Kate Meets the Fans Photos
KM: Thank you. Thank you so much. Please sit down. I have had the best weekend here in Denver. Really. I cannot remember when I have been better treated; when I have attended something better organized, or have been approached by or addressed (by) a more gracious group of people. So I will come back to Denver any time! (Throughout this speech there was much cheering and applause. Ed.)
I don’t know how many of you were here yesterday, and you know it is every actor’s terror to repeat themselves, so I really don’t want to do that. But I feel that I must say thank you, because I understand how important you are. How extremely important you are. And I understand that it is not only a privilege and an honour to play Kathryn Janeway, but as I look at you, and the more I meet you and encounter you, I see that there is a responsibility involved here as well. You know, in essence, everything that I know… I’m getting a terrible… is this Hell… there’s an echo… all I can hear is my own voice!
Anyway, your intelligence, your erudition, your imagination… all of it. Your attention to detail. Your compassion. Your care for each character and the development and the plots is very important to me. And wonderful to hear your voice. And I want to honour it. So if I slip in any way… call my agent!
I love Captain Janeway. I love my crew. I honestly believe it’s probably the only company in Hollywood that gets along this way. I love them all with one possible exception and as I said yesterday he’s ‘dead meat’! Yes, if Mr. Tim Russ ever graces Denver with his presence you can tell him it’s just a matter of time! Huh? (listens to someone in the audience and then sings) September morn….I’ll be here… right behind that black curtain… waiting for him.
I love the company. I respect and admire and like very much the producers. I have a particular fondness for Rick Berman, who I think has actually been a little under-rated in the scheme of things historically. Don’t forget, this may have been Roddenberry’s dream and his concept but Berman has carried the ball all the way. He is the most professional, the most incisive, the most detailed specific precise producer I have ever worked with. He goes through these episodes frame by frame. If one quarter of an inch of that episode does not suit him it is reshot. He is a marvelous man, and it is to him, really, that we owe the success of this thing. I love the writing staff. Some of them are more dangerous than others. Mr. Brannon Braga, how are you?! I love the fact that Jeri Taylor is at the head of this team now. I think that she has a particular fondness for Janeway. And I even stand in some kind of vague but genuine affection for the great higher ups at Paramount who I think exercised a certain courage and perspicacity in going for a female when it was a very unproven and untried field. And I hope I’ve done right.
But more than anything else, and I will say this at risk of being repetitive, I go to work every day with wings. This is not an exaggeration; my son is here, he will attest to this. I am consistently and profoundly happy to play this extraordinary broad. I walk on the bridge at 5:30, 6:00 in the morning… sometimes I go in alone, it’s dark, maybe there are a couple of work lights. And this is two years into the game. And I’m still overcome by that feeling you only get once or twice in a lifetime as an actress. That you’ve found her. That you are together. That this is a love affair that I am living. And I want it to go on for at least… how many more years? At least five…what… at least ten more years! Yes. I’ll be 35! Much to look forward to! It has been the time of my life. It’s very hard, rigorous, exacting work. I would be lying if I said otherwise. The responsibilities are great, as an actor, and frankly, as a human being. The technical language alone is a bit like learning Greek or Japanese. I usually put in a minimum 12, maximum 18, 19, sometimes 20 hour day. And at the end of that day I have two and a half hours of study ahead of me if I want the next day to be as good. So it’s tough. But I guess this is how great soldiers have felt in trenches, or something. I may be exhausted, but I’m so deeply rewarded and fed by it that I only feel energized and blessed. So it’s been a great trip folks and with any luck, and if I have anything to say about it, this is a journey that won’t end anytime soon.
And now, rather than bore you all with a hundred million anecdotes about (deepens her voice, Ed.) Mr. Tim Russ… you know that he… never gets dressed, don’t you? The man never gets dressed. Won’t wear his uniform. I have to zip him in to his uniform. This is his uniform. This blue terry cloth robe with the white piping… I know it now because he hasn’t washed it in two years. His brown slippers with his little white socks. And in he comes with his little thermos of coffee. Stands behind the console. ‘Good morning Mr. Russ, can I get you anything? Breakfast? Dancing girls? What do you need?’ ‘Oh I’m fine, fine!’ Tim is one of those rare human beings, this is going to go on for quite some time between us. I adore him. But he’s very naughty. Do you want to know who else is very naughty?
KM: I guess you all think Commander Chakotay… the macho, handsome, divine Chakotay just sits in his chair and is Mr. Nice Guy? Guess you haven’t heard his imitation of those guys in ‘Deliverance’? That’s good. Or he does a wicked Marlon Brando. But when things get a little slow, he likes to stand up, on his chair and do his rendition of Frank Sinatra. In a Spanish accent.
