November 17, 2001
Many, many Thanks! to my transcriber and to a Totally Kate contributor.
KATE MULGREW: Thank you so much. When did you see me last? Vegas.
Voice: No, here.
KATE MULGREW: Oh. Here?
Voice: No, no sorry. I was thinking of other Voyager Actors.
KATE MULGREW: We had a little trouble getting out of the city which is why we're a bit late so I apologize, but I first would like to not only thank you for being here, but congratulate you for being here. You are undaunted. You will not let those mad very cruel people from the Middle East determine your course of action, will you?
KATE MULGREW: I want you all to get on your airplanes or your starships, as the case may be, and get down to the business at hand. This is a very unusual time in which we live and I think we have to take the bull by the horns. It's important to be reflective but it's also very very important to be courageous. And just live it. It's a one shot deal after all, isn't it?
I happen to be having a rather remarkable life myself. Shall I tell you a little bit about it?
KATE MULGREW: I feel that the last seven months – I came down on the 19th of April – Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant – really, it was terribly sad. Shall I tell you how I ended it?
KATE MULGREW: It was so sad. I always cry when I tell this story. Everybody else was wrapped the week before. If not two weeks before. One by one I watched them go. Like the saddest little set of dominoes you ever saw. And of course Janeway playing a dual role the last two-parter had a lot of extra work to do post production. Green screens and blue screens and every other colour screen they can imagine. So they had me work an extra week and as it turned out, I was there alone the last two days. Bridge stuff. Just quick shots in front of the view screen. And then suddenly, abruptly, brutally, one might say, the lights went down, my crew came – the deck crew I mean, the guys who work. "Thank you very much Kate, it's been a great seven years." And that was it. And I swear to God, some guy actually had the nerve – it's a good thing I didn't have my little phaser on me – to come by and disassemble my chair.
KATE MULGREW: He starts unscrewing it and I just looked and I thought I'm really going to have a difficult time here. And I saw a silhouette in the briefing room and it was Bob Picardo who is my heart's delight, and very very very close personal friend and we just stood there silently looking at one another for a minute.
Seven years is a long time. When it's over, it's very brief. And he just walked over to me, and he put his arms around me, put mine around him, and I said "I guess that's all she wrote." He said "Come on sugar, let's have the drink." And that was it.
My point being, aside from you all the audience - and more importantly and particularly the fandom which as you know in Star Trek is unprecedented and unparalleled in the world, what I will take away from my tenure as the first and only lady captain…
Audience: Much applause…
KATE MULGREW: … are my friendships. And I say that… I say that with great great happiness. And no little surprise. Hollywood is a .., a complicated place. Those of you who are chuckling understand exactly what I mean. It is not famous for its goodness, its morality, its depth, its longevity. But in this case on Voyager, with those guys, almost to a man, although I could be more specific about whom I really adored, I would say I made some profoundly good friendships. And when you take that away after seven years you've done something very good. And so I will be forever grateful to that. And also to the extraordinary aspects of this experience. Can you imagine being the only woman captain? (To someone in the audience) Hello, how are you? You look so great.
That was great for seven years. And it, it has given me, I think, many opportunities I otherwise would never have. I think that I have in fact been a role model for certain young women and certain very attractive middle aged men…
Audience: (laughter and applause!)
KATE MULGREW: I had the time of my life playing one of the great roles of all time and having, at a point in my life – I'm now 46 – meaning I… making me what was I – 38, 39, when I got this role – what were you saying? 22? It's just allowed me the opportunity to have a love affair with a character that I certainly didn't expect to have at that point in my life. At first I was dubious. She was tough, smart – much smarter than me. Much bolder than me. She was science oriented – I'm talking about Kathryn – she was everything, that in essence, I'm really not. As the years unfolded, Mulgrew not only met Janeway and Janeway met Mulgrew, but we fell in love. And as so happens, often happens in love affairs became a commitment and out of that commitment evolved a marriage which really worked. And at that point the writers left us alone. Thank God in all his glory. Because those writers didn't quite understand what it was to put a woman in the seat, although they wanted to. They were very confused, first by my hair, and secondly by my bosom. I said why don't you just let me try to do it? Right. Let's forget about the little steel bun, let's forget about the figure. Let me try. I think they were awfully concerned, and this was not unjustified, that their strongest demographic, which was young males – still is – you're a very strong demographic aren't you boys? Would be thrown by the fact that that lady in the captain's seat could conceivably be their own mother. I had to dispel this notion, right? But it took me a long time. It took me a long time. Because I think that just like everybody else, boys don't want to be duped. They want to be shown. They're smart. They just want a captain who can run the ship, right? I think you let me do that, didn't you boys? You may stand up now!
