Kate Meets the Fans Photos
KM: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. How lovely. How daunting! How many of you are there here? This is extraordinary because I’m a little bit out of the convention loop since I’m very much in the Janeway loop. And I must say this is I think only my second or third experience and this is slightly overwhelming. Can I walk on again? That was so much fun!
I am absolutely thrilled to be here. I’m very surprised to be here, because I actually did not finish wrapping until three o’clock this morning. Last shot – 3:05. Got home, into my bed by four. Set the alarm, I’m a very good girl, a very good camper. Alarm went off at 6:30. I turned it off. I got ready and something happened. And it was seven o’clock. And my very large brown dog was jumping and barking and hurling herself on my bed and I jumped out and I made it and I’m so glad I did. ‘Cause I missed it last year. And Ethan Phillips said to me last night as we were trying to figure out how to save Voyager for the 530th time this season. “You are going to love Denver.” he said. “That’s the crème de la crème”. He really did. He was absolutely raving about it and he’s right. I’ve been beautifully treated and I hope to come again many many times.
Now I can tell you all sorts of anecdotes about Voyager. I could tell you stories. But I think I will tell you just very quickly and simply that I am a forty-year-old actress, and I have been a professional actress from the time I was eighteen years old. And you live your life, if you’re as passionate about this craft as I have been, searching for the perfect character, right. And you sometimes brush up against them, you sometimes flirt with one, fall a little bit in love with another. Sometimes you’re actually heartbroken by some of them. But the perfect one is elusive. And I think most actors don’t meet that other half for a lifetime. So when I went in for Janeway, and I stood in front of those people in that room, and I looked at that copy and I thought ‘I’m home. This is it’. And I have so loved this woman, from the very first moment I walked onto that bridge, ‘til last night at 3:05 in the morning, that I am constantly and consistently borne along on a great cloud of happiness. This has been a rare and extraordinary privilege and opportunity in my life. It’s quite breathtaking to be the first female captain. And they always say things like well can you fit the boots of Picard and can she do what Shatner did – well of course not, because my feet aren’t that big! But I can give this captain my heart and my soul and that’s what I intend to do. And it’s always and everywhere on my mind, I’m very cognizant of this ladies and gentlemen, that if it were not for you – for this extraordinary support system, Janeway would not be fed. And so I probably will not have the opportunity to thank each of you individually, but I do so with my heart. I thank you for giving me the greatest character an actress could hope to play.
And now what I want to do since I think our time is limited, is it not? Nobody’s talking to me; they’re quite quiet! I would like to take questions. Do you have questions for me? Oh you have a question line! A very long question line! And there’s another line over there! (Pointing to the center of the audience) I think I’ll start with you! No! Here we go! (Gesturing to the first person in line) Come. Come! Ask me!
Q1: Well first I’d like to welcome you to U.S.S. Mile High. And I’m glad you finally got here.
KM: So am I.
Q1: My question is do you think Voyager will ever run into the Borg?
KM: Will ever run into the Borg?
KM: Why do I always get hit with these questions? I don’t think so.
Q1: You don’t think so?
KM: I don’t think so. But you will learn quickly never to quote me, I’m usually wrong. No, don’t forget we’re in the D Quadrant, we’ve got some big and unusual fish to fry first I think so, no, I don’t think so. Thank you.
Now I have to be judicious and go over here. (Turns to the other side of the stage). Yes.
Q2: I just want you to know that we in Denver Colorado appreciate you and could you also tell us how long does it take to film an episode of Voyager?
KM: Seven days minimum, if it’s a very complicated episode you can get nine, if our people are slipping into comas you get ten! We just finished a double header season finale and season opener and I think he squeezed two weeks out of it.
Q2: Thank you very much.
KM: You’re welcome. Yes?
Q3: Hi. I used to live in Iowa and while I was there I met your niece Sarah.
KM: Oh, Sarah.
Q3: And she, in a recent letter asked us to thank you for sending her to camp.
KM: Oh she did? I have 42 nieces and nephews. I’m from a large Irish Catholic family. There’s been another birth…hmmm. Yes.
Q3: I’m supposed to ask you where you graduated from high school.
KM: That’s a tough one. Because I didn’t actually graduate from high school. I mean I graduated. But I skipped two grades. So I left Wahlert High School in Dubuque Iowa at the age of sixteen and went to college. Yah. Thank you. It was no intellectual feat, believe me! I was a little anxious to get out! Yes?
Q4: Hi Kate, how are you? On behalf of the people of Florida we love your show just as well.
KM: Thank you.
Q4: Do you foresee yourself, or possibly have you or will you be directing any of the … you know.
KM: Now it’s interesting you should bring that up. I don’t think so. A director has a spatial sense. An inherent spatial sense which I lack. I do however, see everything that goes on. But I think I lack the intense objectivity that is required to direct well. I’m too subjective. I’m pretty totally a performer in that regard. But once again please don’t quote me, all right?
