Crowne Plaza Meadowlands
November 11, 2006
Kate with her nieces, Michaela and Isabel
Photo by Totally Kate
|Many thanks to my transcriber! Please do not repost or reproduce.|
|Richard Arnold: Ladies and gentlemen
… Miss Kate Mulgrew.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you Richard. Hello ladies and gentlemen! Thank you. Thank you very much. I know you're all thinking she's slipped it by us – she's given birth! To two of them! The fact is, this is my bodyguard, as you can tell by her boots! And my executive secretary! How are you doing, ladies? These are my nieces, Isabel and Cookie – Michaela. And they give me great, great joy, and they belong to my youngest sister who is also here, with her husband. Jenny, where are you? There she is! You see, she looks just like me - only three feet shorter! (to her niece) Hello darling. Do you want to go and join your mother and your dad? Huh? (in response to her nieces' negative response) The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, does it? All right. You can stay here, but you should sit down, okay? Sit down and cross your legs and listen, because I'm going to ask these people to ask me questions. Okay?
What a week! What a week in the United States of America! We're blue again, ladies and gentlemen! I expected the House - the Senate was fabulous - Rumsfeld was a little icing on the cake! But ladies and gentlemen, our illustrious President will now have to address the Speaker of the House as Madam Speaker! It's a new time! What a great week this was for us. I went to Cleveland – I don't know if you know or not – my husband ran for governor four years ago, and failed to the incumbent idiot, Bob Taft. I can say that here, you're on my side, right?! I will not use this format as a platform except to say, I am delighted. This is a democracy, right? And now we're going the right way. So thank you all for voting the right way!
This has been a very mixed time for me. I'm happy today… but my mother died in July. And I want to thank all of you, who have done such generous things for me on behalf of Alzheimer's. Most of you women have been really incredible. My mother, as you know – I've said this to you many times – was an extraordinary woman…. (emotionally) I don't think I'm ever going to be able to talk about her without … anyway, it's good-bye to my mother, my father and my best friend in four years. So I'm feeling a little hard hit. And the perfect antidote for somebody like me when they're hard hit emotionally, is to go to work. So on my way to my mother's funeral, I got another job, and I said, 'all right, I'll do it.' And this is a series called The Black Donnellys, which is based on the Irish mob on the west side of New York. It's about time the Irish trounced those Italians! I don't mean to wound you Italianos, but it's 'so long, suckers'! This is the story of four young Irish boys in Hell's Kitchen. It's based on the life of Bobby Moresco. Does anybody know who he is? He and Paul Haggis wrote "Crash", and won the Oscar for it. As a result, they've given him this series, and we've shot thirteen – or we will by the end of December, and it will be aired in January. So look for it on NBC. And I'd love to tell you that I play the ingénue … ha, ha, ha! But I don't want to see you all slip into a coma! I play the mother, of course. And she's very unlike… she's diametrically opposed to Kathryn Janeway. So tune if you want to see… tune in if you want to see me as a working class, edgy, tough, really tapped out but deeply good and still unspeakably beautiful … ! And then, I just got a play, which I will start in January, and which will open in New York in March. This, of course, gives me the greatest joy. It's a new play by Charles Busch, and it's called "Our Leading Lady". It's based on the life of Laura Keane, who was a great actress/manager of the Twentieth Century. So great, in fact, that she felt that she could tell the President, who was then Abraham Lincoln, that he must be there for her first night or she would never forgive him. He had other things to attend to, but she made him come. And that was the night that Lincoln was shot. So this is the story of how things twist and turn. And anyway, I'm very happy to be doing that. And life marches on, right? Here they are (referring to her nieces). They weren't there when I did Voyager, and here they are, and they give me great, great joy. So, it's about love, isn't it? It's about love, it's about work, it's about family, and it's about us.
So I'm going to get to your questions, because they interest me so much. And there she is. Wrong colors, however, right ladies and gentlemen? Yes darling, ask me your question.
Q 1 (young girl): What's your favorite episode acting part?
Kate Mulgrew: What's my favorite episode acting part. I can interpret this! My favorite episode on Star Trek: Voyager?
Q 1: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: Well you wouldn't remember it, sweetie, because you weren't alive!
Q 1: I watched the old ones! (Much laughter and applause from Kate and the audience!)
Kate Mulgrew: Out of the mouths of babes! We were in the elevator coming down here – there was a whole table of bad food, right? And a big chunk of chocolate cake and a dish of what looked like, who knows what syrup, and Isabel said, "Chocolate cake. What a waste."
Q 1: I have something to say… You're the best girl…
Kate Mulgrew: What?
Q 1: You're the best girl captain in the world!
Kate Mulgrew: …. Spoken like a true captain. Thank you sweetheart. I have many, many favorite episodes. "Deadlock", I loved. I loved all the stuff with the Borg.
Q 1: Can you name one?
Kate Mulgrew: "Deadlock". I said "Deadlock". She's going to ask me about turbolift one thirty four slash ten!
Q 1: Noooo!
Kate Mulgrew: No, no! And I'm very happy, as an actress. Was that part of your question? I'm glad that I chose acting.
Q 1: Okay!
Kate Mulgrew: Okay. Thank you! Thank you. Nice to see you. I'd say she's exactly your age, Isabel. What do you think?
