She's Got a Standing Lunch Date; Kate Mulgrew Boldly Charts a
Fitness Course by Eating on Her Feet--and on the Run
By CANDACE A. WEDLAN
"Star Trek: Voyager" may not be able to find
Earth's gravity as it wanders through the Delta Quadrant, but Capt. Kathryn Janeway cannot
escape it. "I'm on my feet all day, so when I talk about gravity, I'm saying that
it's probably wise to put your feet up a couple of times a day," said actress Kate
Mulgrew, who plays Janeway in the third generation of the "Star Trek" TV
series. "I have a small frame, so the pull on my body at the end of the day can
sometimes be a little rough, especially if I exceed 14 hours. And I'm in 3 1/2-inch heels,
so the back takes it, the butt takes it, the stomach takes it, the uterus probably takes
it as well."
- Question: You know we're going to explore your fitness
program--exercise and food--right?
Answer: That should be the shortest column you've ever written. I
subscribe to no physical regimen of any kind. Nor have I ever.
- Q: Uh-oh.
A: I mean, my physical regimen is the sheer work schedule, which keeps me
hopping. I should not discount the fact that if I can swim every day, I will. I never feel
that it's a terrible labor of exercise, which is what I object to.
- Q: Sweating it out for hours in a gym, you mean?
A: I don't get that. I don't know--I guess for some people it's a drug. I
think that exercise for women my age, and I'm 42, is borderline unattractive, unless she's
doing it for her emotional well-being. When I go to the gym and I watch them all there for
hours--and this is not a judgment call--I'm just wondering why they're not reading a great
book or having a long, intimate lunch over white wine.
- Q: You want to talk about your diet?
A: Yes. I'm going to lose my entire viewing audience. . . . I don't eat
until I am hungry, which means I have never had breakfast in my life.
- Q: Kate, you're going to get us both into trouble.
A: I know--it's awful, it's awful. And I jump-start myself with coffee. I
have very good Costa Rican coffee.
- Q: I use Viennese. Keep going.
A: Uh-huh. And I'll have two or three cups of coffee. I used to be able
to go all day, but now I get hungry, peckish, around 1. I run on fuel. I don't run on fat
and I never overeat. So I'll have fruit or a piece of chicken or salad. Now, I eat
- Q: You're standing?
A: Yeah, I eat lunch standing up and on the run. I'm moving while I'm
eating. But the big thing is--I cook dinner every night for my sons.
- Q: A sit-down dinner, right?
A: We sit down to dinner every night. I have always loved preparing
dinner. And I'm a very good cook. I love to feed other people. I'll set a great table and
I try to visit different countries--I prepared an Indonesian meal for them the other
night. So there's terrific joy in the nightly ritual of dinner. And I'll have a couple of
glasses of wine with dinner, which I think is very good at the end of the day. It lets
your body know that it's done a good day's work and now it should celebrate and relax.
- Q: Your weight stays pretty much the same?
A: I could fluctuate within 5 pounds, but that's probably hormonal as
much as anything. You know, I have to stay pretty trim to get into that bloody spacesuit.
- Q: It looks tight.
A: Yeah. It's a very tight little number and my shape's OK, but gravity
takes over at a certain point, you know. I suppose at a certain point it should and then I
guess I'll just have to kick into another gear.
- Q: Just tell them to change the captain's uniform. Add a cape or
A: A voluminous cape and a great big hat, right? I'll call the
producer--"Candace suggests that I wear a tent." Red Alert would have a whole
new meaning, wouldn't it? Damn ship'll sink. That's one way to get home,
Candace--"Here she comes with her Big Mac--homeward bound." In about three
months the ship will simply plummet to Federation Earth and that's the end of the series.
So we can't do that.
- Q: I didn't realize you wore spiked heels in the show.
A: Yeah, because I'm so much shorter than the men. I'm 5-5 but these guys
are 6 or 6-2. We tried it at our normal heights and it was like a cartoon. A little, bossy
woman shouting up at these huge monsters. It just didn't work. So they put me in these
heels and now we look like we could talk to each other. That's why they devised the
bun--give me some height.
- Q: Do you drink water throughout the day?
A: Tons of water. It's easy to go through five or six bottles of water a
day. That's the other problem with Voyager. You cannot excuse yourself from the set. You
wait until you get cut. It's hard sometimes, but I like the fact that the show challenges
my constitution. You know, the show's rigorous and it's fun and I adore the character that
I play. Nowhere is it written that everything's going to be perfect, but this is pretty
Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles
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