Robbie McNeill is another creature, altogether, sitting at con. Looks so sweet, doesn’t he? The All-American guy. Mr. Nice Guy, right? Nothing but trouble! He likes to push it. ‘Cause the game is who can make me laugh through the take. Right? Who’s going to get her to go during the take? And Robbie loves to do it because he’s usually off camera for my stuff, right? He’s down there, and I’m up here. So he has a variety of faces and certain hand gestures he likes to employ. He hasn’t gotten me yet! Now, let me tell you who my beloved is. Who can guess who my real beloved is? Who? My sweet Neelix. My sweetheart. Last night, or when was it, Friday night, Saturday morning, three o’clock in the morning we were shooting this scene. Janeway finally comes up with some worms that I, you know, to feed the crew with. We can’t find any source of protein. I say worms are a very good thing. Take them. Boom! And he’s staring at me. Neelix. I said Ethan, are you all right? Did you eat something? Do you have a stomachache? I said ‘what is that look?’ He said ‘Oh, I just love my captain.’ I said ‘Oh, Ethan I wish I could give you something better than worms!’ He’s divine. Divine and very funny. Now he has something going with Robert Beltran, so the next time you ever get the two of them together in one space just ask. Ethan pretends that he is Robert Beltran’s manager. Tells him all about his career. What’s going to happen to him when the pretty boy phase is over? It is bad. They are wonderful! All of them. I love Roxann’s intensity. Now she’s one. Don’t get her started. She looks, right, so in there. So tough, so serious, so intense, so great. Our Klingon. Our chief of engineering. When she starts laughing we have to take a three hour bathroom break! Absolutely hopeless! Jennifer Lein is an enigma, and a beautiful enigma to me. I think we have a great actress in the making here. She is a voracious reader. A rather solitary figure, but I notice with Jennifer there are no end to the surprises. When I work in scenes with her, it’s completely unpredictable, and there’s a depth and an edge to it. I don’t know if you see that yourselves, but this is a glorious actress. And then of course, there is Garret Wang. Mr. Harry Kim. He’s our ensign. We adore Garret. Garret I think is enjoying his life! Garret has many interests, and most of them are spelled G.I.R.L.S. And so sometimes when I have to address him at Ops, I have to sort of get rid of the blond, the redhead … he loves the women. They’re marvelous, to a man. Our camaraderie is genuine, it’s true. There’s no falsity in there. This is a great group; we have not got one bad apple. And this I think will never change. It establishes itself pretty early on if things aren’t going to work. And things not only work beautifully, they soar. We keep it above ground with our levity. I think there are some great personal friendships forming there. There’s a center of happiness and privilege and so I think I’m probably one of the happiest principles in Hollywood.
And now, rather than waste the rest of this precious time, I’d like to take questions, if everybody thinks that’s all right? All right? And this gentleman thinks that’s all right!
Yes darling, what would you like to ask?
Q1: You mentioned yesterday that you really really enjoy reading a lot. Who and why is your favourite author?
KM: Oh, that’s a tough one, isn’t it? When you read a lot, isn’t it? I love the greats. I love Tolstoy. I love all the Russians. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky. Shakespeare is not be discounted, is he? One must read Shakespeare’s canon. I love all the great ladies. I love Austen. As for poets, I love, I think Emily Dickinson is one of the greatest poets. Ann Sexton is one our finest modern poets. Modern writers. Dickens is fabulous. Why? Who’s yours?
Q1: I would have to say Anne McAffries…
KM: Uh huh!
Q1: And she’s a good friend of mine too.
KM: Oh. That’s very important isn’t it! Good! Do you read a lot?
Q1: Yes. Quite a bit. I have over 2000 books in my house.
KM: Good for you. You’re a genius aren’t you? (Turns to the audience) The boy is a genius! Let’s give him a hand, I can tell! But I would say to you, and would say this to all the young people in the room, I’d say this to everyone, why not… reading is the key to happiness. And it’s the window to the world. It is your passport to knowledge and to joy. So I think if you kids read. When you crawl into bed at night, I don’t care whether you’ve done your homework…your homework will come and it will go…believe me! Trust me on this. Most of our education is mediocre in this country, right. What they teach you in those math classes and in those boring history classes will pass away with alacrity. Teach yourself the discipline of literature. When you get into bed at night, no matter what is left undone, no matter what is facing you tomorrow, open a book and read it for 15 minutes. Pretty soon when you are my age, it will be an addiction, and you will have read some of the finest authors in the history of the world. So that is my one… that’s my thing…
Oh yes… here she is! She’s going to tell me she’s not only read Shakespeare but Chaucer, right? What is it sweetie?
Q2: What is it like to pretend to be in space?
KM: She’s a little captain, did you see her? (Kate puts her hands on her hips and imitates her young questioner) What is it like to pretend to be in space? You have the captain’s stance! It’s wonderful to pretend to be in space. Well it’s wonderful to pretend, period. Isn’t it? Don’t you like to pretend? I mean that’s my life and that’s my job, but just imagine … in the twenty fourth century, you’re going through all those galaxies, all those planets. Meeting all those aliens. It’s very exciting. And provocative. Don’t you think? What do you like to pretend?
Q2: I like to pretend anything.
Q2: Uh huh…
KM: Atta girl! An actress, she’s going to be an actress! Thank you, thank you darling. Yes?
Q3: I’m in the process of writing a script for Voyager…
KM: Good for you!
Q3: And I was wondering if I was to send it in would you read it?
KM: Of course I would. You should send it then, to the publicity department, which is Bender Goldman. Do it. Send it to them. This is how we get good scripts, right. I mean this is not the exception. I think this is more and more the rule that it’s people like you, who know so much about it, and who take it to Berman and take it to that staff and they understand, that you are deeply knowledgeable and we commission it and that’s it. We’ve got an Emmy winning episode. So please do. I would be very grateful. Thank you. Yes?
Q4: I must say I was a Mrs. Columbo fan.
KM: You were…
Q4: I mean I was and when I found out you were chosen as the captain I went ‘Yessss’!
KM: How nice!
Q4: What was the hardest role you’ve ever had?
