Grand Slam X
March 24, 2002
Many, many Thanks! to my transcriber.
This transcript is missing the last 10 to 15 minutes of Kate's session. If anyone can provide the missing segment please contact me.
Announcer: Okay ladies and gentlemen. Please join us in a warm welcome for Miss Kate Mulgrew:
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you very, very much. And the Oscar… for the best, most beautiful and most loyal of all audiences goes to you! Why are you not watching the Academy Awards?! I suppose I could ask myself the same question.
Speaking to this issue of you, I have to say something. In the seven years that I was doing Voyager – I said this before but forgive me for being redundant – I was so totally immersed in it, I didn't get an immediate sense of – are you waving to me sweetheart? I'm waving right back. How are you? An immediate sense of the value or the magnitude of this support system. When I left, I decided to do a little play based on the life of Katharine Hepburn. Which I am currently doing. Which in fact is enjoying a remarkable success. But it wasn't until I did this play that I realized how loyal – how fiercely loyal – and how universal this loyalty is. People have come from all over the world. They have bought six nights. They have bought blocks of forty, fifty seats in the theatre. They stood up in the back and they've done this for three months straight. In Hartford, Connecticut. And I walk out at night, and I'm taking my curtain call and I'm realizing that I have to take my curtain call as Hepburn, but I'm wanting to say "Thank you Captain Janeway, and thank you, you wonderful fans", because that is the reality of it. This has been an extraordinary viewership. You've given my life such unprecedented opportunity. First of all, a wonderful character who I will carry with me until I die, Captain Janeway, right? Whom I really love. You must know that. I really loved her. I'm standing back-stage watching that video, just – it choked me up, I have to say. Where did those years go? Seven years, very fast. I was at a fundraiser for my husband last night – I'm sure you all know by now my husband is running for governor of Ohio – right. Thank you very much. And I was at a fundraiser at Bob Picardo's house. Mr. Generous. Mr. Wonderful. And I was looking at Bob, and I was looking at Robbie McNeill and I thought, "This is why I love it". I made such intimate friendships with those guys. And I value them so much. And they have been so wonderful to me in the course of this past year. Which believe me has been a roller-coaster of extraordinary proportions.
But I feel very blessed; it's been a marvelous year; we're on the campaign trail, which is something I could speak to, or I could lie down here and take a nap! It's unbelievable. There are eighty-eight counties in Ohio. Do you realize? We have to hit every one of those counties. And I'm doing this play, which is going to Broadway in the fall. So… (much applause) Thank you. My life is wonderful. My children have survived adolescence. They're doing very well. Hello… how are you - ladies. These marvelous women came to Hartford. Is it not true? Weren't those audiences great? These two ladies – stand up – I want you to stand up and take a bow – they have been terrific – let's give them a hand.
And it is just very hard for me to accept the fact that those seven years have past. It's over. Talk about a temporal anomaly. All those days on the bridge when I'd turn to look up at Mr. Tuvok. My god, I thought you were Garrett Wang for a minute. Gave me a heart attack! Which wouldn't surprise me!
You know, all those tired mornings and they're just gone. And now I'm so grateful that I said to myself almost every single one of those days "Come on guys, we've got do this. We gotta give it a hundred and ten percent." Well this too shall pass, and it has. But I want to just say again how wonderful you've been. Certainly could not have done this without you. And I hope that we enjoy a long and fruitful relationship together as my career… what… what is my career going to do?! As my career finds its way back into another quadrant of space, right! But I'm very happy, and I'm very lucky. I thought that coming out. As it dawned on me that all those strange people were getting dressed up to go to the Academy awards, I thought 'who needs the Academy Awards, I'm going to Pasadena where it's really happening!' And it really is. I love doing… this is always such a limited thing, being able to speak to you.
I'd love to take some questions, if in fact you have any questions.
Q: How's your mom?
Kate Mulgrew: Ah. My mother. What a nice question. My mother came to the closing performance last week in Hartford. My mother has Alzheimer's for those of you who don't know. And it's an insidious disease for those of you who do. Very slow. In the case of my mother, devastating beyond expression because my mother is a painter, a pianist, a cook and a woman of great intellectual capacity. This is all changing now. But she hasn't lost her spirit. And she hasn't lost her guts. And she gets on the plane and she comes to see me, and even though she's finding it very difficult now to communicate or articulate her feelings, she came to the closing performance last Sunday in Hartford, and when I took my final curtain call I said "Ladies and gentlemen I would be very remiss were I not to take this opportunity to acknowledge someone in this audience without whom none of this would have been possible. My beacon in the darkness, the joy and inspiration of my life, the best and the bravest of women, my mother. Mother, stand up and take a bow." And boy, did she ever! She ain't that far gone! She stood up and it was… and so she's great. She's great. It's all about courage. You know they don't complain, my parents.
