A Dozen Questions for Kate Mulgrew

In May 2010 Totally Kate website and Facebook fans were given the opportunity to submit questions for Kate to answer. Thank you to everyone who submitted questions, unfortunately I couldn't use them all. Here are 12 of them for your enjoyment. Many thanks to Kate Mulgrew!
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are some of the things on your list? To spend a week with all three of my children in perfect harmony. To spend two weeks with my grandchildren (if I get to have them!), one from each of my offspring and one sweeter than the next - during this week only pajamas will be worn and all food would be served on the floor. I would not see my children the entire week. Two major travel dreams: The first is an extensive African safari. At least a month. Rugged. Dangerous. Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater, finishing in Kenya. Second trip: Tibet. To really climb and reflect and live in silence with the Tibetan monks. This would be a long-term dream of perhaps six months to a year. I have always flirted with the notion of complete silence and I would like to know it before I die. I can think of no better place than Tibet to practice this discipline.

Is it difficult after a performance to greet fans at stage doors screaming for autographs? Some actors say it’s exhilarating while others simply refuse. Does your performance that day impact your response? First of all, let it be known that my fans don't scream. They don't  have to! They are polite, and lovely and intelligent and it is very much a part of the process of acting to engage with them. It has always been a pleasure and I expect it will always continue to be so since I have never known it to be otherwise.

If you ever get the chance to play Janeway in an upcoming movie, what is the one thing you would want to convey in that movie that has happened to Janeway since Voyager made it home. I think I would convey in the movie Janeway's inherent inability to grapple with the world. Her world is space and she comes to know this in a startlingly profound way when she is forced to grapple with her existence on earth.

Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? I use the dictionary more often. I keep one in every room in the house. The thesaurus is really only for board games.

You often address issues that many people are reluctant to discuss openly (social & political kind). And, unlike many famous people, you are not afraid to express your opinion about them. My question is: has there ever been an occasion in which you wish you have not spoken, because it has done you more harm than good? When I have been frank about certain episodes in my past regarding very big personal decisions it has occasionally come back to haunt me. But, this is the nature of big decisions and, more over, it is inherent in loss.

You have played many different people in many different roles, some more notable then others, but if you could pinpoint one you identified with or felt most like yourself, who would it be and why? Whenever I am asked this question, Hedda Gabler springs instantly to mind. However, upon reflection, it is usually a character I created in the last year, still fresh in my imagination, still provoking a deep affection. Actress are fickle, you know, we love the character we're with.

I would like to know, "Of all the STAGE plays ever written, by ANY playwright, in ANY century on our planet, which female role do you most identify with and why? Curiously, the answer would be probably the same as the above question. Although I've only played one Ibsen heroine, Hedda Gabler, she continues to resonate because Henrik Ibsen was the master of modern theatre and his women are breakthrough characters so I never, not for an instant, lost my complete fascination with this woman.

I would like to know how Kate earned her Equity Card. In one summer, when I was 19, I received two phone calls. One was to offer me the lead in Our Town at the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT and the other was to play the heroine Mary Ryan in a new series called Ryan's Hope for ABC. I went from waiting tables in a very bad restaurant to taping my soap opera all day and then jumping in a car and driving to Stratford to play Emily Webb in Our Town at night. I am at an age now where I can say with absolute confidence that that summer was paradise.

No hurry for you to get there, but what would you like written on your epitaph? Thanks for the slow down, but this is something we talk about a lot, my friends and I. I know that it's going to be Kate Mulgrew, Captain Janeway refuses to die and at age 150 has had her body sent into space.

You've traveled to many countries during the course of your career, is there a country or region that you have not visited at all that you would still like to see. What special reasons draw you to that country or region? I would love to see deepest Africa. I would love to see the Amazon. I would love to see Russia and parts of South America. I've always been filled with wanderlust and there's never enough time. I want to see everything now. NOW!

You have wanted to play Cleopatra for a while now, I believe (and I'm thrilled it's happening now because I think you'll be wonderful in the part). What is it about the role that attracts you to it? Well, of course, she was a great queen. To put it in the words of her maid servant Charmian, who was the last to speak before she, herself, ingested poison and fell next to her queen, and these were her words... "This was a king to end all kings." Need I say more?

Of the roles you've played, which stand out the most? I.e., which do you most identify with, feel proudest of, like, love, or hate? Captain Janeway, of course on television. In theatre I've been so lucky... I loved Clytemnestra in Iphigenia, all my Shakespearean roles, Lillian Hellman. I've played them all and loved them all. But I think that I'm really building up an appetite for the Queen of the Nile....I hope you'll all come and see me.

Kate Mulgrew will star in Shakespeare’s 'Antony and Cleopatra' at Hartford Stage, Oct. 7th to Nov. 7th, 2010. Individual tickets go on-sale July 1st. Ticket pre-sale information will be available on Totally Kate the end of June.