WTNH- New Haven, CT
Monday, November 15, 2004
More Screen Captures
Cusato: She played Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager,
and now she's playing another powerful woman. A legend in her own
time; it's another Katharine – Katharine Hepburn. Joining us now, we're
honored to have actress Kate Mulgrew, who stars in the one-woman show coming
to Connecticut, "Tea at Five". Thanks for coming in.
Kate Mulgrew: It's my pleasure.
Kristen Cusato: Big fans around here.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, I'm delighted.
Kristen Cusato: So it's nice to have you here. A lot of…
Kate Mulgrew: I could, I could quiz you on this…
Kristen Cusato: You could…
Kate Mulgrew: People say that and then I ask them one question about the Delta Quadrant and it's… "I'll get right back to you…"
Kristen Cusato: (I don't know too much about) Star Trek but I'm familiar with some other things. Ryan's Hope, for example…
Kate Mulgrew: … (Laughing) I'm sorry…we're doing that funny….
Kristen Cusato: Yeah, exactly! A lot of us in this state obviously fascinated by Katharine Hepburn.
Kate Mulgrew: Oh, indeed…
Kristen Cusato: Born in Hartford; had her final years living in Fenwick on the shoreline.
Kate Mulgrew: That's right.
Kristen Cusato: She died and everyone was just mourning. Really sad but everyone just wanted to celebrate her life. Were you always a huge fan of Katharine Hepburn?
Kate Mulgrew: I was not of huge fan of Katharine Hepburn's.
Kristen Cusato: Really?
Kate Mulgrew: No indeed, to the contrary. For multiple reasons. Probably because I was compared to her. But I also found her sort of antipathetical. I thought she was a bit strident. A little tough. Aggressive politics for my taste. And it wasn't until I started the research for this role that I… I fell in love with her.
Kristen Cusato: Well tell us… that's interesting…
Kate Mulgrew: Yes…
Kristen Cusato: … ask you. What do you think audiences will be surprised at they find out when they come to see the show?
Kate Mulgrew: I think that they will be very surprised at that marriage… between the character and the actress, and the love affair that has ensued for the last three years. But they may be further surprised, and I don't know, you can never judge an audience, you just hope that they take the ride with you, and that they're not calculating enough to sort of pick out any single component. I think that they will see that she had a wonderful, vibrant vulnerability, which one doesn't often associate with Hepburn.
Kristen Cusato: Right.
Kate Mulgrew: But she had a heart that was very fragile, and I think it was that that enabled her to shoot herself so bravely and so boldly into Hollywood.
Kristen Cusato: What parts of her life are you going through in this play? It's called "Tea at Five", and it's a one-woman show.
Kate Mulgrew: It is indeed.
Kristen Cusato: What are you playing… young…
Kate Mulgrew: To date it's a one-woman show.
Kristen Cusato: To date…
Kate Mulgrew: We may put small children and some dogs in it later on!
Kristen Cusato: Oh. Okay! Sounds like fun!
Kate Mulgrew: Um… what was your question?!
Kristen Cusato: What parts of her life are you taking us through?
Kate Mulgrew: Act One, she's thirty-one. She's just been labeled 'box office poison'.
Kristen Cusato: Okay.
Kate Mulgrew: She's at home in Fenwick. She's suffering from this rejection. Her love life is also on the skids. We don't know where she stands. And she's waiting to see if she will play Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind", for which she'd lobbied heartily. And Act Two she's seventy-six after a very serious car accident in which she almost lost her right foot. And she's far more reflective in Act Two – self deprecating. It's beautifully written and constructed. I find Act One still challenging. Thirty-one – that sort of incredible antelope-like quality she had. A vibrancy. A vitality. A robustness that only belongs to a thirty-one year old superstar.
Kristen Cusato: Uh huh, uh huh.
Kate Mulgrew: So that is always a challenge in front of me – that if you're going to climb a mountain, it might as well be this beautiful Everest that I get to climb every night.
Kristen Cusato: See, you're quoting just like she did too. See. You've already become her. Perfect!
Kate Mulgrew: I suppose I have.
Kristen Cusato: Now tell me a little bit about … you're no stranger to the stage, I mean you've obviously been in sitcoms and movies and shows and on stage as well, but what about a one-woman play? Is this new for you?
Kate Mulgrew: This was my first.
Kristen Cusato: Yeah.
Kate Mulgrew: And in this rather long and interesting journey of my career, I would have to say that it's a singular chapter. There is nothing quite as … big. You just wonder if you can possibly do this for two hours by yourself on the stage. And the mystery of it is that of course you do. And you do by letting go. It's taught me more about letting go as an actress than any other role I've ever played.
Kristen Cusato: What a wonderful experience.
Kate Mulgrew: Well it's a wonderful gift.
Kristen Cusato: Excellent. Good for you. Well thank you very much for coming in. It is "Tea at Five", and it opens tomorrow at the Bushnell in Hartford. Runs through Sunday. Here's the number if you would like some information about tickets. 860-987-5900. Thank you very much.
Kate Mulgrew: And do come and see it. Thank you.
Kristen Cusato: It sounds like a wonderful show.
Kate Mulgrew: Thank you.