Starts with a short clip from ďScorpion Part IĒ.
Bill O'Reilly: In our second ďBack of the BookĒ segment today the continuing phenomenon that is ďStar TrekĒ . Fox facts: there have been 7 Star Trek movies and 4 TV shows. ďStar TrekĒ merchandise is an $800 million industry. And the first ďStar TrekĒ program aired in 1966, the series continues in various forms to this day. With us now is the star of the UPN program ďStar Trek: VoyagerĒ Kate Mulgrew.
Kate Mulgrew: Youíre so much better informed than I am.
Bill OíReilly: I know, we have the facts, boy.
KM: (laughing) how incredibly humbling.
BOíR: Not that they mean anything. Hey, listen, you have the best deal on the show because you donít have to dress up like a tree stump, or something.
KM: And I thank god in all his glory for it every day of my life.
BOíR: So you can be glamorous and all that.
KM: I donít think I could do it. You take Ethan Phillips who plays Neelix. How familiar are you ? You can be comfortable with me.
BOíR: Now Iíve got to ask you that for a minute but theyíre all dressed up in different costumes. We had Levar Burton on and he had the little iron thing.
KM: But he only had the visor but Iím talking about the actors that have to wear prosthesis. Ethan, who plays Neelix, has to come in at 2:30 in the morning for a 7:00 set call. Thatís how long it takes to put that head on. He canít breath, he gets headaches. Itís very trying but thatís part of the job.
BOíR: Look, Iíve seen these Star Trek deals but Iím not a Trekkie.....
BOíR: Isnít it Trekkie?
BOíR: Trekker, but I could never understand, theyíre good dramas, you follow the story and get scared and whatever, but boy these people live and die this thing. Can you figure it out?
KM: You bet they do. I have my own theory about it, if youíre curious about it....
BOíR: Letís hear it.
KM: .. and itís developed over the last 3 years. I myself was not a Trekker and was most unfamiliar with Star Trek, lore and mythology, before I got this job. Which I think has stood me in good stead. But the theory Iíve developed is that itís all rooted in science. You know that, donít you?
BOíR: Star Trek?
KM: Yes, truly. It isnít some bizarre flight of the imagination. Itís rooted in science and most of these people are physicist , right? So itís a perfect way for them to marry their morality with their scientific imagination.
BOíR: And this is why these Trekkies, these people who are running wild,
like the show?
I donít know. That sounds a little intellectual to me.
KM: So you know what else it. Ok, itís a little intellectual. So Iíll make it more primitive for you. I think itís about hope. And hope springs eternal in this particular show.
BOíR: But thereís a certain segment of the population that loves this space stuff. They canít get enough of it.
KM: Yes, lost in space, just like people use to love the wild west.
BOíR: ďIndependence DayĒ, I mean theyíre blowing things up like crazy and people canít get enough.
KM: The unknown ,itís extremely provocative.
BOíR: I think the unknown is what it is. So youíve got this new .. youíre here because youíre plugging this last episode of the season.
KM: I like to say promoting.
BOíR: Right, well, fine.
KM: <laughing> Iím plugging.
BOíR: We want to get this plug in because I have other things to ask. So this big, last episode...
KM: Scorpion Part I. January is caught in the Borg hive.
BOíR: Yeah, but you get out alive. Youíll be back next year, right?
KM: Do I know that Iím getting out alive?
BOíR: I think youíre gonna be back next year.
KM: All I know is that Iím sitting here having a nice chat with you.
BOíR: So thatís on this week.
KM: Yes, Wednesday night.
BOíR: Good, so I did a good job of that.
BOíR: What I always wanted to know is, youíre a trained actress, who went to classes...
BOíR: you developed your craft. How does it come down that you are a television actress and others went to movies? Iíve never figured that out, because I donít see a big difference in talent.
KM: What a fascinating question. A tough question to ask me, because itís a double edged sword. Itís a roll of the dice, in large part, right? My first break was on television. And then I just sort of had a venue, it happened quite naturally. It evolved naturally.
BOíR: But youíve crossed over into films. Youíve done some films.
KM: Iíve done 6 or 7 features. But I also think itís a personality thing. The more I observe perhaps I think thereís a personality that lends itself to television more easily than to films. Thereís a mystery in film. Thereís a secret in film. You watch Robert De Niro, itís hard to imagine Robert De Niro doing a television series, isnít it?
BOíR: Yeah, because by the time he gets his dialogue out 22 minutes are up.