Q 1: I'm seven.
Kate Mulgrew: Seven. Oh. She's eight. Got you beat by one year. All right. You're being very good, sweetie. But you go sit on the edge of the stage and then you don't have to parallax yourself that way. That's it. Isn't she a lady? That's good. Yes sir?
Q 2: I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my bottom. I was going to ask you…
Kate Mulgrew: This is a new way of flirting, I have no doubt?!
Q 2: I was going to ask you about your feelings about the mid-term elections…
Kate Mulgrew: I beat you to it, Baby! Because it is a glorious week, is it not?
Q 2: We're getting back to vision.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes we are. We are.
Q 2: I was so apprehensive about asking you…(in a deep voice) …that's one thing we don't talk about is politics.
Kate Mulgrew: I think everybody knows me better than that. Thank you.
Q 2: And I asked William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and they had the same opinion you do.
Kate Mulgrew: Do they? Fancy that!
Q 2: Here's my question.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes sir?
Q 2: Because I didn't get to ask that one, because you beat me to it!
Kate Mulgrew: Okay.
Q 2: I think the best thing about the whole Star Trek pantheon is ideas. It's a show about ideas.
Kate Mulgrew: No question.
Q 2: And you know, in Voyager episodes, not too be too geeky on you, but like "Course Oblivion", or …
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q 2: Or "Ashes to Ashes" and ….
Kate Mulgrew: (In response to the restless audience) The question?! I love men, don't you?
Q 2: So what makes Star Trek work for you? What made it work for you?
Kate Mulgrew: There's a little word in the English lexicon called captaincy. That's really what made it… what a great job! Can you imagine? What an opportunity. And then to play out these ideas. Because … I wouldn't say that I scorned it… I didn't know it. I don't know if you know this about me – I was completely unfamiliar with Star Trek when I got the job. And I went in thinking, 'Oh come on, this is so much gravy, this is going to be so easy'. And then… it was the most diabolically difficult undertaking I have ever experienced as an actress. And the only way to take the ride, sir, was to embrace the ideology behind Roddenberry's vision. And it was something, right? So I thank you very much for understanding that. And thank you for coming. (To her niece) Did you understand that conversation we just had, bunny heart? No. Well, I'll get back to you in a minute! Yes?
Q 3: After reading and watching quite a lot of science fiction, I've noticed that most of the female characters, including the extremely strong female characters, are incredibly maternal, and I wanted to know how you feel… if you agree… and how you feel Janeway fits into that?
Kate Mulgrew: Did you all understand that question? It's a very good question. I hope there are no radical feminists in the room whom I would offend if my verbiage is not exactly politically correct. Because maternity is strength, darling. It's the best kind of strength in a woman, is it not? It indicates her ability to go deeper. She understands the complexity of human nature because she gives birth. Her risks are beyond a hundred percent. And often the consequences are lethal. So the courage of the maternal woman is great. I think we all have it, whether or not we have children. We have the capacity for children, and that's enough. And it lends us a certain great mystery that every man in this room understands. Correct companeros? You're wise to stay silent. I was honored to play her, and I hope that I did endow her with a maternal color. I felt it very strongly about Janeway. I thought that was her empathy and her depth. I wanted above all to share with you my love for that crew, and that was female. So thank you for your question.
Q 3: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you, thank you. Yes?
Q 4: You were the first woman captain. If you watch the show enough, you see that Janeway goes from being captain to almost being like a mother to the crew. I mean she mothered Seven of Nine, she mothered Harry Kim…
Kate Mulgrew: Which was no easy feat!
Q 4: She mothered Harry Kim, she married…she…
Kate Mulgrew: I married somebody?!
Q 4: She mothered… she mothered everyone on the crew.
Kate Mulgrew: Did I mother Chakotay?! I haven't hurt your feelings, have I? Yes, yes, go on!
Q 4: My question is where did you come up with…
Kate Mulgrew: How did I come up with the idea to mother people?
Q 4: Well, I mean, in some of the episodes you actually explained to some of the characters… it almost becomes that you're a mother of the crew… that you have to be… that you almost have to be mother first, then captain. That you have to understand the…
Kate Mulgrew: I would disagree with you. With all due respect I was always the captain first. But this is a man now asking the question! I was always the captain first. Right? And the ship came first. Always.
Q 4: That's true.
Kate Mulgrew: Right. But I - as I just said in my answer to that very intelligent young woman – as you are of your gender! I recognize his gender! We're lost, right? In the Delta Quadrant. With very little practical hope of getting home. What is the greatest gift I can impart, aside from my command, and my courage? I suggest that it would be love and empathy. 'Cause if we're going to go down, at least it will be cushioned by a loyalty and an emotion that they experienced. So that was my feeling about that. Thank you.
Q 5: When Enterprise went off the air Paramount said that Star Trek was going to take a bit of a breather for a while, and now that the powers that be have changed at Paramount, they are guaranteeing a movie in 2008 which is only two years after Enterprise ended …
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q 5: So my question to you was, how do you feel about that? Do you feel it's too soon for something new film-wise…?
Kate Mulgrew: Well you know what the idea is, don't you? It's Kirk and Spock as young men, right?
