Mulgrew Draws Parallels With HepburnBy Michelle
September 12, 2005 - 7:28 PM
Kate Mulgrew, who has taken her one-woman performance as Katharine Hepburn in the play Tea at Five to the Los Angeles area, calls New York City her home with Cleveland, her husband Tim Hagan's city, her adoptive residence. Fans, however, may be able to see her anywhere from Pasadena to New York to Europe, where she says being Hepburn has been extremely rewarding for her personally as well as professionally.
StarTrek.com conducted a lengthy interview with the Janeway actress, who was greeted on opening night in Southern California by old friend John de Lancie (Q), Star Trek executive producer Rick Berman, former Paramount Television head Kerry McCluggage and other familiar faces. "I'm staying in an apartment here," said Mulgrew, who sold her Los Angeles home after Star Trek: Voyager ceased production and she married Hagan. She said plans to take the play to London are proceeding and called herself an Anglophile: "To me the English are the ones who've changed the world, and continue to do so. If I had to live somewhere out there, I think it might be England."
Having just returned from several weeks of vacation with one of her sons in Ireland, Mulgrew said that although she had plans to play Cleopatra in New York next year and she hoped to do a new play, Rich Women, by Cuban-American playwright Eduardo Machado, she wanted to spend more time with her husband. "He had a massive coronary last year...I adore him. I don't want to have a huge regret when he dies, because of, "Yeah, I was playing Poughkeepsie."
Having lost her father last year and watched her mother deteriorate from Alzheimer's, for whose association she is the national spokesperson, Mulgrew said that she had become more reflective and was enjoying spending more time alone, writing and thinking. Playing Hepburn, she said, has been revealing to her: "It's the life of a woman who was defined by sorrow very early in her life. And I understand that. So was I. A lot of bizarre parallels. I'm from a very large Irish-Catholic family; she's from a large family. I'm the oldest girl, she's the oldest girl. Her older brother was Tom, my older brother was Tom. He [Hepburn's brother] died, two of my sisters died, we were both the same age when it happened. And much was expected of us — I just took a different path, in terms of what I was prepared to sacrifice or not sacrifice."
As always she spoke extensively about the difficulties of playing Hepburn, from wanting to be honest while not offending family and fans to having to learn to love an actress with whom she had always shunned comparisons. In an interview at Blogcritics, she said, "I didn’t like Hepburn. Whether it was because I was so often compared to her, which I don’t think it was, or because I didn’t like her personality. She was too outspoken, rather caustic and harsh. I thought she was a bit of a show-off." She learned to admire Hepburn's courage and added, "I have grown to love her...I didn't expect that."
Tea at Five will run in Pasadena through October 2nd. Discount information is available through both StarTrek.com and Totally Kate!, Mulgrew's official web site. Totally Kate! also has links to other Mulgrew interviews and reviews at the news page.