Old Brompton Road
Sunday, June 26, 2005
|Many Thanks! to my transcriber and various
Totally Kate contributors! Please do not repost or reproduce.
This was transcribed from various sources. Unfortunately none of them contained the complete "Q&A" session nor were they of the best audio quality so this transcript is incomplete. If anyone has the entire "Q&A" so we can fill in the gaps please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcer: Welcome ladies & gentleman. Of all our Star Trek people to date here's our very first Captain – Kate Mulgrew.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you. What a sea of unmitigated beauty. You all must know how pleased I am to be here. Because the only truly common experience, is the shared experience. And that's what we've enjoyed for the last couple of days. So it's through Star Trek, and through my little one-woman play called "Tea at Five". So I must give a particular nod of affection to my "Tea at Five" contingent. I am fond of you ladies.
We don't have much time, you're all very gracious, and I would like to take some questions. I think that's the best way to communicate under these circumstances, so if anybody has a question, please raise your hand.
Q: I have a rather personal question.
Kate Mulgrew: She has a personal question. They all want to know! Have I ever been kissed!? Day's not over. What's your question, my love?
Q: This is a question for a friend, actually. She's been hurt very badly, and the people around her tell her all the time she has to forgive the person who hurt her in order to move on, so her question was do you think that everyone has the right to be forgiven?
Kate Mulgrew: Well of course you just titillated the entire group. We want to know what the damage was. We want to know at whose hands. I think these things are measured by degree. Do I think that forgiveness is the greatest of all virtues? Yes. Would I be able to employ it myself? Under the foulest of circumstances? Probably not. But I would advocate it every time. Christ did, didn't he? Can't do better than that example.
(Responding to sudden unknown noise) And he came down…
Q: Hello Kate
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, yes… hello?
Q: Will you bring "Tea at Five" to London, and were you happy with the ending of Voyager or would you have preferred them to have done a string of feature films afterwards?
Kate Mulgrew: First question, will I be bringing… let me get your camera for you! Will I be bringing "Tea at Five" to London? I think there are plans afoot. But you know… the bizarre thing about my life is they know more than I do! So I would ask this row of ladies. But I think that London would be the ideal place to bring it. And possibly Germany. Although I don't know how I would do it? Do I have to speak German? But you can say 'oops' in all languages, right? Oops! Yes. So, I think so, to number one. To number two: Am I sorry that Voyager didn't end in a series of feature films that would breed nothing but (laughs) endless sums of money? Yes of course. Am I sorry about the way it ended? Would I have preferred them to have left the ship in the Delta Quadrant? No. It was time to come home. And I had a major hand in "Endgame", so I know there's controversy about it. Some people loathed it. Some people liked it. Some loved it. I felt it was needed to tie up. But I know that there were loose ends. You know, when you spend seven years with people, there is no way to end it in a lovely way. 'Cause it hurts. It's a final good-bye. And it always feels brutal. At least it did to me. So I just said to Rick Berman, 'I think we just have to kill one, save one, have Seven of Nine marry Chakotay, they'll be happy… and I'll just go on my way…
Who else? Yes?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes darling?
Q: I've been wondering. Every actor or actress has their own way of preparing for a play, the last half an hour before the curtain rises. So I was wondering what are you doing?
Kate Mulgrew: How do I prepare… I think she's referring to my performance as Katharine Hepburn in "Tea at Five". Which is a one-woman show, and certainly was very harrowing in the beginning. I do my warm-ups. I have to. And as I age they become increasingly crucial. So I do about thirty minutes of physical warm-ups and about twenty of vocal warm-ups. Then I throw up and think about my mother and dash on. It never gets easier. It never gets easier. But that's the joy of it.
Q: It's kind of a difficult time, I think, to be a moderate Catholic these days. And I was wondering that in the context of your work with the Alzheimer's Association if there's been any feedback or problems with the fact that you're working with an association that supports stem cell research.
