Xena The Warrior Princess Had A Sneaky Cameo In Sam Raimi's Spider-Man

Director Sam Raimi sure does love to have his "Evil Dead" trilogy star Bruce Campbell show up in his other movies, and who can blame him? Of course, the groovy actor is far from the only member of Raimi's inner-circle to appear time and time again in his films and TV shows. Campbell famously cameoed in all three of Raimi's "Spider-Man" movies, leaving it to audiences to devise their own wild theories about the in-universe connection or lack thereof between his characters ("Ring Announcer," "Snooty Usher," and "Maître d'"). 

Meanwhile, Sam Raimi's brother, Ted Raimi, has similarly popped up "Where's Waldo?" style in his sibling's work over the course of his career, from playing Joxer the Mighty in "Xena: Warrior Princess" to J. Jonah Jameson's hapless employee Ted Hoffman in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy.

But "Spider-Man" also featured an appearance by another trusted Raimi collaborator in the form of Xena herself, Lucy Lawless. Unlike Campbell and Ted Raimi, however, Lawlesss donned a bit of a disguise for her cameo ... assuming a spiky orange wig and punk outfit count as a "disguise," anyway.

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After starring in all six seasons of "Xena: Warrior Princess" — a show that, like many of the projects Sam Raimi has been creatively involved with, combined earnestness with zaniness — Lawless re-teamed with Raimi and Campbell in the 2010s on "Ash vs Evil Dead," a series that picked up with Ash Williams (Campbell) in real-time from where 1992's "Army of Darkness" had left him. What's more, her ties to Raimi and Campbell run even deeper than that, courtesy of her husband, Rob Tapert. The latter co-founded Raimi and Campbell's production company, Renaissance Pictures, back when they made the original "Evil Dead" in 1981 and he's continued to work with them throughout the four decades since then.

What's perhaps most interesting about Lawless' "Spider-Man" cameo is that it's part of a montage showing the webslinger stopping crimes all over New York City, intercut with clips of New Yorkers giving their unfiltered thoughts on Spider-Man in interviews with an off-screen news crew. And that's how we got the horny comments from Lawless' "Punk Rock Girl" seen above.

A scene that explores how average people feel about costumed vigilantes in a world of superheroes doesn't seem so remarkable in the age of the MCU, but it was less common in superhero films back in 2002. This montage also served to give Raimi's version of NYC more personality and spoke to the diversity of the population that resides there, making it a funny but essential part of the director's love letter to Spidey's home turf.