Q4: All right. Thank you.
KM: Yes ma’am. Oh yes sweetie pie?
Q5: (small child) Are you ever going to have a baby? (much laughter)
KM: Out of the mouths of babes the pearls…..
Q5’s parent!: She means is Captain Janeway ever going to have a baby?
KM: Is Captain Janeway…. (laughs) Depends on how long they’re out…. I doubt that Captain Janeway will be having a baby. Why is everybody moaning? It would lend a whole new meaning to ‘Red Alert’ wouldn’t it? (Here Kate did an exaggerated imitation of a pregnant woman, to much laughter and applause! Ed.) I don’t know! I thought about that in the beginning. But I mean I am 40 years old. My sons are 12 and 13. And anyway who would I have a baby with? Don’t! Next. Yes?
Q6: Who’s the biggest practical joker on the set?
KM: There’s a war going on, you know that don’t you? Oh there’s a war going on! And it is between yours truly and who would you guess?
KM: And he is dead meat! I had to put three worms in his underpants last night. He’s still at it. Tim Russ should be locked up. Throw the key away. Who? It’s Tuvok. Oh, Mr. Straight. Right? Oh Mr. Perfect. Mr. Serious. He’s going to get it…I won’t tell you… I’ll wait for that one. Yes sweetheart? Go on…
Q7: Are you married?
KM: I am not married. I am divorced. But go ahead and ask me another question.
Q7: That’s all I wanted to ask.
KM: Huh? Is that all? I know sweetie. I know it. You should grow up and be married. Be married well. Make sure that the person you marry is the person you’re madly in love with. And you stay married forever. A lot of things happen in life. But I can see that you are going to marry a marvelous man. I can tell by your tennis shoes! Yes? Yes?
Q8: On the set of Voyager I’m sure that things don’t go quite the way they’re supposed to.
KM: He said politely! Yes?
Q8: I guess you guys screw up every once in a while. I was wondering, past or future scenes what was the oddest or/and funniest thing that ever happened?
KM: I thought last night’s season ender was rather amusing. Robert Beltran may not agree with me. My Maquis warrior. My Indian guide. The most macho guy from here to the Mississippi. Here’s the scene. We’re abandoned on a planet; our technology has been taken away from us. We have to start from scratch. Commander Chakotay, you start the fire! Two weeks later! Screech….(Kate does an imitation of someone rubbing two sticks together! Ed.) I said ‘Robert’. ‘I can’t start the damn….’ A lot of things like that go on. On a daily basis. Yes?
Q9: Do you have a favourite cartoon show?
KM: Do I have what sweetie?
Q9: A favourite cartoon show?
KM: No but I do the voice of, do you ever watch Batman?
KM: I do the voice of Red Claw.
KM: The Russian terrorist. So I should say…
Q9: That’s so neat!
KM: I like the graphics on Batman, don’t you?
KM: I think they’re rather splendid. What’s your favourite?
Q9: I would say X-Men.
KM: What did she say?
Q9: (loudly) X-Men!
KM: Oh. Yes. Of course. Wonderful, wonderful! Yes?
Q10: Will Voyager ever star in a movie or be in a movie?
KM: I don’t know, you know. There’s some question about that. I think the franchise is hoping that that will come to pass. But I have learned from the vantage of years and great wisdom, why are you sobbing, not to hold my breath. Let’s wait and see. I’m so happy just to be doing the series, darling, you know. One day at a time really. If that comes, that’s great. Thank you. Thank you. Yes.
Q11: Can you tell us what it’s like, and I hope you’ll forgive this, a normal star, and then to do Star Trek and it propels you up to this god level type thing…
KM: What is it like to be catapulted from being a normal human being up into this stratosphere. It’s daunting, as I said when I came out. And I was trying to explain this to my son who is with me today and has never seen this before. This is part of it. And it is not of any other job, or any other character, or any other series. Although now I understand X-Files has a huge following. But I think Star Trek is its own marvelous creature and I think that this group and this foundation and fan support and I’ve thought about this a lot and I’m not saying this cavalierly, is based on a great passion for the sophisticated topic of science fiction. These are erudite people. You have imaginations that have been stretched. You don’t ask dumb questions. I mean I’m always amazed at the questions that are posed to me. You are seriously involved in it. So I think that is the great difference. I have to be responsible to these people. To you. Because you are in a sense creating what I do for a living. It’s a very different thing. It’s a great thing. Yes?
Q12: Did you ever watch any of the other Star Treks before you started Voyager?
KM: Now, I didn’t hear that. So let me hear it again. And go slowly, and go loudly!
Q12: Did you ever watch any of the other Star Treks before you started Voyager?