Kate Mulgrew: You're really asking this question vis a vis my Catholicism, right? Right? Let me put it to you this way. Succinctly and summarily, madam. I believe in life. And as we well know in the last decade, we have seen the Catholic Church suffer from a lack – for any better way of putting this – of a love of life. So regarding my work with Alzheimer's – all must be done to further the cure. You know. But evidently under this administration it will not happen. Yes?
Q: Hi Kate, how are you?
Kate Mulgrew: I'm good, how are you?
Q: I'm very well.
Kate Mulgrew: Good.
Kate Mulgrew: Are you very, very well?
Q: Very, very well!
Kate Mulgrew: You look happy!
Q: In "Tea at Five", in the opening act, the first night, you did something on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, which made me laugh so much. You went up to the mantelpiece and it collapsed.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh it did! Oh, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Shoot me! Every actor's nightmare! Opening night. The World Premiere. I go up. And I go to the mantel and I turn and I'm about to go into a twenty-minute monologue about the death of my brother, right. It is the turning point in the entire play. And I get to the mantel, and it crashed! All the photos on my foot. On my broken foot! So I turned and I made a joke. (In the older Hepburn's voice) "Time levels other things as well."
Q: I really, really wish I could have seen you play Hedda Gabler…. I forgot my question…
Kate Mulgrew: Take a minute, it's all right. I would like to play it again.
Q: I wish I could see you play it.
Kate Mulgrew: I think I was too young, although she should be young. And very beautiful. If it were a huge theatre and lots of lights, I could do it again! One has to have an understanding of suicide. One has to have a deep understanding of despair. And I didn't at that time. My children were too young, and I was too full of myself, and I didn't. But as I've aged I've learned a great deal more about sorrow, and I'd like to take a shot at her now. Any producers in the room!?
What's your question…
Q: My question is. It was what's the biggest way you feel you've changed and developed as an actress since you played Hedda Gabler?
Kate Mulgrew: Now that's an interesting question. Does everybody… could everybody hear it? She wants to know in what most significant ways have I evolved as an actress since Hedda. I'm going to answer this honestly and I hope you will accept it. My father died last year, and my mother is dying, as most of you know, of Alzheimer's – she's in the final stage. I think… do you need to get that phone? This is what I do when I'm on the stage. Do you need to get that phone?
As I've let my parents go, a new freedom has replaced it. This is of course, terribly emotional, but in an odd way, as an actress, I think much of it was (?). I was so little when I started, you know. I was eighteen when I became professional, sixteen when I left home. And in a very strange and delightful way I feel that I'm recapturing a bit of the youth I didn't have, vis a vis my parents' approval of me as an actress. Can you understand that?
Kate: Do you go commando…hmmm. (reading a tee-shirt)
Q: I do. You also like playing to an audience. Is there a… do you like playing comedy, or do you like playing tragedy better?
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, tragedy. I like them both, you know. Any comic will tell you that comedy is harder. Much harder. You have to be in complete control of your technique, so I think I probably have a… a more … proficient grasp of drama. But one must continue to grow. I'd love to do more comedy. Thank you for that question.
What does that mean, I go commando? I just could imagine you … (in a very deep voice) go commando. And of course she's going to tell me. Yes, madam?
It's not working (referring to the microphone?)
Q: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q: I'd just be interested to know, Katharine Hepburn was always one of my favorite actresses. Was she always one of yours? And which is your favorite of her films?
Kate Mulgrew: No. She was never a favorite. I quite disliked her. I thought she was strident, harsh, opinionated and made up. I thought she was rather false. And when you're young and coming up in the business and you're constantly being compared to somebody who's a huge movie star, it's dampening. And it's daunting. So it wasn't until I actually undertook this role that I fell in love with her. And the only way it was successful, and is ongoing in its success is because I have found her goodness. And it's that vulnerability and that relationship that makes it work. But I do have to be honest and say, nope, nope, nope. (In the young Hepburn's voice) I mean all that stuff she did, you know, her way or the highway and all that…
Q: (Very deep voice) Hello Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: I bet you go commando too!
