November 18, 2001
Many, many Thanks! to my transcriber.
During the "Q&A" session there was no microphone for the people asking questions. Some questions could not be heard so those are represented with a question (?) mark.
Kate Mulgrew delivered her presentation with great warmth, wit and energy. Both she and her husband, Tim Hagan, appeared happy and relaxed. Many of the stories and anecdotes that they related were told with tongue in cheek and a definite twinkle in the eye. This transcript can only convey the words that they spoke – but cannot begin to describe the humour, body language and animation that they showed to the Orlando convention audience. Please keep this in mind as you read. Thank you.*
Kate Mulgrew arrived on stage promptly at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18th to a very welcoming crowd. She began her talk by greeting a standing crowd and thanking convention operator Joe Motes and his committee for inviting her to appear. She continued:
Kate Mulgrew: But mostly my thanks to you all – for coming out, and what’s more, my congratulations. You came! The holy month of Ramadan! Now, the last time I was in Orlando – Joe just refreshed my memory – five or six years ago, with my two young sons in attendance – as you can see I’m still recovering – I had them here for eight days. I had a bit of a shocking and shall I say disheartening surprise, when I got off the airplane in Orlando last night – to find it almost empty. And to find it filled with a sense of meekness, and I would say a certain sadness and certainly an emptiness. Now, I just want to say this and then we’re going to get on to more interesting subjects. This too shall pass. Everyone understands that, don’t they? This is an extraordinary circumstance in the history of our country and I can assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that they will defeat us if we allow this fear to overwhelm us. And it will not defeat us!
Thanksgiving is coming up, and Christmas. I want you all to pledge one thing to me. Get on an airplane. Go out to dinner. Kiss a stranger! Live your lives, right!
(Addressing someone in the crowd) I don’t need to run for office!
There’s a very wonderful man here, in the first row here who is encouraging me to run for office. But I took care of that. I married a politician.
Nooow…I had enough to do on Star Trek: Voyager. Working seventeen to eighteen-hour days. Raising two charming adolescents. And is if that wasn’t enough three years ago I said to myself, ‘why not get married?’ And while I’m at it, why not marry a guy who lives in Cleveland?! And now let’s make it really fascinating and let’s make sure he has not one clue about what I do for a living! I married the county commissioner of Cuyahoga County. Who said to me “Not only do I not know what you do, not only do I not care, I am only looking forward to the day, my darling wife, when we can be quietly together on my little farm in Olmstead Township in Ohio. You’ll see the cattle grazing in the pasture. My daughters will be flying through in their sweetness. Your sons can come and visit. It will be lovely. It will be quiet. We’ll read, you’ll cook, right!?” I said “It’s music to my ears after seven years of hard labour darling. I can’t wait!” And what did he say? What did he say? Two weeks after I went down. “Darling, I’m just going to have to run for governor once.” He is running for governor of Ohio. There he is (points to the left – off stage) my husband, Tim Hagan.
And do we have any people from Ohio in this crowd? Come forward and be kissed!
How many of you are Democrats? (After applause in response.) You’re not only kissed, you’re in my will!
All right. It’s been a very exciting year for me. I cannot believe seven months have passed. And passed they have. It’s over. It’s shockingly, brutally, abruptly, suddenly, immediately – (addressing someone in the audience) she’s looking at me – how long can this woman go on – over! And if you think that its remnants are difficult you should have been there the final day. Let me tell you how it really ended. Want to hear?
I’m sure you all have delusions of grandeur about how it all ended. Flowers thrown at me! Handsome men flinging themselves at me! And the CEO of Paramount telling me he couldn’t live without me!
I worked for a week all by myself. As you’ll recall, the last two shows were pretty much Janeway and Janeway. So I had a lot of post production work to do. Blue screens, green screens, all by myself. I did it. It was the last day and I swear to God, the director said, “Cut, print, good.” The lights went out. Boom. On the bridge. On the bridge, one by one the crew of about six that were left came, embraced me “Thank you for a wonderful seven years. Thank you.” And I turned, I heard a noise, I turned and somebody was dismantling my chair. My chair. I said, “I don’t know you very well, but stop it!”
Of course it ended on a grace note, as life usually does – just let it. I stood there in the dark – I will admit that I was on the verge of tears – it was profoundly upsetting for me to be alone on that set - and I saw a silhouette in the doorway of the briefing room, which abuts the bridge, and I know that silhouette very well – it was my darling Bob Picardo, who was equally quiet and very still, who had come by, all by himself having understood that I was going to be alone. And he just walked over to me, put his arms around me. We looked at each other, we both had tears in our eyes and I said, “Well Baby, I guess that’s all she wrote.” …. Thank God for Bob Picardo. And all the Bob Picardos of the world. It was a great time, ladies and gentlemen. A wonderful time in my life. You can imagine, ladies particularly, to be the first woman captain. Dare I say, the last?? They won’t go through that again!
They won’t go through those hair problems again! That’s what really threw them. They hired a woman and they went “My God, hair! For the first time in eight years!” Hair and oh not just hair. Hair. And then Rick Berman said “My God, she has bosoms! What are we going to do with this creature?” So after a year of complete madness about my hair, and my tiny, very domesticated, very normal bosoms, we got on with the show. Right.