KM: I didn’t sweetheart. I watched one or two because John DeLancie is my best male friend and I’m not allowed to go to his dinner parties if I don’t watch everything that he does. So I watched him in is Q episodes. And I remember I was quite impressed by it. I thought well, levels of great excellence here. But I didn’t. No. And at the risk of sounding slightly cliché I don’t watch a lot of television so it’s not that I was dismissive of Star Trek, I just didn’t. And I think in the end it stood me in good stead. Because if I’d come in with all sorts of expectations and knowledge and information about it, I couldn’t have had the abandon with Janeway in the early auditions, which were grueling and very difficult for me, that I did. So I think it all worked out for the best. How old are you?
KM: Eleven. Are you a big Star Trek fan? A big Voyager fan? Do you like the captain being a lady? Do you? Good for you! You may come up here! You are now in my will! Yes?
Q13: Um. If you ever get married again and he’s about to ask the question, do you think you’ll ever put your hand out and say ‘Engage’!
KM: Oh you romantic devil! Well, now that you’ve told me, I suppose I’ll use that, yes! Thank you! He thought about that one a long time! Yes sweetheart?
Q14: What was your first reaction when you got cast into the role of captain?
KM: What was my first reaction. I remember exactly. I drove home. My housekeeper of 12 years, whom I adore, was standing at the door. She said, ‘Senora, you’ve got to answer your messages.’ I never listen to my messages. I’m famous for it. ‘You must listen to the messages on the machine Senora, do it now!’ I said I have to…’You’ve got to do it now! Now!’ So my boys were there, Lucy’s there. I went into the kitchen and I listen to the messages and I’m listening and listening …’Hello Kate, this is Rick Berman. Welcome aboard, captain’. Uh uh, uh uh! Am I a good Roman Catholic? I said ‘Boys, Lucy, on your knees!’ Down we went, (she genuflects) I said ‘Glory be to God on the highest and open the champagne!’ That’s what we did. That’s what we did! It’s a true story! Yes sweetie?
Q15: I’d like to give you this in my appreciation.
KM: Thank you for your appreciation. I love that when they draw. Is that really what I look like? It’s good. Thank you. I really do have to do something with this hairdo, don’t I? You want to see it? There. She’s quite good isn’t she? Thank you.
Q16: You look great, first of all.
KM: Thank you.
Q16: Can I ask a dumb question?
KM: A dumb question?
Q16: A dumb question.
KM: Why not!
Q16: Do you like coffee as much as the character on the show?
KM: I love coffee. How do you think that got in there?
Q16: Okay then what’s your favourite blend, I have to know.
KM: What’s my favourite what?
Q16: Blend. You know, kind of coffee?
KM: Of coffee. I said earlier I’m Irish. We’re completely unspecific. If it’s coffee, I’ll drink it. Coffee. Leaded. I’ve never had a cup of decaf in my life. I’d die the day that happens! Thank you. Yes.
Q17: I’ve been very interested to see how your leadership role has developed. And you haven’t copied any captains. You know initially it looked as though they were trying to have you copy different captain’s styles. I like the way they blend the captain’s authority with the part of you that’s a woman. And I wonder which of the episodes might reflect most closely your own feelings about leadership. We actually use Star Trek in military training to talk about leadership.
KM: That’s difficult. Because I think that the work that I’ve most enjoyed has been a little bit outside of that role. ‘Resistance’. I think to date my favourite episode in terms of the depth of her character and the depth of her command would be ‘Death Wish’. Yah. That was Janeway at her best. But it’s a very tricky thing about leadership. People say you have to have leadership. We’re looking for somebody with leadership. Well you can’t develop leadership. I think not. I think it has to be an inherent thing. And when I watch great leaders – you watch Patton, you watch Winston Churchill, you watch Golda Meir - they’re relaxed. They’re completely in control. They do not question they are leaders. And that’s the most difficult thing of all. Particularly on the bridge. You know? We're under the gun. Somebody’s given me seven pages of the most extraordinary technobabble, right? And you’re trying to wrap your two remaining brain cells around this stuff. And at the same time utterly relax so that it just comes like water off a duck’s back. So it’s a constant challenge. But in ‘Death Wish’ I got to explore something topical, something substantive. I adored that episode. And of course I had my sweetheart with me. That madman, John DeLancie. Yes?
Q18: I don’t actually have a question, I have a request…
KM: I think that microphone is a bit… low…isn’t it? Oh. No. She’s….
Q18: Can you hear me now?
Q18: I don’t actually have a question, I have a request. Can I give you this, real quick?
KM: Yes, of course. Thank you. Shall I read it out? I’ll do that now. All right! I would like to say congratulations to her wonderful handsome marvelous beloved extraordinary husband James for winning the airman of the year, Ellesworth Airforce Base. Thank you. Thank you. Good for you James!