KM: I played… there are two that were very hard. One I’d like another shot at… well actually I’d like another shot at both of them. I think when I played Hedda Gabler I was a bit young. And I wanted so much to do it well. So Hedda I’d like another shot at. And I played the life of Saint Elizabeth Seton for and ABC Circle film. And to play a saint. I don’t know, do you get another shot at that? I was certainly too young to understand the vicissitudes and the complexities and the dimensionality of that character. And it was a great privilege to play it. So those two come to mind immediately. Thank you. Yes?
Q5: What would one have to do to get on the set?
KM: What does one have to do to get on the set? Come up here and give me a kiss! Come on! Up you pop! Give me a kiss! (Kate hugs the young man who is, obviously, quite excited!Ed.) Now, I want you to do me a favour. You’re talking about the set. The Hollywood set, aren’t you? You’re talking about coming to Voyager in Hollywood. You write your name, your address, your number… I want you to give it…who’s here … give it to this man… and you will come to the set. All right? Good. Yes sweetie pie?
Q6: What got you interested in acting?
KM: What got me interested… how old are you?
KM: I was exactly that age, sweetie pie. That’s when God said now’s the time. This is a great age, isn’t it? You’re thinking about being an actress, aren’t you?
Q6: Yes, I am.
KM: I can tell! All right. Something happens when you’re twelve. Because you are just about to become a woman. The rest of your life is just about to be determined. I was exactly your age when I stood in the front yard of my beautiful home in Iowa. My father bought fifty acres of land. Surrounded by cornfields and great elms and oak trees … I’m looking at this vast expanse of beauty, and I thought, all I ever want to do is be a great actress. And thanks be to God I had two parents who believed me. They didn’t have to believe me, did they? I came home, I said ‘Mother and Dad this is it.’ And you know what they said?
KM: Now I don’t know how tough your parents are…where are your parents?
Q6: There’s one…
KM: My parents were tough. My mother not so much, but my father was a very exacting man and I owe him much. Because he said, ‘you want to be an actress?’ I wanted to skip school, I wanted to skip high school altogether, had no interest in it at all. Wanted to go immediately into training because that makes a great actor, right. And so I pressured my father who said to me ‘Fine, you want to go? You pay your own way baby, and you can go’. I said ‘But Dad, come on, give me a break, I’m twelve years old’. He said ‘You want to talk big, you go to work’. And I did. I became a short order cook at your age. Worked ‘under the table’, did it for four years and I went to acting school. So I suggest you go home and tell your father….(here Kate give and exaggerated wink! Ed.) Now where are your parents, ah ha! You tell your parents you’re serious, and you get serious honey, and it starts right now. You read, you think, you talk, you walk like an actress. And you’ll be an actress. And it’ll be a great life. Okay? All right darling! She is going to be an actress! What? Her parents are lying down on the floor! Somebody! Medic! Yes?
Q7: Was acting school hard?
KM: It depended on the school. I went to many schools. At 13 I went to Northwestern, at 14 I went to the University of Minnesota, at 15 I studied at the Guthrie, and at 16 I went to college and then I went to London, to get into the London Academy and I didn’t make it because I was too young, so at 17 I went to New York and entered Stella Adler’s Conservatory of Acting in conjunction with New York University so I could get my academic training as well. And I would say that it only became really tough with Stella. I was in her master class. I had to beat out thousands of other contenders for this class and I was finally chosen and it was tough work. And she was an epic lady, who put up with no nonsense. She once grabbed me by the hair and she dragged me… I had done a scene from Tennessee Williams ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. I’d done it and I thought I was great, right. The scene where Maggie begs Brick to make love to her – I thought I was just great. She looked at me, she stood up and she grabbed me by the hair, and she dragged me across the stage and she said ‘This is mediocre. Go back to Iowa.’ I said ‘Stella, I can’t, I can’t go back to Iowa.’ She said ‘You want to be an actress, then you act like an actress. Stand up, get over there, be Maggie the Cat, and be it now.’ And I did that scene ten times that day. It was never good enough. But she was right. This craft is a privilege. I’m afraid to say I think it’s a dying privilege. I think there are a lot of actors who don’t train anymore and they work. How do they work? I don’t know how they get… anyway. That was the tough and great training of my life. God bless that extraordinary woman. God I’m yammering on about it. I loved her. Yes?
Q8: I was just curious if you spoke any other languages besides English?
KM: I speak Italian and French. And you?
KM: You speak French? Comment ca va? C’est tres bien. La mademoiselle est tres tres belle. Thank you. Yes?
Q9: Brent Spiner liked working with the cat on Star Trek: The Next Generation, how did you like working with the Basset Hound in Mrs. Columbo?
KM: I didn’t! You know there’s an expression in Hollywood, I don’t mean this at all caustically, but over the years you get… dogs and children, right. Because they’re not trained. So you take this bloodhound that weighed 500 lbs. and it’s very hard to deal with those dogs. I like my little lizard on Voyager. Do you know what they actually had to do to get that lizard to stand still? Should I tell you? Are there animal rights people here? You know lizards don't like to stand still in front of 65 crewmembers screaming and yelling and putting up lights. So what they… that’s right, that’s right, they put them in the refrigerator, and you bring their temperature way down. And then you, ah, it’s true! Then you put it on the rock and you get Captain Janeway, and you bring her next to the rock, and then you get the hair dryer… proooommm! Bring that temperature back up, and you’ve got a scene! Now that’s it was! Thank you honey! Yes?
Q10: It sometimes appears as if there’s a chemistry that occurs between actors in a scene where their skills start feeding on each other and the atmosphere becomes a little less fantasy and a little more real, even for the actors. Is that an accurate perception?
