Mulgrew's Playwright Thought of Playing Her Role Himself

By Michelle
March 20, 2007 - 11:04 PM

Though Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) opens tonight in the play Our Leading Lady, the playwright admitted that while he was instantly impressed by the actress, she was not his only choice for the lead role. The other leading candidate was...himself.

The star of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Psycho Beach Party, actor-writer Charles Busch told The New York Post that he wanted someone strong and commanding in the role, and "as soon as Kate shook my hand, I thought, I hope she'll say yes!"

"I always hear actresses saying there aren't enough roles for women," said Busch. "So that's my big WPA project - to create big roles for women." Although Busch has performed in drag many times, however, "Sometimes it's better to have a biological actress," he added.

Mulgrew joked that she would go onstage with a petri dish to be a satisfactory biological actress, though she noted that her gender caused enough trouble when she was on Star Trek that the executives obsessed over her hairdo. "They were so nervous about my gender that they focused on the space, we can't have the hair problems we have today," she recalled. "I could do a 10-page monologue, and if one hair was out of place, it was, 'Cut!' I used to die."

Like Janeway, Mulgrew said that her character in Our Leading Lady - Laura Keene, the actress performing at Ford's Theatre the night of Abraham Lincoln's assassination - possessed "guts and passion."

Busch said that Mulgrew gives a "a wonderful performance" in the role, but when he saw the gown Mulgrew would wear in the first act, he nearly changed his mind about wanting to play the part himself.

The original interview is in The New York Post.

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