Now that – that – is a marriage that will last.
Q19: I just wanted to say your character is very strong and impeccably consistent and I was wondering if it was difficult finding a role model or influence… being a woman was it difficult to find someone like where you could take some of their characteristics from and sort of bring them into your own character for Captain Janeway? Who was it?
KM: I think she evolved out of the, for lack of a better expression, and I know there is one, bowels of my being. You know I’m the oldest girl in a family of eight so I was very bossy from the time I was very young, and I did not have the luxury of being a little kid because my mother really needed my help. So I was raising those kids and delegating jobs and doing it all in the house and I think that finally it’s all caught up with me in the form of Janeway. But I will tell you an interesting story. I had a great honour last year. I was invited to the White House. Women in science internationally were being honoured and I was asked to come and meet them and speak and to meet the President and the First Lady and the Vice President. The President of course was a little busy, but I did meet Mrs. Clinton. Now let’s put politics aside because it’s really not relevant. She was so – I knew she’d just got off a plane at four o’clock in the morning, she’d been in Copenhagen for two weeks, speaking, right? She must have been exhausted. She spoke beautifully and eloquently at the White House. And then in the drawing room afterwards, her presence, her dignity, her intelligence – her fine and keen intelligence – her knowledge of my life – the information. Where did she get it? How did she learn it? So easy, so gracious, so clear. I thought this broad should be in the driver’s seat! I mean I love the President. But I was very impressed with that. So I think it’s inherent. You know. Thank you. Yes?
Q20: I was wondering, when you first started auditioning for the role, was there anything that maybe intimidated you about being one of the first female captains?
KM: Anything that maybe intimidated me?
KM: The pressure was extraordinary. Put yourself in my shoes, right. No, you wouldn’t want to be in my shoes! They’re looking madly for the female captain. I understand that they saw 900 women for this part. Finally they give it to a great French Canadian actress, and I’m a big fan, Genevieve Bujold. She shows up for work she works for one day and a half, and she says ‘No, it’s not for me’, right. So, the word is out, these hours are impossible, the rigors of the job are insurmountable, it can’t be done, what are we going to do – bump – they bring in me – again. I’d seen them once but then they hired her. They brought me in again and I thought ‘I gotta go for it’, I did, they gave me the job that day or the next day and I went to work that Friday. I felt like everybody in the world was staring at me. People were lined up ten deep in that studio, right? On that soundstage. Every crewmember’s job hung on whether or not I could pull this off. And the first day’s dailies were going to tell the tale. So was I slightly intimidated? Did I want a morphine drip? But Rick Kolbe, who directed the pilot and had gone through all the hell that preceded my coming on, took me into the Ready Room which I didn’t even know existed. And my entrance was from the Ready Room onto the Bridge ‘Mr. Kim here’s your station, we’re not in a crunch yet relax, Mr. Paris take the con, Mr. Chakotay, over here…’ and he said ‘Look I know how you must be feeling, but somebody told me that you give a fabulous dinner party. You know every room, you know everybody, you love them, it’s liquid, it’s fluid, it’s controlled.’ He said ‘The Bridge is your living room. Action.’ And it was a great help. That’s a very good question. Yes ma’am? Sir! Sorry! My eyes…
Q21: What was it like doing the Q episode? Like how did it differ from the rest of them?
KM: Well it differed, as I said, because I had a great friend. We are truly terrific pals in life and he is a marvelous and exacting actor, right, John DeLancie. Not to be outdone by the alternate Q impeccably played by Garret Graham. But what they did in that episode, which they often don’t do because they can’t because it’s science fiction, it’s an action show and a lot of things have to be addressed… But what they did was they were still. The question was suicide. And that’s all they dealt with. And Michael Pillar said ‘I’m going to let them speak for three pages, one person, until this whole thing is so deeply explored’. And I think that’s what classic Star Trek is all about. I mean we can’t always be in the Briefing Room talking about suicide. We have to have the Kazon and we have to have the… But I loved it for its merit and I loved it for its value and I loved it I think in the end for the message it must have imparted to a great many people. So that was it. Thank you. Yes?
Q22: How does it feel to be a female captain, and how did you get the role?