Q 5: Yes. So Enterprise didn't do well as a prequel, and they're going back to the prequel idea. And if the movie fails box-office-wise, what do you think the immediate future is of the franchise?
Kate Mulgrew: The immediate future?
Q 5: Within the next ten years?
Kate Mulgrew: No… it will… regarding this movie and Enterprise as a prequel, I don't know how well thought out those concepts were. We're talking about … We're talking about the future of space, right? We're talking about the final frontier, not the one that came before. I think our… look… our imaginations are captured by the unknown, right? I think that market will be saturated. But the market for great science fiction will never be. It just won't. Star Trek may have to take a pause – all things have to take a pause. But it will be an intelligent and well-earned pause and it will then revive itself. I have absolutely no doubt.
Q 5: But you agree it's too soon now. Well you can't say…I'm sorry.
Kate Mulgrew: I don't think it's too
soon for Voyager the movie! (Much applause) Thank you.
Q 6: Seven.
Kate Mulgrew: Seven. I can't find an eight-year-old! All right. What's your question, sweetheart?
Q 6: Actually, it's something to say. I like Voyager because you're a girl captain, and ….
Kate Mulgrew: (after a long pause) It's coming…. And what sweetie? I'm a girl captain and? (pause) And I was the first girl captain?
Q 6: Yes!
Kate Mulgrew: Yay!!! Yes?
Q 6: And I want to tell you that we bought all the Voyager seasons.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you, honey. Thank you! Thank you sweetie. Thank you and good luck. You know what I love about little girls?
Kate's niece: What?
Kate Mulgrew: They call me a girl captain. Yes?
Q 7: I'm someone who's interested in the acting field. What's some advice you have on getting started?
Kate Mulgrew: Some of the advice I would have on acting? Getting started in acting? You better be deadly serious about this.
Q 7: I am.
Kate Mulgrew: You can't screw around with this, honey. Because there's so much disappointment and failure. One out of two thousand of us work for a living. Do you understand that?
Q 7: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: It's brutally hard. So you have to be passionately in love with it. Then you have to do the training. To prove yourself. Do you understand? That's about three years. And that needs to be in the theater, right? You need to read – the classics.
Q 7: I love to read.
Kate Mulgrew: You need to read voraciously. And you need to exercise your right to be utterly unorthodox. Start practicing now your uniqueness. 'Cause you're not like the rest of them. You're odd, and you're wonderful. You're going to be an actor. Let's give her a hand. Never forget it is a great profession. And honor it, okay? Stand up, that's it! Yes.
Q 8: Hi.
Kate Mulgrew: Hi.
Q 8: I just wanted … I grew up watching Voyager and you're my favorite actress – ever.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you, darling.
Q 8: I just wanted to ask, what's your funniest Voyager memory, and what's your favorite part about being an actress?
Kate Mulgrew: My funniest Voyager memory? I don't think I can repeat that in public! Some of you know, don't you?! The spitball. The nudity I had to deal with every Friday night. Because who was the only woman on the bridge after midnight? Huh? Doing her close-ups? With those idiots?! I should be canonized! What was the second part of your question?
Q 8: What's your favorite part about being an actress?
Kate Mulgrew: It's unpredictable, sweetheart. We're not treated like other people. We're not like other people. It's wonderful not to be like other people. It's solitary, and sometimes it's lonely, I won't kid you. But it's deeply gratifying, because it's a special kind of life. We don't do ordinary things in ordinary ways. And we sort of die - not being ordinary. And it's a wonderful way to live, don't you think? Yeah. Not for everybody. But definitely for me. How old are you?
Q 8: Fourteen.
Kate Mulgrew: Very pretty. Thank you, sweetheart. I suppose you shouldn't tell them they're pretty – is that politically incorrect now?
Kate Mulgrew: Very pretty. Yes, darling?
Q 9: I was just wondering what your favorite Voyager episode with Q in it was?
Kate Mulgrew: Well you know it was the bathtub episode! My… actually there's no question that it was "Death Wish". Do you remember "Death Wish"? Anybody? Speaking of… apropos of that gentleman's question earlier - that was a great idea. The right to die in the future. The ethical right to die. Wasn't it splendid? And Q, of course, spinning his pathology. As only a genius – a ubiquitous genius can. Sorry to use these words. But go and look them up! Thank you for your question, sweetheart. Also very pretty. Yes? (to her nieces) Are you taking a nap? You must always pretend to find me absolutely enthralling! Yes?
Q 10: I wanted to thank you so much for coming out.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q 10: I remember you on Ryan's Hope.
Kate Mulgrew: You do? (reacting to how long ago that was) Let's whisper that… let's whisper!
Q 10: And Mrs. Columbo. And you are my favorite because you were a girl captain and I liked it when you walk on the bridge with your hands on your hips and you make people…
Kate Mulgrew: Red Alert! Thank you! I'm coming to you, but I feel that I must address this. (referring to the next questioner - a young child in a Borg costume) Because I am deeply frightened – we have a Borg here – don't, don't, don't freak me out! Bring that mic to your mouth – if indeed it is a mouth. And ask me your question.
Q 11: What is your favorite Borg episode?
Kate Mulgrew: What is my favorite Borg episode?
Q 11: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: When I took 'em down, Baby! Like a true Borg, he's done with me, right! Yes Ma'am? Hi.