Anyway it was marvelous. I had a marvelous time. Deeply gratified. As I said, friendships forever and I think that I will carry with me until I die a very unbelievable privilege which was that I got to do what I love to do which is act. But I got to give back. That is the most marvelous thing of all.
So I finished in April and I said to myself . Ahh. At last, a break! Right. I'm going to sleep. I will sleep! The alarm clock will stop. It's all going to be over. But I did something in the middle of all this that some of you may find rather confusing. When it wasn't enough that I was running a sixteen hour day, trying to raise two adolescent sons and keep my head above water. I decided to get married. I decided to get married again. Which I did, three seasons before we ended. Now did I marry somebody who lived down the street? Even somebody in the business? Even somebody with whom I could have dinner once a week? No. I married a politician from Cleveland. Cleveland. I met him in Ireland nine years ago. It's another story! We re-met five years later and that was it. How we conducted this marriage for two and a half years from L.A. to Cleveland, Cleveland to L.A. in the middle of our respective work schedules, I will never know. But that's love, isn't it?
So my husband said to me "I've never felt like this before, in my life and I want to revel in what it is to be in love – I think it's going to be terrific, we'll grow old together, we'll get a little piece of land, we'll have a little farm, little chickens. We'll do all those things that we always said we would. But first I'd like to run for governor of Ohio."
So this has been my life from April until now. My husband, standing in the back of the room, Mr. Timothy Hagan, is running for governor of Ohio…
Adience: Much applause
KATE MULGREW: … on the Democratic ticket, of course. And we are having a very interesting life. The Primary is in May. After that we'll see how interesting it is, and we'll look and see if we're still married! He's a remarkable man. I'm learning a great deal about politics. It makes Hollywood look like… Captain Kangaroo! This is a whole different kettle of fish. He's, he's an iconoclast, my husband. Unorthodox. Unconventional. Irish Catholic. One of fourteen children. Just adorable in every way! And I think he's going to do it. And I would like to be at his side when he does. However there's a further complication. I decided to do a little play. In the middle of this campaign. So the little chickens are going to have to wait. In January and February I'm going to go to Hartford, Connecticut and I'm doing the life of Katharine Hepburn. Which is a very daunting prospect because you know what kind of a woman she was. One of a kind. Right. And this is no vanity piece. This is an investigation of her life. You will really see who she was at the age of 31. I walk on the stage at the age of 31 in a bathing suit. No laughter… no laughter! And in act two I’m 76. In a body cast from that terrible car accident she had. And I just talk to the audience for two and a half hours. Or as the case may be, if any of you are left I will be talking to you. So that's what I'm about to go into rehearsal for. Next month. And that is how my year is unfolding.
There is another sort of delicious bit of news, for those of you who are interested in the movies of Star Trek. I'm going to do this next movie.
Audience: Much applause.
KATE MULGREW: Thank you. A cameo. But I'm going to do it. Patrick Stewart told me I was going to do it when I met him in England. (in imitation of Patrick Stewart) "I know something you don't know, my dear." However in this movie I'll be giving him orders. It's about time, don't you think? I think for all the hair problems he has never had to suffer it's time I gave him orders!
Our time is limited because I want to do the autographs, but I'd love to take some questions. Do you have questions? Yes sir?
Q: I was wondering what it was like to work across from John Candy on 'Wagons East'?
KATE MULGREW: I have no idea since I never worked across from John Candy. But that's interesting. Yes?
Q: We have a comment before we have a question. We met you six months ago at the Women of Star Trek Voyager convention and we told you…
KATE MULGREW: In Cleveland, right hon?
Q: And we told you that we had just met that day and we had become instant friends talking about you.
KATE MULGREW: Oh great… this is the friendship that erupted in Cleveland!
Q: And you made us promise to stay friends, and we have!
KATE MULGREW: You have.
Q: And we're here to tell you that. And we also have a picture that we would like to give to you.
KATE MULGREW: Thank you.
Q: From Cleveland.
KATE MULGREW: I would love to have it. They made a fast friendship here ladies and gentlemen. Let's give them a hand. How many of you in this room can honestly say that you have one profound, intimate friendship? With someone outside of your spouse. No spouses! I don't really buy that anyway. You know that's double duty! Yes? Oh that's lovely. Well happiest of all is this friendship. It's hard work, you know. It has to be unconditional and a great deal of respect. Yes, of course, it's expensive. All of love is expensive. Thank you ladies, very much.
Who else? Yes madam?
Q: Hi Kate. I'm from Hartford Connecticut and we're really looking forward to having you come to the Hartford Stage. And I was wondering if you could tell us how that came about. How you getting the role there?