Of course they were worried. What do you suspect they were most worried about? Makes great sense to me. They were worried about losing their strongest demographic. Which is – in this great nation of ours – those young, strong, handsome, healthy boys. From fifteen to thirty. Pretending to look at science fiction, but licking their little chops. So I understood it philosophically, the problem was here’s a woman sitting in the captain’s seat, who could conceivably be the mother of those boys. How does one overcome this? I simply seduced them in my own inimitable fashion. I said to myself “If you let me captain the damned ship they will follow! Get your hands off my hair! Stop giving me a bra that looks like a Shraler. Let’s get down to work and they will come!” And come they did. Of course they really came when Seven of Nine arrived! (there was a lot of noise – applause and booing) But you see… bad bad bad!
I had the time of my life. Fundamentally because I was a thirty-nine year old actress who encountered, after a twenty seven year career, a character that she would love deeply. And whom I will love until I die. It just doesn’t happen. It happens to older women in Hollywood. As we age, we become less and less and less sought after and the roles become more and more and more sort of superficial and ridiculous. And I struck gold.
What did you say (addressing someone in the audience)?
“I said they’re fools.” (a woman in the audience replied)
They’re fools. That’s a woman who’s speaking….!
Now clearly they’re not fools. They gave me the role. They gave me seven years to play it. But what they couldn’t have known at the time and I didn’t either, quite frankly, knowing as little as I did about science fiction – I knew zero about Star Trek when I came in. Zero. And it stood me in good stead. Had I been too familiar, can you imagine that audition? (Kate assumed a British accent here) “Red Alert. We shall go into warp, after I’ve had my tea.” No, I had no idea. So I went in and I just endowed her with Mulgrew, and obviously it was satisfactory. In spite of the fact that they were very nervous. Because you know what happened to my predecessor do you not? What a darling little girl right here (Kate looked into the audience). Somebody else got the role. Her name was Genevieve Bujold. You’re familiar with this story are you not? She was a French Canadian actress of superb talent. I mean that. Great depth, great quality. What a marvelous film actress she was. It simply was not her cup of tea, and she knew it in one day. And had the integrity and the guts to say to them (Kate assumes a French accent) “I don’t think this is going to work out for me. Merci beaucoup, au revoir!” And I went back in with four other actresses whom they’d all seen before and they do this awful and appalling knock down drag out thing in Hollywood, where you keep going in, one actress after the other, again and again and again, scene after scene after scene and one by one we are dismissed. Well, to make a very long story short, and I’ve told it before. Without sounding redundant, I got the job. When I got the job, by the way I really needed this job, and wanted this job, I said to myself, I’m going to give her everything I have. This was a silent pledge, which I regretted! But I did it. Not one day – I think my husband can attest to this – my husband the very tired politician – came with me every morning for two and a half years. Four o’clock in the morning. Stayed with me till ten, eleven o’clock at night. You wonder why I married this poor guy. And said to me, after a couple of weeks “I had no idea. I had no idea.” I said “Why don’t you tell me what you thought? No big deal, you know. You’re a politician. You guys know everything. Right? Sure you do! You can give us every statistic – you can tell us everything that everybody is feeling.” He said “I thought you were eating bonbons! On a chaise lounge. For a couple of hours a week. And you were getting paid eight million dollars to do it.” He’d never seen anything like it. And in fact to be perfectly honest, after thirty years in this business, I will tell you that nothing paralleled the work on Voyager. That was work. That was hard work It’s highly stylized as you know. This is not ER, is it? Where you’re running around in your hospital greens, throwing gurneys and bloody bodies all over the place. This is very ritualized. The language has to be honoured. And if you make a mistake, an error, one error – Tim has seen this – in a five-page scene in my ready room, whether it’s me or the other guy – and usually it was the other guy! One error - grammatical or otherwise, you reshot the entire scene. I used to be so pale… on Monday morning when my boys would come in. I’d walk onto that bridge because I knew. Bridge day – Monday. Bridge day, all day Monday, all day Tuesday. Who runs the bridge, ladies and gentlemen?
Audience: “The captain.”
How can I not run the bridge? If I do not have my men, right? So I’m hoping they had a good weekend. I’m hoping they had a little rest. A little visit with their wives, as …(…). And I’m hoping they’re ready for two days of really good work. But what do you think generally greets me on that Monday morning? Garrett Wang is not married, is he? No! And Garrett Wang will never beeee married! Garrett Wang does not spend his Saturday night having a little nap and reading an interesting best seller, does he? Garrett goes to the casino on Saturday night! So on Monday morning, I would say “Good morning chaps, and how are we?” And this is what it looked like, ladies and gentlemen! (Kate threw her head back and imitated a snore, ed.) “Huh… what’s the episode? What’s the day?”
Seven years. They were the best. They were the best! They were also the naughtiest. You’re looking at me and I’m sure you’re saying she’s – I’m sure she demanded respect from those men. I’m sure she commanded. I’m sure there wasn’t a moment’s nonsense or naughtiness on that soundstage with those marvelous men. Supporting her. Encouraging her to do her best. Encouraging themselves to meet those challenges. Wrong. At every opportunity, they tried to bring me down! Every single opportunity. And the longer the week was and dragged on, and the longer they were separated from their – dare I say – women, the more perilous it became for me. I was spit balled. I was mooned. I was everything, wasn’t I honey? I should be canonized after those seven years!
