Vulkon's Columbus Sci-Fi Expo
July 13 - 15, 2007
The University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
Columbus, Ohio 
Saturday Q&A
July 14, 2007
Many Thanks to my transcriber! Please do not repost!
Kate Mulgrew:  Thank you! Dizzy.  That should tell you the state his mother was in when he was born.  She called him Dizzy!  I'm delighted to be here in Columbus, the seat of Ohio government.  Now being presided over by a decent, wonderful man, my great friend, Ted Strickland.  I'm happy to see so many familiar faces.  (Addressing various people in the audience)  How are you?  Nice to see you two. I remember when you fell in love, and then got married.  How long ago was that? 

From the Audience:  Too long!

Kate Mulgrew:  Never mind!!  And all my other ladies, of whom I'm very fond, I want to say hello and thank you.

It's been a fraught year for me.  Complicated and fraught. A year ago my mother died, and just before she died I was asked to be the mother of an Irish Catholic mob clan in a series called The Black Donnellys.  So I went from my mother's deathbed to my darling sons who were very busy dismembering people.  All I really did in the series was cook a lot of casseroles and say "I hope you had a nice day, dear."  At any rate, I think it was aired and pulled and cancelled, right?  You always know before I do, yes.   And then I was offered a wonderful play called "Our Leading Lady", and I had a marvelous run in New York.  This was a new play by Charles Busch - were you there?  I think you were there - I know that several of my other ladies were there.  That was a great experience.  It was the story of Laura Keene - there's Fiona, my darling Fiona standing over there.  Laura Keene, who was the great actress/manager of the nineteenth century, who was on stage the night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.  So the story of my play was what actually happened to those actors who were on... sorry?  Oh, she's talking on the phone.  She's talking on the phone!  (Boos from the audience)  To her Vulkon boyfriend!  (to the person on the phone) Go to the corner!  Hide your head in shame!  And tell him we hear every bleeping word!  And then after that I took a little holiday, and I disappeared to the Bahamas with my family, which was very good.  And then I ran off to Harstine Island, which is an isolated, austere and very beautiful island in the Puget Sound, where I've been threatening to go for twenty years.  I finally went - to visit my great friend, who is a writer, and her family, who are all psychoanalysts, so you can imagine what fun it was!  And there is no cell phone service there.  So low and behold, much to my surprise, on a Sunday morning at six o'clock, my cell phone rang, and it was my part-time assistant Sid King, saying just three crackling words - "Iphigenia, Greek tragedy." (Imitating a dead cell phone) Zzzzzz.  So I went and found a land line, and I called my manager and I was offered the role, just to add a little laughter to my summer, of Clytemnestra in "Iphigenia 2.0", by Charles Mee.   So I'm in the middle of that rehearsal process right now, and if any of you know the story of this light-hearted comedy... it's the story of a family - Agamemnon, who rapes and steals Clytemnestra from her husband, and in order to do so, of course, beheads the husband and kills her only child.  But evidently she sort of enjoys the rape, because they get married, and out of this union are born two children, possibly three:  Iphigenia, her sister Electra and a brother, Orestes.  And the myth goes - the Euripidean myth is Helen of Troy is stolen by Paris, right?  Helen is married to Meneleas, Meneleas is Agamemnon's brother.  In this wonderful play that I'm doing that's going to bring the house to its knees with belly laughs every night, at the very top Meneleas and Agamemnon are setting sail for Troy to reclaim the beautiful Helen.  But the soldiers in this modernized version, making it increasingly more gruesome than even Euripides could have imagined, have demanded that Agamemnon show his understanding of their sacrifice by sacrificing one of his own.  At first you think it's going to be Clytemnestra, she's got a few years on her kidlings, right?  It's not.  It's Iphigenia.  So on the pretext of asking Achilles to marry Iphigenia, he sends for Clytemnestra and Iphigenia to come to the wedding.  They're thrilled, they come, there is no wedding, he's going to sacrifice his daughter.  To make a long story short, it doesn't happen - I approach Achilles - Clytemnestra's very busy!  I approach Achilles, who is sixteen years old - but of course the world's greatest and most fearless warrior - and I ask him to dance with me, and it's a ten page scene where I press him to my bosom and assure him that if he marries my daughter and defends her I will owe him for the rest of my life.  And it is a very long, and a very Greek scene. At any rate, at the end of the play you think it will work, because Chuck Mee has written the play, not Euripides. And Iphigenia stands up in her beautiful wedding dress, and after all of this has happened she says, "No Father, the soldiers are absolutely right.  How can you ask these men to go to war, knowing that most of them will die, if you are not prepared to understand the enormity of this sacrifice yourself?  I give myself to sacrifice."  And of course Clytemnestra falls to pieces, Meneleas hauls her off the stage, Agamemnon is in despair, and Iphigenia goes to the stone, where she commits suicide.  So I do hope you'll all come for your madly (?) a laugh.  And that's what I'm doing right now.  So I'm a little dazed, because yesterday's exercises, and I'm working with a madwoman, and I don't know what's happened to my career, because I'm getting older, but something's getting younger at the same time and it's... my sense of reason, which I seem to be losing!  I'm working with this woman who's quite demented and she's taking me back to... to when I was fifteen, sixteen years old, in a conservatory room, where the challenges were so great and the risks were so high, and the stakes were so high that you didn't think you could do even the most fundamental of those exercises of trust and giving in and falling.  And yet I'm doing them all now, all day long.   And I'm immersed in this process and I'm finding that it's bringing out all kinds of things.  It's high time I learned to be deeply truthful on the stage.  I think I'm going to get there.  I think this is how I'm going to take the rest of the journey. And I don't think that I could have done it without the kind of ... I was going to say cushion, but cushion is the wrong word... support and happiness that Star Trek: Voyager allowed me to take it with.  So I want to thank you all, and once again, and I've said it eight zillion times - you know that I loved Kathryn Janeway and I loved Voyager.  Is Tim Russ in this room somewhere? 