KATE MULGREW: Very interesting. Man on a chair over here! How it came about – the part in Hartford? This play was written for me exclusively, by the playwright. Young man. Matthew Lombardo who had watching me for years. And said to himself "If I'm going to write this life, this is the only actress I want to play it." So fortunately we have a friend in common, a very good friend, in fact. He talked to her and she put me in touch with him, I read it. It was wonderful. He revised it. We met again. My agent got involved. We found a theatre. We found a great director, John Tillenger, one of the best and that's how it came to pass, as all things do by surprise, you know. At first I thought I'm not sure I could do this. I'm not sure I understand her. I'm not sure she understood herself. But in my research, which is now all of her movies and every book I could get my hands on, I see that she is just like all the rest of us, only more so. Very complicated. I'm going to try to get to the bottom of it.
Q: I was wondering on the screen you seemed like Kathryn Janeway and Seven of Nine seemed to have this growing and growing bond. And I was wondering if you and Jeri Ryan had a growing friendship as well off screen?
KATE MULGREW: Did you all hear him? He felt that on the screen Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine had a growing and growing bond as he put it. And he wants to know if in life Kate Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan had a growing growing bond. Well the operative word here is bond. No, we didn't have a bond, honey. I can not tell a lie. We just didn't. Nice girl. We didn't bond. (audience laughter) You know… after all this time, as if everybody doesn't know that we didn't bond, what's the point of saying that we did? Don't you think? Does everybody have to bond? You could see very well who I bonded with, couldn't you? Who did I bond with?
Audience: The Doctor.
KATE MULGREW: The Doctor. Tuvok – that bad boy. You ladies have no idea! You ladies have No idea! Now I've said this before, but have mercy on me! My husband is here to attest to it. Alone. With that scatological, puerile, disgusting group of men till midnight and till two - three in the morning on the bridge. Chakotay, Tuvok, Mr. Paris you have no idea of what they were capable of doing! Shameful!
Q: Were there any practical jokes on the set?
KATE MULGREW: Were there any practical jokes! The question is, who is the saint? True or false honey? (addressing her husband)
Q: Do you prefer light chocolate or dark chocolate?
KATE MULGREW: Another very provocative question. Do I prefer light chocolate or dark chocolate? That's been asked me before you naughty thing. I prefer dark chocolate. And I'll see you in January!
KATE MULGREW: Oh did I say I'd have Satan and Jesus to my dinner party? Before I met my husband. Who would Captain Janeway have to dinner? It's been asked me in my personal life. If I could have anybody in the world to dinner, I would have, I think, Jesus Christ. Now I said Satan but of course that's very difficult. What does that mean, that's so amorphous – Lucifer. Who would Satan be embodied? No, don't say it. Who would Janeway have? She would have, no she would have Da Vinci, wouldn't she? She would have Einstein. Or she would have Fineman, she would have one of the top physicists of our time, wouldn't she? She would probably have… who would she have?
Q: Her dad.
KATE MULGREW: Her father? Where are you getting this about her father?
Q: From the audio book.
KATE MULGREW: From the audio book. That wasn't my own personal back history, you know. She had a very close relationship with her mother, as well, not just her daddy. That was somebody else's idea. Yes?
Q: How did you get your role?
KATE MULGREW: How did I get this role? You all know that story, don't you? It didn't come to me. It went to Genevieve Bujold, who is a French Canadian actress. You all know that. Oh, you're from Montreal. Is that good? She lives there, or not there or what?
Q: Just happy at the French Canadian reference.