Q 12: I recently graduated with a minor in Women's Studies.
Kate Mulgrew: Congratulations!
Q 12: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: From which institution?
Q 12: Fairfield University.
Kate Mulgrew: Good for you, darling.
Q 12: Thank you. I was curious as to your opinion on the portrayal of women in the media today. And in particular if you had any women in the media that you would like to discuss or that you admire?
Kate Mulgrew: Of course I do. Judy Woodruff. She's wonderful, isn't she? I like Katie Couric – votes aren't in yet on this transition. What do you think? Hands up if you go for it. Really? (referring to lack of hands) Well, that answers that question. It's a tough, tough business for women. My husband and I have discussed this often because it's fascinating in our culture, you know. It's not that we're a sexist culture, if anything we're far more advanced than the rest of the world, right? But we're so used to seeing those guys, with their deep voices saying, "We have breaking news, ladies and gentlemen." It's just something that we're accustomed to – familiar with. And we trust it. So it's going to take a while for the ladies to … because we do talk in a different way. Right? So it will evolve, I have no doubt. But nobody comes breathtakingly to mind right now. No. Thank you.
Q 12: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Thanks. And congratulations. Great. Yes? Hi.
Q 13: You said that you didn't really know much about Star Trek before starting.
Kate Mulgrew: That's right.
Q 13: I wondered if you were interested in afterwards, or is there any other Sci Fi that you're watching now, or have watched since Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew: I was raised a Roman Catholic so I cannot tell a lie! Ummm…. (laughing) I watched Voyager! Yeah, I'll watch some science fiction now, indeed. I mean, once you become involved in it… and don't forget, we had the handbook – we had the Okudas, right? I had NASA. They introduced me to people in the first seasons of Voyager, that would blow your minds. Mrs. Clinton had me to the White House to speak to women of science. As if I had a bleeping clue! But because Janeway, right? Was the first female captain, Hilary Clinton said, "By God, if we can't give them the reality, let's give them the myth and they'll swallow it!" And they did! I had girls from MIT say to me, "It was absolutely research before I saw you on Voyager – now I'm going up." I mean to be able to know… this is the power of the entertainment industry, right? These girls are smart. They said, 'If Paramount is investing billions of dollars in this, it's based on something that's genuine. I don't have to stay in the office any more. I can get out in the field.' So they did. I mean that part alone – can you imagine how deeply rewarding? Who else gets to do that? See that? I did. Yes? Yes?
Q 14: Hello Miss Mulgrew.
Kate Mulgrew: How are you?
Q 14: I'm doing well, and yourself?
Kate Mulgrew: Good, thank you.
Q 14: You look lovely tonight.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q 14: My question is now, Christie's recently had their…
Kate Mulgrew: Their auction.
Q 14: … in October. Two part question, actually. Were you interested in buying back anything from the series, and did you take any props with you?
Kate Mulgrew: I didn't make enough on the series! To buy those items back! Yes?
Q 14: And did you take anything with you from the series when it wrapped?
Kate Mulgrew: Of course! We all became very practiced thieves. I took my uniform and my boots. My hand-made boots. I took my pips. Well you should have seen what Tuvok took! I couldn't believe it! I said, "Am I in your way, or are you taking me too?!" He ripped his console out of the wall. Now where is the gentleman who is wearing that superb costume from …may I say it out loud? He auctioned this… he bid for this at Christie's for $5000. I will say this to you in honesty – that it's sort of a shared sentiment rather than anything about Christie's. It was very hard for me to let go of all those things. Seven years is a long time to sit in a chair. So I went to Christie's and they had me sit in my chair for an interview, and I just said to the journalist when we were over, "I'm not getting up!" You're going to have to auction me off with it. Those are great things – great mementos, right? And they will all be increased in value. So… thank you. Thank you. Yes? No, I'm fine, darling. Yes sir? Thanks, Fiona.
Q 15: Um…
Kate Mulgrew: Is your name Fiona?!
Q 15: No!
Kate Mulgrew: Go on.
Q 15: First of all, I'd just like to say that my wife loves you on Star Trek…
Kate Mulgrew: Your wife loves me, but you have mixed feelings!
Q 15: I just wanted to know if you see any parallels between the work you did on Voyager and the work you did on Roots, before?
Kate Mulgrew: (in response to music playing in the background) What is that sound…? I'm sorry, what is the parallel between Voyager and Roots that I could draw? I worked with Avery Brooks. None. She was a bounty hunter. Absolutely amoral. You know? The antithesis of Janeway. So – Avery Brooks. Six degrees of separation, that's what it was. Thank you, yes?
Q 16: Hi. I'd just like to say you're one of my favorite actresses I really like.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q 16: I have two questions, but they're totally different so if only want I can ask one.
Kate Mulgrew: Shoot! Just give me one, and then we'll see.
Q 16: What's your view on women in the military?
Kate Mulgrew: What is my view of women in the military.
Q 16: Yeah.
Kate Mulgrew: This is a loaded question! Why are you asking this question?
Q 16: My Mom's in the military…
Kate Mulgrew: I knew it! See! I am smart! I asked! You better love it, right?
Q 16: That's right.
Kate Mulgrew: I…I don't know…. What's your name?