From the Audience:  He just left.

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh... of course I would smell him, wouldn't I?!  The divine smell of testosterone, ladies!  But I will see him before I go, right?  Somebody will find him!  Uh huh! He's not hard to find - he's usually stark naked!  So I'm thrilled to be here.... Where is he?!

Tim Russ (from the audience):  I've got a question!  I've got a question!  Is there chance that Tuvok and Captain Janeway could have got together you know ... have a little... uh... you know, a little luck in love...a little luck in love!? Is there a chance they could have... Little Janeway and Tuvok?! 

Kate Mulgrew:  Answer!  Answer!  Answer!  I don't recognize you man, with your clothes on!   Don't you come near me, you beast!!

Tim Russ:  (Undecipherable)

Kate Mulgrew:  Come here you doll!  Doesn't he look good?  He actually looks nice, standing up here, doesn't he?  Do you know the truth about him?

From the Audience:  No!

Kate Mulgrew:  The naughtiest man.  You were!  Don't act as if you weren't.

Tim Russ:  I admit.  I admit it.  And I haven't seen this lovely lady in what - is it two or three years now?  I haven't seen you in a long time.

Kate Mulgrew:  At least that long. How've you been?

Tim Russ:  I have been fine. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Somebody said they saw you in, is it To Live Hard and Die Well?

Tim Russ: Die Hard and whatever... way or another... yes!

Kate Mulgrew:  Are you happy?

Tim Russ:  Yeah, it's great!

Kate Mulgrew:  Now here's a thing I don't understand. (to the audience) Do you mind if we talk on stage together for a minute?

Audience:   (Cheers)

Kate Mulgrew:  So...who did I see?  I had dinner with McNeill in New York.

Tim Russ:  Right.

Kate Mulgrew:  And Picardo came to see me in the theatre, right?  And I understand you all have an annual dinner... Voyager dinner - without the ladies.  Which I find very interesting because... how do you have a Voyager dinner without the ladies!?

Tim Russ:  Uh... that... you know what, that was a long time after the show - just after the show had ended.  Now somebody called me - one of the guys called me, said why don't we have a ... why don't we get together - the Voyager guys get together and have a ... a dinner.  We did it once.  And then we started doing it like every six, seven months or so. 

Kate Mulgrew:  But why didn't you call the ladies?!

Tim Russ:  Well... I...I have no idea.  I ...

Kate Mulgrew:  Yes you do!  You know very well why you didn't!  Oh, I know where they had dinner this last time... say nothing. 

Tim Russ: Uhhh!

Kate Mulgrew:Where do you think they had dinner this last time? 

Shouts from the Audience:  Hooters!

Kate Mulgrew:  Wait a minute! Jeri Ryan's restaurant!?

Audience:  Ohhhhhhhh!

Tim Russ:  You'll have to talk to the good Doctor about that because he's the one that arranged that!  Picardo!

Kate Mulgrew:  I think he was looking for a freebee, but she charged him!

Tim Russ:  She charged us!

Kate Mulgrew:  She charged him!

Tim Russ:  They charged us.

Kate Mulgrew:  She got married.

Tim Russ:  She's getting married in Spain.

Kate Mulgrew:  To her chef.

Tim Russ:  To her chef, yes. 

Kate Mulgrew:  We should all marry our chefs!  Good.

Tim Russ:  It's very nice.  As a matter of fact, yeah, we... we talked about doing a whole thing, but you guys are never... nobody's ever around.

Kate Mulgrew:  Well I'm in New York...

Tim Russ:  You're gone to New York...

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah, I know...

Tim Russ:  Jeri is not there either so it's usually just us.

Kate Mulgrew:  But have you been well?

Tim Russ:  I have been fine.

Kate Mulgrew:  How's the baby.  She's not a baby any more...

Tim Russ:  She's eight years old - going on sixteen!

Kate Mulgrew:  Do you have any other children?!

Tim Russ:  No... not that I know of!

Kate Mulgrew:  Mine just graduated from college, Tim. Little mushroom cap...

Tim Russ:  Oh.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah.  Graduated from Kenyon. So... that's it.

Tim Russ:  I remember when he busted his foot on the skateboard. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Remember when he wanted to be an alien?

Tim Russ:  Yes. 

Kate Mulgrew:  He had a little buzz cut. And Rick Kolbe was directing and he said, "(In a deep German accent - Unintelligible)" But he had braces, so he had to say some awful little (makes a gargling sound).  He couldn't speak it, because of course there are no braces...