Here's a little story about where I come from. My father, who is eighty-two years old - my mother is seventy-three. Dad is eighty-two. Dad has never seen a doctor, right. Never been to a doctor. Hell no, doesn't need a doctor, he's fine. Fell out of bed three weeks ago. Just fell. Right. Sat there for three days. Finally got up. Went downstairs very slowly. The woman who is looking after my mother said "Mr. Mulgrew, you know you don't seem to be walking well." "I’m fine, god damn it, I'm going to go… just bring me my coffee", right? Broken hip, ladies and gentlemen. Six days, wouldn't move, broken hip. Take him in, they (…), they replace the hip, two days later he walked up the two flights of stairs to his bedroom. After his nightcap, of course! That's my DNA, not bad, huh.
Q: A friend of mine has seen "Tea at Five" twice, said you were fabulous in it, I hope you tour it. I wanted to know what it was like for you to create a character that you've been so compared to for so long. I mean obviously it's based on someone who's real, also, but you've been compared to her for so long…
Kate Mulgrew: Well that's a very good question. I have a little OCD, you know when I see little white things, I have to remove them. Do you have that? It's getting worse. I woke up this morning at six o'clock and wrote ten lists of nothing… nothing. Absolutely nothing. Get some more tea. How's the dog. My husband said, "What is wrong with you woman?" Very good question.
I have been compared to Katharine Hepburn all my life. And when that happens, there's a certain natural antipathy that builds up. Not to say resistance, but I think a fair and understandable antipathy. I'm not Katharine Hepburn, and because I'm an actress as well, you don't want to be constantly compared. It's flattering and all that, but after the fiftieth time you say "I'm not. My name is Kate Mulgrew. Let's see if, you know, I can stand on my own merit." So this guy, Matthew Lombardo sends me the play, based on her life. Act one she's thirty-one, act two I'm seventy-six. It was a very compelling piece of literature. He did an extraordinary job and I recognized it for what it was immediately. Met with him. They optioned it. I went and I sat in a room with him, and as they were talking and I was realizing I was going to undertake this thing, I knew there was only one way for me to approach it, which was exactly what I did with Janeway. I cannot execute a character beautifully if I don't fall in love with them. So I had to revisit all of my emotions about Hepburn and throw them away and start all over. I looked at every film she ever did. I looked at every piece of documentation on that woman. I thought about her. I prayed about her. I cried about her, right? I fell in love. So when I put my little feet on the stage, that first night, after I threw up fifty-two times, I was giving it back to her. And what she has represented to the American people. And I think that's why it caught fire. It captured the imagination of the people. Certainly in the world of 9/11, we need to remember that there are great icons. We can look up to people, right? Hepburn was so – she was a great broad. She had real Yankee charm. She had a very, very difficult life. Full of courage. So that is my answer to you. You have to fall in love and give the rest away to the audience.
Q: Thank you. I hope you tour it.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you very much. So do I. Yes sir?
Q: How come so many Star Trek actors including yourself accept doing voice-over parts on Disney's "Gargoyles."
Kate Mulgrew: Did you understand his question? Why do we do so many voice-over jobs – the Star Trek actors. I think because most of us have been trained in the theatre.
Q: I meant the "Gargoyles" series.
Kate Mulgrew: Right. I think that it's because we have voices that have been trained and that we can you know - we can manipulate them. That would be my ready answer to you, right. Come to think of it, I should call my agent about that character! Yes?
Q: Actually the lady before me took my question because I was so hoping you'd bring your play to California.
Kate Mulgrew: It may very well come to California. We have to see what unfolds. At this point the priority is my husband's campaign. No not Broadway, the campaign. We'll see how the general election goes in November. If he becomes the next governor of Ohio I'm going to have to obviously revisit certain things in my life like comfort! Sleep! So. But I think it will have a long life. It is, after all, just one person, right. Which is an extraordinary feeling. You can't imagine, after seven years of doing a television series – let's just do this little thing, right? I want to get back on the stage. Let's do a one person show where for two hours you're absolutely flying without a net. Take the gun, right! But it is a wonderful thing that you are – you the audience are my partner when I'm on stage, and I'm forced to absolutely make it immediate and organic and it's just been – it's been wonderful, really wonderful.
