October 4, 2003
Many Thanks! to my transcriber and to Future's Voice and the Galileo Double 7 Convention organizers.
Links to this page are welcome but please do not repost or reproduce.
First Questioner: After seven years playing the Captain of the Voyager, do you think you have been type cast?
Kate Mulgrew: Did everybody hear his question?
Kate Mulgrew: After seven years of playing Captain Janeway, does he think I have been type cast. You're only as type cast as you wish to be. It was a great honor to play Captain Janeway. I knew very well what I was getting into when I signed on. And I immediately - after I completed my seventh season, started to play the life of Katharine Hepburn. So I think it's all what you bring to it. I've been an actress for almost 32 years. If I'm type cast as Captain Janeway I don't know if that says very much for my history as an actress. But even if I am, it's not a bad way to go, is it? Now… yes? Anybody else?
Questioner 2: My question to you as a woman, and as…
Kate Mulgrew: I love questions as a woman! Yes?
Questioner 2: And as the wife of a Democratic politician…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Questioner 2: What side of you dislikes Arnold Schwarzenegger more?
Kate Mulgrew: The woman or the...? Who… which one of us dislikes him more? Is that your question?
Audience: No… that's not it…
Kate Mulgrew: The politician or the…or the…
Questioner 2: No… the political part or… the other part.
Kate Mulgrew: The political part. I do not know him.
Questioner 2: Oh…
Kate Mulgrew: As a person.
Questioner 2: As a person…
Kate Mulgrew: I've never met him, so I would have to say the political side of me. And I would have to be very careful in this, since I do not know him. But I certainly do not know his policies. However, he is an actor. And he's a good actor…. And he should stick to acting.
Yes? Anybody else? No? Don't be afraid. You can ask me anything! Yes?
Questioner 3: This weekend you met the woman who is doing (your) German voice…
Kate Mulgrew: Yah.
Questioner 3: … Gertie Honeck. What's your relation to… Star Trek: Voyager in other languages?
Kate Mulgrew: That's a difficult question. What do you mean? How do I feel about it?
Questioner 3: Yes. How do you feel about…
Kate Mulgrew: Well, you can imagine! It's as if you went into a cocktail party and everybody was doing an imitation of you in a different language! German at least is… you know…(Kate lowers her voice and does an imitation of a German accent). The funniest is Japanese! (Again Kate does an imitation of her Japanese voice – making up syllables as she goes) You know! I do what I do, and I see that it has been translated universally, and I am astounded. Astounded that everybody seems to find this kind of program – this kind of science fiction – so compelling for so long. Over thirty years. But to answer your question, it's wonderful. And it's very funny. Don't you think it should be funny?
Questioner 3: Yes, sure.
Kate Mulgrew: I want to know my voice in French. Talking to Chakotay! You know the French… don't you love them? They never change! (Kate does a French accent, once again making up syllables and sounds as she goes…) I just killed your mother and your eight sisters… right!
Yes? Who else? Sir.
Questioner 4: Do you prefer making theater, or making movies and TV series?
Kate Mulgrew: It depends on the writing. I think an actor is only as good as the written word that he or she is given. I've been very lucky, haven't I? Some of the writing on Star Trek was terrific. And certainly the life of Katharine Hepburn – "Tea at Five" – is wonderful to do. And the classics that I've been lucky enough to play. So… I still have a few years left in me… and… I'll see what I can do!
Questioner 5: What do you think about the idea to bring "Tea at Five" to Germany?
Kate Mulgrew: I think it's a 'gutten' idea! Yah! I want to do it. I would like to bring it to London, if possible, and to Germany. Because, in my experience, and I may be wrong – because I'm a little insular when I'm not working – I tend to become a little isolated. I love to read, and I love to cook and I love to see my friends and I forget everything. But in my experience as Captain Janeway, Germany has been my single greatest fan base. And so I would be delighted to bring it here, because I think the response would be terrific.
Questioner 5: That's wonderful!
Kate Mulgrew: So write! Go on the internet!
Questioner 5: I'll do …
Kate Mulgrew: And do that…Good!
Yes? Anybody else? Yes:
Questioner 6: Captain Janeway is pretty much a role model. What do you hope to have achieved as a role model?
Kate Mulgrew: That of course there are new doors open to women. But they opened with kindness on our part. And with empathy for men. I mean this very seriously. Women have been trying now since the '60's to put themselves on an equal footing with men in every way. I think this is not only brave, but wonderful. But the only way to affect it is with goodness. With an understanding that men too find this disconcerting. If we do this together, with empathy, it will be accomplished beautifully. So I would hope that my Captain Janeway said to women: "Come on! You can go to space! But do it with a full heart. And always a good heart. Or it's not worth the effort." That's what I think.