Tim Russ:  Well it's a pleasure to see you...

Kate Mulgrew:  It's good to see you, sweetheart.

Tim Russ:  And we will see you... are you going back to New York?

Kate Mulgrew:  I wanted to tell this story before you go.

Tim Russ:  Okay.

Kate Mulgrew:  On the last episode, which was called "Endgame", we had a scene together.  And of course you know my mother died of Alzheimer's, right?  In this scene with Tuvok, who has acquired and developed Alzheimer's, I have to say good-bye, because Captain Janeway knows ... Admiral Janeway knows that she's going to sacrifice herself.  And I think that that was the most - in my life as an actor - difficult scene to do, because I thought I was saying good-bye, of course, to one of my favorite people, and that was Tim Russ. 

All right sweetheart, take care.  Isn't he great?

Tim Russ:  Guys...

From the Audience:  When does your play start?

Kate Mulgrew:  My play starts, I think on August - it's been backed up a couple of days - twenty-seventh.  And we're going to need all the time we can get!  But I'm thrilled by these young people.  It's all young people.  Meneleas, Agamemnon and myself - but the rest of them are twenty-one, twenty-two.  And the bravery. And the passion.  It makes me feel like the theatre is coming alive in an entirely new way.  So I'm ... I'm just thrilled. 

Now I know we have limited time, and I'd love to take some questions.  I prefer it, if you have questions.  Does anybody have a question for me?  Please... yes? Don't get up.

Q 1:  Are you sure?

Kate Mulgrew:  Don't get up.  Because this is a young lady who has been fighting in Iraq, and she was shot in the leg, and she has come all this way... (applause)  And I think it's very moving that she's looking to go back for another tour, and I said to her this morning, and I hope you didn't feel that I was ...

Q 1:  Oh no...

Kate Mulgrew:  untoward... I begged her not to go back. 

Q 1:  Yes ma'am, you did.

Kate Mulgrew:  I think that your life is more important than anything else that you have already proven.  What is... what is your question?

Q 1:  Wow... this is like... Okay!  During Voyager you got to play a Klingon and you got to play a Borg.  What was more fun to do, being a Borg or being a Kingon?

Kate Mulgrew:  What was more fun, playing a Klingon, or playing a Borg?

Q 1:  Well, you're a Borg.  You get to beat people up...

Kate Mulgrew:  You note she doesn't ask if I enjoyed playing Kathryn Janeway!  Ummm... oh the Borg.  That Klingon stuff is exhausting.  Do you have any idea?  And I had to learn all that.  You know I didn't have any stunt people.  We weren't spoiled on Star Trek: Voyager... 

Q 1:  You're an independent....

Kate Mulgrew:  Sorry, darling?

Q 1:  You're an independent woman, you're strong... you should...

Kate Mulgrew:  Yes, yes I'm independent.  I think the Borg.  Because even though it took a long time to get ready, and I don't know how those people do that - how Jeri Ryan and all those people did that - when you get into it finally, you feel so completely like them.  And it's a marvelous feeling.  You don't feel.  You don't think.  You just kill.   Thank you darling.  Anybody else?  Is there another mike, gentlemen?  Is that it?  Can somebody do that?  That will simplify it.  Yes?  Who else?  Adam - there's a lady here.

Q 2:  Do you have any plan to do "Tea at Five" again?

Kate Mulgrew:  You know, I have to be honest with you?  What's your name?

Q 2: Jennifer.

Kate Mulgrew:  Jennifer.  It almost killed me. 

Q 2:  Oh, I can imagine.

Kate Mulgrew:  (In the older Hepburn's voice) Three and a half years was long enough, don't you think?  My God!  Really long.  Really long. And so hard on my voice.  (In the younger Hepburn's voice) Because in Act One I was doing all that sort of stuff, (in the older Hepburn's voice) and in Act Two I had to do all that.   I have a story to tell you about Hepburn, though.  You know everybody's revisited her since the anniversary of her death was in late May.  And Dina Merrill - does anybody in this room remember the great beauty, Dina Merrill?  Those of us of a certain age... Well, she was not only a fabulous beauty and well known socialite, but a marvelous actress.  And she was a friend of Hepburn's.  So when she... when she learned that Hepburn was... was getting very sick, she drove to Fenwick, and she went into the house, which was surprisingly very quiet - there was nobody around - Nora did not answer the door.  She called on the first floor, "Kate?  Kate?  Hello?"  Nothing.  She went up the stairs - everybody knows that Kate Hepburn's bedroom was on the second floor overlooking the Sound.  And she went to the door and it sort of cracked open and she pushed it and she opened it.  And what she saw was the back of a wheelchair, and strapped to the back of it was the oxygen tank, and what she heard was (Kate makes sucking/heavy breathing sounds).  So for a second I think she was stilled by it.  And then she gathered her courage and she said, "Kate. Kate, it's Dina.  I'm here to say hello."  And this is what she saw:  from the back of the wheelchair, Hepburn turned very slowly - (in the older Hepburn voice) "Shhh...I am trying to solve a puzzle."  Those were the last words she ever said.  And do you want to know what I think the puzzle was? The whole concept of her life. Oh, am I into Clytemnestra, or what!? 

Who else has a question?  Hello, how are you ..?