KM: Who said she’s going to cry now. (laughs) I’ll tell you the story. I had taken my sons to Ireland. This was two years ago. I took them to Ireland on my last dime. We spent about six weeks there and it was superb. And while I was there my manager called me and said ‘ you know, it’s just a hunch but if I were you I’d get on a plane and come back here they’re looking for a new female captain for Star Trek.’ I said ‘what’s that?’ It was long distance! ‘What? What tech? No, I’m in Ireland, I’m having fun’ I said, ‘I’m not going to bother with it’. And I didn’t. I got to New York. They still hadn’t found her. He finds me again. ‘Run up, we’ll put the audition on film and we’ll send it to them’ right? In the pouring rain, I walked twenty blocks in this great soggy raincoat, and gave the worst audition of my life. On tape. I think I even said to them ‘I’m sorry you guys, I mean this is ridiculous’, right? I thought that was a fait accompli, and I didn’t care at that point, I didn’t know what was at stake so I didn’t care. Then I came back and I understood that she was still open, but that a deal was possibly forming with this other actress Genevieve Bujold. So I went in at the last minute and it was very good. But at that point they’d sealed the deal with her. And then, you know the rest. They called me back four days later, five days later. That was it.
Q22: And can I have your autograph and a picture with you?
KM: What is that – no? Why not? (listens to the crowd) Well you can all have one. You can have one later! I’m not going to risk it! This is like a meeting with the Romulans. No, no, I’ll get you later! Yes?
Q23: I work in the computer industry, and I’ve found that most of us who work in the industry have gotten hooked on Star Trek because of what we do. Has Star Trek helped to hook you on computers and technology?
KM: No. (much laughter) Now look. I know I shouldn’t say this. I’ve been told not to say this in public. But I’m going to say this. As a Catholic I feel that I must say this. I have computers in my house. I’ve been told they’re in my house. I have fax machines. I have telephones. I don’t know anything. I don’t know a button from a book…. What is this mouse? Mice running around! No. I haven’t got a head for it. But on the other hand, I have a great head for the language of it. Do you know what I’m saying? I mean you can give me five pages, I’ll tell you… you want to hear about sub-space banners for five pages…I can do that. But I cannot, and it’s a very strange thing because it’s a dichotomy that I have to deal with, Janeway is a very, is a great great scientist. But Kate Mulgrew struggles with technology. I suppose nobody else in this room has that problem. Oh. Good. Please come and marry me! I’m getting there though. The fax machine is first. If I could only remember the number! Yes?
Q24: What’s the most exciting episode you’ve ever done for Voyager?
KM: The most exciting, versus the most rewarding? Exciting…. Did you see Resistance? That was exciting, because I got to work with Joel Grey who broke my heart. I got to work with Rick Kolbe who is the best director. I got to work with Lisa Klink who wrote a beautiful episode about the different dimensions of Janeway. So to me it was exciting on a deep level. I love the ship shows, the rollicking ship shows. But they’re very very very difficult. Because they involve so many opticals and split screens and graphics. Do you know that that is? A split screen shot can take… who saw - did anybody see the double Janeway show, what was it called? What was it called? Deadlock! Deadlock. Very good show. But I mean talk about suicide. You know that scene where the two of us are talking to each other near the warp core? Nineteen hours. And you cannot move. Because if you move, your nose, and I’m not exaggerating ladies and gentlemen, if you move your nose one quarter of an inch out of the frame, it disturbs the boundaries of the optical. Cut! And you can go five pages, and finally just get it. Just get it. Cut! No. She was one eighth of an inch… that’s hard. That’s hard work. But that’s why Star Trek is so great. Who else does that? Right? Yah! Amazing what they do. I’m learning about that. And blue screens… fascinating. Yes? Yes?
Q25: What are your favourite hobbies?
KM: My favourite hobbies? That’s easy. What do you think they are? (laughs)
Q25:…. Your boys?
KM: I do. I love to cook. I cook often. I love to give a good dinner party. I read voraciously. I love my friends who are few and profoundly important to me. My lady friends. I got four of them and I just adore them. So that’s a pretty rich and full life. Not to mention my eighteen hour day on the bridge, but those are my hobbies. My boys, whom I absolutely adore, the kitchen which I couldn’t live without, that’s therapy for me. A good book, a hot bath, some Pavarotti. I’m in heaven. That’s it.
Q26: First of all, you’re obviously a very beautiful woman…
KM: Man, I want to come back to Denver (much laughter here!ed.)! Yes?
Q26: And I was wondering do you agree with the look of Janeway, or do you think she should be softened up or a little more stern?
KM: Should she be softened up? No no no no I can’t dump her hair. I just cut this hair last night.
Audience member: It looks good!
KM: It may have been 3:05 but I said see those scissors – come on baby! No I want to tell you about the hair because this controversy is now out of hand, don’t you agree? We didn’t have this problem with Picard, did we?! (much laughter and applause here, ed.) I am totally immersed in Janeway. The business at hand from the moment I arrive at the studio is great. I’ve got eight pages, I’ve got five, six, sometimes ten scenes. They’re very important to me, what happens in those scenes. Between partners, the development of the plot, all of it. I thought I would go mad one more person touched my hair. If one more person said let’s try it down, let’s try it up, to the side, flipping, flopping… I said you know what we’re going to do. I don’t care if they call me square. I don’t care if I’m not recognized as an attractive person. Put it up, leave it alone, and let me act. (much applause) And they did. You know you cannot please…. This is a fascinating thing, isn’t it ladies and gentlemen? You all didn’t write a million billion letters about somebody’s baldness, right? No, that’s accepted. That’s part of it. It was elegant, it was great. That’s who he was. He was Jean-Luc Picard. Well this is her. It’s up. So what! Right! But everybody says, no, she’s a lady, we’ve got to think about this eight million… you know… don’t you agree! Yes?