I think I have to go this way. That's justice, right? I have to go over here. Just by your very compelling uniform, madam but I'll be back! Yes?
Q: Hi. I jumped on the bandwagon kind of late. I only got into Voyager just last year in reruns. But I'm enjoying the reruns a lot and I'm enjoying your character a lot too. So one thing that I read on-line – correct me if I'm wrong on this – is that …
Kate Mulgrew: Oh I will!
Q: Is that you kind of liked one of the writer's grasp of the Janeway character more than the rest because you thought that he had a firmer grasp of the character and how she was portrayed on screen. And I think that was Brannon Braga. I'm not sure…
Kate Mulgrew: Are you saying I wanted him to write her?
Q: No, no, you just noticed that his scripts had a better grasp of the Janeway character…
Kate Mulgrew: Yeah.
Q: I was just wondering how that came about?
Kate Mulgrew: He's a better writer honey. Talent will out. Brannon Braga's a very, very smart guy. And I think he understood that in – Andy Robinson, how are you my love? My sweetheart! Come over here and embrace me – because God knows when I will see you again. Irene how are you? Come here and give me a kiss Andy because I never get to see you. We used to see each other all the time, did we not? Irene. Long liquid evenings, did we not?
Andy Robinson: Oh that's great! She's going to Broadway, ladies and gentlemen! Kate Mulgrew!
Kate Mulgrew: Sorry to catch up with life here on the stage.
He is a very talented guy, and he understood the underbelly of Janeway. And I've always said this: If you don't go this way out you cannot…this is too - they're too smart. Nobody wants to see the superficial aspects of a character. They want to see the guts. Brannon knows that. That's why he fell in love with you know who.
Q: I did too. I want to say I was most privileged to see you last year here and was very pleased to find that you as a person are as intelligent and wonderful as Captain Janeway. I do have two questions.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you, go ahead.
Q: I am a theatre arts teacher for a middle school, and daily I encounter students who are filled with apathy and who are self…
Kate Mulgrew: Low self esteem.
Q: Thank you that's the word. And refuse to even put any effort into participating in classroom activities. On the other side of the coin, every so often I do find a student who has a real understanding and a grasp of what acting is all about. Do you have any advice that I could give - from you - to help motivate those students who are the ones who sit there and say no - I won't, I can't, I don't want to. And also maybe the next step that I could lead them – the ones that are right there…
Kate Mulgrew: I will be very, very frank with you. And this is going to sound tough, and I don't really care, because life's too short. Get rid of the riff raff. Kick them out. If you don't want to be there – out. You take those kids who are really interested and you help them in every conceivable way that you can. Because the others are just sucking the rest of them dry, right. I had an acting teacher who was so tough, and frightening, I learned early on you have to honour the craft, or the craft will not honour you. And this lethargy in young people today seems to be a cultural epidemic. I don't know why. Is it because of divorce? Is it because there is no war? What's going on? I don't understand why you kids are lethargic. There's no reason to be lethargic. The world is wonderful – it's exactly as wonderful as you make it to be, right. But get them out of the classroom. Do you have the power to do that?
Q: No, I do not, I'm afraid.
Kate Mulgrew: Well then take them by the hair and drag them down. Tell them to shape up.
Q: It's a fear thing, I think. They're afraid to try because they might fail.
Kate Mulgrew: Well then they've got to get over their fear. Fear is the single thing that will bring you down in life. And what are they so afraid of? That everybody in this room is not afraid of? We all share fear. You've got to overcome it. And if you can't overcome it at eighteen baby, there ain't no way you're going to do it the rest of your life.
Q: What should I tell the ones that really have right there – they know – they understand. Where's the next step I can take them?
Kate Mulgrew: I think you have to tell them to get on the (…). They've got to go to acting school. They've got to go to NYU, they've got to go to Chicago, Northwestern, there are wonderful programmes in this country. The Stella Adler Conservatory right here in Los Angeles. Wonderful conservatory. And reasonably priced. I'm on the board. You should send them there. They need mentors. Kids need mentors and they need passionate mentors. They don't need teachers saying "Oh well I'm so sorry that you're having a bad…" Get out. They're wasting your time too, darlin'.