Q 3:  I'm good.  I apologize for the cell phone... they lost some keys...

Kate Mulgrew:  No, I think we should all have many boyfriends calling at all times!

Q 3:  Well they lost the keys and they thought they were ours, so ...

Kate Mulgrew:  That's what they all say!

Q 3: Yeah...

Kate Mulgrew:  What was your question, darling?

Q 3:  Speaking of "Tea at Five", which I got to see in Hartford and in Cleveland - wonderful show and I recommend for anybody who couldn't see it to get the audio, it's very good.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah...

Q 3:  You talked about Katharine Hepburn's vulnerabilities as an actress, as a human being.  I'd like to know whar your vulnerabilities as an actress and as a human being.

Kate Mulgrew:  Well that's very interesting.  Did everybody hear that? 

Audience:  Yes.

Kate Mulgrew:  She's going for the jugular. As well she should!  She's asking me what price I'm willing to pay for being an actress, and I think it's taken me many, many years.  I've been an actress for thirty-five years and I've worn a kind of mantle or cloak of strength.  And it's gotten me pretty far, pretty well.  From mediocre to just above mediocre I'd say.  But strength is sometimes even more appealing than that. But yet only one thing that brings you to me - with urgency and truth - in a second to your knees, and that is my vulnerability.  Because that is the only thing that lets you in.  So at this point in my life that's where I'm going.  And it's very, very, very revealing, if you cloak yourself for a long time - you then run the risk of losing it a little bit.  Do you know what I'm saying?  The emotional temperature could be very high.  But I think that I... there's no other thing that I can do now that I would rather do.  So to answer your question, if I had half the courage I have always said that I've had I will give you my vulnerability as an actress, or I'm not worth it.  And that's my answer to that one. 

Who else?  Yes.  Yes?  Yes?

Q 4:  Have you ever been asked to do Inside the Actor's Studio?  We get to go watch that when it's done.

Kate Mulgrew:  I haven't been asked, but I'd love to...  I don't know if I'd love to do it... Doesn't he always ask 'And if you were to go to the Pearly Gates...'  I've met James Lipton a couple of times.  He's ... weird. 

Q 4:  It's very interesting...(Unintelligible)

Kate Mulgrew:  Is it interesting? 

Q 4:  Yes.

Kate Mulgrew:  I saw Robin Williams on it one night.

Q 4:  He did five and a half hours and they only showed less than two hours on TV. 

Kate Mulgrew:  No. He did five and a half hours in two hours!  That's Robin Williams.  No.  No.  But thanks for the question.  Yes sir?

Q 5:  Thank you.  There were some questions about a Voyager movie being made.  Have you heard anything, and would you be willing to take on a project like that?

Kate Mulgrew:  Some questions!  I love these questions floating in space!  Where did you hear these questions?

Q 5:  Starfleet international fan club, which I'm a member of.

Kate Mulgrew:  Hmmm... Meaning you'd like to see a Voyager movie.

Audience:  Yeah!

Q 5:  No - there's been internet traffic about this for several years and...

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh, you don't want to see a Voyager movie?!

Q 5:  ... would love to see a ...(to the audience) who would want to see a Voyager movie, give me a hand?!

Very positive response from the audience. 

Kate Mulgrew:  All right, but in this Voyager movie - is it with the other captains?

Q 5:  To my knowledge from the internet traffic, it is your ship, your command, Ma'am. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Do you really mean to say that Captain Picard - make it so ...

Q 5:  No, we're not going to make it so!

Kate Mulgrew:  I wouldn't mind being with those other two captains!  Three captains.  Four!  Oh no.  You're right.  Let's go back to the original - just me and Voyager!  Good idea!  I would like to do it very much.  I.. I...I don't hear anything about it.  Aren't they doing... J.J. Abrams has just done - now they're two years old, right? Isn't that what this movie's about?  Don't they understand we are not interested you know?

Yes?  That young man.  That young man.  Oh, I'm sorry, I'll come back to you, but I see him, and he's brave.  Stand up, dear.  When they're brave you have to make them stand up.  How old are you?

Q 6:  I have two questions.

Kate Mulgrew:  How old are you?!

Q 6:  Fourteen.

Kate Mulgrew:  Fourteen.  Are you interested in science?

Q 6:  Uhhh... no. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Are you interested in girls?

Q 6:  Uh no.

Kate Mulgrew:  I can't wait to hear what this question is!  What is your question?  You have two questions.  Shoot! Go, go! 

Q 6:  What do you think about the crew of Voyager?  What do you think about the actors such as Neelix, The Doctor and stuff?

Kate Mulgrew:  What do I think about the crew of Voyager?  What do you think of your mother and your father and your brothers and your sisters? 

Q 6:  Family.

Kate Mulgrew:  That's right.  But more than that darling.  Because I got them in the fix that they were in, right?

Q 6: Yeah.

Kate Mulgrew:  I was completely responsible for these lives.  But just like the rest of life, and this goes for family as well, some relationships were more intense - deeper than others.  You know I loved The Doctor, although I have to be honest and tell you I love Bob Picardo in life.  And Robbie McNeill, that devil among devils, was my neighbor for seven years and I adore him.  I have to tell you a story - this is a non sequitur - do you mind, anybody?