They were great guys. Unprecedented laughter in my life. Robbie McNeill was responsible for a lot of that. John Ethan Phillips the best person who ever lived. And the funniest. And the kindest. And the deepest. Unfortunately for him his mask also, I think masked the extraordinary magnitude of his talent. We are talking about a one in a million guy, Johnny. I always told him he was the soul of the show.
Bob Picardo – a consummate actor. Always there. Always ready. As talented as he was kind and as kind as he was ready and just a very special person.
Roxann Dawson. Multi-talented. A wonderful actress. And who knew? This superb director. Same goes for McNeill.
Ah… Tim Russ is an interesting … hmmmm … person to discuss! I know more about his anatomy than I do …. It was disgusting. It was disgusting! And they had no shame! Right? I said to him “If you do that to me again, if you dare to do that to me again you are dead. Do you understand English?” (Kate deepens her voice to imitate Tim Russ) “Whoa… Capitaine… whoa… I’m scared… shakin’ in my boots, baby.” I said, “Don’t screw around with me!” Action. Two o’clock in the morning. Let’s get this thing over with. I gotta get home. I’ve got kids. I’ve got a life! And I gotta get two minutes of sleep. Action! Phffft! I said, “Did you do that again?” He did it again! He did it again. And the last time he did it – (Kate looks into the audience) You’re laughing? You’re about fifteen years old and you think this is very funny, don’t you? You - wearing the plaid shirt! Yeah – what is it about young boys? What is so amusing about a forty-year-old woman being spit balled to death? Oh… but it doesn’t end there! I said “I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself – what is it again? Tim? You have? I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself because you are A Dead Man!” “Ah”…he said, “Hey… I’m so scared I don’t know how I’m going to drive home tonight! Whooo I’m so scared… good night honey!” I said to the wardrobe guy, “Sam come over here. Sam, did you see that man just leave the soundstage? What is his name?” “Kate, you’re hilarious. That’s Tim Russ.” “Uh huh. And who is he?” “He’s the tactical officer.” “And who is the captain, Sam?” “Well you are.” “So regarding seniority around here, who would be more important to you as to your own position?” “Oh, you would be.” “Those are very very sage words. Now come with me if you value your life, and I’m sure you do, you will do the following. Go into Tim Russ’s trailer, get his car keys, get his wallet, remove his pants, his underpants, his shirt, one sock and one shoe. Leave him one sock and one shoe. Deliver them to me ASAP, and you and I will have a very happy time together.” He brought them into my trailer. The guy had no keys. I had them. I got in my car and I went hooommme! Monday morning came. I’m in the makeup trailer, it’s five thirty a.m. In comes Mr. T. right? I spent all weekend relishing my friend groveling on his knees, he’ll never do it again. “Good morning Capitaine, how are you, Babe?” What is going on? How did he get home? More importantly, why is he in such a great mood? Then I went to my own trailer. And I unlocked the door. I entered my own trailer. On every bare space of wall, on every cabinet, on every corner of my couch there was a photograph of a certain part of Mr. Tim Russ’s anatomy! This is the difference between a woman who is trying to raise two sons and a man who has no children! Not only did he photograph that part of his anatomy, not only did the very man who I ordered to go and get the keys to rob the clothes take those photographs, but he had each of them labeled. Ie, “You’ll be kissin’ this for the next five years!” That’s the respect I got on Voyager. Actually I adored them all. And loved every minute of the seven years.
Not every minute. Sometimes it was tough. Sometimes it was very tough. Certainly regarding the children. How many of you women are working women? Look at those hands. You understand what I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s irreconcilable I’m afraid. I wish I had words of wisdom for you. I don’t know how to tell you how to do them both well. I’m not sure it’s possible. You just have to do what you have to do. And while you’re doing what you’re doing might try your best … So when I was present to Janeway I was present to Janeway, and when I was a mother I was – taking tranquilizers!
I’ve had wonderful privileges; I’ve had opportunities that certainly would not have availed themselves to me under any other circumstances. I have learned more about science and physics than I ever dreamed I would. It really… it nurtured in me a great curiosity about science. And most importantly, and I think, most profoundly from my point of view, I believe if this mail is correct, and if the feedback that I’m getting is accurate, that I have made a difference in certain lives of young women particularly. Women who heretofore had not thought that the doors of science could be open to them in this way. Who have I think discovered in themselves a new kind of courage, and possibilities, simply by looking at somebody like Kathryn Janeway on television. Now if this is true, and I’m going to cherish the thought that it is, I can think of no finer way to have spent seven years of one’s life. Can you?
Now I would love to have some questions from you. If you have questions. Yes?
Q. Which cast member had the most trouble with their lines?
KM: I love these intellectually provocative questions! Which cast member had the most trouble with their lines! Well let’s see. Ahh… You know, when Robert Beltran wanted to do it he did it like nobody’s business. When he didn’t want to do it – he didn’t do it. Right. It’s about the lines okay… and lines have never been anybody’s great salvation by the way – what’s your name? Robin. You know one’s ability to learn one’s lines is never a (?) rule for acting. But in these rigorous circumstances it certainly meant – it was an act of courtesy and professionalism. You know. So after a while, indeed that could become very tough. For me particularly. Particularly as I said, on the bridge. If you ever noticed, Janeway doesn’t stop on the bridge. I wasn’t a sitter as a captain, I was a mover. Well that’s one shot we’re talking about, ladies and gentlemen. That’s one very, very difficult shot. They set up for sometimes an hour, an hour and a half. The camera’s following me. If one person screws up the line, the shot falls apart. So it’s very important that these lines be learned, especially if they’re lines as difficult as “Aye, Captain.” Right.