Q27: I just wanted to ask you, what’s your favourite food?
KM: Get closer to the mike sweetie, I can’t hear you.
Q27: What’s your favourite food?
KM: My favourite food? (Laughs) Potato! I do not… I have a very strange diet. Does everybody want to know about my diet?
KM: It is no diet at all! I do not eat solid food, probably, it’s the worst diet in the world! I kick my day of with seven, maybe eight cups of leaded coffee, right. I do not actually feel hungry, the first pangs of hunger, until about 5:00 in the afternoon. By then it’s too late. You missed your lunch break, right. During which I sleep, anyway. So my meal is dinner. And I really look forward to it. Pour myself a glass of wine, that’s how I start. Nice leg of lamb, roast potatoes, some beautiful fresh spinach… I don’t eat sweets. I don’t hardly ever touch sweets. I don’t think. But the wine I think makes up for that, doesn’t it! So that is my appalling diet, but it’s worked for me all these years. What an interesting question, what’s your favourite food?
KM: Salad? Oh. Gotta work on that! Salad’s good, but there are so many better things, sweetie! Do you eat meat? Good. Got to eat meat! I’m from Iowa! Meat, meat, meat! Yes?
Q28: I was curious why the one episode you did wear your hair down?
KM: I’m sorry darling?
Q28: Why the one episode you did wear your hair down?
KM: Because the producers wanted to try it that way.
Q28: So it encourages the audience that they want it down more. So it was a big controversy.
KM: Well… see… it’s fascinating. I know that it’s titillating, and I mostly get this from men about the hair down and all that…I am the captain of a ship that is lost in the Delta Quadrant. I will be damned if I will spend the day going “I’ll be right with you commander” (Kate then made ‘hair fixing gestures!) “Did I say Red Alert – let’s go!” That’s not it! Now I am certainly not without my vanity. I love those scenes in the captain’s quarters, right. Hair comes down… and every now and then that’s good. It’s provocative; it reminds the audience that I am a woman. But I think, most importantly, you’re really not going to trust this captain if she’s looking for her curlers! Trust me on this hair thing. Trust me! Thank you. Yes?
Q29: On Voyager are the rooms all connected?
KM: What darling?
Q29: The rooms – like the bridge and the ready room, are they…
KM: The ready room? The ready room, the bridge and the briefing room are connected.
Q29: Okay, and engineering…
KM: Engineering is connected to nothing else except various corridors which are moveable. And the corridors then open up to sickbay, med lab and various turbo lifts. Most of those sets have to be moveable. You understand, for reasons of space and whatever those problems are. You should come and see those sets. I couldn’t believe it the first day I walked on that bridge. Oh. It’s so beautiful, this ship. So beautiful. And you go and you look and you think and every plaque has details, detailed information. It’s gorgeous, the ship. You should come. Come to Hollywood. Wanna come?
KM: Okay! He’s walking up! All right! Yes?
Q30: Yes ma’am. I have this article from Mr. Gene Roddenberry before he passed away
Q30: And I’ve seen Rick Berman and Michael Piller producing the show, but Mr. Roddenberry had a vision for crewmembers on the ships for gays and lesbians. Now I have not yet seen these crewmembers. Is there any plan for this?
KM: For homosexual crewmembers?
KM: Is there any plan for them?
KM: Oh, you’ve seen them.
Q30: Well there was one episode….
KM: Trust me, you’ve seen them. (Much laughter and applause here, ed.) No, but I understand his point and I’m not going to shortchange it. Will we see it in a senior staff member? As we have honoured every diversity of culture and race. I understand. And it’s a damn good question. I imagine you will. Yes. I imagine you will.
Q30: Thank you.
KM: Yes. You’re welcome. But let’s face it here about one thing. They’ve got their hands full. They’ve got an Indian, right? They’ve got an Asian guy, they’ve got Tim Russ, and now they’ve got a lady in the captain’s seat, so you know…they’re working hard. We’ll get there, we’ll get there. Which position, that’s the question. Yes? Yes?
Q31: On your first…
KM: I didn’t mean it that way, I meant it seriously… you’re bad….
Q31: On your first day of Star Trek, was it hard for you?