Audience responds positively.

Kate Mulgrew:  Robbie I see often because you know he's a big deal director now - and I am responsible for his success!  Because in the second season of Voyager he went to Rick Berman and said, "I want to direct one episode."  And Berman said, "Absolutely not, you're not ready, it's too soon, you don't understand it, you're inexperienced..."  And Robbie solicited my help, and I went to Berman and said, "Give him one shot. We'll make it a very simple thing."  So Robbie directed an episode called "Sacred Ground".  Do you remember it?

Audience responds positively.

Kate Mulgrew:  Wasn't it heaven?  I was naked in it!  Very, very fond of Robbie McNeill.  I had my hair, remember?  I was seeking my spiritual ... isn't he divine?  Oh, I'm off in space...  So he became a wonderful director and as a result, he of course infected his entire family, and his girl, Taylor, is now seventeen years old and she's studying dance and creative writing in New York.  So Robbie said "Would mind keeping an eye on my daughter over the summer?"  And I said, "Not at all, I'd love to."  Of course, you know, you get busy.  However he called me, and I said, "I will call her, of course."  I said, "Darling, could you come for dinner?"  This was just a few days ago.  "Oh, I'd love to.  And could I bring my friend?"  I said, "Yeah, I don't care, I'll just do this and sacrifice it to the..."  The most exquisite creature walked into my apartment!  My sons were there, right.  My big hulking twenty-two, twenty three year old sons - stuck!  But not just that - "Hello, how do you do, I'm Taylor McNeill.  I'm delighted to meet you.  Your mother tells me you're a painter?  Who are your masters, who do you emulate.  Oh how fascinating."  Everyone just fell to their knees in worship!  And my whole point to this story is Robbie McNeill managed to do it.  He raised beautiful children and became a fabulous director at the same time.  So he was a great, great, great friend of mine on Voyager.  And also Roxann.  But she sort of now is I think off into a world of... very, very, very busy.  But that, to answer your question in a very long winded way, Sugar - I loved them all. All of them.  All right? 

Now you. Sorry.  Sir. 

From the Audience:  He has another question.

Kate Mulgrew: Oh - he has two - of course!  He's fourteen - they always have two!  Yes?

Q 6:  If you're going about your average day life in your house and you get transported up to an actual Voyager with an actual crew like that, what would you do?

Kate Mulgrew:  That's fourteen!

From the Audience:  That's my son!

Kate Mulgrew:  That's your son? 

From the Audience:  Yes.

Kate Mulgrew:  Well I guess so that would be father. What would I do if I were just going about my business and I actually got transported up to Voyager, is that what you're saying?  I think I'd have to make the best of it, don't you?  Don't you?  I think I'd have to go right into the Ready Room, and kill whoever was in there and take over!  Don't you?!  And then don't you think I'd have to stay seven years, trying to figure out a way to get home?  Yes!  All right.  So that's what we'll do if it ever happens! 

Yes?  There's a lady down... oh... oh, this man.

From the Audience:  Go ahead.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yes, this lady.  Yes.

Q 7:  I think one of the things that's fun going to conventions is seeing the actual personality of the actors and then, you know, tell the difference between the person and the character.  So going back a few...and understand the actors, going back to the middle of Voyager's season, there's a scene when Kes was leaving Voyager and a very emotional scene with both of you.  And it seemed like the two of you are stepping outside the character and actually was an emotional good-bye between two actors - one leaving the series. Was that my imagination or was there actually a personal good-bye...

Kate Mulgrew:  No.  It was not your imagination. And that good-bye between Kes and Janeway was the good-bye between Jennifer and Kate, and I'm sure it's no surprise to any of you what was going on at that time - it was very difficult.  And I hope nobody is ever put in that position.  We knew that she was leaving - being replaced.  That's a terribly difficult thing.  Terribly, terribly difficult.  You really do not want a company to ... to be fractured at that point.  So indeed you did see ... me and her.  What a lovely actress she was.  I just want to say that.  A lovely, fine actress.  Yeah.

Yes?  Yes darling.  That... there's a lady down there, but she keeps raising her hand and you don't see her. There.  See her?  Madly curly hair.  Smiling.  Is that my sister in law?

Q 8:  What would you say was your like favorite episode to work on?  In Voyager.

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh God, darlin'!  Seven years!?  You're not going to like this - nobody likes it when I say this... everybody just gets ... horrified and disappointed.  I loved "Counterpoint".  I loved it.  It was a real opportunity to play about three different levels at the same time.  I loved "Endgame" and I know a lot of people objected to it. I loved "Deadlock".  But I think if I had to choose one above all others representative of both the philosophy, the dignity and the guts of Star Trek, it would be "Death Wish". "Death Wish", yes. One's right to suicide. Very interesting, right? 


Q 9:  Hi Kate.  Thank you very much for being here.  I have a question for you - it's kind of a two-parter.  When you started Star Trek: Voyager, first of all did you think it wouldn't last the total seven years, and are you surprised of the outcome of all that it has spawned for you?