KATE MULGREW: Oh just the French Canadian association. Okay. What am I on…? It was given to Genevieve Bujold without a screen test and without an audition because she was of course a superb actress of great repute. No question. One of the finest film actresses of our time. You've all seen her work, those of you who are … real film goers. She's marvelous. "Anne of a Thousand Days", she does subjective film noir work that's really unparalleled. She took it. She lasted a day and a half. A day and a half. She had a little trouble understanding exactly what it was they were after, right. Miss Bujold had it in her mind that she was going to create a captain unlike any other captain you've ever seen before and a French one, at that. Yay, yay, Montreal, great! So she came on thirty five times, I know this, because I know the director very well, Rick Kolbe. She came on thirty five times (in a French accent) "Good morning Monsieur Tuvok, how are you Mister Kim? We are very soon to go…" She would walk very slowly down, she would sit in the chair and she would say "Engaaage." Can't you just see Rick Berman? It just didn't work. Both ways. But to her infinite credit she's the one who said, 'you know what, before we get into this thing too deep I'm out. It's not my style, I'm sorry I was misguided…' And to this day I credit her for great foresight and great guts. She turned her back on a lot of dough, but she knew one thing. She didn't want to do it. She couldn't really commit herself to it. And so why make everybody suffer for months or years, right. So, I say adieu, bonne chance, merci and then they brought in five of us, whom they'd seen before. Five. And they had the thing that is an appalling practice in Hollywood. You go to network – it's called 'going to network', which means that there are forty people in a room. Most of them are suits. Most of them are young enough to be your grandson. And you go in and you audition for them. You're in the same room with the four other actresses and one by one you're knocked out. Generally speaking you're told when you're knocked out. They'll come out, they'll say "Thank you very much Miss Mulgrew, don't call us, blah, blah, blah" right. They didn't have that this time, they didn't say anything to any of us. I went in, Helen went in, Elaine went in, back and forth all day. And at the end of the day there was no closure. They basically said 'ladies, thank you very much, we'll be in touch with you.' Nobody had a clue. I went home, it was Yom Kippur, which means that Hollywood becomes absolutely dead. There was nothing, nothing for two days. And I thought to myself, 'I didn't get it.' I enjoyed myself enormously in the room. I really believed that I had it. But I didn't get it. No. They went with somebody more famous, somebody prettier, somebody younger. But they did. So I went to the market, and I came home from the market and I saw a sight that I have never seen before or since. My housekeeper of many years, my Mexican housekeeper whom I adore, Lucy, she's really a member of the family, and my two sons, who were then quite young, standing on the front porch, like this. I got out of the car, and Lucy said: (in a Spanish accent)"Senora, senora, I know you don't want to listen to those messages - you've got to listen to the messages!" Because I never ever listen to messages. "You come senora, I got the button, I got the button!" She had it absolutely cued up. The kids are right behind her like they were on some kind of tranquilizer. I heard this message, that message and finally "Miss Mulgrew, this is Rick Berman from Paramount Studios. I just wanted to say welcome aboard captain."
We are a very very Irish Catholic household. I said "On your knees everybody kneel. Our Father…" I said "And now you may open the champagne!"
That was it. Out of a canon. And on Monday I went in. I cannot believe that it's over. Where did that … and those nights when Tim Russ was spit balling? Where did it go when they were dropping their trousers and giving me their bare bottoms? Where all the heaven and all the delight of my life? Ugh!?
Q: How much control did you have over the development of Kathryn Janeway's character?
KATE MULGREW: How much control did I have over the development of my character? Not a lot initially, because they were shaken. They were very shaken by her leaving and they were beginning to think a broad is not going to be able to do this. We're going to have this woman with this problem and that woman with that problem. Let's just stick to men, right. I know that they were still looking at men even when I was shooting, I believe. So they watched me every day for months. I lost twenty pounds in six months. Can you imagine thirty guys just standing – watching every day like this. Totally inscrutable. I have no idea… because of my natural authority! After a while when I began to relax, which of course is the key to success is confidence. You cannot be confident if you're not relaxed. I was pretty nervous initially. When I let that go – when I went to see Mr. Berman, and you know there's a story – it's a true story. He had me in a harness bra – did you ever – did you ever say to yourself when you first saw me – wow there are some wicked boobs?! He had me in a – I'm fond of calling it an iron harness because that's what it felt like, right. This is the before – you know, nice middle-aged lady. And the after. Huh! I went to him one day, and I looked at him, and I've got a uniform on and I have the bra on and I said "See this. This is your idea of a captain. She doesn't have enough to do, that she's lost in the Delta Quadrant. One hundred and sixty five crew, right. We're surrounded by aliens. She's not busy enough, is she? She's got to harness herself into this damn thing every day, fool around with her hair for four hours." I said, "Now I want to show you something." And I just pulled it and threw it out. I said "Now you see me. This is a woman who knows what her job is. Now Mr. Berman you're my boss. And I'm no dummy, I know that you pay me. Which way do you prefer me to be?" "Well Kate you've got a point there." He said backing out. So after I won that little battle, and subsequently the hair thing stopped a little bit, slowed down, right. You gentlemen have no idea what they put me through with my hair, do you know that? Whenever I see Patrick Stewart he always looks so rested. So suave, so debonair. Of course! They didn't put him through that lunacy for seven years.
Any other questions? Yes sweetheart?
Q: … cookie lady…
KATE MULGREW: You're the cookie lady!
Q: That's right. I made all the other Voyager crew cookies.
KATE MULGREW: Did you?
KATE MULGREW: Thank you.
Q: You're the only one besides Jeri Ryan who didn't get cookies.
KATE MULGREW: Well you give me those and I'll see to it that she gets some of them. (audience laughter) What? Thank you. Thank … chocolate banana! Happy husband!
Q: (couldn't make out most of this question) When I watch Ryan's Hope … I spent time in Ireland and I was wonder how you guys were on the set… how much fun did you have?
KATE MULGREW: On St. Patrick's Day.
Q: Around St. Patrick's Day.