Q: I love you. Thank you so much.
Kate Mulgrew: All right. Thank you. Yes?
Q: I have to say do not ever write notes on your hand when you're going to meet your idol. It looks like I wrote it in Swedish or something. I wanted to ask because I'm having a…
Kate Mulgrew: Has anybody ever looked that good in that space suit? As this young girl? Huh?
Q: Thank you! That's so cool 'cause I'm such a nerd!
Kate Mulgrew: I don't think so!
Q: Okay… I had this fight with my mom over what colour your eyes are. Yah, and so I really need to know now, because …
Kate Mulgrew: Seven years, she watched, right! What colour?!
Q: I have no idea! Every time I watch…
Kate Mulgrew: They're blue!
Q: I won! (much laughter and applause). You are such an inspiration.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you sweetheart. How old are you?
Q: I'm seventeen.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh. So pretty.
Q: I hope to be just like you some day.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, don't… well… you hope to be yourself.
Q: How tall are you?
Kate Mulgrew: How tall am I? Five, five. How tall are you? This could go on forever!
Q: All right…I'm done.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you very much sweetheart. Blue, blue, blue! Yes?
Q: Hi. Captain Janeway was like this strong female very positive character.
Kate Mulgrew: I'm glad you noticed she was female.
Q: Did you ever, when you first took on the role, did you ever feel like you had to try to compare yourself to the previous captains like Kirk and Picard?
Kate Mulgrew: No.
Q: Did you just run with it and put your own…
Kate Mulgrew: No. Although I have to tell you. It was frightening in the beginning. It was frightening. Can you imagine? There they are – those suits just standing there staring at me, and they can be very, very intimidating, those guys, they never smile, they never move. The money just sort pours out of their… and they're looking at you and they're thinking 'is she going to bring this thing in or down?' So I thought well how am I going to do this and retain my individuality? So I would say initially it was a little bit of a trapeze act. But I certainly never watched Next Gen knowing that it would influence me. And we didn't need another Captain Picard - with hair. Right? Or another Captain Kirk. We wanted Janeway to be Janeway. Original, right. And I hope that's what I did.
Q: And I have to agree with you. I think that Brannon Braga did a top-notch job.
Kate Mulgrew: Good. Thank you. Thank you very much. Wonderful hair. Is that your … oh… it's not your own. Is it? No. Well we'll talk about this later on…yes.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi!
Q: I was wondering how you felt about the way they ended – the very end of Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew: Endgame.
Q: By just cutting it off by showing Earth, and not giving us any closure as far as, you know, what happened afterwards – the Maquis, the other things that we had been set up for seven years – it just seemed to end…
Kate Mulgrew: Well we tried. There was a time constraint. We had two hours to wrap up all of the stories of seven years, right. And I have to tell you I take full responsibility for this because I had a major hand in Endgame. I said if we concentrate on the Janeway dilemma, the sacrifice, they'll understand. It will seem abrupt at the end, but they will understand. And if you recall, we came in abruptly. And I said, "Let's do this very simply. Let's – on the bridge – done, right." And I think the Chakotay/Seven of Nine thing worked, don't you. (listens to the very mixed reaction). Oh… they're still holding out hope, that old Janeway's going to say "in the ready room, baby…" (Many cheers!) I'm now sorry I didn't, but what can you say? No, I know. A lot of people felt that way, but we did the best we could. If we'd had a little more time it would have been, I think, more gratifying, but…
Q: It was a very good episode, I felt…
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you
Q: But it was just – it did seem a little abrupt.
Kate Mulgrew: I know. I know. But I think it's also emotional. I think we all realized we were saying good bye, so there's no amount of time that would have been enough at the end. Do you see? Thank you very much. Yes.
Q: I just want to know if you directed any of the Voyager episodes? If you directed any of the episodes?
Kate Mulgrew: Did I direct any of them? No I did not. Wisely.
I have no desire to direct. What madness. What suicide! Right. Not to mention the fact that I have no spatial sense. But as you know that I have in my company two brilliant directors. Robbie McNeill – unbelievable. Remember Sacred Ground? I loved that. And Roxann Dawson. So it's a gift, and I don't have it. Acting is enough for me. Thank you very much. Yes?
Kate Mulgrew: Very, very buff guy here. Can you see him, young ladies? Very buff guy… oh I see them popping up. Yes?