Q 16: Morgan.
Kate Mulgrew: Morgan, this war has me changing my emotions and my opinions ten times a day. I… I…I… it's very hard for me to answer this in a level and articulate way. Because the military now is struggling under the gross mismanagement of this administration. So in regards to this war, I don't think it should … it should be anybody's idea of a pass time. Do you know?
Q 16: Yeah.
Kate Mulgrew: It's a very noble thing. Our troops are very brave. I have nothing but respect for them. But this particular war is… is heinous. So… that's my answer. What's your other question, sweetie?
Q 16: I wanted to know what your favorite acting gig was.
Kate Mulgrew: My favorite acting gig. Hmmm… in my whole life?
Q 16: Yeah.
Kate Mulgrew: You know how old I am?
From audience member – That was my question.
Kate Mulgrew: Leave it to a man in a Hawaiian shirt! Probably Hedda Gabler. (In reaction to a whoop from the audience) He's very responsive – despite his ears! Thank you, Morgan. Yes?
Q 17: First I just wanted to say that our mutual love of Voyager is what brought me and the woman who is now my wife together, so that's….
Kate Mulgrew: Who is now your wife…. How currently is she your wife?
Q 17: Two months.
Kate Mulgrew: Bravo! Congratulations! Are you happy? Votes aren't in yet! So you started to court during Voyager?
Q 17 A: Yeah.
Kate Mulgrew: You did? So in a sort of bizarre way, I brought you together!
Q 17: My question's actually two-parter.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes?
Q 17: In all your time acting, who is the… your favorite actor to work with, and of the people you didn't work with, who would you want to more than anything?
Kate Mulgrew: Daniel Day Lewis. Let me fall down and die! Genius. Brando's dead, but I would have paid money to work with him. In my own experience, I've been very blessed. I know some of you are too young to remember this name, but… Richard Burton. You know I was only twenty years old when we did a movie, and he played my husband in it. My much, much, much, much older husband. And I thought, 'Oh God, I'm going to put up with this tiresome old faded Hollywood… he was divine. He was everything that you could imagine. And when I turned twenty-one, they had a surprise birthday party for me in a castle. And he came in, and he draped a fur coat on my shoulders, and he put me on his lap, and he sang "How to Handle a Woman". Need I say more? Oh! But we're talking about acting! I have had wonderful partners. On stage, and on film. Far too many to mention. Really, too many to mention. But I have almost nothing negative to say about any of them. I've been really, really lucky. Thank you. I wish you a long and prosperous marriage.
Q 18: Just wanted to say, I absolutely love you. You're my all time favorite actress, I've watched you for so…
Kate Mulgrew: Well let's go back to the first part!
Q 18: My question is similar to one that someone asked earlier, that I asked Avery Brooks yesterday. What is your most memorable event while filming Voyager?
Kate Mulgrew: Memorable event.
Q 18: Just anything that happened that you found to be your most favorite event that ever happened to you.
Kate Mulgrew: So many. I remember playing baseball with Robin Williams. It was my first season. And I very stupidly thought 'I'll show them', I'm not going to have a cart, and I'm not going to have a special thing, I'm going to walk from soundstage to soundstage. I lost twenty-five pounds in two months! Because they're so far apart, right? So I'm striding from Stage 16 to Stage 26, and we're going to do all the action sequences, and I see Robin Williams coming out of Stage 24. And he sees me, and he said, "Holy mother of God, Captain Janeway!" And he knelt down in the middle of the Paramount street. He said, "I simply adore you! If you don't want me to kiss you in public, we must play baseball!" I said, "We shall play baseball!" I ordered my crew out, and we played baseball – for half an hour. That was a pretty great thing, huh! See what I mean? It's not ordinary. Is it? Yes ma'am?
From the Audience: Who won?
Kate Mulgrew: He did! He does funny things with balls! Yes?
Q 19: As the mother of two sons who are very close to your sons' age, what was it like raising two sons…
Kate Mulgrew: Nine and ten!
Q 19: (laughing) Yes! What was it like raising two sons while you were on the air? And what did they think about you being a female captain?
Kate Mulgrew: It was hard. (In response to her niece's clapping) (laughing) It wasn't that hard, honey! It was very hard. They didn't… they resented it tremendously. They… and they made me pay as only children can. To your children you are never a celebrity or a star. In fact, they loathe it. They want their bloody mother. Right? That's their deal. Instead they get a mother at ages – what was it? Seven and eight, I guess, when I started – or maybe a little bit older – who's gone fifteen, sixteen, seventeen hours a day. Not to mention the press. Not to mention the traveling. Right? Not to mention there was a deep and unrelenting resentment. Which persists, on some level, to this day. Because those were very formative years for my boys. And no amount of explaining it to them could really justify it. So all I could do for myself was give Janeway everything I could when I was there, and my boys everything I could when I was with them. It's not… it's almost impossible to negotiate this thing. And I'm the one actress that I know who will tell you the truth. I'd take a bullet for my kids, but I was an actress before I had children. And it has defined me. And I thought, 'I'll try to have it all.' Well you can try. Try. We just keep trying, right? Yes?