KATE MULGREW: I always threw a St. Patrick's Day party. Did you know that that's my… huh?
Q: In the bar on Ryan’s Hope.
KATE MULGREW: Oh. You're going all the way back to Ryan's Hope. You're assuming that I can remember what it was like to be eighteen years old. It was a great time, you know that. And I was very young, carefree. I look the same?! Oh you (…) There will no autographs. I'm just going to stay here and we're going to compliment each other. Yes, thank you. It was a great group of people. I made two of my greatest friends. Again I go back to it because that's what's shaped my life. Who I love is who I am. Claire Labine who is the producer and the head writer, my great friend. And Nancy Addison Altman who played Jill Coleridge, who is now unfortunately very very sick. She has cancer. Yes. Is my closest friend. I thank God for those great gifts.
Q: When you were first approached to do this, the whole Trek franchise was so successful. Were you intimidated by that at all?
KATE MULGREW: Was I intimidated by the franchise.
KATE MULGREW: No. And I'll tell you what saved me. I didn't know anything about it. Of course I knew about it, you'd have to be absolutely out of it not to have some familiarity with it but I'd never watched it. I'll be perfectly candid with you. I had never watched it. Science fiction was not my thing. I went in completely blank and wrote Janeway from a clean slate, which I think in the end stood me in good stead. I had no preconceptions. Now as time unfolded madam, I must tell you that I began to find myself really interested in science fiction and very interested in science because all of what you see in Star Trek, as you know, those of you who are erudite and most of you are, is based in science. So of course it's very provocative and compelling and I started to read, and it opened all kinds of doors to me. So I was delighted with that.
Q: Occasionally at these conventions Claudia Christian does an impression of you. I wanted to ask have you ever heard of it?
KATE MULGREW: Claudia Christian?
Q: Yes. From Babylon 5.
KATE MULGREW: I don't know who that is.
Q: She was in most of the episodes of Babylon 5. She played Susan Ivanova.
KATE MULGREW: I've never seen that.
Q: Oh, you've not seen the show.
KATE MULGREW: I've not seen it, so I don’t know. How old is she? How old is she? She's young. Is she pretty?
KATE MULGREW: That's enough!
Any other questions? Yes?
Q: This is my first convention and…
KATE MULGREW: What do you think?
KATE MULGREW: What do you think? It's her first convention. I'm asking her what she thinks…
Q: Great, it's exciting to see you. I read an article recently that your sons didn't watch the program. They're the right age group and boys you know so can you comment on why they weren't interested?
KATE MULGREW: Honey, did you bring my medication?! My sons did not watch Star Trek: Voyager. It's 101 honey. You're not a mother are you? How many mothers of adolescent sons? Do you all understand exactly why they didn't watch? Why would they watch… their mother!? With a stun gun, in a suit. Hey, come on, of course.
Q: When they get older they will.
KATE MULGREW: When they get older they're going to do a great many things. When they get older, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.
Q: I saw you when you were on Tom Snyder.
KATE MULGREW: Tom Snyder, yes I liked him very much.
Q: Did you know each other before…
KATE MULGREW: We didn't know each other, but it was a great chemistry and immediate. Bright, Jesuit, Catholic guy, reflective guy. Amusing, dry, quick. I really enjoyed him. Of all of those talk show hosts you see, you could really engage in a conversation. Most of them are on amphetamines as you know! But Tom Snyder for a good conversation and Rosie for sheer just joy.
Q: (I miss him)
KATE MULGREW: I do too. But you see, how could a man of his erudition, of his depth, of his quality, survive on television.
Q: When you were on though, the hour would fly.
KATE MULGREW: Thank you. Thank you. He used to tease me.
Q: Could you tell me what it was like working with Pierce Brosnan on the Manions of America?
KATE MULGREW: What was it like to work with Pierce Brosnan on The Manions of America? Of course every woman wants to know this question. Because he is divinity itself, is he not? However I've got to tell you the truth. We didn't go for each other. We just didn't have chemistry. Neither I for him, nor he for me, as a result, it really worked it. We were on location together for one year in Ireland. He had fallen in love with his then wife Cassie, who had subsequently died of cancer. Ovarian cancer. She gave him three beautiful children. I watched that happen. I was engaged to be married, that failed. But again, in Ireland, on location for a year you, you form something that is very intense.
Q: Is that when you met your husband?
KATE MULGREW: Pardon me? No that's not when I met him though I was only twenty-four, twenty-five. I met my husband in my dotage.