KM: Yes. I’d say that it’s quite accurate. And I’d say it happens ninety percent of the time when the level of relaxation is being shared by everybody. I think you probably all have noticed if you’ve watched this progressively, that the first season everybody was a bit nervous you know, so that chemistry did not find its natural footing as it has now. I think it’s these episodes, in the second, particularly in the third season of all, you will see a great sense of spontaneity, and warmth, and I think danger – a little edge. Unexpected laughter. So you’re right. When you see that on the screen, generally speaking, that has come to pass in the filming. How very astute of you. Thank you. Yes? Oh! Who do we have? The angels of the world are here…yes?
Q11: I happen to be the mother of three daughters…
KM: Oh God bless you and save you….
Q11: Who love science and math. And it’s wonderful that you provide such a wonderful role model in your character of Captain Janeway.
KM: Thank you.
Q11: We really appreciate it in our house. And the girls talked me into making a holographic Star Trek: Voyager tee shirt for you.
KM: Oh they did? Oh let me see that. Come here girls. Are those your girls? Oh you beautiful girls. Don’t you love your mother? You have to love and adore your mother, do you know that? Respect for one’s mother is key to happiness. (Kate holds the tee shirt up for the audience) That is absolutely marvelous. Thank you so much, how nice. Thank you! God bless. Didn’t you get it honey? Well let me have your mother in the shot… come on, get it, get it! There you go you got it! Thank you very much, thank you! Yes darling?
Q12: Well I love your voice…
KM: You love my what?
Q12: I love your voice and I’m a big fan…
KM: My voice?
Q12: Like a person said yesterday and I’m a big fan…
KM: Thank you…
Q12: And when will the Voyager ever get to the, back to the Alpha Quadrant?
KM: Do you want it to? Huh? You know what I almost wish sometimes? Of course we have to go home or everybody gets heartbroken, right? But I think I should self-destruct the ship before I give in to going home too easily! Don’t you agree? I think it’ll take us about five years to get home, all right? Anything else?
Q12: Good luck against Tuvok!
KM: Thank you very very much! Thank you! Chief! All right! God bless! Future President of the United States, that one! Yes?
Q13: You mentioned you liked reading.
Q13: Well, I wrote a book and I was wondering if you’d like to read it?
KM: You wrote a book? How old are you?
KM: Come on ladies and gentlemen, give this boy a hand! What is your book about?
Q13: Well, it’s a sci-fi novel. It’s not really long, but it’s about a detective in the year thirty twenty something…
KM: The details aren’t important it’s …. Very good. I would love to read it. Do you have a copy of it?
KM: Where is it?
Q13: I gave it to…
KM: You gave it to someone? It’s back there? What’s your name, honey?
Q13: Daniel Madden.
KM: Look for this on Simon & Shuster’s next list. I wish you the best of luck. It’s people like you who change the world. Thank you. Yes?
Q14: Before I ask my question I just want to say thank you, number one for living out my dream; number two for being a part of history… my question is I know you’re friends with John DeLancie. What did he say to you as kind of a warning as what becoming a legacy…
KM: Oh, did he talk about the Star Trek legacy? He didn’t say very much, because you know, Q, this is such a tribute to my friend’s great genius. The magnitude of Q has surpassed his actual screen time. He only shoots one episode a season. Maybe two, right? So he’s really transcended the whole thing. He, I don’t think, has been affected by the legacy as perhaps some of the other regulars would be. And you know frankly, I don’t think he would be very touched by that. John is a consummate and a great actor. And this is a man whose very presence, I think, in the world of the theatre, particularly, and now of film and television, only enhances what I do every day. As for the legacy, not much. He’s created his own, hasn’t he? Thank you. Yes? Oh this is a splendid costume! You look great!
Q15: Thank you. Yesterday somebody mentioned the interesting and very unique quality of your voice. I think I’ve heard it on television doing voice-overs recently?
KM: You’ve heard my voice on television? I think she watches Voyager.
Q15: Doing voice-overs…
KM: On television?
Q15: Have I heard you or …
KM: I think not.
Q15: Or a sound-alike doing voice-overs?
KM: I do a cartoon voice, for Batman, but that’s all I do.
Q15: Okay, you mentioned that yesterday. But have you ever done anything else like documentaries or anything.
KM: I’ve done books on tape, I’ve done documentaries, I’ve done a lot of voice-overs, I was the spokesperson for Bell Telephone for years. I’ve done a lot of that work, and I love to do it. Thank you.
KM: Yah. Nice. You know, because there was a terrible controversy in the very beginning about my voice. So when people say nice things about my voice I want to put them instantly in my will! I don’t know what that was about. I guess it’s because I have a female voice, right? There was some terrible controversy about the cadence of my voice. Somebody said she sounds like a cross between Minnie Mouse and Katharine Hepburn. A male, I think said that! Yes darling?
Q16: I think that would be a compliment!
KM: Heyooohhh… (doing an imitation of Katharine Hepburn! Ed.) Yes?
Q16: First I want to say hello from the Colorado Shakespeare festival in Boulder.
KM: Is that you? Oh great!
Q16: And want to say that in the early days of Voyager, not that we’re not still in the early days, I read some unfortunate letters to a fan magazine from some men saying that they were not happy about the idea of a female captain. And on behalf of intelligent male Star Trek fans everywhere, I’ve been a fan for 24 years myself. And I want to thank you for your wonderful portrayal of a role model that all people, regardless of gender, can really admire.
