7 Live, Seattle,with guest, Kate Mulgrew,
Transcribed by Saffron - November 1988
Screen captures by: Totally Kate!
Notes and Disclaimer: I transcribed this, but I don't own the copyright. No
infringement intended. Please do not post or distribute. Thanks! ENJOY!!
Were you terrified being the first woman that would be a commander on such a
Kate: I was so delighted.
Kate: I was catapulted out of a canon, but I was catapulted with
such joy and I'm at a point in my life where I was not only ready for this role, but so
deeply grateful to have it and so excited and so privileged that I think there was not a
moment's hesitation, there was very little fear, the nervousness was normal and natural
and I think the words spoken to me by the director, Rick Kolbe of the pilot, were the best
words ever. He took me into the ready two seconds before I was supposed to walk onto the
bridge for the first time and he said "Lookit...we've been through hell here and I
just wanna tell ya something. This is your living room, these are your people, and you own
I wanna ask you a question about acting. Are you the kind of actress what gets
lost in the moment at all... can you do that when you're doing a television show?
Kate: How do you mean exactly?
Just in the sense that when you're...
Kate: ...as in the Marlon Brando school of,
Not quite so methody, but when you're in the middle of a scene, and you know it's
really working. Is that your favorite moment?
Kate: That's the essence of good acting. Good
acting is me listening to you and being utterly present to you and every audience member
knows if that's true or false. That's why you often watch people watching television going
"yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeaheyeahnext". It's dismissive, but you know in a second
when someone is really there. Behind that, are hours of preparation, I mean I go home at
night after a 16-hour sometimes 18-hour day and I do not go to bed until I have worked
probably 2, 2 1/2, 3 hours on the next day's stuff. So I own the material so, that in that
moment, I can give the same to you. but it's always a struggle and it's always a little
frightening. I mean, it's a huge challenge.
How much are you and your character alike...and in what ways?
Kate: We're very bossy. We're very happy,
passionate. She's a deeply passionate woman. Passionate about science, passionate about
space, passionate about her people, her crew. I am too.
On your crew, you have Vulcans, you have aliens...
...klingons, which I think is kind of reflective of the world we live in. Is that
by design on the show?
Kate: Yes, this is intentional.
Kate: The diversity, the multi-cultural aspect
of it... and now the ultimate, which is gender transcendence. I think their great concern
is this woman that we're gonna get to play Janeway, how is our demographic of young males
from 18 to 40 gonna do, because those guys really thought it was important that a man be
in this position and in fact, it's altered not at all, so they have accomplished the
greatest thing of all which is that they view me as a person in command, not a lady.
What's incredible to me is that you manage to do all of this and be a mother too.
Two boys you have.
Do they think this is just fabulous?
Kate: No, they don't.
Do they watch you?
Kate: Not... a lot. They're conflicted
They miss you at home...
Kate: They miss me.
That must be heartbreaking.
Kate: It's hard.
How do you manage that?
Kate: I don't manage it very well. I don't know
quite what I'm gonna do about this.
How old are they?
Kate: They're 10 and 11... and they are my
sons... so they are first...but all I can say to them when we have this conversation,
which is unending, is that it is not a resolvable issue, but what would you rather have? A
mother who is deeply passionate about what she does or a mother who is here 24-hours a
day, giving you the meat loaf, picking you up at school and who really has not contributed
to her own well-being, so I know it's a cruddy trade-off, you guys, and it hurts, but one
day, perhaps, as you pursue your own interests you'll see that maybe it was myself who
acted as a role model in this way. I can only hope... I mean I don't think there's any
answer to this about women now... and children. I have no... I would be foolish to say
that I've worked it out in any way because I don't think I have. I don't think any women
have. We're in the vanguard of something fascinating now. This crossover, this ability to
be in powerful positions.
It's a dichotomy, because you... to work on yourself, and your career
makes you a better person.
Kate: Yes. But it doesn't necessarily make you a
better mother... and that's what I know. So, ya know, without getting down about it, I
think it's just important to be honest about it. You can't have it all.
In the middle of the struggle.
Kate: Yes, I think you have to take what comes
your way, if it's marvelous and go for it.