E! News Live - 03/17/03

(Air Date: March 17, 2003)
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Transcribed by Saffron -  March 18, 2003


Notes and Disclaimer: I transcribed this, but I don't own the copyright. No infringement intended. Please do not post or distribute. Thanks! ENJOY!!

[Clip of Tea at Five]
"...theatre owners decided I deserved a nickname for my contribution - 'Box Office Poison.' It has a catchy ring to it, don't you agree?"
[end of clip]

Giuliana: Kate Mulgrew's Irish sass comes across as she tackles one of the most difficult roles on the stage.

Brien: Yeah, impersonating screen legend Katharine Hepburn. And she joins us live from our New York studio right now. Hi Kate."

Kate: Hi. How are you guys?

Giuliana: Good. How are you?

Kate: Impersonation is not the word I would use, however.

Brien: What is it? Tea at Five... it's about Katharine Hepburn? How do you feel about playing that role?

Kate: I hope I'm creating something not impersonating something, Brien. I feel incredibly honored to be playing her. It's a rather daunting challenge, as you can imagine, but it's one that, um, is extremely gratifying. I'm having a marvelous time in this city, beyond all great cities. So I'm where I want to be at this point in my life doing exactly what I want to be doing.

Brien: Was Katharine Hepburn one of your favorite actresses going up?

Kate: She was not.

Giuliana: Really?

Kate: In fact, I had a natural antipathy towards her, I would suggest because...[to off-stage person] you can't hear me? What? Um, yeah, all right. He's making funny signs in the background.

Brien: We can hear you./Giuliana: Uh-oh.

Kate: She was likened to me so often that one develops a natural resentment. Not because she was not terrific. There was no question she was an astoundingly remarkable actress, but I wanted to be an actress in my own right so I thought, "You know, enough with Katharine Hepburn." When I took this role and I started the rehearsal process, an alchemy sort of transpired and I fell in love with her. And a magic happened between the two of us. It was a marriage that I did think would be as marvelous as it has been but it's been absolutely fabulous from day one.

Giuliana: Did you meet... Have you ever met her in real life?

Kate: Have not met her.

Giuliana: Really?

Kate: Have not met her. And I think, in hindsight, that has stood me in good stead.

Giuliana: Why? Because you would have...Why is that? Why is that?

Kate: Because I would have seen her, Giuliana. I would have then not been able to take the leap, imaginatively, that I've taken in creating this role without having seen her in the flesh. And although, at this juncture, I would be most grateful to meet her. I think during the rehearsal process, it was better that I was left to my own very naughty devices.

Brien: Now you played Captain Janeway on Star Trek Voyager for quite some time.

Kate: I did.

Brien: What is it like to go from the small screen to the stage?

Kate: From the Delta Quadrant to the heart of New York City? It's tough. I parked that Starship, didn't I? Um, it's been a wonderful last 10 years of my life. What actress could ask for anything more? I was the first female captain. Um, I sort of, uh, broke the boys club and I loved those seven years, and now this. Who could ask for anything more?

Giuliana: That's terrific. And now, I have to ask you this. How do you prepare before you go on stage every night? How do you prepare? What do you do?

Kate: I kiss the most attractive man that I can find.

Giuliana: Do you really?

Kate: [laughs]

Giuliana: You're naughty... you know what?

Kate: [as older Kate Hepburn] Now, don't you think I do that? I'm not kissing anybody. I'm concentrating on my role.

Giuliana: Let me tell you something, I wouldn't put it past you.

Kate: [as herself] Huh? You shouldn't put it past me. I'm of an age now, I can do I like.

Giuliana: Mm-hm.

Kate: I go right into a tunnel, Giuliana. That's all. The whole day is about the evening. I get to the theatre 3 hours early. I warm up. I focus. I go through the play. I go into my dressing room. I put my little bit of make up on and I become very focused because I'm out there without a net and, uh, that is something that one can not approach without trepidation, as I'm sure you can well imagine.

Giuliana: Of course.

Brien: Kate Mulgrew, thank you very much for being here.

Kate: Thank you guys. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Brien: Thank you. You too.

Giuliana: I know. To you too.

Kate: Go out and have a drink. That's what we're gonna do. [as Hepburn] That's what we're gonna do.

Brien: Try Tea at Five in New York.

Giuliana: Tea at Five, check it out.

Kate: Thank you very much. Bye-bye