KM: Thank you very very much. How sweet. Very nice. However would you get me the names and numbers of those men, please! I’d like them! Yes darling?
Q17: First of all, I want to tell you, I could probably sit here all night and listen to you talk.
KM: Thank you. Aren’t you nice. Look at that woman’s beautiful hair! You have the most beautiful hair.
Q17: Well thank you.
KM: Is that the real colour of your hair?
Q17: Well no, not really!
KM: First rule! Lie, lie, lie! Yes darling?
Q17: My question is, how would you like to see the characters on Voyager develop? Like what do you want… how would you want them to progress?
KM: I would like them… to develop… interpersonally! My analogy that I think works best for reasons of clarity, would be that of a family. A family drama only becomes interesting as you see relationships develop. And the stakes are raised, right? I think Chakotay and Janeway have to go to the mat now. I think it’s manno a manno time. We need to understand who this Maquis warrior is vis a vis Janeway, right. He’s a strong, smart, fierce man. I think he should countermand my orders and see what happens. I’d like to see that development. And a deepening of our friendship. I think Chakotay’s the only one I can go to now on a very sensitive level, on a very personal level. I think he’s the only one on the ship, with the exception of Tuvok, and I do - (deepens voice humorously, Ed.)I have to go to Tuvok. I think Chakotay is the only one with whom I can be a genuine friend at this point. So I want them to take that even further.
I want to see Tom Paris developed more. Who is he? What was this problem in the pilot that so suddenly we’ve all forgotten about, right? What has happened to him in his background to take him to where he is now? I want to see that. I mean I think it’s great that they understand his attractiveness, which is vast. But nobody wants to be a playboy, least of all Robbie McNeill, who is a great actor, so I’d like to see Tom Paris. I’d like to see the pilot in Tom Paris, the man in Tom Paris explored.
I’d like to see B’elanna go the distance too. With something that’s not a robot, right! Her scientific expertise notwithstanding, and that’s very key to her character… I’d like to see for instance a development between she and Chakotay. We know they’re allied, that they’re Maquis, but we don’t know much else besides that. We know that Klingon women are voracious sexually, we never see that aspect of B’elanna. Let’s see it. What’s wrong with B’elanna and Tom Paris?
I’d like to see Harry Kim deepened. I’d like to see Harry Kim’s expertise better explored, right. He’s at Ops. That’s key. The ship goes down if Harry gives me a wrong reading. Let’s get in there and find out more of what he knows, right. And more about his background. All of them.
I think the only person who doesn’t run the risk of letting anybody down is Mr. Robert Picardo. Who has single handedly created his character. And has done so with such ardent passion … I mean if Bob doesn’t like it, or Bob doesn’t get it, or Bob doesn’t think that the Doctor would do that, Bob leaves and he picks up the phone. And he gets the change made. He is a complete professional. And… would he be the same if he had a name? He’ll have many names I think. His name right now is successful, and that’s good enough for him! Thank you darling, thank you. Yes sweetie?
Q18: Is it difficult to play two different people in the same time-line?
KM: Are you talking about Deadlock? That episode.
Q18: Yah. It’s like on the one Star Trek: Voyager that you played, it was like you had two (sitters?), same ship, with the same captain as you. Was it like really hard to play?
KM: It was very hard, sweetie to make that reality come to life. Because what we have to use is an optical. Do you know what an optical is?
Q18: Uhh, Unh.
KM: It took me a long time to figure this out. An optical is something they do once they finish shooting it. They do that in post-production. They do it with computers and they do it with graphics. But in order to do that later on, in the scene for instance with the two Janeways, remember that long scene…
KM: … at the warp core? We shot that for 18 hours. They show me on the monitor, you know there’s a monitor that we use, it transfers from the monitor instantly from film. And the optical man will come, graphics guy, and he will show me on the screen, he will draw the line beyond which I may not go as one captain, and then as the other captain. And I said this yesterday to those of you who were here, if you are a quarter of an inch it has to be shot again. And that was a six page scene. So by the time I… and it was full of technical language… it was technical from beginning to end. And it had to be endowed with a lot of emotion as well. So by the time I finally got one perfect take, I remember thinking this is it, this is great. I stayed within the line, I did this well, this is Janeway, my God that’s it, let’s print it. ‘Just a minute please… I don’t think that was good for sound.’ And you get down to your knees and you say ‘God, make me a Christian before I shoot somebody.’ Hard. Hard work. But it paid off, didn’t it? He does good work, David Livingston. That’s a good question. Thank you. Really that’s tough. That is the hardest thing for an actor on this series. Because you finally get there, you guys. I mean you’ve worked maybe five, six hours to get this scene. And you finally get there and you don’t hear a pin drop so you know it’s okay for sound, right. This was one night. You know it’s okay for sound because nobody stopped you, right. Cameral operator seems perfectly pleased with what he’s doing. Okay for camera. Lights are good. Okay for the grips, okay for the gaffers. Your partner’s on his mark, he’s hitting it, he’s got his lines and you have put in the perfect performance. Cut. Print. Excellent. Let’s just check the gate. Oops. Hair in the gate. Who knows what that is? If one tiny molecule of dust gets into that camera… one tiny infinitesimal… and where did it come from? Hair in the gate. Gotta do the whole thing again. I tell you. It’s at times like that alcoholism makes sense! Yes sweetheart?
Q19: All right. Well. I’ve been destroying and rebuilding this question all the time in line.
