Saturday, January 4, 2003
Please do not repost or reproduce
Kate Mulgrew in London
By Angela Churm
Kate came on stage to thunderous applause from an expectant audience. Her hair pinned up she wore a smart black single-breasted trouser suit, with the jacket buttoned, black boots with a modest heel and pearl drop earrings. She looked stunning.
The atmosphere in the well-lit hall was relaxed and informal. Kate interacted with the audience a great deal and the whole thing was light hearted, funny and very easy going. Tim sat beside the stage throughout watching his wife handle the questions with practiced ease and gracious good humour.
After a quick resume of her year including the campaign and the play, Kate chose to move more or less direct to questions saying that “The time always seems so limited and so rushed.”
She talked warmly about all of her colleagues who had come to Cleveland to support her and Tim at the extravaganza and said how much she missed them all.
She thanked everyone who had come to the convention from outside the UK “In trying times.”
In response to one question Kate said that she would love to bring ‘Tea at Five’ to England, which got a resounding cheer.
Talking about Voyager she thought, “That thing with the hologram was the stupidest thing.” “When there was that gorgeous guy in Counterpoint not to mention my first officer.” She went on to talk about the thing with Chakotay and how she was responsible for calling that decision, and that as far as the demographics were concerned she didn’t want to push sex at the kids who make up that demographic.
She said if people were paying attention, she did consummate one love affair when she copulated with Mr. Paris and had baby lizards. Loud laughter was followed quickly with the comment “Those were the days,” which elicited more laughter.
Kate said how sad it was when she had finished filming the last scene and that she had hardly stood up when “Some guy who you’ve never seen before who looks more like an alien than species 8472” started dismantling her chair.
Chad, a handsome 14 year-old, told Kate she was his role model. Kate’s response was very quick and witty, “could we possibly make a transatlantic call to my sons?” She answered the questions about her hair, favourite episodes, etc. with her usual good grace.
Kate was also very complimentary about the original Star Trek Captain. ‘I adore Bill – he was the first one to come and stand up for my husband’s campaign. Bill Shatner. A very, very, very good and generous man.” She admired the irreverence of Kirk and said that she tried to imbue Janeway with some of that.
When asked if she would like to go into Space herself she was less than enthusiastic until she asked the audience and everyone put their hands up to show they would, so quick off the mark Kate responded with a laugh – “I’d go to Space in a minute too!”
When told that Robbie McNeill said that she still owed him $15, to much raucous laughter Kate said “He should be lucky he’s still breathing.”
In response to a questioner who wanted to know if there was anything that should have happened on Star Trek that didn’t – Kate said they didn’t have a gay senior officer and she thinks they should have.
She mentioned that she was honoured to be in Nemesis and made the point that she was promoted, now an admiral and they couldn’t take that back.
On being presented with a cap from Cambridge University for her son she said with a typical Janeway twinkle in her eye and a quirk of the mouth, “Really what am I going to do about my sons?”
Tim joined her on stage briefly when someone wanted to know if he was going to run for office again. He asked Kate “Am I?” to much laughter but then said more seriously that the country had gone to the right and it was tough to consider it again – money has distorted the process. Kate said she thinks he will run again, “But you didn’t ask me.”
When asked who from the cast did she get on with, Kate ran through them and said how much she loved them – that there were “No bad apples in the barrel,” paused then, “There were some oranges,” which got one of the biggest laughs of the night.
After an hour on stage Kate went straight to the autograph table and graciously spent longer than she should have trying to sign as many autographs as time would allow. With so many people in line though even Kate’s legendary capacity for signing couldn’t do everybody’s within the hour and a half so a further signing was arranged for the Sunday to ensure that nobody would miss out.
Kate’s compassion, patience, humour and diligence in dealing with her many fans still impresses me no matter how many times I see it. She is unique in her field and Star Trek Voyager was lucky to have her.
©Angela Churm/ January / 2003
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