Starfest 2000

With Kate Mulgrew

I was lucky for the opportunity to see Kate Mulgrew when she appeared at Starfest 2000 in Denver, Colorado, April 16th , 2000. I was unable to attend the convention on Saturday, so I headed down Sunday morning, and got to see not only Kate, but also John DeLancie. I didn't take notes during his talk, and now two weeks later as I write this up, I can't remember anything specific that he said. However, not only did I take notes during Kate's talk, but I used those notes when I related her talk in chat that evening. The following has been edited from the log of that chat, and I apologize for any grammatical errors contained within. I wish I had more time to type this out properly, but it's taken me almost three weeks to even find the time to edit the chat log, and so the following is likely as good as it's going to get. J This is what I remembered and wrote down during her Q&A session, and any mistakes contained within are due to my own Swiss-cheese memories and hurried note taking. Also, there are some spoilers for season 7. So here, to the best of what I remember is what the incredible Kate Mulgrew had to say.

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Thanks  - Court

Side note for Christie Golden fans, I ran into her first at the con and She had the artwork for the covers of the Dark Matters trilogy, and in MHO, it looks incredible. Book 1, Cloak & Dagger will be out in November, and book 2, Ghost Dance, and book 3 The Shadow of Heaven will be out in December
Kate looked incredible as she took the stage, and started out by saying that they finished wrapping season 6 the prior week. She said the cast was the walking wounded right now. Jeri has a broken foot and sprained ankle, that happened while Jeri was getting out of bed. Kate made a few comments about Jeri getting out of bed on the wrong side. Adding to the problems of the cast, Roxann had knee surgery, so she is on crutches, and according to Kate, she is "Lethal" on them. Everyone else, cast and crew have been battling with the flu and colds and such. Kate also talked about how by the end of the season, everyone is exhausted, and the crew has learned how to sleep standing up. She says the cast is less subtle, they lay down, and when the AD comes to get them for scenes it goes something like this "Can't you see I'm in stasis you fool?" She talked about how close the crew is, and that her and Robbie were probably the closest, since they are neighbors. The door to his trailer is only about a foot away from hers. She said Robbie has a kid about every three seconds, and says his wife is always exhausted cause apparently he's the pilot at home as well as at work.

Kate claims to know just about everything about Robbie. She says that she loves working with him, thinks he's an incredible director, and wishes Berman would let him direct more. She commented that she thinks they need to tranquilize Picardo before takes, that the rest of them would be exhausted, and Picardo would be all chipper and energetic. Kate said that she adores Roxann, that she is feisty and a wonderful mother. Ethan Phillips is the heart and soul of the ship, and she referred to Beltran as "an interesting chap." After that she got sidetracked and we didn't get to hear her opinions on Garrett or Jeri, although she did comment on Tim later in her talk.

Kate's comments on Robert Beltran led into her saying that there would be no J/C, that the audience really didn't want to have to watch them redefine "red alert" She was rather adamant about that fact. She said that she never wanted Janeway to be like the other captains in terns of them sleeping around, that she felt she had a responsibility to all the young girls watching the show to set a good example. She did say that she has talked to Berman at the beginning of the show, and that she didn't want Janeway to compromise her leadership ability by getting involved with anyone to begin with, and that they re-examined that at the beginning of season six, so what did she get? Air! She said she didn't have a good track record, first she got some with a lizard and then a boyfriend who was nothing but air. She talked about the guy in Counterpoint, and how that was the ideal situation for her.
Kate stated emphatically that Voyager will get home in season 7. That much at least has been decided. She said it will be complicated and sad. They will be dealing with the issues of the Maquis, Seven and Paris as well as Neelix. It was really hard for her to talk about the end of Voyager, she kept breaking up. I got the impression that she's upset about the show ending, not for the fact that the show will be ending, but that the cast will be breaking up.

Kate spent some time talking about how she was glad that Voyager gave her a chance to work with her various charities. From that point, she delved a little bit into some of her political views, and from there talked some about hubby. They will have their first anniversary next week.