KM: Aw, aren’t you… I love him already! Yes?
Q19: Are you free later?
KM: (Laughs, as does the audience! Ed.) I’ve got to… look at this one, look at this one! Come here! I have to have a kiss from you too. Come here. (He approaches the stage and Kate leans down to kiss him, Ed.) What a guy! As a matter of fact, I am free later. (The youngster walks away from the stage) Oh. Now he doesn’t want to talk to me! Okay! Yes ma’am?
Q20: I’ve enjoyed your work since I watched Ryan’s Hope.
KM: Thank you.
Q20: And I wanted to know if… you said you enjoyed Shakespeare. Would you ever want to play Kate in the Taming of the Shrew?
KM: You’re very sweet. I think I’m a little long in the tooth.
KM: Louder! I would love to play Kate. But that’s true. I mean some actress was actually sixty-five years old or something, I mean that was a little absurd, wasn’t it? But I would like to play it. I have played some great Shakespearean leading ladies, though. And that’s the height, isn’t it. The crème de la crème. You like Shakespeare?
Q20: Yes, I do.
KM: Do you go to the theatre?
Q20: … a few times, but I just really enjoy that play.
KM: Yah. It’s interesting, the Taming of the Shrew. Yes I would love to. Do you have any connections? Let me know. Thank you. Yes?
Oh there she is, I love this woman, give this woman a hand! I know you don’t know why, but she wrote me the most beautiful letter of commemoration aside from anything else, it was just lovely, thank you.
Q21: Well then I won’t ask you how you liked being morphed into a salamander. I do have a serious question for you.
Q21: A little while ago you were on Tom Snyder and he asked a question about if you could have any historical figures from history to a dinner party…
KM: Did indeed…
Q21: And I believe you mentioned Jesus, Satan, and Eleanora, an Italian actress. I was wondering, what is her influence on you?
KM: Eleanora Duse was the greatest, the greatest Italian actress, and the greatest mystical actress in the history of the world. She alone, single handedly understood, that it was to be natural, that to be natural was to be great. Her Juliet had them in tears. She was 14 years old when she walked on that stage. She had no makeup, she had no costume. She said ‘I don’t need that’. She walked out. Five thousand Italians were weeping. She’s a great mystic in the theatre. You should read her life. It’s called ‘A Muse in the Theatre’. That’s a good question. Anyway, that’s it.
Q21: Thank you.
KM: Three at that dinner party. That was an interesting question, wasn’t it? Who would you have at dinner? If you could have any three people. And I said Jesus Christ, Eleanora Duse, and Satan. Wonder what we’d serve?! Yes sweetheart?
Q22: What is your single favourite movie actor, and why?
KM: Movie actor living, or deceased?
Q22: Doesn’t matter.
KM: I have a favourite. I know I’m going to let everybody down ‘cause nobody understands this but I would die for him, I think it is so great. And that’s Marlon Brando. The man is utterly transcendent, he’s so powerful. Have you seen the ‘Godfather’ trilogy? You go home today, and you rent that at the video store, and you watch great acting. And get ‘On the Waterfront’, have your parents go out and get you… ‘On the Waterfront’… I mean he’s… ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’…the best.
I think for a modern actress who manages to carry with her great weight, precision and also an understanding of our times is that genius Meryl Streep. Yes. And then there are a whole slew of them. I mean who doesn’t love Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, but… And then there’s the English contingent. But I always sound like an Anglophile when I get into that. Who’s better than Emma Thompson? Kenneth Brannagh. They’re divine. That’s a good question. Thank you. Yes?
Q23: Do you like Voyager’s….
KM: He’s been waiting in line too long!
Q23: Do you like Voyager’s sound tracks?
KM: I do. Oh very much. Jay Chattaway is brilliant.Yah. Don’t you?
KM: Why, do you have a problem… are you talking about the effects or the music?
Q23: The music and the effects.
KM: Oh yes, I think they’re superb.
Q23: That’s great.
KM: Our attention to… post-production is amazing on Voyager. Weeks, months go into it. A lot of hard work for that. Thank you. Yes?
Q24: I want to know if Q’s going to be on again?
KM: He was just on! I hope so. I’d love to see something develop there. But what can be? I talked to Berman about this at dinner one night. I said ‘what can we do?’ He said ‘It’s very difficult, the guy’s omnipotent. You would have no power.’ I said ‘Well can’t you do… if you were to refine this relationship?’ Why couldn’t he have a relationship with Janeway? It was actually deeply… Nope. This woman is saying ‘yup, she, no….! I guess that’s it for Q! Next! I would love it but I don’t think it works. It only works when he comes in to threaten my world. But he’ll be back. He’ll be back next season. Thank you. Yes?
Q25: Hello! You made a comment in a magazine article, I believe it was TVGuide, to a gentleman who was photographing you for the Playmate Action Figure, and you made the comment ‘go out there and there are ten million other rear ends in Hollywood, go out there and photograph one of theirs!’ I just want to know, what’s it like to see your face on all that merchandise and are you satisfied with how your action figure turned out?
KM: Surely you can understand how I felt when Viacom sent me the… first of all the Federal Express truck, which as you know is a block long, pulled up in front of my trailer. This box they’re hauling… it took 52 guys right! It’s big big… they’re schlepping it over… I said ‘Thank you, I’ll take it from here, gentlemen’. I brought it in, inside my trailer. We took knives, we were hacking away at this. Out comes this, out comes that, nothing! Stuffing. Tiny little action figure at the bottom of the box. I said ‘this is what they’re sending me? What is this?’ It’s your action figure. I said ‘It’s not.’ I looked at this. I thought ‘I’d better keep my head on very straight.’