Yes sir – you with the hat.
Q: I was searching on the internet the other night, on the Internet Movie Data Base. They had you listed under the credits of Star Trek X. I was wondering if you would care to speak about maybe what your role in that movie is.
KM: He knows my agent better than I do! Is that what it is? Star Trek X? I seriously do not know. The one they’re doing right now? Yes. I’m going to do that movie. Don’t get overly excited you know. They make a big deal out of nothing. I saw Patrick Stewart in England – we were on the stage together for one second. I said “How are you Patrick, what’s up?” (in a sing song voice) “I know something you don’t know!” It’s a small part, but it is an actress’ delight – or shall I say it’s Janeway’s delight because I’m ordering Picard all over the place. (to applause) Thank you. I like Patrick Stewart very much. I’m just a little bit jealous of him. I’m not jealous of him because of his great notoriety not to mention his extraordinary talent. What do you think I’m really jealous about?
Audience: “No hair!”
Q: What was it like being immortalized in plastic?
KM: What was it like being immortalized in plastic. Well you’d have to ask my husband! What does that mean, being immortalized in plastic those little action figures? You know I went to the licensing department when I first saw that thing. That’s the scariest little thing. I said “This is your idea of a role model? I wouldn’t want to meet this thing in an alley if my life depended on it!” Wild. Maybe if they gave me little curves, right… nothing! Yes madam?
Q: Not a question but a statement. I’ve watched you for a while and you’re more beautiful today than ever.
KM: Did you hear what she said?
KM: Well then I feel that I must repeat it! She said that she has watched me grow up and that she feels that I am more beautiful today than ever.
KM: That’s a very good question. Who did I look up to as a role model when I was young. I would have to say – this is sounding a little cliché – my own mother. My own mother – who has Alzheimer’s. And was diagnosed two years ago. With me, by me as a matter of fact. Which is the greatest sorrow, probably, of my life. Not that she has Alzheimer’s – I think that we all have to suffer – or some of us do, some of us don’t. It certainly seems to be with nature sometimes. I’m not begrudging that. But her fantastic brain, her extraordinary vitality, this unorthodox, unconventional, wildly creative, terribly funny deeply tempered woman is gone. And that is a great heartache for me. But she was my role model. And my acting teacher, Stella Adler who was my mentor.
Q: Hi Kate. I’m from England, and I just want to thank you for all the hard work that you did while you were over there. You were great.
KM: Thank you. Did you come?
Q: Yes I did.
KM: Look at her! She came from England! Thank you!
Q: I have a question as well. If you could create a role for yourself – if you could write a role for yourself, what would it be?
KM: A very interesting question. She’s asking me if I could create a role for myself – if I could write a role for myself, what would it be. Well, as the happenstance and serendipity of life would have it, I’m going to play that role. I’m doing the life of Katharine Hepburn. It’s very daunting. It was written for me – exclusively for me, by a wonderful young guy whose name is Matthew Lombardo. We go into rehearsal on the seventh of January. And it is called “Tea at Five”. We’re opening at the Hartford Stage in Hartford Connecticut. And in act one, I am Katharine Hepburn at the age of 31, and in act two, I am 76. And this is no vanity piece, ladies and gentlemen. This is not “Oh my God look at the moon” (Kate did an imitation of Hepburn). It is a real investigation of what formed this woman. What defined this woman. She had a most complicated life. You should know that. It’s very very interesting. Come to see it, but later, later.
Yes darling in the back. Young boy. Loud and clear honey!
Q: What other shows have you done?
KM: That was loud and clear! Honey I’ve done a lot of stuff. I’ve been an actress for so long. I became a professional actress when I was eighteen. How old are you? Ten?! Really is that the mystery of life? Ten! And I’ve got another ninety to throw away! I’ve done a lot of stuff sweetie, but you probably would know me best as the voice of the bad lady on Batman. The cartoon.
Madam. Madam in the wonderful costume. My heavens! Very good. That’s Xena, huh?
Q: I watched Ryan’s Hope. I wanted to know why did you leave the show.
KM: I can tell you why. I loved Ryan’s Hope. I made two of the greatest friends of my life on that show. Claire Labine who wrote it and produced it is very dear to my heart. And my very best friend Nancy Addison played Jill Coleridge and is still my closest friend. She’s very sick now, by the way. But I was so young. I was nineteen. I – you know that soap opera, as fun as they can be and as marvelous certainly as Ryan’s Hope was, and there was nothing like it on the air – there’s been nothing like it since, I don’t think, has there been? And Mary Ryan was a terrific part. But I was burning up, honey, to be on stage. I was just burning. So I exhausted my interest in the soap opera format very quickly, after about six months. And I honoured the contract to a year. And then I went to ABC and I just begged them on my knees. I said “I’m just unhappy. They want me in Othello, and I have go and play Desdemona and I have to go and play it now. Because if I play when I’m fifty, I’d rather be dead.” I played it another six months and then I went. And then I think they made a mistake. They replaced me, didn’t they? Yes, they shouldn’t have. And then they killed her. I’m proud of one thing about Mary Ryan, aside from the fact that she was a great character. I am the only actress in the history of daytime television, to have slept with only one man. My husband! Yes darling?