Q: You can find out in a bit if you wish!
Kate Mulgrew: What is your question?
Q: My question is what was the funniest or the strangest thing that happened while you were shooting Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew: Impossible to answer that in a single…. You did… you are aware that I was working with a lot of men.
Kate Mulgrew: Right. A lot of men who after a certain hour on Friday night became surreal, to put it lightly. There was a great deal of divesting of one's costume after midnight from that gender. So… I played to a lot of madness. I can't single one moment out. You'll have to ask Bob Picardo and Robbie McNeill.
Q: It's no problem, I have already!
Kate Mulgrew: Okay, thank you.
Q: Hi Kate!
Kate Mulgrew: Hi!
Q: I was just wondering. Do you prefer being a goody – when you're acting?
Kate Mulgrew: Do I prefer being a what?
Q: A goody, like a heroic character, like Janeway.
Kate Mulgrew: Or a baddy?
Q: Or a baddy.
Kate Mulgrew: I love them both. I love them both. In every good goody, there's a bad baddy. You know that. And vice versa, right? That's what acting is.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi. I'm talking to you.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q: Hi. I'm from (?)
Kate Mulgrew: Where are you from?
Q: Czech Republic.
Kate Mulgrew: The Czech Republic.
Q: And I will probably never have a chance to see "Tea at Five", and I wanted to ask you if you can do a short scene from the play…
Kate Mulgrew: (in the older Hepburn's voice) Oh, I don't think I can do it today… don't have enough time, I've got to catch the plane … I want to take the next question from this young boy. That's how she talks. That's all we do. Oops!
Kate Mulgrew: What is your question?
Q: I was just wondering why Voyager came back to the Alpha Quadrant more shiny and brand new than it did when it left the space dock…
Kate Mulgrew: Because for the first time in seven years we stopped at a gas station!
Kate Mulgrew: Yes. Yes?
Q: Hello Kate, you look lovely today.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you. So do you.
Q: … Very much. I wanted to ask that a lot of people may have noticed that there was certain fireworks between Jeri Ryan and yourself – Seven of Nine and Janeway – on the show. Would you say that …
Kate Mulgrew: Fireworks?
Q: Crackles. Chemistry subtext. Would you say that you, as an actress yourself played up to that, in subtext …?
Kate Mulgrew: The question is, she thought that there were a great deal of fireworks between Seven of Nine and Janeway. And did I play up to that and encourage that or … I didn't have to work too hard because the best writing of the entire seven years was between Janeway and Seven of Nine. So the writers saw to it that the chemistry was built in, to answer your question.
Q: Hello. You always have the most marvelous hairstyles. Which member of the crew…
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, if only I had them those seven years! Huh?!
Q: Which member of the crew was actually the hairdresser who was responsible for these different hairstyles?!
Kate Mulgrew: You have no idea how I loathed it. I am the only actress in Hollywood who cannot stand it. I don't want my hair touched. I don't want my face touched. I thought if they fooled around with my hair one more time, I was going to shoot somebody. They didn't do it to Patrick Stewart, did they?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes? Hello.
Q: May I say you're a lot younger in real life, which leads to me question, when they aged you in Voyager, how did you react to what you saw?
Kate Mulgrew: When they aged me. What a wonderful question. I loved it. I loved it. But of course I love my mother. And I love old people. And I love the fact that we get closer and closer to death and we choose grace or we choose despair. So I… I thought Admiral Janeway was splendid. Far more serene, and far more thoughtful and a lot funnier than Captain Janeway in many ways. What a wonderful question. Good. I love to talk about getting old and dying.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes?
Q: Hi. You must have been through a lot during your acting career and I was wondering what kind of tips would you give to people like me who want to take it up as a profession themselves?