Q 20: My question is, since there were so many Voyager episodes that dealt with moral dilemmas…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q 20: Were there any episodes where the writers had Captain Janeway doing something where you, yourself, as a person did not agree with the conclusions that she came up with? And if so, you know, how did you reconcile and give a performance as if Captain Janeway really did…
Kate Mulgrew: Very good question. How would you like to give birth to eighteen lizards… in a turbo-lift!? And accept a paycheck for it! Don't you remember? When Lieutenant Paris and I had little babies together? How about the hologram I designed? He was five-foot one… I mean some of her choices were just insane! She's running a ship. We're completely lost. I can't even find a gas station, but I'm going to go and design some guy that I'm going to make love to? It was bizarre. I said to Rick Berman, "Are you drinking?" No… you know. That kind of stuff. The love stuff was always very dicey. And here's why. I know I've said this before, but I want to reinforce it because I think everybody goes, 'Oh why didn't she have a little involvement with Chakotay? It would have softened it, it would have colored it, it would have been divine?' It wouldn't have been. I was of childbearing years when I walked on that bridge. The main demographic are young males, twenty-five to thirty-five. Do you think I was going to risk that? I still have two cells that work in this brain. I had to first show them that I could command that ship. And you don't say, "Red alert, Chakotay in my ready-room," if you want to effect that kind of loyalty, right? So I stood firm. And they kept trying to … 'Oh, we'll get Chakotay, we'll get…' I said no. Now Beltran was upset with me. I'm sorry, but I think I made the right choice, don't you? (audience applause)
Q 20: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Do you think I made the right choice? How old are you? Five? Keep saying, 'She made the right choice'. (To her niece) He's nice! Go play with him!
Q 21: I'm currently at Tisch, and I know that you studied with Stella Adler..
Kate Mulgrew: Are you at Tisch? May I say this in front of this group? It's the hardest school to get into. Right? Let's give her a hand! It's hard.
Q 21: But I’m not currently in Stella Adler, and we have to look at studios. I'm just wondering what your experience was, because you actually got to work under Stella Adler?
Kate Mulgrew: I did.
Q 21: I was wondering if you could just… how was that experience?
Kate Mulgrew: How old are you?
Q 21: I'm nineteen.
Kate Mulgrew: You… are you going to act? You're hoping to act?
Q 21: (?)
Kate Mulgrew: I can only wish for you… what's your name?
Q 21: Rebecca.
Kate Mulgrew: Rebecca. That which cannot be, but hope springs eternal. If you meet anybody who even remotely resembles the great Stella Adler, take her hand and don't let go. Because this is the woman who changed my life. Right?
Kate's Niece: Who?
Kate Mulgrew: Stella Adler. She was a great acting teacher. And she took your aunt from the cornfields of Dubuque and she made her into an actress, Isabel. You have to have somebody in your life, Rebecca, who's going to make you understand the difference between epic and mediocre. That's the only thing that's going to free you completely as an actor. And that will be your teacher. So seek your teacher until you find her or him. And do not rest until that time. And you will find him. Thank you. She must be very, very, very talented to be at Tisch, I'll tell you that. Yes sir?
Q 22: This is a real pleasure. This is my first time asking questions.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you. Oh, good! I can't wait!
Q 22: You're my first!
Kate Mulgrew: Oh… good! (audience laughter) It's good to be a captain, thank you! Yes?
Q 22: Last year Robert Beltran told me that every… every Star Trek star has stories of encounters with extreme fans. I'm wondering if you could share an anecdote?
Kate Mulgrew: Extreme fans, has in my
experience proved itself to be an oxymoron. My fans are not extreme.
They are intelligent. They are generous. They are thoughtful, they
are loyal and they are constant. So whatever extreme gesture they
might make, would only be interpreted as lucky, by me. So you're
asking one Star Trek actor whose experience has been nothing but absolutely
blessed when it comes to fans. So …
Hi, How are you?
Q 23: Not too bad, yourself?
Kate Mulgrew: I'm good.
Q 23: I'm just wondering…
Kate Mulgrew: Yeah. Go on… He's so cute, isn't he? Are you English?
Q 23: I'm Australian.
Kate Mulgrew: Australian. Did you come from Australia for this?
Q 23: No. Came from London.
Kate Mulgrew: I haven't forgotten you. So what is your question?
Q 23: Who is your favorite captain – besides yourself, obviously? And why?
Kate Mulgrew: Who is my favorite captain besides myself. What a life, total egocentricity… but of course myself, but of course myself! Ummm… Shatner. Crazy like a fox, Bill Shatner. Smart. Irreverent. And he loves it. He digs it all, do you know that? And he's heaven to have dinner with. As a friend!
Here he is, Hawaiian shirt, funny looking ears! It's going to be a profound question, isn't it? You're going to move me, aren't you? I'm going to be dazzled, aren't I?
Q 24: Prepare to experience your first extreme fan!
Kate Mulgrew: Well… full thrusters! Let me have it!
Q 24: First I'd like to say that I played Tesman in my final collegiate project in theater school, so…
Kate Mulgrew: Did you? Hedda Gabler.
Q 24: Absolutely. Respect, respect, respect… My question is of a more political nature…
Kate Mulgrew: I just think you were born extreme, weren't you?
Q 24: I was…
Kate Mulgrew: Huh?
Q 24: I was actually born with the ears...