Q: What’s your most embarrassing moment?
KM: She’s sitting on your knee honey? The most gorgeous little child is sitting on my husband’s knee! One would think she would ask me a question so thoughtful one could hardly stand it. No. What is it? What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened?! On Voyager you mean? Where did she go? On Voyager, or just in life? Oh, don’t be so cruel, honey!
Q: Voyager. I asked the same question of Robert Duncan McNeill.
KM: Embarrassing. Embarrassing. You asked the same question to Robbie McNeill. What did Lieutenant Paris have to say? What did he say?
Q: When his uniform caught on fire.
KM: When his uniform caught on fire? You mean when a certain part of his uniform caught on fire. Oh. I would have to say my most embarrassing moment on Voyager is indeed associated with Mr. Robert Duncan McNeill. As everybody always said “How come you didn’t have any sex, how come you didn’t have a personal life? What was wrong with your needs, weren’t you human?” I say stop stop! Did I or did I not copulate with Lieutenant Paris and we had many little lizards together! Nothing embarrasses you when you get to be my age honey. Yes?
Q: I just started college and we’re studying visualization and positive thinking. When you encounter a barrier or you find something difficult … do you have any advice … like what do you do yourself when you’re faced with difficulties.
KM: As an actress or as a human being?
Q: Both, if you can.
KM: Oh no, one or the other. What do I do when I hit a really tough spot. When I can’t get out of it. You’re talking about a wall, aren’t you? Well you’re talking about visualization. How do you visualize yourself out of it? Are you Catholic? I’m a little bit like Janeway this way myself. You just punch your way through. Sometimes you just gotta punch your way through. Through most of those bad things you do. And have the courage of your own convictions. You know. Don’t you think everybody in this room shares the same thing. We all have it. Yes?
Q: (Two people spoke at the same time)
KM: Wait, wait wait a minute! Who is speaking over here? All right, I’ll come right back to you. Yes darling, what are you saying?
Q: What were some of the funnier parts of being on Voyager?
KM: I got ya! What were some of the funnier moments on Voyager that I remember as being funny. Right? I suppose some of the really funny ones I don’t remember as being too funny. Funny…. Was not anything that happened to me – it’s just the other guys making me laugh. Yes. Madam.
Q: I’m a working Mom also, and I wanted to know have your sons expressed either favouritism or support or jealousy of your career.
KM: (takes a sip of water) (laughing) This should be vodka. She’s a working mother also. She wants to know if my sons expressed any resentment, jealousy, problems, right?
Q: Or support.
KM: Or support.
Q: How do they feel about your working – being so dedicated to your career.
KM: They haven’t liked it. They liked it before Voyager. I think there’s something about the notoriety that this has given me, something about its very public aspect. But I will be very very frank with you. It’s the hours. Don’t forget, they were nine and ten. They were just kids. Very few mothers leave for sixteen, seventeen hours a day. It’s almost impossible to explain that to a kid. Now, they’re not dumb. What are they going to target, what are they going to blame? The job. So I did my best. But there was a great deal of resentment, particularly from my oldest son. They were so used to me being there. And used to me being very hands on and then suddenly this happened, which is so difficult to bridge. And I must say that I felt tremendous guilt about it myself. Had I had a different, sort of cavalier, or not cavalier but less guilty response perhaps it would have been better, but in the end I’m afraid they did resent it. You can understand that, can’t you? But I think they will grow out of that. Won’t they?
Q: Do think when they introduced Seven of Nine to the show, umm, the whole relationship they created with her and Janeway, do you feel it sort of interfered with Janeway's relationships like with the Doctor or Belanna?
KM: What's your name?
KM: Heather. How old are you?
Q: Just turned 18.
KM: You're pretty. Umm, she wants to know...my husband's going- (laughter from the audience--Kate mimcs Tim shaking her head). She wants to know if when they brought Seven of Nine on the show, if I felt that that, uh, relationship between Seven of Nine and Janeway interfered or usurped the other relationships with the other senior staff. Right? Absolutely I felt that way. However, you know, the numbers went up. And it's a numbers game baby. Do you know that? But of course I felt it and I felt it profoundly. It's an ensemble show. That's what makes it such a good one, right. You're looking at all nine of these people struggling. You want to see what their interpersonal relationships are like. You want to see them evolve. It's very hard when that stops and a great deal of concentration was given to one and not to the others. But I understood from a business point of view what they were about. And it settled down, I think, in the last two seasons.
Q: In Unimatrix Zero Part One what was it like to get dressed up in Borg garb?
KM: Easy! Getting dressed up like a Borg. Easy! No problem.
Q: Was it hot, heavy?
KM: It’s hot! It’s heavy! It was strange. But I mean that’s what we do. We’re actors right? If I wanted to get dressed up like this every day I’d have been a bank teller. But I wanted to get dressed up like a Borg!