Kate said that Janeway saved her sanity, and says that to her, acting is therapy at times. She talked about how much she loves Janeway, and how she fights for her. According to Kate, the Voyager folks plan to try and give the fans a final season that we will never forget. When asked about the pressure she was under to create a strong Janeway, she talked about the first day she shot, that there were 40 suits lined up right off the edge of the bridge, and everyone was on edge about the failure with Bujold. She said when she got nervous about it, the director told her to just get into the mindset that the bridge was her living room, so she went out, did the scene, and where Bujold had been all prim, saying on-gaaage (engage) she went out, sat down, and just spat out EnGAGE! She talked about how they changed her hair 10 times in the first 10 minutes, til she told them to either stop fussing with it, or shave it all off and let her do a Picard.

A fan asked about the Captain Proton episode, and Kate said she loved doing Arachnia, and would love to do more of that. That she wants Janeway to let her hair down and laugh, to cry not only when it's appropriate but also when it's not. That Kate wants to be able to show more of Janeway's personality. When asked about practical jokes, she said she refused to tell the Tim Russ story again, just said that he was a dead man in her eyes. Then she went on to talk about how those boys are just terrible, and referred to Tim as "The naughtiest person in the Western World." She said they were all big, tall, loud, sexually deprived men, and that most of the time she is the target. She says Thursday nights are the worst, and called it "weinerville" because they have all been away from their wives and girlfriends for four days. She says that it's disgusting, tape balls and spitballs flying around, doughnuts on the chairs, stuff like that.

One little girl got up to the mike said that she wanted to be an actress, and Kate asked her why? And the girl said so she could be a captain like Janeway. Kate was about in tears, and told her that no matter what else she did in life, to live her life passionately, not to be wishy-washy.

Someone asked her about her family, and she said they were proud of her, but doesn't watch her. She said only once has her Dad seen her in anything, she was doing Shakespeare in the park, and as the curtain closed on the first act, she said she could hear her father "When the hell is halftime?" Kate is the oldest of 8 kids, and says that helped her develop the command abilities for Janeway.

When asked, Kate said that they had just done "too much" with the Borg, and that she felt that they weren't scary anymore, to which the audience totally agreed. After that, someone made a Gilligan's island crack, and she said that was a lot like Ginger. :) Someone asked if they would be getting back to the ensemble feeling from the beginning, and she would love to see the balance back, but the show was run by number crunchers. She said that the producers made a big mistake with 7o9, and it pisses her off, because there are nine people on that show with rich stories and backgrounds that are being ignored. She would like to see them correct their mistake, but was doubtful it would happen. Kate said that it was a good ensemble show to start but "That all changed when... you know."

After that, she went into the next question, where someone asked about her plans after the show. She said that in two years she will "Launch her youngest into the world" at which point she will move to Cleveland, and take an apartment in NYC and go back to the theater if the theater will have her.


Kate said the best part of being the captain was getting to be the boss. A youngster asked about Kes, if she was going to be back for good, and Kate was very calm with her, asked her if she knew that Kes left to make room for Seven of Nine, and said that sometimes things like that are just the harsh realities of life. She said that when Jen left, it was very very hard on her (Kate) and said that it was very uncomfortable when she came back to film Fury. She said she couldn't imagine why Jen would agree to do the show, and couldn't figure out why the producers even asked her.

There was one gal that got up, and said that Kate had been an inspiration to her, and as they chatted for a few minutes, it came out that this gal was a survivor of serious child abuse, and had gone on to get married and have two kids, and Kate said that this gal was the inspiring one, not her. Then Kate said the most amazing thing, (This isn't the exact quote, but I think I got the gist of it). Where ever you are in the world, there will always be these people that come along that teach you a deeper lesson than anyone you've known before.
Kate commented that the best part of her job is being very well compensated for doing something that she loves to do. Then she went on to talk about Beltran and Chakotay, and about how he can do intensity very well when he's got the material to work with. That she doesn't' know why he hasn't been given that kind of material since early on, that feels that they have really washed out his character. She finished up by saying that she hoped she hadn't been too opinionated, which she immediately followed up by an evil laugh. And that was it. She looked great, was incredible, very very intense, great sense of humor, and I am so glad I got the chance to see her.