Q: You kind of answered my question, regarding Chakotay. I mean I really felt that something was going to happen with the Janeway/Chakotay relationship. I just don't see this Chakotay/Seven of Nine thing working out. I mean it doesn't seem right to me.
Kate Mulgrew: Can you spell – S… E… of course it will work out. He loves her… he loves her… he loves her. You wanted him to fall in love with Janeway because Janeway represents to the audience the heart and soul of the ship. You don't get any higher than Janeway in terms of integrity on that ship. So people wanted to see the second in command aligned with the first in command in that deep and profoundly intimate way. I think that is what that hunger was all about. My contention on the other end of this was - Janeway, when I started the series, was of child bearing years. She's now… And the young male demographic concerned me. Those young men, for instance this young guy… I mean look at me – I could be their mother. And I said we have to be very careful - I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to… I'm not going to drop trou. That was … you know… In that way what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. I just didn't want to risk it. But thank you for that question.
Interesting. The ones you always think are going to ask about science – sex – sex!
Q: My cousin Jeffrey and I were wondering – for the seven seasons that Voyager's been on – was there anything that you liked the best?
Kate Mulgrew: Was there any episode I liked best?
Q: Or any parts of anything that you liked best.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes. I loved Endgame. I loved Counterpoint. Do you remember that episode sweetheart. No. When I think I could go on and on. What I liked best about it was what it was. Do you know what Star Trek is? What it is quintessentially? It's a morality tale. Right? This is a very, very important thing for a culture to have. And as far as I'm concerned in our present day culture, Star Trek is the only series that is the on-going morality tale. Without… right? So I understood that from the very beginning. So every episode got the same measure of importance, energy and commitment from me. Except for some of those bottle shows. Do you know what I mean when I say bottle show?
Whenever they do two or three very expensive episodes back to back, which are easy to pick out, because we go on location and there are other species involved. Then they have to watch the budget and they do a little ship show, called a bottle show. And generally that was about sex, sex, sex, but cover your ears.
Q: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Cover your ears, little one. Thank you. Yes?
Q: Hello. I was at Voyager the Return in Blackpool last year.
Kate Mulgrew: You were at Blackpool.
Q: Comment and a question. Firstly thank you so much for your generosity to all the thousands of people that were there. Secondly, on a more personal level my mother suffers from Alzheimer's also…
Kate Mulgrew: I'm sorry.
Q: That's okay. We deal. I just wondered how we did for the Alzheimer's Society?
Kate Mulgrew: How we what?
Q: How we did for the Alzheimer's Society.
Kate Mulgrew: Beautifully. Beautifully. I think I raised … Barbara's here somewhere. Barb? Where are you? She'll tell you. My assistant's somewhere. Thousands. Maybe even hundreds of thousands. This group has been more generous to Alzheimer's – the Star Trek viewers. I can't believe it. It's been marvelous. And the English were unprecedented – you were so generous. And that's why I felt I had to sign every single picture.
Q: We appreciated it, thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Why on earth I said that…but I did it. I did it! The rest of my crew were ready to kill me. They had to follow suit.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes ma'am?
Q: Eight years ago you stepped up here for the first time, very nervous about meeting everybody and now the show is over. How is this convention different from that first convention?
Kate Mulgrew: You know, I was thinking about that because my son was going to come out with me today – naturally he didn't. And I was going to … Who was here for the first Grand Slam? (lots of applause). Remember when my kid came on the stage? Well I was going to introduce him today as a temporal anomaly. Six foot three. And I cannot really – where that has gone. Of course you have to remember that first convention here – that first season – was extraordinary, wasn't it? There were thousands of people here. And there was just such an excitement and anticipation in the air. But this is more gratifying because we've taken the journey together. And that's better in the end, don't you think? Thank you.
Q: Hi. Good to see you?
Kate Mulgrew: And you.
Q: Actually this is not a question. I just wanted to make a comment. About five years ago you were at a convention in San Diego all by yourself. And I had my son and my daughter and you were nice enough to let me have them take a picture with you, and you also signed an autograph and you signed it Kate M.U.L.G. You didn't finish it. I hope that was just an error on your part.
Kate Mulgrew: Kate Mulg?
Q: Yeah. I've got it!
Kate Mulgrew: Maybe I will have a new career!
Kate Mulgrew: What was I thinking of?
Q: I just wanted to say that it meant so much to us that I have you with my children in the picture, we have it framed on our wall…
Kate Mulgrew: Ahhh….