Pierce took me out to show me where he was born and raised, I'll never forget it. His father was a small farmer in Ireland. You know what I mean when I say that? It is what it sounds like. It's just a very small piece of land. Very small cottage. Pierce was one of sixteen children. Sixteen children, (they told me) what it was like. A wonderful heart. I think he's newly married, I think he's very happy. He's been through a great deal in his life and he has never lost his integrity, or his heart. It was a good time with him. It's always better if you don't really go for them, do you know that? Do you know? Oh yes, oh yes, much better!
Q: What was it like working with Billy Crystal on Throw Mama from the Train?
KATE MULGREW: We're going down memory lane today, aren't we? Unbelievable, between the two of them. I had Billy Crystal and I had Danny DeVito. And they were trying to do my makeup, right? And these two would start. They'd do LBJ and Kennedy having a drink together. Or they'd do some damn thing - I would start to cry. I mean so funny. Another absolutely great guy, Billy Crystal. Salt of the Earth. Happily married, wonderful guy, very bright. Same goes for Danny DeVito, who was very generous to me. I'll never forget that.
Q: What was it like on the Cheers set?
KATE MULGREW: Cheers. Oh God. Voyager's over! Moving on - Cheers was great fun. I had been an advocate of Shelley Long all my life and what I witnessed when I did the Cheers thing, and I think I did five was um… sorry, I can't really see, I was staring at this man's tee shirt… it's very… They were great, they were funny. Kelsey Grammar got me the job. Kelsey and I had just done Measure for Measure on stage. I played Isabella and he played Lucio. We became very close friends. And then he got Cheers and then they were looking for, at that time, a replacement for Shelley. That's really why they brought me. They were looking at women who… Kirstie ultimately got it. But in my brief time there I noted one thing; that she was an absolute consummate professional. She would work it and re-work it and re-work it until it was right. And the men could resent that, you know. The men – do it, tape it. She wanted to work it. However it was joyful. You can imagine being with all those madmen, huh?
Q: … Captain Proton?
KATE MULGREW: Oh, Captain Proton. God. I don't even really remember it. Was that with Martin Sheen? Was he in that scene with me? Oh… Captain Proton, Captain Proton! (laughing) I did a feature film that had proton in it but forget it. Talk about funny! That actor. No, Arachnia was great. I’m talking about the guy. What was his name?
Q: Chaotica. Martin Rayner.
KATE MULGREW: Martin Rayner. Electrocuting himself. You don't want to have to do it. Did you see they had me in that skin tight gown – from the thirties, right? And the hair? When he would electrocute himself I couldn't stop. It was such a departure for Janeway. It was such a relief – it was so light. I wondered how the audience would accept it, but I think they did. I think the audience is happy if the actress is happy. When the character is happy. And Janeway would be able to pull that off, wouldn't she? To save them all? Yes. She did.
Q: Did you take anything from the set on the last day of Voyager for a souvenir?
KATE MULGREW: I don't know if it's wise to share this with you! Every single thing (…). I did. I've been wearing these boots for seven and a half years. I took my uniform. I took my little stays. I took my underpants, I took my things. Yes. I stole everything! And so did everybody else!
Yes madam, you in the back.
Q: Now that you've developed the character of Janeway, if they were ever going to have another lady captain would you have a recommendation…
KATE MULGREW: I think I can hear her although I've been having a little problem with my ears lately. I think she is saying if they ever have another woman captain, who would I recommend? Is that what you said?
KATE MULGREW: Oh, it wasn't a hearing problem! Who would I recommend? Well, well. I don't know, I'd have to think about it… for a long long time! I don't know. There are wonderful actresses in the world. Right. She has to be strong. She has to be constitutionally quite strong, and she has to love her craft. There are a lot of them out there. That will not be a problem.
Q: I am from Columbus Ohio.
KATE MULGREW: You are from Columbus Ohio? How are you? You hope that we'll live in Columbus. Indeed we will. What is your… political?! Democrats? Yes, we will be living in Columbus!
Yes, yes? You?
Q: First of all I just want to say I've watched you since Ryan's Hope. Me and my mother are both huge huge fans and so I extend my best wishes…
KATE MULGREW: Thank you. Where's your mother?
Q: She's not a Trekkie so she didn't come.
KATE MULGREW: She's not.
Q: But she really loves you.
KATE MULGREW: Give her my best, will you. Is there anything in life as good as a good mother?
Q: And the ironic is for years, she and I have both been saying that if anybody ever did a movie of Katharine Hepburn's life, you would be the perfect one to play.
KATE MULGREW: Well tell her thank you, will you please? Thank you.
Q: What I wanted to ask you, is being Irish, and of Irish heritage, my name is Bridget, I'm Irish, can't get much more Irish than that, and I wanted to ask you, how much did you enjoy making those Fairhaven episodes and did you have any influence on the writing of those episodes?