KM: I’m just listening to that child’s laugh. Sometimes a child’s laughter is so infectious. I’m sorry. Go on…
Q: It felt like the very last episode of Voyager that they kind of left it. Did you feel there should have been a little more?
KM: No because I’ve been asked this before and it’s upsetting to me because I had so much to do with the last episode. I’ve heard this now several times - I wish I’d thought that through a bit more, but you know, we didn’t have enough time to think it all the way through. He’s telling me that he feels that Endgame was rushed. It wasn’t fully fleshed out in the last hour or tied up. But we had so little time. And we had to really take a gamble. And the gamble was which story in the end was truer to the arc of Voyager. Which legacy did we want to leave? That Admiral Janeway would kamikaze for Captain Janeway to save this ship and this crew, or that you know, get Seven of Nine and Commander Chakotay all figured out. B’Elanna. We had to skip it. And finally at the end on the bridge, we had to make that editorial cut that quick because otherwise there would have been flashbacks and it would have gone on. You wouldn’t have had any of that stuff with the Borg Queen which I thought was absolutely essential to the success of it. You know. I’m sorry. I’m responsible because I was really, I was really behind Endgame Parts one and two. Yes, young man in the back? In the science uniform.
Q: In real life do you like your coffee black?
KM: Look out politicians of the world! In real life, do I like how people act? What did he say?
Audience: No… no!!!
KM: Do I like my coffee black!? No! I like it with cream! Now you sir, you.
Q: What’s your favourite episode?
KM: Impossible to answer that. Seven years. I could give you four or five right off the top of my head that I loved doing. Every single one with that madman John DeLancie. Who is a very dear personal friend of mine. “Deathwish” I loved. “Counterpoint”. I loved the Arachnia thing. So much fun. So much laughter. So absurd. I would say I liked eight out of ten of them. And six out of ten I adored. Only a few times did I think that they were lazy. The writers, I’m talking about, and all to save a couple bucks. Those two parters, or anything involving alien species or new technology, we’re talking about a lot of dough. A million, a million and a half, sometimes two. So in order to cut their expenses, they do what they call a bottle show, which is a ship show, and they’d make it a very small story, very containable, within the confines of the ship. And sometimes those could be a little bit off but generally speaking they were very good.
Q: What is your opinion about space exploration and do you believe in life other than being on earth.
KM: That’s a good question. A very good question. How do I feel about space exploration and do I believe in life beyond the planet. Is that your question?
KM: Who am I, in answer to the latter and as to the former, most resoundingly, I support it. And that’s why, I get reeeallly pissed off when idiots like Osama bin Laden screw up, right, what was going on in this nation, at one of its most economically, socio-economically in its entire history. But we will come back to this. We hope that space investigation will be restored, and indeed, I believe that wholeheartedly. And as for is there life beyond I think there must be. (Addressing Tim Hagan) Honey I know, we talked about this – go back to sleep. I just can’t imagine given the magnitude of it all, that there is not. And given what we’re learning. Water on Mars, who knows, right? But we won’t know, until we get NASA back in the water, and we won’t get back in the water until that damn nation straightens itself out and gets about it’s business, which it will. If we all go out to dinner! Dance in the streets, get on the planes… Yes?
KM: I’m sorry, what did she? I didn’t understand you honey.
Q: What are your favorite memories of Voyager?
KM: What are my favourite memories? She tossed it to a child who is younger than she! My favourite memories are those of camaraderie with my friends, honey. My favourite memories are not in the shooting, my favourite memories are the intimate moments that I shared with ten strangers, whom I had never met before, and who found themselves at home in my heart forever. And those are the moments that I hope that you have in your life. They are the only ones you keep darling. Yes, Madam in the red.
Q: (commented that Janeway never spoke to her mother – re the letters from home)
KM: You hope I got to talk to my mother? No, because I’m sure, if that you’re a fan of Janeway’s you’ll know that her entire back-story particularly the audio tape is her relationship with her father. So they threw that in rather late in the day and as a result they did not flesh it out, and if you will recall, what they did do – Janeway did get a letter, didn’t she. She got a “Dear John” letter. Yah, what was that about? She sacrificed everything, seven years. Never had a kiss, never had a hug. First letter she gets, yeah. Too bad, see you later. Yes sir?
Q: Are we going to see more of the Voyager franchise? What happens to those people now that they’re home?
KM: I don’t know. Will it go to movies? I can assure you of one thing. If they stand to profit a buck fifty by another movie they will do it. And they couldn’t use a better group than the Voyager group. I mean I think it’s wonderful The Next Generation has had such unprecedented success in motion pictures, but enough is enough. Share and share alike as they say! Yes? You.
KM: What about the sock incident? What was my take on the sock incident?
KM: You see, it’s always disgusting! Men between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five cannot be anything less than, when they ask a question of that nature, disgusting! What was my take on the sock incident? No ladies, no. Robert Beltran wasn’t darning a sock. No, somebody wasn’t putting one on. Someone was stuffing one in! Do you know what I’m saying? Not one, five socks! And that person was getting off the turbo-lift. And turning to greet me. This is what I endured! Who was that? Tuvok, sock stuffing that day. Was it Mr. Russ? And he always told me he didn’t need to stuff!
At this point someone requested that Tim Hagan come up on stage, which he did.