Kate Mulgrew:  Well you have to understand, as I'm sure you do, that I was not the original Captain Janeway.  The original Captain Janeway was a lovely French Canadian actress by the name of Genevieve Bujold.  So I came in hard on the heels of that... departure, which fed my trepidation.  She didn't last but a day, you know.  And I think it was her own choice, I think she said (in a French accent), "Are you people are kidding, this is absolutely no ...."  And anyway I don't think that people would like to hear (in a French accent) "Engaage." I think she kept saying that on purpose. (French accent)  "All right, Lieutenant are you ready?  Lieutenant Paris are we ready to roll? All right?  Engaage...."  I love the French, don't you?  I thought that they were going to do everything they could to bring me down. That was my feeling.  I had a row of men - The Brass - come down from Paramount and UPN every day for weeks, and stand in a clutch and watch me like this.  Just watch.  No expression of any kind. Just waiting.  Just waiting.  When is she going to fall, because we gotta to get a man back up here because this is our demographic and we're going to lose it if we keep this broad in the Captain's seat, because we're not going to get twenty-five year old boys to believe that she can command a ship.  So I just said to myself, 'Really?  Watch!'  At the same time - and then I'm going to take your question - I respected them for their decision to try a woman.  I want to say billions of dollars were at stake here.  Star Trek had always been the flagship show.  Star Trek had always paved the alleyways of Paramount Studios.  So for these guys to take a shot at a woman, meant that they were willing to see history change.  But I think that they did not expect it to succeed.  But you see, young men are interested in the same thing that young women are interested in - and old men, and old women - the truth of command.  And that's all anybody cares about, right?  I always said the audience is far smarter than you guys.  Don't repeat it!

Yes? Yes?  Yes sir?

Q 10:  There was an episode I only was able to see half of it when I got home. It was about when both Tuvok and umm....

Kate Mulgrew:  Neelix.

Q 10:   B'Elanna Torres...

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh, B'Elanna.

Q 10:  They both... they both did something and at the end you were mad at both of them... both of them.  You were mad at both of them!

Kate Mulgrew:  Well what did they do?!  What did they do?

Q 10:  Okay, I remember seeing a scene when B'Elanna wanted to do something and you said no, and that bothered B'Elanna so she did it anyway and so did Tuvok and at the end you told B'Elanna I won't throw you in the brig but next time you will no longer be, you know...

Kate Mulgrew:  This is like asking somebody how many grains of salt are there in that Morton's salt shaker.  I have no idea what the... does anybody know what...

Announcer:  The name of the episode is "Prime Factors", I've just been informed.

Kate Mulgrew:  What's it called?

Announcer:  "Prime Factors".

Kate Mulgrew:  I still don't know...

From the Audience:  They got the alien technology... 

From the Audience 2:  It was the one where you had the aliens that were interested in pleasure...

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh I so hoping that somebody will ask me a different question...

From the Audience 2: There were aliens ...

Kate Mulgrew:  I don't really remember it darling...

From the Audience 2:  It was in Season One.

Kate Mulgrew:  But did they resolve the issue? 

From the Audience 2:  Yes.

Kate Mulgrew:  Was I diplomatic and firm?  Very good!  Next question!

Yes?  Yes?  Yes?

Q 11:  Hi Kate. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Hi.

Q 11:  My friend and I wanted to know if we could read you something really short that we wrote for you.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yes.  Of course.  But clear.  Be clear!  And loud!

Q 11:  This is called "An Ode to Kate" 
(Poem recited by Q 11 & 12*):

 There once was a gal named Kate
  Who was so incredibly great.
  Little Dubuque could not hold her
  She wanted a life so much bolder.

  So off to the big city she went
  Waiting tables to just pay her rent.
  Then came her break in Ryan's Hope
  But away from her passion Kate couldn't cope.

  So onto the stage she went and she'd play.
  Here on the stage she spent many a day.
  Then the audition for captain came.
  So she went running like hell through the rain.

  The producers decided on Bujold
  Who was frankly too boring and old.
  So out with the French; the Irish in.
  This beautiful redhead with her infectious grin.

  Though thinking themselves quite enlightened,
  The men in charge grew frightened.
  So amongst them, they fussed and they fussed
  Over silly little things like her hair and her bust.

Kate Mulgrew:  Not so silly!

Q 11 & 12:

  Finally Kate said enough!
  She would not tolerate such stuff.
  She knew that sex would soon be an issue
  But Kate put her foot down, "Red Alert? No thank you!"

  With Kate at the reigns, Janeway upwards drew
  We soon came to know her as Her Highness Ms. Mulgrew.
  But sadly at the beginning of season four,
  The producers decided they wanted more.

  Enter Seven with her T and her A,
  Yet we were not impressed, not to this day.

Kate Mulgrew:  Booooooo......!

Q 11 & 12:

  Alas as fans, we never faltered.
  We kept Kate high atop her alter.

  For no other captain was as great as she,
  Along with her trusted cup of coffee
  Not Kirk, nor Picard, or Sisko too.
  To save Voyager, only Janeway would do.

  So came the end, as sad as it may be,
  But Kate did it all with great dignity.
  Janeway will live on in our hearts and our minds.
  But feel free to call us and chat anytime.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yay!!!

Q 11 & 12:

  And so it is, with great joy and great glee,
  That together we stand humbly before thee.
  Our feelings sincere, our words ringing true,
  We do so love you, Ms. Kate Mulgrew!