KATE MULGREW: Ahh… Fairhaven. Oh. Can we just be honest? It's over. For six years, she has no one. She's troubled. Depression. Loneliness. Because she's the captain of the ship. She will not let her needs go before anything else. She turns her back on Commander Chakotay. She turns her back on a few aliens. Although I do believe I copulated with Mr. Paris and had a lot of little lizards. Oh no, but the months stretch into years and I'm now this great virginal… I'm going to get my crew home, right? I don't need those things. And even if I do, I'm not going to get them. Right. And they say "No, we have a perfect solution. He'll be a hologram! You can create him and you can make love to him and he'll be unreal." I said "Oh how perfectly intoxicating. What is she? A complete idiot?" A complete… and then let's go back to the nineteenth century to add insult to injury, right. I'm wandering around in this dress after this hologram, who, God bless him and I adore him. I just didn't quite get it. Did any of you really grasp….
KATE MULGREW: And then I had this great intense conversation with the Doctor about did I or didn't I, did I or didn't I, did I or didn't I… didn't I what!? Only my hairdresser knows for sure! Talking about the seriousness of it. And then you know what they did? They made it into a two parter! Right. That must have been some gooood invisible sex. Two parts. Absolute silliness.
Yes? Anybody else? Yes madam?
Q: Other than Fairhaven, where are your roots in Ireland, and can I see your play anywhere else? I just want to really thank you for doing the article in American Feminist Magazine.
KATE MULGREW: Oh you're very welcome. Are you a member of that? It's a good group of women. They're trying to do something I think that's very unusual. And is going to take some guts, isn't it.
Your question was where are my people from in Ireland? I believe they are from County Mayo. And your second question was will the play have a future beyond Hartford. Will it be seen anywhere else. I don't know. That's up to the critics, isn't it? I'm hoping it will have a life, yes. And we're doing it in Hartford because that's where Hepburn was born and raised, in Hartford Connecticut. It's a wonderful place to begin out of town. But I think that they are hoping to take it into the city. And then you can come….
KATE MULGREW: What about your children, she says. What are they doing? Will they go into show business? I think it's particularly tough under these circumstances. Their father is a director in the theatre. Their mother is an actress. Long before they were conceived, or even thought of, their mother was an actress. But I think to grow up in this environment, with two creative parents and then to have one become sort of – you know - well known, is very tough on boys. And so they do everything to distance themselves from it. Particularly during their adolescent years. But I suspect it's in their DNA, to answer your question. I know that they are very creative. They are highly gifted kids and if I just let 'em alone they'll find their way. Right? And it will be creative.
How do I leave them alone? I have no clue! Can somebody tell me?
Yes? Yes madam – in the way back.
Q: Tell us about your work with Joel Grey. You worked with him a couple of times.
KATE MULGREW: Joel Grey. Resistance. Did you see it? Voyager. He's a wonderful guy, isn't he? And I worked with him on Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins… and ends! Brilliant actor. Comedian. Fantastic timing. Smarter than hell. Just as smart as a whip.
Q: Whom did he play in the film?
KATE MULGREW: Chiun. In Remo Williams? Joel Grey played Chiun.
Q: Who did you play?
KATE MULGREW: I played Major … what was her name? Gone right out… what was her name? Rayner Fleming. I was the love interest. Oh well, I understand that…
Anybody else? Yes?
KATE MULGREW: What was it like playing with John DeLancie. A furry little rabid dog! He's mad. Totally. Certifiably. Mad. And he's one of my best friends. You know that. And a good friend. Wonderful cook.
Q: When you took the role as Captain Janeway did you familiarize yourself with Patrick Stewart and William Shatner and Avery Brooks roles as captains and did you take anything from them?
KATE MULGREW: When I accepted this role did I familiarize myself with Avery Brooks, Patrick Stewart and William Shatner, and did I take any of that with me. No. No I didn't. No. Why? They're men. Can you imagine if I had? Can you imagine if I had. (In an English accent) "Red Alert." And what am I going to take from Avery Brooks? Huh. No. The hair thing was looking pretty tough. Bald and happy.
Q: I have a question concerning the last episode. I've heard several of the cast members mention that they were unhappy with the way all of a sudden everything just ended, and boom you were home and there was no real closure of what had happened to the characters. How did you feel about that?
KATE MULGREW: Did everybody hear that? It's hard for you all to hear… he was saying that he felt there was some, not displeasure, a little bit of disappointment and some concern from the cast members regarding the final episode – two episodes – Endgame. That it was too abrupt. That the ship just came home. Well you know, it was abrupt starting… where are you? It was abrupt starting and I must say I had something to do with this. Because we had two choices. We could cut the action, cut stuff with the Borg Queen, right? Cut the inter-ship stuff, or we could, you know, try to wrap this up with a ribbon on it. I said "No, the aud… they are going to understand. We'll just have to try to find a way to play it." It's true, that editorially that was a tough leap. But I think we made it. What we certainly made was this: Captain Janeway believed ultimately in Admiral Janeway, and Admiral Janeway sacrificed herself, didn't she? And that is really the essence of what it was all about. And the stories were wrapped up as well as they could be. I mean B'Elanna had her baby. Seven of Nine and Chakotay of course got married. Which I think rather worked, don't you?!