This is a shocking thing. Do you know? And I pop into stores occasionally and I see those great cardboard cutouts of me and the rest of them. It’s amazing. As long as I keep it, you know, well in my understanding that this is… what is this? Merchandising, right? Doesn’t have anything to do with anything else, does it? I mean that action figure isn’t me? Is she? Or is she? Hah! That’s fine! Yah. They do good work. Does she look like a … why? Does my action figure not please you?
Q25: It pleases a lot of gentlemen I’ve heard from so…
KM: Okay! Thank you very much. Yes?
Q26: How did you get into the movie business?
KM: How did I get into the movie business?
Q26: Well, I was in New York, right? I wanted to be on the stage, only. I had no interest in television or film. I really just wanted to work in the theatre. And I was very young and very hungry. I was hungry. And I was working two jobs as a waitress in New York. And that’s hard, those winters in Manhattan, you know, with very little to keep you subsidized. So I found an agent, and he sent me out on several auditions over a period of a month. And I’ll never forget it. I went home one night, I lived in a fifth floor walk up in Manhattan, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that? Where my bathtub was also my kitchen table. And I got home after my round, I worked during the day as a waitress and at night I was a bartender. So I got home late at night. I went into this awful little hovel that was my home, and the phone rang. It was about nine o’clock at night, and it was my agent and he said ‘Are you sitting down?’ I said ‘Yes.’ He said ‘During the day you will be starring as Emily in ‘Our Town’ at the American Shakespeare Theatre, and then you will get in the car and come down here to tape your sessions as Mary Ryan in ‘Ryan’s Hope’.’ Now this is a true story. I look back on this now, strangely. I said ‘I want the first one, and I’m not sure how I feel about the second one.’ I wanted to be an actress in the theatre. So I called my mother, who is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. She said ‘No, no, no. Don’t do a soap opera honey, you’ll regret it. Just stick with the theatre.’ So I instantly hung up and I called my agent and I said ‘I’ve spoken to my mother, and of course, I’ll do both!’ And thank God I did. Because they wrote some kind of marvelous character with Mary Ryan, didn’t they? I think in the end she was responsible for almost all of this, so it was a very good thing I did that.
What are you writing over there? What are you writing?
Audience Member: What you’re saying!
KM: All right! Thank you darling. Yes?
Q27: Yah. Right. Wendy and I here are getting married within the week, and as Captain of the Voyager I was wondering if you could give us your blessing?
KM: You’re getting married? Oh mazel tov. Come on! Come on! I give you my blessing! And I wish you a long and marvelous life but I’m going to ask you a tough question, and don’t just give me the cavalier of course, of course. Are you deeply in love?
Q27-2: You’d better believe it!
KM: Are you? God bless you both.
Q27-2: Thank you.
KM: Wonderful. All right. Take care. Don’t you think you have to be deeply in love? I mean I think a lot of people get married not so deeply in love. I’m not suggesting that a lot of people get married for the sake of an arrangement. But I think women, particularly when I was younger, it’s changing now, thank God, had a terrible pressure to get those babies out there. Get that family going. And so whether or not she really adored him was immaterial. If he was nice, upstanding, looked like he could make a buck or two, kind, good father, she went for it. And it’s a mistake to do that, don’t you think? We’re all going to die. We are all going to die – why would you choose as your life partner somebody you wouldn’t die for? And yet we do it all the time. I say to women ‘Take heart – you’ll find your other if you give yourself the time.’ There’s no pressure any more. That’s off. Lot of time. You can always have babies. You can adopt babies. But you can’t find the love of your life if you make that first mistake. Why am I lecturing everybody? It’s, it’s… I’m Captain Janeway, I sound like what’s her name, that little short one. She’s always talking about sex. She looks to me like she never had sex in her life, but I don’t know… Yes ma’am? Yes darling?
Q28: Well this is my first Star Trek convention and I watch Star Trek and I envy you great… dearly. I have one question. From the time that you started acting up until now, who are your two most favourite actors? That you’ve worked with?
KM: Oh. That I’ve worked with. You know I’ve had the luck to work with some greats. I played Richard Burton’s wife. Extraordinary experience. I think it was his last feature film. I played David Janson’s girlfriend in something that took us eight months through Europe. He was marvelous. I played Rip Torn’s murderer, I killed him in ‘A Stranger is Watching’. He was brilliant. Oh, who’s the best? John De Lancie. I’d better say that! John De Lancie really is one. Yes?
Q29: My girlfriend’s from Great Falls, Montana. You are her most favourite actress.
KM: How nice.
Q29: And if she knew I was here, standing here talking to you, she would kick me in the butt!
KM: What are friends for, right? Thank you very much. God bless.
Is that it? No more questions? That’s it? Anybody else have any questions for me? Feel free… just stand up. Yes ma’am?
Q30: (unmiked – unable to hear question. Ed.)
KM: When am I and Peter Falk going to get together as Mr. and Mrs. Columbo? You know he didn’t go for that. Do you know that? And neither did I. It wasn’t supposed to be Mrs. Columbo. It was supposed to be a spin off of Columbo. And then they made, I think now, looking back in retrospect, the mistake of making me Mrs. Columbo. I was 22 years old. Playing a 37 year old house frau with a big blood hound and it didn’t work.. Of course it didn’t work. The audience is smart, right? So I said to Fred Silverman ‘why don’t you just make it the story of a young woman who is a detective or an investigative reporter in her own right. But don’t hook her up with Columbo.’ No, no, this is going to be the thing, it’s going to be…. Didn’t fly, of course. And when Peter Falk was asked to come aboard, he said ‘why would I do that?’ He was right, wasn’t he, wasn’t he? She doesn’t know how to answer me… she’s going um hm… I know.