KM: Honey come on! I would like you to meet my husband. Do any of you have any questions for my darling husband?
Audience: How did you meet?
KM: How did we meet. You tell them. He does this better than I do. No, you go.
Tim Hagan: We met in Ireland. Shall I tell the whole story or half the story?
TH: We met in Ireland prior to her taking this - getting this great role that she has and having such wonderful fans. We met in Trallee, you know where Trallee is? How many know – have been to Ireland? We met in Trallee and then we went to Dingle. Let me tell you how we met. I knew her mother, who she talks about with such warmth. Her mother is a wonderful human being, just so wonderful and has been my friend prior to meeting Kate. Her mother had eight children, my mother had fourteen. Good Catholics I guess. They used the birth control pills as bingo markers. Anyhow she kept saying “Tim you’ve got to meet my daughter Kate” and I have to tell you I didn’t know about “Ryan’s Hope” or anything else. Kind of a nitwit. So anyhow I said okay finally, so we went to Ireland, I went to Ireland, I said “I’ve got to meet Joan’s daughter, and okay I’ve got to do this, I love Joan, she’s been my friend.” We said we’d meet in a bar, and that’s something unique! Two Irish people meet in a bar. Anyhow the damn bar was closed at eleven o’clock in the morning on Saturday. Unbelievable for Ireland. So I was sitting in the hotel lobby, and in walked this woman who I was going to meet in the bar. I’d never seen her, walking over to the bar. I looked, and I said “Kate?” She turned around and looked at me and I said “There is a God.” So in any event, I fell absolutely in love with her, and she was - she’ll have to do this for you one day – you know as crazy as I am I started asking her “Well do some imitations. Can you do Marlon Brando?” And she’d do anything for a laugh. So we fell in love that weekend. And her two boys were with her, and we had this unbelievable romance. But she got this role, in California, and I was an elected official in Cleveland. And I said “What the hell am I going to do in California? I can’t go back and forth.” (There was much laughter here as throughout his talk Kate was making faces, gestures and silent comments behind him) (To Kate:) Dammit, you’re not the Captain when I’m around! (much more laughter) So, she got the role – I don’t know how she’s interpreting behind me, but anyhow – it couldn’t work. She got the role, I was in Cleveland, I had my responsibilities and she had hers and so it ended. (prodding from Kate to explain) So it ended. (more prodding from Kate to explain) Dammit it ended.
KM: How did it end?
TH: It ended in a very strange difficult sad way.
TH: Do we have to go through that?
Audience member: Did you dump her?
TH: I didn’t jump her. Ma’am you’re way out of line! It ended really sadly because she got the role and I had to take her…I’ll explain that. Five years later, her mother called. I must tell you this story, it’s kind of funny. Her mother called a Tim Hagan in Akron Ohio who was a doctor, and I’m in Cleveland Ohio. She talked to him for twenty minutes. How are you doing Tim, are you married – no – and the guy finally said to her “You must mean the Tim Hagan up in Cleveland. I’m in Akron, Ohio.” “Oh, okay.” She hung up. Called me. That’s why I love her mother. This is true, she carried on a conversation for twenty minutes, didn’t know who the hell she was talking to. She called me and said “Why don’t you give Kate a call.” “Oh no, that ended sadly.” And I was happy to sustain my relationship obviously, with my long-standing friendship with her mother. “Give her a call.” “Oh okay. I’ll call.” For some of us in this room, who don’t have a lot of money, I was an elected official, hadn’t stolen anything yet! Anyway, I called her and she was her captain self. “Yes.” “Kate how are you?” “Fine.” “But I’d like to see you, I haven’t seen you…” “Yes.” “Well when can I see …” “Friday.” This was Monday. Now I know everybody in this room ordered their tickets way in advance. If you flew, some of you didn’t fly, but ones who flew, you obviously ordered your tickets in advance to save money. Right. But the situation I was in… Well here’s the deal “You can see me on Friday.” “This is Monday. Where would you like to…” “The Bel Aire Hotel.” The Bel Aire hotel. I mean I stay at the Holiday Inn. And there’s the flight you know. You only have five days to make the arrangements. I think to myself “How the hell am I going to pay for this?” So it’s Monday. Of course I had the fond memory of those moments five years earlier. So I went out to my secretary - went out to my secretary, I said to my secretary “Nancy get me a flight to L.A. on Friday and get me a room at the Bel Aire Hotel.” She immediately looked up and said “Did somebody die?” knowing I would never act this way. Anyhow, eighteen hundred dollars later - air fare - we met again. (Kate in the background “was it not worth it”) And I was sitting, coincidently in the bar – I sound like I’m a drunk, don’t I?! In the Bel Aire Hotel, and in she walked again and … as somebody said “There she is again, there is a God.” And from that moment on, we’ve been together. (much applause from audience) And she only makes me call her Captain about ten or twelve times a night! (hoots & hollers from audience) I make her dress up in that outfit! Now you know it’s good but when you get to this age….
KM: Who believes that story the way he told it? Yes sweetheart. I can see you have a question for my darling husband, don’t you? Do you have a question for me, my husband? Me. Yes?
KM: Yah, and everything thing else. Don’t you think. I always thought my family was so big, one of eight. But no, I married one of fourteen. I used to enjoy dinner parties. It’s unbelievable! How many of the immediate family, honey? Eight hundred and fifty two? Yes sir?