KATE MULGREW: In those last two hours. Well let's go on to something else.
KATE MULGREW: I was Mrs. Columbo.
KATE MULGREW: Oh all right! She'd like a political button, honey. Where are you? He's gone.
Q: Please dish some dirt…
KATE MULGREW: She wants me to dish some dirt. You're going to have to be a little more provocative than that. We don't have any really provocative dirt. She thinks I have dirt.
Oh. I see. You all think I have dirt! I got it!
Q: Tell us about the movie.
KATE MULGREW: Huh?
Q: Tell us about the movie.
KATE MULGREW: Well the movie is just a small… I'm only in it for a couple of days.
Q: Yah, but you know what's going on… come on, give us some dirt.
KATE MULGREW: Do you know that nobody has seen the script for the movie? I think Gates is coming in today, isn't she? You'll all see Gates? Ask Gates. She knows better than I do.
Q: When's it start filming?
KATE MULGREW: They've already started. I don't know it. I honestly do not know.
Q: You said you don't like tight things to wear. What was it like being in a Borg costume?
KATE MULGREW: Oh. He says I didn't like wearing tight things… by the way the space suit – mine was not tight. And I loved it. It's my dream since I hate all that nonsense. To chuck myself into that every day was just terrific.
I liked playing the Borg. I liked that. I love transformation of any kind. Had I had to do it on a daily basis I'm sure I would have shot myself. But the few times that I had to, you know, it was fascinating. Fascinating to work with Alice Krige who is …what an actress. She's good.
Q: What was the most physically grueling episode to shoot in terms of either stunts or make up or combination thereof.
KATE MULGREW: I had one you all would remember better than I.
KATE MULGREW: Macro what?
Q: Macrocosm. It's the one where you're fighting the big…
KATE MULGREW: I'm fighting invisible bugs. That's who. Invisible bugs, right?
Q: Yeah. It's Macrocosm.
KATE MULGREW: Macro something. Macrocosm. Everything I did I did myself. And it was all me. The stun gun, the rifle, the falling, the shooting, the flying… and only in my final season did I say "I don't think I'll do that triple back flip today. Get that nice stunt double of yours who's sitting around for six years."
Q: How wasyour working with Alice Krige…how do you rate her as a Borg Queen?
KATE MULGREW: I just said, I adored Alice Krige.
Q: How do you rate her as a Borg Queen?
KATE MULGREW: I rate her as 'the' Borg Queen. That woman, on Endgame, worked for three days without rest or food. She kept the crew up, she kept her spirits up. An absolute professional. And she really was the quintessential Borg Queen. She's my kind of actress. A great great woman.
Q: Almost every cast member I've seen at a convention does an imitation of you. And I wonder who you thought did the best imitation of you?
KATE MULGREW: This is so enlightening! I have so much dope! She said almost every one of my beloved cast members does an imitation of me. At these conventions. Minimum eight hundred people witnessing. Who do I think does the best imitation, was her question, right? I know who thinks he does! Right. GW, right? He thinks he's the Ruth Draper of his time. Who else does an imitation of me? Who else?
Q: Robert does a great imitation.
KATE MULGREW: Robert Beltran? Really? I thought he was sleeping. I know, I just said GW – Garrett Wang. Does Robbie McNeill?
KATE MULGREW: He does?! The stinker. His back was to me!
I'll take one more question. Yes, madam?
Q: How did you feel being directed by one of your cast members?
KATE MULGREW: Terrific. Because they were so great. Robbie was first. Do you remember Sacred Ground? I loved every minute of that. Robbie McNeill is truly gifted. You know you're inclined to say when you're on a series with somebody, 'Oh sure, he directed, why don't you do the props and you can do the hair and everybody…you know, everybody's great." He was so good. He was to the manner born. He just had it. He had it. And I knew that this was going to be his real course in life. So immediately, I understood that Robbie McNeill was one of those, you know, dual talents. And then when Roxann came forward, I simply couldn't believe it. Remarkable. Isn't her work remarkable?
So you see, they're very very lucky. It's not common that good actors are also good directors. You wonder why I love my group so much. Right. Terrific group. Talented. Bright. Funny. And I miss them.
You have been great. Really great. I will see you again, in Hartford. Get on your planes and …. Thank you very much!