Kate laughing. Interviewer does De Niro impression.
BOíR: But I was talking to a guy, Iím going to drop a name here, Ed Harris.
KM: A wonderful actor.
BOíR: I was talking to him about something Iím working on, and he says ďIíd never do television.. I never do televisionĒ.
BOíR: Yeah, itís like thereís a cast system, or thereís a system....
KM: Well, there is.
BOíR: And I could never get that.
KM: There is an arrogance at play here.
BOíR: So the film people, they donít want to do TV?
KM: No, they donít want to reduce themselves in their own opinions.
BOíR: But the biggest stars, with the exception of maybe 5, are on television. Oprah Winfrey makes more money than any of these guys.
KM: You know what think? Itís all arguable. The actors that I like, the actor with the greatest cachet in my book, is every manís actor. He does the theater, he does television, he does film, in equal measure. He does it with the same commitment...
BOíR: Itís hard to do that.
KM: Itís hard. But I think once you start to say ďIím not going to do TV. TVís beneath me, Iím a movie actor.....Ē.
BOíR: But a guy like Tom Hanks. Starts in TV with ďBossom BuddiesĒ. Heís now a huge star. If they came to Tom Hanks with a series thereís no way heís going to do that.
BOíR: Because that diminishes his value as a movie actor in his mind.
KM: Yeah and also I think movie stars... shall I say movies stars or movie actors...have a nicer schedule than television actors . And they make a lot more money.
BOíR: Do they?
KM: Well they work 4 months, 5 months out of the year. And they make how much? 50 times what we make? Donít ask me what I make. <laughing>
BOíR: No I wouldnít ask. You make a lot money Iím sure but thatís ok. You deserve to make a lot of money. Itís a very competitive field. But how much time do you put in on this broadcast?
KM: Lots of time.
BOíR: Eleven months out of the year?
KM: Yeah, it takes about 8 days...
BOíR: So you work 11 months on the ďStar TrekĒ thing. And you work 8 hours per day?
KM: Eight hours a day? Iíve never had an 8 hour day... at most Iíve put in an 80 hour week. I work a minimum of a 12 hour day.
BOíR: So youíre really in a timeline with the professor over here. (The previous interview was with Arlie Hochschild, author of the book ďThe Time BindĒ which deals with how people are spending more and more time at work instead of at home). You have two kids...
KM: I have two sons.
BOíR: Two teenagers. So you work 80 hour weeks....
KM: Thatís why I found what she said so provocative.
BOíR:...eleven months out of the year.
KM: Well, is is it 11 months? I get 8 weeks off so ...
BOíR: itís 10 months of the year. So are you worried your kids donít get enough attention?
KM: You bet I am. This is a very diabolical thing and Iím deeply conflicted about it. And I know that Iím not alone in this. Iím a working mother. Iím a working, single mother with two boys who I would die for. Really would I die for them? Then what are you doing on the set 16 hours a day ? Thatís why I want to talk to this professor. Where did she go?
BOíR: Can you bring them into the set?
KM: No, but what I can, and what I do do is, and sheís talking about downsizing at home...I donít downsize at home. I make the effort to get there. I make the ultimate effort to be present to them and with them. Thatís down on the floor. Thatís dinner every night which I cook, whether I like it or not.
BOíR: So you mean you donít have a cook to do that for you?
KM: I have a housekeeper , whom Iíve had for 15 years. Sheís gotta be there. Sheís got to ride shotgun for me while Iím working. But if I can be there Iíll cook the meal, Iíll take them to school, Iíll pick them up.
BOíR: So what youíre telling me is that this whole deal isnít very glamorous., this acting...
KM: Itís not remotely glamorous.
BOíR: Sounds like you have a pretty rough schedule. Weíve only got 30 seconds but I have one more question. You must have a lot of nuts coming up to you with this Star Trek thing....
KM: <smiling> I donít have a lot of nuts.
BOíR: You donít get those crazy people? Sign my antenna or something like that?
KM: Every now and then but all things being equal Bill whoís to say whoís the nut and who isnít?
BOíR: <laughing> Whoís to say I am? I say whoís the nut all the time, every day. Thatís a nut, thatís ok. Listen, nice to talk to you. Thanks for coming in.
KM: My pleasure.
BOíR: We appreciate it and good luck and we admire your lifestyle. Youíre doing it all, pretty much.
KM: Thank you, Iím trying.