Q: Have you had a chance to see the new series “Enterprise” and what is your opinion of it?
KM: I have not had a chance to see the new series “Enterprise”. I understand it’s very good. Scott Bakula is a terrific actor. But more important about Scott Bakula though, which you should all know, is that he has a marvelous reputation. Are you aware of that? For his kindness, his professionalism and his generosity. All his years as an actor. So that’s what counts to me. Yes darling?
Q: What is your favourite film star to work with?
KM: Who is my favourite film star to work with. Of my senior staff, or of anybody else?
Q: Doesn’t matter
KM: Doesn’t matter. Hmmmm… Oh honey, how could I possibly… I just said I love John DeLancie, love Bob Picardo, love John Ethan Phillips, love Robbie McNeill, love them all. Yes ma’am.
Q: I’ll try to find a new way to aks and old, tired questions. The attraction between Janeway and Chakotay. Emotional, spiritual or physical?
KM: She dares to ask this with my husband on stage. Her question was, the attraction between Janeway and Chakotay, was it emotional, was it spiritual, or was it ph-ph-ph-physical! Well certainly it wasn’t physical, was it?
Q: Unacted upon…
KM: No because you know why? Because when it’s really physical it’s acted upon. Don’t you think? How can anybody… you’re all forgetting one very singular thing here which cannot be dismissed, but everybody loves to dismiss it when they smell the possibility of sex. I was the captain of a ship that was lost in the Delta Quadrant. Can you imagine this captain (to Tim Hagan) you’ll pardon me darling – this is what we do on Friday nights. Can you imagine me walking onto that bridge with Commander Chakotay sitting. Red Alert. You, in the ready room! No.
Q: What happened with Jennifer Lien, and how was it working with her?
KM: He’s asking about Jennifer Lien and what happened with her. I never quite completely… (to Tim Hagan) Are you leaving? You are? To the audience: Isn’t he fine. It’s the first time in my life I’ve been this happy. No question about it. Truly no question about it. Anyway, what was it with Jennifer Lien? I don’t quite understand. She left the show or she was let go to make room for Jeri Ryan, right. That’s what they were doing. There was nothing about her behavior I think that warranted it, and it was a devastating blow to me and to the rest of the company, and it took us a long time to adjust to this decision. You know once you fracture a family like that … But they came up with Seven of Nine.
Q: How do you feel about directing?
KM: How do I feel myself personally about directing. I’m not interested in it. I’m too subjective. I don’t have enough of a spatial sense. You’ve got to really want to be in control to do all that. No, I think I’m an actress honey and I’m happy just being an actress. Yes sir?
Q: Did the writers ever listen to you, as far as your character was concerned?
KM: Did the writers ever listen to me about my character’s development? Yes they did, but as I said to you earlier, I had to prove to them first my authority, my command. You know, they’re not stupid. They were going to wait until the votes were in and after about a season, I think, from their perspective, not from mine, anyway, and when they were confident that I could run the ship, they let me go more and more and as they did, I had unending questions for them. And I’d jump on any discrepancies that did not suit me, I certainly would. And I’d fight to the finish if I didn’t buy it, which a lot of times I didn’t. I’m thinking about the hologram.
KM: You ask a difficult question… because acts of generosity and charity. Do I remember any particular acts of generosity in my life. Or are there charities to which I contribute. Of course there are charities. Many charities. Alzheimer’s now. Domestic violence has always interested me. Pediatric AIDS in Harlem which I did with my pal Nancy Addison for years. Charity interests me greatly. Acts of charity as a measurement of one’s goodness do not in and of themselves interest me because then they are self serving. An act of charity should come directly from the heart and I sort of ascribe to that old Catholic notion that it’s best kept a secret.
Q: You said you knew nothing at all about Star Trek or science fiction when you got the role. Now after seven years how has your perception of Star Trek and science fiction changed?
KM: You have a very good voice, you can really hear it, like a bell. How do I feel about science fiction seven years after the fact having come into it knowing nothing? I’m excited by science fiction. Or shall I say more accurately, I’m excited by the roots of science fiction, which is science itself. I will never again judge a genre until I have studied it. There is terrific erudition behind this series. Gene Roddenberry was nobody’s fool. Conceptually I think he was a genius. And after all, let’s not forget, that he was talking about a time in the history of the world, and certainly of space, where we have transcended all we are now in our nation struggling with. He understood deeply that we must, we must have hope and at the center of this hope there must be defined the human spirit. So I have learnt that if there is anything endemic to science fiction, it is in fact, curiously enough, the strength and the beauty of the human spirit. And on that note, I have to thank you for your collective human spirit for all that you have been to me. And let me assure you that I enjoyed every minute of giving you the very best of Captain Kathryn Janeway over the past seven years.
Joe Motes thanks Kate for coming and said “ I would like to request of Kate that the next time I invite her to another convention that she comes as an act, both her & her husband.”
After this Kate was honored by a local Star Trek Club.
Click Con Reports for Photos!
[HOME] [ARTICLES][BIO][CON REPORTS] [FILMOGRAPHY] [TV INTERVIEWS] [PHOTOS] [LINKS] [ODDS 'N ENDS]