Kate Mulgrew:  Ohhhh.... Thank you!

Announcer:  ...  that can't see, these two young ladies are wearing matching tee shirts that usually means, 'What would Jesus do?' These two young ladies are wearing matching tee shirts that say, appropriately enough, 'What would Janeway do?'

Kate Mulgrew:  The shirt usually says 'What would Jesus do?'? Hmmm... I don't know if I love it!?  Thank you ladies.  That was lovely.  Lovely!

Yes? Yes?  Whoever!

Q 13 - view video:  You've had a long career, and it's probably had great ups and great downs...

Kate Mulgrew:  Would you stand so I could see you please... Thank you!

Q 13:  What was your greatest thrill in your career, and your greatest sadness?

Kate Mulgrew:  My greatest thrill.... This was a pretty good one, "Our Leading Lady", that just ended, that just closed.  The scope of the character was so great.  And I must say when I played Hedda Gabler it was great.  And Isabella in "Measure for Measure". Oh... I don't know... too many.  My greatest sadness - bad television.  Although I've done very little, I've done some.  I've done some.  And I re...yeah, I regret it.  I'm not afraid to say I have regrets.  We do have regrets in life, don't we?  I have several regrets.  You should never do anything for money. You should never do anything for money.  If you could possibly... as an artist you really must try not to.  You must try to avoid that, because that will get directly in the path of your creativity. So when I have done things for money, I have regretted it.

Yes?  Yes sir?

Q 14 - view video:  You've been wonderful.  Two questions. Number one, when you were growing up, or over your...what actor or actress ... really inspired you... Number two, you talked about Robbie being a director.  How was LaVar Burton as a director?

Kate Mulgrew:  He's asking how LaVar Burton was as a director - fine. I like LaVar.  I... I...I'm rather attracted to bite, I have to tell you that. I'm going to be honest with you.  I like bite, I like passion and I like chops!  And I like to be a little afraid of the director.  I like to know that the director knows more than I do.  So... I... I... I like LaVar. 

The other part of your question was ... what?!

Q 14:  What other actor or actress really inspired you to be...

Kate Mulgrew:  Who inspired me?  That's always asked, and it's tough, because no one, really. My mother inspired me, in terms of character.  And Stella Adler, my mentor, inspired me, but she was my teacher.   She was a great, great actress of the Yiddish theater, she studied at the... at the feet of Stanislavsky.  She taught me a method which has lifted me up, and she used to say to me, "Darling, you know you're going to have many men, you're going to have many men and you're going to be up and you're going to be down; you're going to be rich and you're going to be poor, and you're going to f*ck and you're not going to f*ck, and you're going to laugh and you're not going to laugh, and I'm going to tell you one thing, and I'm going to tell you straight.  Only the work will lift you up."  And she was right.  Only the work has lifted me up.  The only consistent thing.  You would think it would be one's children, or one's love.  It's the work.  But you know that is the affliction and the joy of the artist.   So I'm blessed and cursed at the same time - more blessed.

Yes?  Yes?

Q 15 - view video:  Hi.  I have been watching Star Trek since the beginning and the greatest thing for me was watching all the diversity that all the seasons bring with the different species and characters, and I wanted to know how you felt about that.

Kate Mulgrew:  The diversity of characters?

Q 15:  Uh huh.

Kate Mulgrew:  You mean, for instance...

Q 15:  Different species, races, creeds...

Kate Mulgrew:  Well I mean that's what Roddenberry's dream was.  The time will come when we will transcend all of these things. The only thing we didn't have, that I fought for, and failed, was a... a gay character.  And I thought that we should have a gay character.  Right, to represent all... all.  But in time.  In time, it will be all gay, I'm sure! I loved that aspect of it.  That's what it was all about, for me and for all of you.  Watch it. Right?  Who wants to watch the, you know, the Cleavers in a space ship!  This is about how we interact and how we get to it. Right?  How do you feel about Barack Obama? No?  This is an African-American woman, I want to hear... what?

Q 15:  I want a woman in power.

Kate Mulgrew:  You want Hilary Clinton over Barack Obama?  We won't get into it!

Yeah.  Next!  Yes?

Q 16 - view video:  I actually have two questions.  One from a friend who couldn't be here, and one from me.  My friend Sarah wanted to know, other than Tim Russ, who played the practical jokes on the set?

Kate Mulgrew:  Other than Tim Russ?!  Certainly you've seen the others, haven't you?

Q 16:  I've heard about some.

Kate Mulgrew:  I think you know who they are!  They were on the bridge with me for seven years.  Tall.  Stinky.  Scatological.  Irreverent. Merciless ... dogs!  They went after me all the time.  All the time.  I was the only one!  The only female.

Q 16:  But they didn't go after Roxann at all?

Kate Mulgrew:  She was home!  They'd release her first - keep me last.  Because they knew that no matter what, I would keep that close up...I would...because I was dying to get home!  But these guys would be doing Burt Lancaster, they'd be doing the Vegas dancers, in the back somebody would be stripping, spit balls in the forehead... and I'm giving a three page monologue about the black hole, right?!  I should have been canonized, darling. 

Yes, you?

Q 17 - view video:  I have a question.  I was at a cocktail place in Girard one night for a reunion, and Bobby Hagan was there.

