Kate Mulgrew - Professionalism and DignityBy Amy
March 17, 2001 - 9:59 AM
With the end of the series rapidly approaching, Voyager, at the moment, is being subject to its fair share of retrospective looks at the show. Perhaps one of the more interesting and in depth tributes can be found at the Trek Galaxy where Gregory L. Norris and Laura A. Van Vleet have spoken to Kate Mulgrew (Janeway) in the second segment of an epic 10-part retrospective.
Captain Janeway has often been criticised as one of the franchise's more erratic characters. Though it's been her goal from the beginning to "make [Janeway] deeply and profoundly human, and thereby interesting," Mulgrew admits that it took her some time to find Janeway's feet. "I would say in fact it was quite a trapeze act for a while," she said. "For a very long time, I felt it was necessary to play and understand the commands as Janeway." She hopes that the 'realness' has been achieved now, to at least some extent, and attributes it to her "confidence as an actress imbuing the character with that strength."
"I think it's made a very substantial and significant contribution to the mythology of Star Trek - with some very important differences," Mulgrew remarked when asked what contribution Voyager had made to the Star Trek mythos. She thinks that "there seems to be a humanity to Voyager" which added to Trek "something even greater than its epic Science Fiction approach," rooting and dignifying the premise through it's humanity. She adds that "I've thought and always thought that perhaps it is my philosophy that has helped to shape this fact, and it certainly has to do with the rest of the company, all of whom are very genuine."
Mulgrew's life has, in her own words, "changed considerably since Voyager" and she thinks it's going to take her some time to re-adjust to 'normal' life. "I would say that this job has been very all consuming in a life that was already very full. So I had to devise a new kind of balancing act in order to conduct my life with any equanimity at all. I think that once the series calms down, I will have a very interesting and difficult readjustment and re-acclimation to normal civilian life. I think it will be very peculiar for me to not be in constant demand, and that will also, conversely, be hugely gratifying."
In recent times, a couple of the Voyager cast have been accused of unprofessional behaviour - most recently Garret Wang (Harry Kim) for his comments on why he wasn't given a directors slot. Mulgrew has always been noted as one of the most professional of the cast, but unfortunately, she sometimes sees herself as "the last of a dying breed". "I was very well trained by an extraordinary woman who made it very clear to me that professionalism was something that would save my life had I the guts, the integrity, and the constitution to honour it," she said, referring to her mentor, Stella Adler. She says that it's the one value she'll always subscribe too and made this decision very early on in her career. "In other words, I simply said to myself if this is my craft, which I claim to be so passionate about, which I claim to love, and which if I love will feed me in turn, I must honour it by always being prepared, always present, and certainly as generous as possible to my partner. So I would say, throughout it all, it's the one value to which I've subscribed, and always will."
The full interview with Mulgrew can be found by following this link to the Trek Galaxy. In the following segments, Norris and Van Vleet will take readers on a behind the scenes set tour during filming for one of Voyager's final episodes and speak to other members of the Voyager cast and crew.