Q: In our house…
Kate Mulgrew: I was going to say, if you brought it let me complete it!
Q: Anyway it's on our wall with the rest of our family pictures.
Kate Mulgrew: Ahh, thank you very much. What nice words, thank you very, very much. How are your daughters.
Q: It was my son and my daughter.
Kate Mulgrew: How are they?
Q: They're fine. They were here yesterday but they couldn't make it today.
Kate Mulgrew: Well – give them my best, will you please.
Q: I will.
Kate Mulgrew: And thank you very much. Yes ma'am?
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q: First of all I just wanted to say you are my very favourite Star Trek captain.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q: It's about time we got a woman up where they're supposed to be. And my second thing is –
Kate Mulgrew: Where is everybody going?
Kate Mulgrew: My God! This is like a bad episode! What species is coming? Look at this! Mass exodus. Do not leave this ship. I will assign you to your pods! Yes, yes?
Q: I used to want to be an actress but now I'm a math teacher in high school.
Kate Mulgrew: Uh huh.
Q: But I used to love being up on stage when I was in high school and acting for my friends, and there's no experience like being up on stage and having everybody else out there - and something go wrong. Has anything – what has happened to you, that has gone wrong that you can remember?
Kate Mulgrew: Can I just talk about my play for one minute?
Kate Mulgrew: Opening night. Tea at Five. The life of Katharine Hepburn. Right? I fly on at thirty-one looking gorgeous – young, captivating, right. Act two (in Hepburn's voice) I come on, she's very old, right? I go down and I talk to the audience for about five minutes. And then I turn around – first of all I say to them – a couple of things about how time changes everything and you just have to get on with it, and I look at them and I say "Time levels." I turn, I go up to the mantle piece – the fire place. I go to take a photograph off to go into a sequence about my brother's death and it collapses on my feet. Opening night, fifty journalists in the audience, guys, right? Just - the worst possible nightmare for an actress. I looked at it. It looked at me. I thought to myself you have two choices. You can either die in the presence of these people, or figure it out. So I turned to the audience after a beat and I said "Time levels other things as well."
Q: I don't know if you recall or not but you took some tennis lessons from my mother in your teen years from my mother named Mona (…).
Kate Mulgrew: I took some tennis lessons? In my teen years?
Q: You never took tennis lessons?
Kate Mulgrew: No, did I ever have teen years? I did take tennis lessons, huh?
Q: Okay, well she said …
Kate Mulgrew: Of course I did.
Q: They kind of incorporated that into Voyager that you played tennis in Voyager. Do you still play at all?
Kate Mulgrew: No.
Q: No. Okay, all right.
Kate Mulgrew: But I love the game of tennis. You're a tennis player, aren't you?
Q: Yah, I am.
Kate Mulgrew: I could tell. Because you look like it. Back at ya!
Q: I'm a colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
Kate Mulgrew: This is a colonel in the Air Force Reserves, ladies and gentlemen.
Q: And I'm a commander of a flying training squadron. And I wanted to tell you that I thought your portrayal of the unique challenges faced by a woman in a position of command is very accurate.
Kate Mulgrew: Well. Nothing would please me more than to hear that.
Q: And my question is how did you prepare for the role of Captain Janeway, and how did your vision of this character change over the lifetime of the series?
Kate Mulgrew: I didn't really prepare for it, I didn't have the time. Don't forget I was hired on a Thursday and started shooting on Monday. Which I think in the end was to my advantage. I like being shot out of a cannon. I'm just that kind of gal, you know what I mean? Over the years of course, I became more confident and more relaxed and it's then that you can really take wing. It was then that I was really able to explore the vicissitudes of command, which I'm sure you understand. But with a certain je ne sais quoi that was lacking in perhaps the first couple of seasons. So I think that confidence – relaxation – key, right? Key to true flight.
Q: Your performance has honoured all women who serve.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you very, very much. I mean how can that not be, right? How could I feel anything but tremendously gratified by that? Who else gets to hear this? Not those idiots at the Academy Awards! Yes? Yes, yes?
Q: Hi. I was going to ask you if your personality was a strong as Janeway's. I can already tell today that it is. The other question I was going to ask you is…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes
Q: Were you as strong with your kids as you were as Janeway?
Kate Mulgrew: No.
Q: No. Okay. Because that would be…
Kate Mulgrew: What?
Q: A thing to grow up with.