KM: It was very hard for me sweetie. I was quite nervous and… do you remember your first day in kindergarten or first grade? You don’t. Second? Ah, he does. You know that scary feeling? All new faces. A rather stern looking teacher. You get that sick feeling in your stomach, but by the end of the day it’s better, you made one friend. So. It was tough. All great things are tough – in the beginning. Don’t you think that true? It’s been ever thus in my life. Why does it have to be like that? It’s always tough if it’s going to be great.
Audience member shouted something unintelligible….
KM: That’s it! Yes?
Q32: If you could actually leave your life now and be Captain Janeway, would you?
KM: Well no, how could I? Did you hear that question? If I could leave my life now, leave it, and be Kathryn Janeway, would I? Well how could… do you see there’s my son… do you see…oh… curtain closed! I can’t leave that! No, no. Why would I, I’ve got the best of both worlds here, don’t I? Do you want to ask me something else?
Q32: What if you could take your children with you on there?
KM: Could I take my children with… done! Deal done! Boys are going with me. Yes?
Q33: How long do you see Voyager on the small screen before it moves to movie theatres?
KM: Well, we don’t know that it will go to movie theatres. We hope so. Right. I don’t think that that’s been quite determined yet. I had dinner with Mr. Berman, who is a personal friend of mine, I just adore him, great guy, a couple of months ago. And we made a bet. I said I think Voyager’s going to go for about three, maybe four more seasons. He said ‘how much do you want to put on the table?’ and he held up six fingers. Well, he’s the producer. I said ‘you’re the boss!’ What could I say? I’d say we’ll get seven years if we’re lucky and we continue to do a good job. It’s a very discerning audience. If we flag, if we let up, we don’t deserve to go on, do we? No. God. He’s an ardent fan! He will be a great leader one day! No! he said! You don’t. Yes?
Q34: When Q came into your bedroom, when Q first appeared, did you want to slap him, or do something else with him, to him?
KM: You know, that was John DeLancie’s idea. I had to go along with it! But what I did discuss with John, which is also the beauty of being a female captain – it’s so easy to summarily dismiss an arch villain like Q, or the Vidians , or even the Kazons, who aren’t my favourite villains, but they’re villains. I think it’s much more interesting to play five, maybe seven different levels. I don’t know whether they translated, ladies and gentlemen, in that scene with Q in her bedroom, but I think what was racing through her mind from the very beginning to the very end of that episode was ‘yes, his acts are heinous, he is outlandishly arrogant, probably has a scintilla of evil motivating every action. His erudition is based on self-righteousness, but he’s bright, he’s quick, he’s funny. He can pop up here, he can do that. He’s omnipotent. He’s attractive on some level.’ So in the room, when he’s looking at me and he says ‘and you see coming over the hill – me.’ In the moment she shuts down, she’s also thinking, as we all do when we’re face to face with that kind of cleverness, ‘my God, this is some kind of genius here’, right? Don’t you think that’s much more interesting than ‘Get out! Get out!’? You know. Play it. That’s good. Anything else?
KM: These men. Nope! Yes?
Q35: First of all, I love your voice, I think it’s one of the most commanding ones I’ve ever heard.
KM: Thank you very much.
Q34: Enjoyable to listen to.
KM: That’s very nice.
Q34: And then I was wondering who inspired you to get into acting?
KM: My mother was instrumental in this. But I think I was to the manner born. Because I was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. Has anybody ever heard of Dubuque, Iowa? Way out in the country. My father was not a farmer, he was a business man, but he bought this house way out in the country to raise this ever growing plethora of children. And I think I had to encourage a very active imagination very early on. So through literature, and I read a lot, my mother would give me wonderful books, I began to explore writing. And my writing in school became rather popular. And my fifth grade teacher, Sister Benedict said to me one day “ I want you to read your poetry in front of the whole school.” These are the Presentation nuns, right. Thirty of them. Farmer’s daughters. Tough, strong, simple, plain, devout women. Not into dramatic. Iowa’s not that way. Farmers are tough, straight, hardworking glorious people, but they do not like hyperbolic people. They do not understand dramatic people, right. They understand getting up at three o’clock in the morning, going out, feeding the cattle, plow the fields, do the work. So I’m dealing with this throughout my young education in Iowa. And I went home and I said to my mother ‘Sister Benedict wants me to read my poetry’. She said ‘Well you know what sweetheart, I love and adore you, and I think you’re a gifted poet, but you’re not that gifted. Take this poem, which is written by Alice Duer Miller, called ‘The White Cliffs’, great love story, set in World War I, you work on it all night long and you read that poem tomorrow.’ So I did. And I was shaking. The whole school. ‘The White Cliffs of Dover I saw ….’ And when I was finished I looked down and there were twenty nuns crying in the front row. And I said that’s it! Hah! That’s it! It’s acting! So that’s how it all began. And it happened at twelve. And I went right away to school. At 13, 14, and left home at 17 for New York. That was it. She’s sweet. Sweetheart. Yes?