Kate Mulgrew: This is an aspiring actress, ladies and gentlemen. She's pretty, isn't she? And she's good. I'll be very clear, because I also teach and I'm a very tough teacher. Don't think about it, if you lack discipline. Discipline is number one. It's the only thing that will keep you up – keep you lifted up and keep you going. I've seen the most brilliant actors in the world fall down. Discipline means you get up at three o'clock. Discipline means you've learned your lines for two hours. Discipline means you can stand on your feet for eighteen hours. Discipline means you love the craft more than you love, in a sense, your own well-being. One out of two thousand have it. Discipline, and right next to it, the passion to hold the discipline up. Mark my words, my dear. All the talent and beauty in the world cannot replace these two. All right? Do you understand me completely?
Q: Yes, thank you.
Q: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: Hello.
Q: Hello. I've got two brief questions. The first one is, two years ago at the convention at Blackpool, a friend and I gave you a present – a silver bracelet with your name engraved, and the date. Do you remember that? Or did you ever wear it? Did you keep it?
Kate Mulgrew: I think I do remember that. And I do have it. And I probably have worn it. And I am very grateful to you for it. You know, but if I can't be more specific than that you will forgive me. Won't you?
Q: It's all right. And another one: Do you speak Gaelic?
Kate Mulgrew: No, but I should, shouldn't I? Huh? I'd love to speak it. Do you speak it?
Q: No. I'd love to learn it. I used to say hello and how are you, but I can't do it any more. Can you say something?
Kate Mulgrew: In Gaelic? (Says a phrase
in Gaelic). That much I know. (could not make out the next few sentences)
Did you have a third question? Is that it? No. All right.
Q: Hi Kate. I'd like to ask what made you choose such a troubled life? You could maybe have chosen just living in a nice place, having a lot of kids and having fun and no work or something. What makes …
Kate Mulgrew: Having a lot of kids is not an untroubled life?! What made me choose acting?
Q: Yes. All that work and all that hard stuff. I just met a lot of people who chose a life just living together, be happy, no work, nothing. Yeah, I'm just … at that point in my life to choose what to do, and …
Kate Mulgrew: How old are you?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, you're at a troubling point. You need to decide.
Kate Mulgrew: But I think the world is divided into two categories and I'll be very, very clear about it, I think there are workers and there are non-workers. And both are equally important to the society. The non-workers remind us how to live and the workers keep the society afloat. In my case, it's all about work. I love to work. Had I not been an actress I would have been a doctor. Medicine would have been the second choice. But acting seemed to come first and more naturally and with greater ease. But I think I... I take great joy and pleasure in just working.
Q: Just (?) about that importance …
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q: … because I think some workers forget about living.
Kate Mulgrew: Point well taken. And one should not preclude the other. We must try and maintain some kind of balance. But the real pleasure of my life is to work. I don't really want to sit at the table as much as I want to make the meal, do you know what I mean? I don't really want to cut the flowers as much as I want to plant them. And I really want to get up at 3:30 and go to work for eighteen hours. I guess I'm like a man, aren't I?
Kate Mulgrew: Hi!
Q: I'm sorry! (laughs) Did you ever have, like, a role model throughout your career, like an actor and stuff that somebody you've looked up to like…
Kate Mulgrew: My teacher, Stella Adler.
Kate Mulgrew: Who was my great mentor and last great guru of acting in New York. And she's the one who said, "The work will lift you up. Get out of Iowa. Be epic. Think big." Yes.
Q: That's great.
Q: Hi. I was just wondering if you've lost your respect for Janeway when she decided to stay on the ship and turn down a lifetime of foreplay with Q!?
Kate Mulgrew: …Now you're asking me to go into a vortex. No. Wouldn't everybody like to have to indulge in some foreplay with that man? And you know he's one of my closest friends. Huh?! So only he... And you should see the scenes that never made it onto the… bathtub scene! Oh no! But he had the shower cap on in the bubbles, right? I was like this great strapping soldier …
Kate Mulgrew: Anybody else? Yes?