Kate Mulgrew: He asks a political question…
Q 24: Only something…
Kate Mulgrew: (in response to audience) Wait a minute! Is this the United States of America? Let him ask his question. What's your question?
Q 24: My question is, what do you think…
Kate Mulgrew: But ask it in French! What's your question, darling? Go on! What's your question?
Q 24: My question is…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes?
Q 24: What do you think is the first and/or most important thing… the most important thing that will lead us in the direction of reaching the idealized humanity as it is portrayed in Star Trek?
Kate Mulgrew: That's not a political question. That's an ideological question. I've thought about it so much. I'm sure everybody in this room has, right? It's almost unanswerable. It's so deeply complex. You're asking the most exalted question that a human being can ask another human being, while recognizing that we are nothing more or less than animals in the animal kingdom. It's tough, right? It's a tough one. On the graph of the history of the World, we're here. So we have a long, long, long way to go. I would answer this with one word. And I hope you grasp it - it's going to sound very simple or simplistic. It's not. When human beings begin to exercise empathy before greed, the deepest part will change. And that will change the course of history. When the discipline … when the discipline of empathy becomes hard-wired into a way of life, we will no longer just be animals within the animal kingdom, we will be human beings, exalted on the plain. Which I think is the intention, but I don't know. That's my answer.
Q 24: Thank you. You'll have to excuse my colleague, he's been into the (Trellian tea?) again!
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, there's another one! Very nice to see you gentlemen. Somebody follow them! Yes?
Q 25: Hi Kate.
Kate Mulgrew: I like you! How are you, honey?
Q 25: Great. How are you?
Kate Mulgrew: Good, I'm good. What's your question?
Q 25: Well… I very firmly believe in balance in the universe. And you and your comrades have given us as fans support on many, many levels. I think you know my personal story…
Kate Mulgrew: I do…
Q 25: I know. My question to you is, how we as fans provided any sort of emotional support for you?
Kate Mulgrew: That's a good question. Where are my ladies? Stand up. Carol LaPlante, where are you? Stand up. All of you ladies who supported the Alzheimer's endeavor with me since my mother got sick, right? My mother got sick, and these women spearheaded, for lack of a better word, an organization by which all donations would be filtered through them, to Alzheimer's to – essentially – help my mother. In doing this, they traveled to – how many cities, Carol? For "Tea at Five"? Did she say fourteen? And probably saw me a hundred times?
From the Audience: Well… not quite! Almost!
Kate Mulgrew: Well… it sounds good! I like round numbers! Whole numbers, very much! The generosity – the loyalty, is extraordinary. That's what I meant when I answered this gentleman. It's… it's… I haven't had any of those experiences. Blighted. If anything I've had my… I've had my reckoning with a great problem with my own ego, and these women were absolutely instrumental in that. You know there is a kind of goodness that goes beyond anything else. So if you're asking me what my fans have given to me – more than I could possibly articulate.
Q 25: Well, in regards to the Alzheimer's, I would like to say that I'm on the other side of that. I'm actually a scientist working in the lab on an Alzheimer's project.
Kate Mulgrew: I know exactly where you're from. These are my fans! Do you understand? Smart. And good. Congratulations, darling. Good luck to you.
Q 25: Thank you.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, sir?
Q 26: Miss Mulgrew, I don't really have a question, per se – I know a lot of people see me up here - I'm a pretty outspoken individual and I'm probably going to fall on my sword in a second…
Kate Mulgrew: As long as it's not your duff!
Q 26: But first I want to say that you are a consummate actress…
Kate Mulgrew: I'm a consummate actress?
Q 26: Yes. And I enjoyed you very much on Voyager and I am wholly impressed with your ability – this is the first time I've seen you in person – so I'm wholly impressed with your ability, your knowledge - post show - and your vision of Star Trek. I am wholly impressed by it.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.
Q 26: Because many times I do feel that actors who come here don't really give it their all as far as understanding what this thing, Star Trek, is about, and understanding their role – that it was just a job. So I'm highly, highly impressed with your ability to…
Kate Mulgrew: That's too bad, isn't it? It's too bad.
Q 26: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: That it's just a job for some people.
Q 26: Yes.
Kate Mulgrew: Right? What a waste of time. Just like the chocolate cake, Isabel. Yes sir?
Q 26: But my comment is going to be, and I… you know, I didn't realize 'til I came here today what the…what the preponderance of views would be from Star Trek fans. But just a little bit of a different perspective on your emotions about the war… just… you know… this is a… Star Trek is a forum for ideas and thought…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes.
Q 26: So … my parents were Holocaust survivors from the country of Holland. And they were saved largely by the bravery of the U.S. Military against the concept of Fascism. So maybe what's going on this time, is just a little bit of a different type of Fascism portrayed in a different way and fought in a different way, but still Fascism that we really need to be fighting. And that's why this is going on.
Kate Mulgrew: Point well taken. Thank you. Thank you. Yes? Oh, Richard! Do you want to ask me a question?
Richard Arnold: You've got about five minutes and then, your scripts.
Kate Mulgrew: I have five minutes and then what am I going to do?
Kate Mulgrew: Yes? Thank you.