Five, what? Only five minutes. Doesn’t seem absurd? You get on a plane, you fly forever, right. You get to the beautiful hot(el)… and you get, you know, two minutes in here. Yes?
Q35: Thank you for coming, and I think you’re a great actress.
KM: Thank you.
Q35: But do the writers that write for you guys ever bother to read previous scripts? ‘Cause in one episode they say you only have 17 photon torpedoes, and since then you’ve fired 15 of them.
KM: I know!
Q35: And also…
KM: How do you think Chakotay felt, lighting the fire?
Q35: And also so far you’ve destroyed 5 of 4 shuttlecraft.
KM: Five what?
Q35: You’ve destroyed 5 shuttlecraft and you’re only supposed to have 4. According to the writer’s script guide.
KM: Why is he here? He should be at Paramount! I don’t know… it’s… you know… they’ve got to keep track of that stuff. When it becomes… when it crosses over the line I make that phone call, and I make many phone calls a week. But if you have to ask me where I’m going to put my energy, in the body of the scene, in the substance of the scene or in the details, I’ll put it in the substance. You know that has to be my fight, right now. And I know that you’re all very alert that way and I feel badly about it. But it, it’s almost impossible with these photon torpedoes and these nebulas, I mean they’re everywhere, right? Yes?
Q36: Do you believe and take interest in the possibility of alien lifeforms and the kind of spiritual ideals that the character of Chakotay has?
KM: Do I believe in the possibility of these? Of alien lifeforms and in Chakotay’s spiritual life? Absolutely. I’ve learned one thing and I’m sure you’ll agree with me or you wouldn’t be here. There are no answers. The only really good answer is yes, why not, right? Oh, I think so, don’t you?
Q36: Thank you.
KM: I mean isn’t it altogether just a little too, what’s the word? Megalomaniacal to think we’re the only species? We’re the only species that God decided to, in his omnipotent greatness to create? I don’t …no. But I think the mystery will be a long time unfolding. Long, long. As it should be. As it should be. Yes:
Q37: Are you going to do any movies in the near future? After Voyager?
KM: Are we going to do Voyager movies?
Q37: No, not Voyager, I mean any other movies except for Voyager movies.
KM: Any other kind of movies? Is that what you are saying?
KM: I was supposed to do a movie during this hiatus, in fact. I was all set to do it. And to be perfectly frank, it’s a ten-month schedule, it’s a very hard schedule for the captain. Because without the captain there are no orders, without the orders Voyager goes nowhere, right? So I have a very busy schedule, and I have a great passion for my children. So no sooner than I had agreed to do this, I think it occurred to me that it wasn’t the best idea.
Q37: Thank you.
KM: Yah. Oh, my heavens. Yes?
Q38: The question I had was about your favourite enemy, because it seems like you really despise the Vidians, and most of all it seems that you really despise the Kazon. It seems like Maj Cullah, you really have this deep down loathing where you want to take a shower after every time you talk to him on the view screen. And I was wondering who personally is your favourite… who you…
KM: You know one’s personal feelings do affect this. You’re not seeing great loathing of Cullah, I don’t think. If there’s anybody I’m a little concerned about going manno a manno with it’s Seska, not Cullah. No, I think Cullah does not frighten me. The Vidians frighten me. They also move me. It’s a wonderful dilemma to play. This is how this species must survive. Right? They’re not evil. But to us, of course, they are. So I prefer that. I like it when it’s diabolical. And the Kazons are just, as Ethan Phillips once said to me “They’ve got the biggest ship in the Delta Quadrant and they can’t figure out how to find water?” You know. I think that at this point in the history of space, these villains should be so multi-layered, soooo… it should be insidious, it should be fabulous. And when it strikes it should be terrifying. Don’t you think? Sophisticated villains. That’s why Q is so adored. He can do it. And there is something wonderful about organ snatchers, isn’t there? Very good. Yes?
KM: No more questions? (The M.C. appears behind Kate carrying a statuette) No more questions…
M.C.: No, but we have a little present for you. Knowing that folks in Hollywood never really appreciate when good work is staring at them in the face, we’d like to present you with your own star..
KM: Oh how…
M.C.: As a member of our family…
KM: How sweet…
M.C: And we have more, we have another surprise for you.
KM: You do?
M.C: Yes. Kate has a birthday coming up soon. Sooo…
KM: 32, 32…
M.C. Since we know she loves sweet stuff, and she’s already told us that, we’re going to all sing Happy Birthday, and we have a cake for her.
KM: Oh no… O look, it’s got my ship on it! How lovely. Thank you…
M.C.: Leading the audience – Happy Birthday… etc.
KM: I am coming back to Denver every year! (applause, etc.!) Thank you. Thank you! I love you!