Questioner 6: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes?
Questioner 7: A question about your theatrical project, "Tea at Five". You're playing Katharine Hepburn, the young one and the older one…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes. And one is easier than the other, believe me! Yah!
Questioner 7: Really?
Kate Mulgrew: Uh huh!
Kate Mulgrew: That's a sad day. That's a sad day when you walk on the stage and thirty is no longer as easy as eighty. (In the older Hepburn's voice) I can do that one really easily! (In the younger Hepburn's voice) But it's the young one that's hard! What's your question?
Questioner 7: Did you have special voice training for…
Kate Mulgrew: I worked on my voice. But mostly – the most important thing is – of course I've trained my voice all my life, but I travel three octaves in this play. (In the younger Hepburn's voice) She's very high when she's young – that's how she talks, you know – it's very strange. (In the older Hepburn's voice) And she's very low and straining this way when she's old! So I have to 'shut up', which is very hard, (addressing her husband) isn't it darling?
Tim Hagan: Yes Captain!
Kate Mulgrew: I can't talk until five o'clock.
Questioner 7: But he calls you captain!
Kate Mulgrew: Who is he kidding!? Yes. And then I go to the theater and I have to warm up now for an hour. When I was younger I didn't have to do that. And then when the play is over I have to go home, which is a great sorrow. Because I really want to go and have a glass of wine! So that's what I have to do.
Questioner 8: Have you ever met Katharine Hepburn?
Kate Mulgrew: Have not. No. And I think… it's just as well. She is so loved in the United States – she is such an icon – she broke all of the rules. She is so important that I think had I met her my… my portrayal would have been influenced. This way I have the distance of the actress and also I can bring to bear all the nuances and I think the subtleties of my own character. I think it behooves the actor not to get too close to the character. After all, our job is to bring it imaginatively to life, not realistically. Otherwise I'd be Katharine Hepburn and I wouldn't be here! Did anybody understand that because I didn't!
Questioner 9: Have you entered the stage in a different way after Katharine Hepburn passed away?
Kate Mulgrew: That was a sad night. That was a very strange night. First of all, I'm all alone on the stage, right? It's just me. One person. Week after week after week. Month after month after month. It's lonely. The only person I can talk to – and be with – during all that time, is Katharine Hepburn – in my imagination. So when she died, and I stood in the wings to go onstage that night, it was very hard. Because I was about to do the very thing that she died for. It's the only thing she really loved. Acting. So I was very, very moved. And I had to watch myself all night. But when I got to the end of the second act – and it's quite sad – it… it…was difficult for me. So to answer your question succinctly it was a very moving experience and the audience was wonderful.
Questioner 10: Would you return to Star Trek if you were asked to play a role on Enterprise – on the new show?
Kate Mulgrew: What kind of role?!
Questioner 10: Captain Janeway?
Kate Mulgrew: I don't think you can do much better than captain of your own ship, so no. Because he'd still have to be the captain, wouldn't he? What's his name?
Questioner 10: Captain Archer.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh… yes! (laughs) No… one captain at a time, I always say!
Questioner 11: Asks what Kate thinks about a Voyager movie.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, I think a Voyager movie would be great. As you know, that's all up to Paramount. I think they're waiting to see what happens with Enterprise, which I think is probably having a bit of a struggle. And in the wake of Nemesis – they're weighing all the odds. If there's a market for it, they'll do it. And I would love to do it in that eventuality. Wouldn't that be good? It would be fun. Yah. Somebody had an interesting idea. They're always doing the feature films, you know. Next Generation. But I think there might be an audience for a television movie or mini series. A lot of people complained that Endgame was not satisfactory. They felt that we wrapped it up too quickly – there wasn't enough of an explanation – and so maybe an extended version of how it should have ended would be a good idea. But that's up to Paramount. So… (implies everyone should write!)
Questioner 12: Were you happy with the ending of Endgame?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, I was because I wrote it. I had my hand in that, and here's why. I know you're all upset – you wanted a big ending. We started out… I can't see you… very simply. And I wanted to end on a simple but profound note. And of great importance to me was that all of the interpersonal relationships be wrapped up, and that one of the Janeways should be sacrificed, and that that should be the essence of my legacy. So I was behind it. And I take full responsibility for it. But… elegance and simplicity, I would say. Yes.