Kate Mulgrew: I'm just a… Yes, he's wringing his hands he's pale, he's white as a sheet! He's hoping against hope my kids are still breathing! I was a softie, I'm a softie as a mother.
Kate Mulgrew: This should surprise you… and this should disappoint you. It has disappointed me. I come from such a big family, ladies and gentlemen. I'm one of eight, the oldest girl, second oldest and as those of you who have the same hierarchy understand I was in command in that family and I had to raise those younger brothers and sisters and really help my mother. You're exhausted by the time you're eleven, you know - if you have to pop another fish stick in the oven you're going to really shoot somebody, right? I used to put all six of them in the bathtub with a pitcher of ice water. You move! And I said to myself when I become a mother I'm going to be a wonderful mother, right? I'm going to be strong but gracious. I'm going to be fun, but tough. All that stuff. No. A total marshmallow. What can I give you darling? What can I… I used get up, in an eighteen hour day and lay out their little, you know… oy. I finally said to them last year, "That's it, go to work!"
Q: I have three little girls myself and you're an excellent role model.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you. I'll bet you're a very good father. Good luck to you.
Creatures coming up here. Hello. Hello sweetie.
Q: She wanted to ask you a question.
Kate Mulgrew: What do you want to ask me? Ask me? What?
Q: A child asks a question about Kate's earring.
Kate Mulgrew: Earrings. Do you want to know about my earrings? Do you like them? Would you like to have them? You can have them. (much applause as Kate gives the child her earrings.) Be good to your mother all right? I like yours too. Pretty earrings, right? Life's all about earrings, ladies and gentlemen. Yes?
We have two people here with two creatures, from another quadrant. Can you see them? They look like canines, species canine, right. What are these… look at these little dogs, can you see them. Look at this dog. Come here. Don't bite me! Look at. Look at – in uniform. Oh, where are you going? There he is… aw… lovely. Are they …romantically involved?
Q: No they're just friends?
Kate Mulgrew: Huh?
Q: Just friends.
Kate Mulgrew: They're just friends.
Q: We'd just like to welcome you back,
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q: We saw you at the first time you were here and wanted to thank you very much for coming back, and we really did appreciate Voyager very much.
Kate Mulgrew: And I appreciated your appreciation.
Q: I just thought that perhaps it was a wonderful scene to see your hair mussed at least once.
Kate Mulgrew: (laughs) Good. Good. Thank you very much.
I have a dog too. And on that note, my dog is very old. What do you do when they get so old? You know I keep playing that game of when do you call it? I guess when they can't get up, right? When they can't get up. (In response to the audience) She'll let me know? Will she stop eating? I don't think anything will prevent this dog from eating. This dog will be dead and will still be eating. You know, but I have to trust my instincts. Hard. Much harder than I thought. I'm a country girl. We used to put animals down when they got sick out there, you know. Sure, I grew up in farm country, where it was nothing. But with my own animals, aka my own sons I'm so soft. Do you know what I spent in veterinarian bills last year, alone? I looked at it, I said "Are you crazy? Do you understand what's happening in Afghanistan? Not to mention Mexico. I'm sending this bleeping dog to the vet?" I said "Send her back and have her cleaned and have her groomed…" Yes, darling?
Kate Mulgrew: (Reading the young man's tee-shirt) "(…) for me for I am root." What does that mean?
Q: Root is administrator of a network so …
Kate Mulgrew: Oh I see. Nice to see you. How old are you?
Kate Mulgrew: Fourteen. You look a lot older than fourteen. You look great.
Q: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Do you have a question?
Q: I was wondering. In any future Star Trek movies will Voyager be the main cast of the movie?
Kate Mulgrew: From your mouth to my agent's ears. He wants to know if Voyager will have a future in feature films. (much applause). Wouldn't it be nice? I don't know. I don't know. But I know that those in charge, if they stand to make a buck, will see to it. I think that Next Generation now has saturated the market. Nemesis will probably be the last. You know I'm in it. (more applause). I'm in it. I'm telling that old sod what to do and how to do it! It was so much fun bossing Captain Picard around, do you know that? Patrick Stewart was just laughing at me! I said, "Yeah, I'll get the last laugh"!
Q: How long will you be in Nemesis?
Kate Mulgrew: How long will I be in it? Don't blink! It's a cameo honey, but it's nice, it's fun. And I think maybe there will be a future. Who knows? Life is full of surprises, right?