Q: Is there anything out there in the world of acting that you would still like to do? That you really have a burning need to do?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, and I think I'm going to do it. In the fall.
Q: Which is?
Kate Mulgrew: Cleopatra.
Q: Wonderful, thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, time to get on. And where's my Anthony? He's waiting. She's divine – Cleopatra. She's witty. She's sexy. She's (?)ish. She regal. She's smart. She's lost. She's found. I adore her. She's what? (could not hear person in the audience)
Yes? Who has a question?
Q: Apart from Voyager, until ….(could not hear) Baby?
Kate Mulgrew: Do I remember what? A series called Baby. I never did a series about babies. Heartbeat, it was called. Yes, I loved it, too. I got to play a doctor. Of course they always cancel the good ones within a season, don't they? And you want to know why they cancel them? You want to know why? S.E.X. Or as my father, who was a pilot in the war used to say, "Sugar. Easy. X-ray." Bring you down. It was great as long as we were birthing babies, right? As long as we were doing stuff. Medical stuff. No, then we had to go to bed with the doctor. And then the doctor had to go to bed with the other, and then… it's a series about people jumping from bed to bed – where are the babies?! They're all dead because the doctors are so busy schpooking…!!
Kate Mulgrew: Yes?
Q: Hi Kate. Are you aware you've got a huge lesbian following and how do you feel about that?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, I saw a tee-shirt yesterday, where is it? (Quoting the tee-shirt) "I hate to inform you that I'm not straight". Yes.
Q: Oh, you're not! Oh, that's good news!
Kate Mulgrew: Ohhh… good (on you). I'm aware that I have a lesbian following. Now why is that? Are you a lesbian?
Q: Yes, I am.
Kate Mulgrew: Why do I have such a… a huge lesbian following?
(From the audience: Because you're very hot!)
Q: Because you're very…you're… you're such a dominant woman, you're just gorgeous and everybody loves you.
Kate Mulgrew: Now you see this is not unexciting! And may I hear from the male contingent in the room?! I'm delighted I have a lesbian following. I think lesbians are… are great. I am not a lesbian. This is not to deter you for one moment from your course.
Q: We can't be deterred.
Kate Mulgrew: Stay true to me and I will stay true to you! Thank you. But am I hotter to lesbians than I am to straight men, she said, fooling around with her chain?
(From the audience: You're so sexy.)
Kate Mulgrew: Huh? Am I? Where's a straight man? They're all gay? The whole room's gay. All right. Who else? Is there a straight person in the room who has a question?!
Come on. Yes darling?
Q: As I said earlier on, I think you're great. You're wonderful. But my question is…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q: In Voyager do you have a favorite episode?
Kate Mulgrew: But you asked me this in line and I said I don't… I couldn't possibly… If I had to name one, and it's going to be the wrong one, it's the one that I always remember because I had so much fun. It was "Counterpoint". But I don't think it was the best. I mean I think the best was probably the… what was it called? "Death Zone" or "Death Wish". "Death Wish". Q. Suicide. That's the one I love. "Counterpoint" was great because I fell in love. The only time Janeway genuinely fell in love with a person. Holograms! Isn't that great? Seven years and what do I get? A short hologram.
Kate Mulgrew: I thank you for that. Are you straight?
Announcer: We're getting close to the end of this, Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: How could it go so fast?
Q: Kate, did you understand that technology babble you had to say in Voyager, and would you like to go into space?
Kate Mulgrew: No, and can you imagine my trepidation when that series started. Japanese would have been easier. I'm not kidding. That techno-babble was so overwhelming to me that after about six months I was determined to understand at least to some degree what it was I was saying, because I figured out that if I didn't understand it, you were not going to get it. So I went to the Okudas, you know, who've written the bible, Star Trek bible, and I studied with them. It's all rooted in science, you know. And I read Feinman and I reread Einstein. And this rooted me, and actually gave me great wings imaginatively, because it's all rooted and grounded in science. So I hope I sounded like I was making sense to you. Did I? Whenever I felt I didn't understand a thing, I just spoke very quickly! I'd just keep moving. Right! Then they don't bother you! Yes?
