A Fortune Teller Warned Lucy Lawless Not to Appear on Jay Leno

Heck, WE could have warned her
A Fortune Teller Warned Lucy Lawless Not to Appear on Jay Leno

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Well, Lucy Lawless couldn’t say she wasn’t warned. “A girl read my coffee grounds in Turkey and told me a man with a big chin would hurt me very badly,” Lawless told Metro UK. The caution made absolutely zero sense until two weeks later when a stunt went horribly wrong on massive-jawed Jay Leno’s Tonight Show

The damage was so bad that Lawless didn’t even appear on the talk show, at least not as scheduled. She was coming in to promote the second season of Xena: Warrior Princess and someone in Leno’s writers’ room came up with a “hilarious” idea for a bit that involved Lawless, in full Xena costume, arriving at the show’s Burbank parking lot on horseback. Unfortunately, she fell off the horse and fractured her pelvis on the hard asphalt, nearly torpedoing production of Xena.

Xena: Warrior Princess carried on, but not without a major rethink of the season’s plot lines, according to SYFY. While Lawless made a reasonably quick recovery, she was in no shape to hop on another horse by the time production rolled around. So the show’s writers came up with some tricks, like Xena transferring her consciousness into characters played by Bruce Campbell and Hudson Leick. As the season progressed, doubles took over for Lawless’ horseback-riding scenes as she was understandably reluctant to saddle up again until fully recovered.

Lawless eventually was grateful for the injury. “Falling off that horse really put me on the map,” she told Women's Weekly. “There were a lot of people out there who had never heard of me or Xena. The publicity all over the world about my accident changed all that and now a lot more people are watching the show. So, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise.”

She even made it back to The Tonight Show, successfully riding her steed through the parking lot and yukking it up with Gilbert Gottfried and Leno. The bit has a pretty good visual punchline, albeit one that didn’t require Lawless to ride a pony. 

Xena had the ability to put the warrior princess’ mind into other bodies, but Lawless’ encounter with real-life magic was nearly as impressive. The fortune teller’s accurate “prediction was bizarre,” Lawless admitted. “There’s something to all that stuff.’”

Frankly, it’s good advice for all of us — steer clear of the “man with a big chin.” 


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