying that Ares would be the one man for Xena]

Rob: No, I'm just saying that the whole thing was to keep them coming together, wanting -- having the audience root for them to get together, but--

Lucy: Well, can't we root for the audience?

Renee: Hear, hear!

Rob: Root for the audience? I just think that -- yeah. That was the game we played. But they never could have gotten together. I mean, they could have gotten together in a lustful moment --

Lucy: And frequently did. [laughter]

"Coming Home" Interview, Season 6 DVD


Oh, this has got that bad old Ares in it. He's always flirting with Xena. They've got this love/hate, lust/hate relationship. Stay away, Xena, don't trust him! He's bad to the bone.

Lucy Lawless commenting on The Reckoning, from a Nov. 26, 1998 Herc & Xena Battle-on-a-Thon that Lucy hosted


IGN DVD: Well she [Xena] had Ares.

O'Connor: Well that was nice and sexy.

IGN DVD: Too bad you didn't get one for yourself.

O'Connor: Well I was the third wheel in that respect!

IGN DVD interview with Renee O'Conner


Lucy: She just liked those bad boys.

Rob: He was horrible to her -- you guys forget.

Renee: You'd fall in love with them but you'd hate yourself for it.

Rob: So -- like a moth to the flame.

Lucy: Yeah, moth to the flame. What he said.

Season 3 DVD, The Furies Interview


The weird thing is, there's sympathy for the character because he's done terrible things and yet, at the bottom of it all, the only way this works is if you believe he truly loves Xena. Rather than simply wanting to get an acquisition back that slipped through his fingers, he does actually deeply love her. I think that was the challenge, to say 'How can someone who is capable of such love be capable of such appalling acts as well?' And that was the nice thing for me, trying to find a way to balance it.

Kevin Smith, Titan Xena Magazine Issue #11


Kevin Smith is the most fun person to play off romantically because he's such a great family man and because I am also happily married, it means we are free to explore our characters without embarrassment or misunderstanding.

Lucy Lawless, E! Online interview as Quoted in Xena Titan Magazine #16


All bad characters are popular because they can access things that regular people don't get a chance to, that good characters can't. Liking a bad guy is permission to live a wicked life vicariously. Ares has been on several shows now, so if you're a fan of those shows, you've seen a lot of Ares and me. That's nice. It's rare to play one character for so long.

Kevin Smith, Xpose Mag #45, 2000


Ares has always been one of the great pragmatists. In the last season, we've sort of explored the wane of the gods, the advent of monotheism. Whereas the other gods are in denial, Ares is thinking, 'You know what? There is an inevitability to this.' Ares is the one trying to cut a deal. He's the one making preparations and getting ready to jump ship. All of the other gods are railing against the storm. Quite apart from his genuine feelings for Xena, and I think his feelings are genuine, at the end of the day, his survival is paramount.

Kevin Smith, Xpose Mag #45, 2000


Strange as it may sound, I don't actually get to fight too much anymore. The God of War doesn't actually do that much fighting now. Ares puts things in motion. He delegates. He's basically in an overseer capacity now and has busied himself with other activities. It's nice. I'll get a script and it will just fly in the face of what we've done the previous four years. In the past, Ares has tried to kill Xena. He'd be thinking, 'Ah this isn't going to work out. I like you, but you must die.' Now he's plotting to make things work in his favor, and I like that. I dig that. There's always a sense of inner conflict for Ares now, whereas before it was very clear to him.

Kevin Smith, Xpose Mag #45, 2000


Ares is the ultimate survivor. He will do whatever it takes to live, I think. He is shark-like in that respect. He is single-minded in his pursuit of things. We've seen him lose his power. We've seen him be vulnerable. If his demise is inevitable, how will he face that? Anyone can be brave if you know you are immortal. I'd like to see the stuff he's made of. That would be very interesting to me. If he has to confront his demise, how will he go to it? It's how you face the firing squad, how you walk to the guillotine that shows what you are made of. We've gotten just little tastes of it, strangely enough, in the comedy episodes of Hercules and Xena, but we could be nearing the real thing now. I hope that when the time comes he faces his demise with nobility.

Kevin Smith, Xpose Mag #45, 2000


KS: When we play it, Lucy [Lawless] and I make a conscious decision - whenever they're manipulating each other, which is often, there's a fair bit of give-and-take. They bull---- each other because they both carry agendas. There's an acting exercise that we used to do a lot in improv called an "I love you" scene. Basically, whatever else you say and do you could be doing the dishes, you could be barbecuing, stuffing a chicken, whatever - that whatever you say in the conversation, the only thing that is on your mind is I love you. I guess it was in the fifth season when they really started going off on the idea that Ares loved Xena, and I asked the producers, "Is this for real, man?" And they went, "Let's play it for real." Because once we got out of the is-he-her-dad thing - I needed to clear that up right away; I need not to be her dad to do this, you understand [Laughter], because that's just sort of icky! - I've always played it as a seduction scene. The difference between the two shows: he wants to destroy Hercules but can't because of some Olympian red tape, but it's always been about seduction with Xena. Even before it became straight-out "I love you," he's always wanted to get her back, to swing her back around to the dark side. His attempts to kill her have been less than committed and less than convincing. He never wanted to kill her; he wants her back. I guess for her part, too, he was her mentor, he was her Svengali. There was a bond there that was broken, so we just decided to commit to it later on, because the best thing to play is resistance. Dramatically it's a strong thing to play. So if Ares is totally committed to this love, and if she's resisting her urge to reciprocate, it makes the drama more interesting. We always played it like that.

Interviewer: That's how I interpreted it. I wonder if l'm alone in occasionally sympathizing with Ares, because at times when Xena is bargaining with him, even though she's the hero of the show, she isn't really negotiating in good faith. For instance in "Amphipolis Under Siege," we wrote that she basically cheats!

KS: Oh yeah. The real joy of the episode is when she first comes to him and says, "Look, if you call off your sister, you get me." And the look on her face is priceless when he starts to go for it, but then he goes, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. All these years you're doing this, and all of a sudden it's 'Take me'? Uh uh, I ain't buying it." The look on her face is, "What!? You're rejecting me!?" [Laughter] And I like to think if there wasn't an explosion, and her mom appeared in a hole in the wall, I like to think things would have carried on.

Kevin Smith, Spectrum #26, June 2001


Renee: There weren't that many love interests, were there?

Lucy: How many lovers do you think Xena had?

Renee: You mean, on the show? Or before the show started?

Lucy: All of Gabrielle's love interests, she married...

Renee: And they died.

Lucy: And they died shortly thereafter.

Renee: Kiss of death. But you had, what -- Draco, Ares --

Lucy: Bobby Hosea --

Renee: Marcus --

Lucy: Yeah, Marcus.... ummm....

Renee: Gabrielle. (long pause) Just kidding! (they both laugh) Kidding! (more laughter)

Lucy: That's right.

Renee: No, seriously -- there weren't that many. Why is that? Did Rob just feel that -- it took away from the friendship, didn't it, really? Sort of got in the way. Is that what happened, or -- ?

Lucy: I don't know. You mean, why (unintelligible) --

Renee: Why she didn't have more boyfriends, yeah. I guess the relationship between Xena and Ares was so strong, too, that you didn't really need to bring anyone else in.

Lucy: Oh, we just didn't want to go on about how promiscuous she is. (Laughter; either Lucy or Renee says, "Everyone does that") Keep it seemly, keep it quiet --

Renee: Keep it in the family.

Sins of the Past Commentary with Lucy and Renee, Xena 10th Anniversary DVD