Kate Mulgrew:  Yeah.

Q 17:  And he was telling us a story about the first time you met the Hagans, and somebody asked where you kissed Tim at.  Could you share that story...

Kate Mulgrew:  You know my husband is one of fourteen children.  They're everywhere in this bleeding state!  So her question is, she was at a cocktail lounge in Girard with my brother-in-law, Bobby Hagan, who told her the story of how I met and kissed his brother, my now husband, Tim. And you want me to repeat how I kissed him for...

Q 17:  I think it was where did you kiss him.

Kate Mulgrew:  Where?  Anatomically or geographically!?

Q 17:  Where were you at?

Kate Mulgrew:  Those Hagans!  Sex, sex, sex!  I'll tell you a story about Bobby Hagan that will make your hair fall out!  I met my husband in Ireland.  He was my mother's friend, not mine.  And he was going to Ireland to visit the ambassador who was his great friend and my mother's best friend, Jean Kennedy Smith.  And my mother said, "Go down and meet my daughter, she's in Dingle with her two sons."  I'd been divorced for a year, I didn't want to meet him, it was the last thing I needed, but he came, we met in Tralee, and it was instant.  He followed me to Dingle.  Connie, you've heard this story so many times.  Connie's taking a small nap!  (Kate makes a snoring sound) We met in Dingle, nah...nah... nah...  And here, get this you guys - he may have told you a different story, but this is the truth of the first kiss. We met - he followed me to Dingle and we went to a pub that night.  I got a sitter for the boys.  Tim and I went to Kate Ashe's Pub.  Kate Ashe is my great friend.  I don't know who... how many of you have ever been to Ireland, but the pub is the most romantic place on earth. Also the filthiest! Sort of most primitive, do you know what I mean, you're just alive in a pub! There's a turf fire, they're all singin' and everybody's drinkin' and everybody's hammered, and it's fabulous, right?!  And Tim and I are in front of the fire, and I am falling so in love... ah.  Can you imagine me speechless?!  I wasn't actually speechless!  But I was falling!  I thought, "Oh my God, this is the thing.  I have waited thirty-eight years - thirty eight - to meet this guy."  My heart was beating.  My throat was closing.  Finally Kate says, "Well sorry darling, you know, it's three o'clock in the morning, the Garda will be around and I've got to close it up - you're out."  So I said, "Oh I suppose we have to go home, would you walk me home?" He said, "Of course I'll walk you home."  We went out - now I'm going to cry.  Only in Ireland at four o'clock in the morning is it still light, in the sense that God is still there.  And the seagulls were coming up through the mist, and the mist was joining the clouds, which were just above our head.  And it was so glorious.  And the streetlights were still gas.  And we started to stroll, and he turned me slowly, and he took my face and he kissed me very gently, very lightly, sort of like a ... a drugged fly!  And he looked at me and he said, "Boy, I'd love to meet the man who's going to marry you."  That is true!  So the next time you're in that cocktail lounge in Girard, uh huh, you remind Bobby to mind his own business!  Can you imagine?! "I'd love to meet the man who's going to marry you."  I knew right away.  Wouldn't you know? I'm looking at that lady.  Wouldn't you know right away?  I knew!  I gotcha! You are a dead duck. 

Dizzy?  Is that your Christian name? 

Dizzy:  I have to say no.

Kate Mulgrew:  (laughs) It's very good.  One more question.  Yes sir.

Q 18:  Well I have a comment, but a couple of questions.  First of all, who was your favorite star role actor, I mean who model - who would model your starring role - do you have a favorite one?

Kate Mulgrew:  I'm not sure I... I understand this question.

Q 18:  Let me start over.  Did you ever have a star that you actually would like to have modeled yourself after?

Kate Mulgrew:  Oh, that I emulated.  Not really, particularly.

Q 18:  Oh, okay.  And...

Kate Mulgrew:  I do now.  I do now.  Not then.  Now it would be Judi Dench.  Did you see "Notes on a Scandal"?  Oh! 

I'm sorry sir, back to you. 

Q 18:  And also, you did the role... I forget... you played a role where you were a mother and you left the family to go back to college and eventually divorced...

From the Audience:  "Daddy".

Kate Mulgrew:  Shhhhh!

Q 18:  How did you...

Kate Mulgrew:  Bad TV!  It was Danielle Steele.  Not good. 

Q 18:  How did you feel about doing that role?

Kate Mulgrew:  I loved.  I loved it! I loved it! She was the bad girl!  Who wants to play one of Danielle Steele's goody goodies?  And I think Wonder Woman was on it too. So I got to be the bad one.  But guess who my son was?  The young, and very, very good Ben Affleck.  So we had fun.  And I had fun in my bed scenes with Patrick Duffy.  He would deny it, but we had a lot of fun!

Q 18:  And my comment was, if they would succeed in getting you out of the Star Trek: Voyager, I think the show would have gone down. My opinion, you fit that role very perfectly. 

Kate Mulgrew:  Thank you.  On that note, what more can I say?  You are, as always, wonderful to see, wonderful to talk to, and I thank you all very much.  Good-bye!

*Thanks to Sarah and Marie for the poem. 

Totally Kate talks to Kate Mulgrew in Columbus!