Q: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, hi.
Q: I just wondered in your varied TV career, you've gone through costume drama, where you've done Manions of America with Pierce Brosnan - what's he like? And also you're gone through to Voyager. I wondered if you had a favorite TV genre that you enjoyed working in?
Kate Mulgrew: A favorite TV genre? I loved doing The Manions of America. Costume drama is the best. Costume drama with Pierce Brosnan is the best! But do you want to hear something shocking? There was no chemistry between us. Just so completely liked the guy. But – no chemistry. I don't know why. It's depressing, isn't it?!
Q: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q: I have a personal question.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes? Oh, personal… I'm backing waaay up!
Q: Well, I'm the mother of a fifteen year-old…
Kate Mulgrew: You're the mother of a fifteen year-old…
Q: Yes, and I really wonder how you manage to live with two teen-aged daughters?
Kate Mulgrew: Sons.
Q: No, you have daughters now. Tim's daughters.
Kate Mulgrew: Tim's daughters. Well, I don't … I didn't raise them.
Q: But they are teen-agers now. So you live with them – or don't you?
Kate Mulgrew: Really, I'm not living with them all the time. Because we have a place in New York and a place in Cleveland and it's back and forth… and they have their own mother. And I have my theory about that, which is, and I'm sure I'm going to offend somebody in this room, but this is my experience. A blended family is not really a blended family. And you can be a good friend, but you cannot be, ever, a replacement for a mother. So they have their mother and we have a friendship. And they're very good girls. But why don't you ask the real question which is how I survived two sons?! I flew over with one of them yesterday. Has anybody seen him?! Where is he? No, I lost him last night! Haven't a clue! That's what it's like raising sons.
Q: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q: Just wondering. Is there anything that you wanted to do in Voyager that for one reason or another you weren't allowed to do for time, for scripts or just any kind of reason – that there was something that you wanted to do, but weren't allowed to do story-wise in the show?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes. You guys are putting me up against the wall here, because I'm supposed to be very, very diplomatic about all this. I wish that they had given Janeway and this particular ship and the philosophy of this particular ship a little more opportunity to grow before they worried so much about the numbers that they had to bring in another element, if you understand what I'm saying. It was one step forward for mankind, and four back, because of the numbers. And I wish that they had had more faith in what the viewing audience would have ascribed to philosophically had we been left alone for a bit longer. There's a terrible panic in Hollywood – it's all about numbers.
Q: Hello Kate. When you were shooting Voyager did you ever ad lib or deviate from the script?
Kate Mulgrew: No.
Announcer: That's the sort of answer we need at this point.
Kate Mulgrew: Now Bob Picardo was a different story! No, not much, no. I honored the page. It's very hard to deviate from techno-babble anyway, unless you're some kind of errant genius, which I am not. No, unless it was a terribly relaxed personal scene, maybe, but generally speaking, not. I'm pretty disciplined that way.
Announcer: We can take one final question here.
Kate Mulgrew: (unintelligible) Yes?
Kate Mulgrew: That's very good of you man…
Q: Thank you very much! First of all, as a straight man, I think you are very attractive.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q: Especially the episode when you were running around in the tank top, shooting things! (Cheers) Obviously the lesbian crew agrees!
Kate Mulgrew: The lesbians, yes.
Q: I just want to ask you what you thought about the episode where you and Tom ran off and had those baby…
Kate Mulgrew: Baby lizards?! It's the only reason I survived seven seasons. Because Bobby McNeill's trailer was right next to mine, and every day we'd say, "Are we going to make some more lizards today?" Was that the most absurd idea? Huh? Janeway did it. She survived, and for one reason, and one reason only – because of you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you're a great audience…