What? We would be great together. But not within that format. I don’t think. He was too great. Columbo was too sterling a series. What I’m saying is that should have been left alone and it was wise they left it, right? They shouldn’t have tried the cross over. Yes?
Q31: (again unmiked, Ed.)
(From this point on all the questions were from the audience and were indecipherable.Ed.)
KM: You can’t. My parents can’t get it sweetheart. My parents can’t get it. My mother has to have tapes made at the video store. Now this is the problem with a fledgling network. If they don’t have the market they’re not going to… are you sure they’ve got the market?
KM: That’s ridiculous. I don’t understand this at all. So Aspen. Because the affiliates meetings are coming up in two weeks and I’m supposed to go to all these dinner parties. I will…
KM: I don’t understand it. Maybe that’s why they’ve made me the actor and not the producer. Yes?
KM: How do my children feel about my playing Janeway? You know my boys are twelve and thirteen. So nothing’s cool enough. They are not Star Trek fans. No, no. They are not Star Trek fans. They don’t even watch the episodes unless I say you really shouldn’t miss this one and then they drag their feet. I think you have to understand that on some level, this kind of celebrity could be a mixed blessing for my children. Do you understand? The kids need their mother, right. They really want their mother. The celebrity thing threatens that a little bit. So I have to be very careful and I just underplay it as much as possible, and I hope I’m doing the right thing.
There’s this man standing over here, staring at me. The plane is leaving….I certainly can. I think we should give a hand to this lady who’s been signing here for our hearing impaired. Let’s here it for her. God bless. I want to come down here. Can you get up? Thank you very much. (Kate poses for a photo with the woman who has been signing).
Woman: (pointing) This is my husband ….
KM: Oh, how nice. (To someone else) It is? How is she? Is she? Yes of course. Oh give her my very best. These are old friends from Iowa. The world is so small. And the best of luck to all of you. How do I say that? (to the signer) Say I wish them all the best of luck. What was that? And thank you for doing this. Yes?
KM: I don’t think so. I was asked this yesterday, and I don’t think so.
Why? Does this concern you? You guys want this to happen, don’t you? No? Ohhhh, it’s a big divided faction thing! Who wants the Borg to come? Who doesn’t?
You know we’re in the Delta Quadrant. The opportunities are endless, are they not? Let’s explore those opportunities first. I think that’s best. Why? Does this concern you? You guys want this to happen, don’t you? No? The opportunities are endless, are they not? Let’s explore those opportunities first. I think that’s best. Yes? Just shout it out. Yes?
KM: Well that’s a little bit like asking why Commander Chakotay can’t light a fire, you know. I don’t know. The question was a little over my head, frankly. I’ll give you the microphone and maybe you can ask the question. These technical geniuses who ask me these questions….. ‘I remember in episode 13 when you got on turbo-lift B4 why did you then go to the photon torpedo versus the subspace … I mean it’s amazing. It’s so impressive. Yes?
KM: I am being compared to Katharine Hepburn. Someone he knows has compared me to Katharine Hepburn and in fact this has happened a few times. I won’t be so rude as to quote Oscar Wilde who said ‘comparisons are odious’ because of course she was a remarkable woman, wasn’t she? A pioneer and an original. But I don’t want to be Katharine Hepburn. I would much rather be Kate Mulgrew. And I think, at risk of sounding… I shouldn’t say this because I don’t know … well I think if you’re going to be compared to anyone that’s pretty good, isn’t it. Yes?
KM: Do you? And a dear friend of mine.
KM: No. I think Bob’s one of the best in the business. I mean just almost unerringly so. He is so consistent. She’s talking about our costume designer for Voyager and DS9, Robert Blackman. I think he’s superb. And in the theatre you know he’s designed for me three of four times. I think he did my costumes for Hedda, didn’t he? Major Barbara. He’s absolutely superb and I love what he does with Janeway. Although it’s not too tough… little black suit but… actually he put me in two dresses this year, which I thought were great. And I want new pajamas. I want new pajamas. Yes?
KM: What similarities do I draw between myself and Captain Janeway? (Kate’s attention is caught by someone in the audience) That movement you’re making… I thought …what are you doing. Oh, he’s being Voyager. I didn’t know what you were doing. The parallels that exist… I have to go. He’s saying my airplane is leaving. The parallels between Kate Mulgrew and Captain Janeway are many. I aspire to her though. Let me make that perfectly clear. Kate Mulgrew aspires to Kathryn Janeway. It certainly isn’t going to be the other way around. She is an excellent human being. She’s a deeply passionate and wonderful woman. She’s brave. She’s loyal. She’s tolerant. She’s compassionate. She’s wise. She’s an ardent scientist. She’s an investigator. She has that kind of rich and complex curiosity that makes the world a splendid place. I think she feels about her position as captain much as I do about mine as an actress. And that’s why I say to have met her at this juncture in my life is not only serendipitous, but it’s as if God just bent down and kissed me and said ‘I’m going to make you perfectly happy for seven years.’
I want to thank you all very very much. You are wonderful. God
bless you all.