'Voyager' Was Hard Work, Says Mulgrew

By Caillan
November 27, 2001 - 1:01 PM

Kate Mulgrew found that playing Voyager's Kathryn Janeway was some of the the hardest work she'd done in show business, but despite the pressure she never stopped giving her all.

"When I got the job, by the way I really needed this job, and wanted this job, I said to myself, I'm going to give her everything I have," Mulgrew told an audience at the November 18 Vulkon convention in Orlando, Florida (via Totally Kate). "This was a silent pledge, which I regretted! But I did it."

Mulgrew's husband, Tim Hagan, initially didn't realise the pressure of working on the series. "My husband, the very tired politician, came with me every morning for two and a half years. Four o'clock in the morning. Stayed with me till ten, eleven o'clock at night. You wonder why I married this poor guy. And [he] said to me, after a couple of weeks 'I had no idea. I had no idea.'

"I said 'Why don't you tell me what you thought? No big deal, you know. You're a politician. You guys know everything. Right? Sure you do! You can give us every statistic – you can tell us everything that everybody is feeling.' He said 'I thought you were eating bonbons! On a chaise lounge. For a couple of hours a week. And you were getting paid eight million dollars to do it.' He'd never seen anything like it."

Life as a starship captain proved to be one of Mulgrew's toughest jobs. "In fact to be perfectly honest, after thirty years in this business, I will tell you that nothing parallelled the work on Voyager," she said. "That was work. That was hard work. It's highly stylised, as you know. This is not ER, is it? Where you're running around in your hospital greens, throwing gurneys and bloody bodies all over the place. This is very ritualized. The language has to be honoured."

The actress recalled what happened if someone blew a line during a scene. "If you make a mistake, an error, one error, Tim has seen this, in a five-page scene in my ready room, whether it's me or the other guy, and usually it was the other guy - one error - grammatical or otherwise, you re-shot the entire scene. I used to be so pale on Monday morning when my boys [the male Voyager cast members] would come in."

But Mulgrew wouldn't have traded the experience for the world. "Seven years," she said. "They were the best. They were the best!"

The full transcript of Mulgrew's appearance at the convention, during which she also talked about 'Endgame' and practical jokes on the set, can be found here at Totally Kate.

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