Richard Arnold: Or you can do those now and then do the last couple of questions…
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, I'll do them now because I might forget…. I brought a couple of scripts to auction off for Alzheimer's. So whoever wants them, just hold up your hand and tell me what you want to give me for these scripts. It's going to go right to Alzheimer's. This is "Prophecy". Remember that one? I've signed it. Anybody want it?
From the Audience: $100.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, here, have it. Thank you. Thank you. I'm so bad at these auction things. Um… "Destiny". Yes? How much? $40?
From the Audience: $50.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, she just offered $100 right off! He just offered $100. Who said $200?
From the Audience: Right there!
Kate Mulgrew: $200! You may have this, madam. That's the way to do it! Thank you, thank you very much. Right. Yes, madam, what is your question?
Q 27: I want your opinion about something I've asked another actor, but you know we have seen so many magnificent performances in all the Star Trek series – never been recognized by the Television Academy or the Motion Picture Academy. Do you think that will ever change? That they will give their due to science fiction performances?
Kate Mulgrew: Do you under… can you hear her question?
Kate Mulgrew: She wonders if science fiction will ever be given its due in the entertainment industry. I don't think so. For one simple reason – you have to have a very vivid and astute imagination to embrace science fiction. And we're rather dense, aren't we – as a people? If it's not something with which we're completely familiar, we don't want it. We don't understand it. So I've always said that science fiction is … belongs to the rare, and to the very intelligent. It's a leap of the imagination – embracing the wisdom at the same time.
Hi, how are you?
Q 28: I've sort of got a two – two and a half part question.
Kate Mulgrew: A two and a half part question.
Q 28: It's very much like the first question...
Kate Mulgrew: … he's going to explain the question. Okay. Go on!
Q 28: The first one is pretty much – do you think you have common with Kathryn Janeway, and what's with all the hair? The craziness with the hair.
Kate Mulgrew: How old are you, darling?
Q 28: I am thirteen years old.
Kate Mulgrew: Thirteen. Do I have anything in common with Captain Janeway, and what's with all the hair! And the – I hesitate to ask you – second part of your question?
Q 28: What do you think of Vulcans?
Kate Mulgrew: What do I think of Vulcans. And then there was a half. It was two and a half.
Q 28: That was the hair.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, the hair was only the half. I wish the hair were only the half of it! I have a great deal in common with Kathryn Janeway. That's why it worked, right? I had to endow her with Mulgrew, and Mulgrew had to marry Janeway. It's… absolutely. It has to be a love affair, or it simply isn't going to work. You guys are too smart. Nobody's going to buy it if the actor doesn't love the character, right? So that was the first part. The hair – now I've said this before, and I'm going to say it again. And I know that I will be penalized for this, but I don't care. You know, I was the first woman. Paramount is run by men. They were pouring billions of dollars into this franchise, when they decided to put a woman in the seat. They were shaking in their boots. If I failed, right? If I failed, we would have to go on an indeterminate hiatus, and they would lose millions upon millions of dollars. So gentlemen, I'm going to ask you this, because the ladies will just weep: Where do you think their anxiety went? Helllooo! Ten hairdos in six months! Right? Put it up! Take it down! Put it up! Because I had bosoms! They thought if they could do enough funky things with my hair, nobody would look at my bosoms! Love men! And I like you too, darling, thank you.
Q 28: What do you think about Vulcans?
Kate Mulgrew: I like Vulcans. I loved Tuvok. There was the hardest scene I ever had to shoot. When he has Alzheimer's. And I have to say good-bye. Because she knows, right? Admiral Janeway knows she's going to go down – for Captain Janeway. But only I know. And only I know it was good-bye. I was so distraught when I shot that. And we did it in one take. I remember we ended up in each other's arms and I said, "Oh, Tim, this is really hard." And then I heard, "Oh, my God, there's a hair on the gate." Do you know what that expression means? There's a hair on the camera, rendering it useless film. We had to shoot it again. It was excrutiating. Do you understand that, bodyguard? Yes, yes sweetheart? What is it? Do you have a question for me?
Q 29: No, I'm just standing here.
Kate Mulgrew: You're just standing there! Okay, good. Do you have a question?
Q 30: Yes, first of all I wanted to preface this question with - I'm glad it turned out the way it did. The question is, did you ever thank Genvieve Bujold?
Kate Mulgrew: I have thanked her heartily many, many times. No, no, no – what a classy dame. All right? And I'll tell you why it's easy to say that, because I got lucky, right? She could have protracted that, ladies and gentlemen, and made it absolute…
Kate Mulgrew: She could have. And then we really would have been in the soup. Do you know what I'm saying? If she'd stayed on for even two months, they couldn't have replaced her. We'd have to shut down. In twenty-four hours (in a French accent) 'she seemed to understand this was not her cup of tea.' And she just called them – she had a son – she had a fourteen year old son – and she said to Rick Berman, 'Are you kidding? Is this going to be the daily schedule? I've been here eighteen hours.' He said, 'Well, this is the way we do it.' 'Oh, non,' she says, 'I'm going to be with my son.' Great admiration for her. Right? Great admiration. And a great actress. Great, great.
That's it. Mr. Arnold tells me my time is up. You know what? I love New York. I have loved this hour. And I think the world of you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you.
Jenny, you'd better come and get your children! Don't forget your children!
Thank you – very much.