Questioner 13: Have you ever had problems to find other roles after your Star Trek roles…
Kate Mulgrew: Well that's apropos of your question (referring to a previous questioner) earlier. This gentleman asked me if I felt that I would be type cast. No. But I've been doing Katharine Hepburn since. I don't really have a fear of that. I'm forty-eight years old, madam. I've had children. I've lived a wonderful life. I'm madly in love with my husband… there's a big life out there and if people are going to put me into a little cubby hole, that's really their problem, isn't it? I doubt it. It's all essentially up to me. I think we only type cast ourselves, don't you? Unless of course you're Bill Clinton or something like that!
Yes? Yes sir?
Questioner 14: I'd like to ask you something about this convention. I talked to a woman – she came with her little son several hundred miles just to see you. How do you feel about that? People coming just to see you?
Kate Mulgrew: Well…I feel remarkably privileged. It's an amazing thing. I played a character on a television series and obviously I stimulated some kind of … hope and respect and passion, maybe. And nothing greater could have happened as a result of my playing it. And nothing could please me or satisfy me more than this. So I feel very proud. Honored. Indeed I do.
Yes? I'm staring at him! Yes?
Questioner 15: You don't often appear at conventions. Why did you choose to come here to Germany?
Kate Mulgrew: Because the German people are so gracious.
Questioner 15: No… seriously!
Kate Mulgrew: That's a big part of it! That's a part of it! I had been to Germany before, and I was treated so beautifully. And I found the German people to be really unusually hospitable, extremely courteous, very bright and I'm interested in the German people. So… that's why.
Questioner 15: Oh…so come back next year.
Kate Mulgrew: And live. And live!
Questioner 15: Perhaps!
Kate Mulgrew: All right.
Yes? Anybody else? Madam?
Questioner 16: You are the oldest girl in a family of eight children.
Kate Mulgrew: Yah.
Questioner 16: What effect did this have to your personality?
Kate Mulgrew: My father would say a bad one and my mother would say a good one. The oldest girl in a big family is usually very strong. Driven. And it's not unusual that we are in the performing arts. I don't know why that is, but it is. I was my mother's daughter in many ways, and although I adored my father he was tough on me. So between the two of them I was fueled to probably become what I have become. But of greatest importance to both of them was that I be a kind human being. Certainly beyond being a famous one - without question. It's a good position, but it's a position of responsibility, certainly. Are you from a big family?
Questioner 16: No, I've got an older brother.
Kate Mulgrew: You do. Well you're lucky.
Yah? This is the extent of my German. Yah, nein, that's it!
Questioner 17: (You've done) the on-line game, Everquest – you gave the character of Lady Kreya your voice…
Kate Mulgrew: I just did that! How do you know that? I just did that!
Questioner 17: We found it out…
Kate Mulgrew: It was last week or something! You're the girl who was talking to my husband. Pinky… come here! This is the lovely girl who was sitting at the table with my husband. I wanted you to meet her. This is Michael Kramer. He's my friend! This is the lovely lady!
Young woman: Hi!
Kate Mulgrew: You'll talk to her later on!
Kate Mulgrew: Okay! How did you know that? How did you find out about that game?
Questioner 17: I don't know… I just…
Kate Mulgrew: That was fast! What was your question about it darling?
Questioner 17: How did it come so that you …
Kate Mulgrew: Used my voice?
Questioner 17: Yes… how this connection… from TV and theater to an on-line game?
Kate Mulgrew: Well, I use my voice for a lot of things. I have a different agent for my voice. One for the theater, one for film and one for just my voice. So they call me and say 'these people want you to do this game or this cartoon – are you interested?' And I liked this character. I always like the bossy characters, don't you? Yah… you do!
Anybody else? Yes, yes Madam?
Questioner 18: After the experiences with Voyager would you think you'd commit again to a TV series or TV show that would be possibly as long-running?
Kate Mulgrew: I've learned never to say never. Right? It's silly to say never. If it were a wonderful role I would certainly have to consider it. But those hours were very hard. Very hard on my sons. It's tough to ask your family. Of course my sons have grown up now so I don't have that excuse any more. So yes, the answer is I would probably consider it. Yes. Oh… my husband's glowering…
Moderator: Last question. Who wants the last question?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes sir?
Questioner 19: Do you like this location?
Kate Mulgrew: This location?
Questioner 19: ?
Kate Mulgrew: In Hagen?
Questioner 19: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes!! Do you? It's fine! It's perfectly fine, yes.
Is that it?
Kate Mulgrew: Good – because I have to go! Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen! Thank you, thank you.
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