Later tonight fans of Kate Mulgrew will be treated to some of her first science fiction related work since leaving the bridge of Star Trek: Voyager. Kate who won the hearts and minds of a whole generation of Star Trek fans as the first regular female captain will beam into the often fun and sinister world of Warehouse 13.
During a phone conference last week SciFiPulse along with a few other well-known genre websites got chance to talk to Kate about her role in Warehouse 13 and it is obvious that she is very excited at the prospects the role has because to say she sounded very animated about playing the role of a mysterious new regent on the show would be an understatement.
One thing that was very apparent from the conference is the fact that Mulgrew is extremely psyched to be reconnecting with the science fiction audience and when Airlock Alpha’s Michael Hinman asked her thoughts on that aspect of the role she enthusiastically provided the following comments.
Kate Mulgrew: “There’s no question about it. First of all, I think Syfy has become a wonderful network. And Warehouse 13, in particular, was an absolutely remarkable experience — wonderful for me in every conceivable way.”
When asked to talk a little about her character on the show, which is a mysterious regent by the name of Jane. Mulgrew chose her words very, very carefully.
Kate Mulgrew: “It’s a little tough. I’m sworn to secrecy on this one Michael. But suffice it to say, I come as a very powerful Regent bearing an extraordinary secret.
“And when the secret is revealed I think the audience will be, to say the least, quite surprised. It’s both wonderful and rather frightening at the same time.
“And the arc is thrilling because I’m not just any Regent; I have great powers. And so I think what unfolds will be very, very surprising to the audience.”
When asked what was challenging about her role of a regent on the series Mulgrew put an entirely different spin on playing a mysterious regent with her answer.
Kate Mulgrew: “I would say it’s been more delightful than challenging. I’ve felt so at home there, which is a very unusual thing at my stage in life to feel, coming in as a guest star. There was a naturalism to it, a complete sense of relaxation. And I feel like I fit there. So it was instantly, deeply familiar. And you very, very seldom get that.”
One of the questions asked commented about how much of a well-oiled machine Warehouse 13 is, and when asked about how she fitted in with the cast Mulgrew had high praise for producer Jack Kenny and was very complimentary of Saul Rubinek and the other cast members.
Kate Mulgrew: “Well it may well be a well-oiled machine, and that’s thanks to Jack Kenny, who as I’ve now said ten-million times is really an extraordinary showrunner.
“But I think that the surprise in all of it – Saul Rubinek is one of the great actors, I think of our generation — certainly my generation. And I felt, he’s consummate and he’s unexpected. So I had to step up to the plate whenever I was acting with him.
“Joanne Kelly is like a delicious confection. And Eddie McClintock, I would have to tell you, as well as Allison Scagliotti, are natural actors. So it’s like playing ball with people who are the best; you really have to play badly not to hit well.”
Mulgrew also revealed her take on why Warehouse 13 seems to have won such a devoted following and mirrors much or what our view is here at scifipulse.
Kate Mulgrew: “It’s smart — very smart, it’s tongue in cheek, and it’s clever. It’s asking the audience, you know, they don’t dot the I’s and cross the T’s, the audience has to stay on its toes.
“And I think that’s exactly what a sci-fi audience prefers; they want to tease out the puzzle along with us. And that’s what you get to do with Warehouse 13.”
When asked about taking on science fiction roles Mulgrew revealed that she hadn’t really been offered to much work in science fiction since her time on Voyager, but felt good about Warehouse 13 because it allowed her a tad more freedom than she may have had when doing Star Trek.
Kate Mulgrew: “It didn’t carry with it the baggage of some other science fiction shows. It has a real delicacy to it, and at the same time I think it’s, as someone had said before, a well-oiled machine, yes, but it’s still a very sleek and well-run machine.”
Of course, the one question all actors get asked about appearing on Warehouse 13 is did they get to play with any of the cool toys and Mulgrew revealed that she pretty much interacted with a fair few of the gadgets within the Warehouse.
Kate Mulgrew: “I got to play with all those toys, and lots of artifacts to boot. And that’s the other thing, I really want to say this, the beauty of it is you’re working in a Warehouse and every one of these artifacts is rooted in truth. So I have to tell you, I mean I was there for four episodes, I don’t know how many weeks that would be, but I was learning so much. I mean the Caloti bracelet is based on something that’s true. And whenever I get to learn I’m at my happiest. So the artifacts were fascinating, and there was the Farnsworth, I think that’s their sort of their tricorder if you will. And that was fun to work with. And I’m very familiar with the green screen and the blue screens and I know what that means. So that’s always a challenge. And it was great fun.”
In a few recent interviews, Mulgrew has revealed that her character of Jane has a magical quality to her. So when asked to perhaps compare Jane with the more scientific Captain Janeway. The actress tried to give an answer but was careful not to give to much away in the process.
Kate Mulgrew: Well let’s say, Captain Janeway was a Captain of a small starship which was lost in the Delta Quadrant. And her responsibilities were very serious. And she was an ardent scientist.
“This woman, Jane, is a mother, a person, a teacher, and the powers of the Regency have been endowed because it was her personal choice to help. But beyond that, I’m afraid I’m going to get into a rather grey area, which I’m not allowed to get into because the secrets that unfold are such that they’re very, very, very unexpected. And they’re big.”
On a more serious note, a few questions were fired at Kate about the wonderful work she has been doing to promote the cause of Alzheimer’s and the work that she does for the charity. Alzheimer’s is a condition, which has not just impacted the lives of everyday people, but has also taken some incredibly talented people away from us such as Peter Falk and in recent years we’ve learned that acclaimed writer Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed and is doing his bit to promote the charity, but Mulgrew has been heavily invested in making people aware of the condition for some time and when asked where she was currently at with it. She very graciously updated us on the work she has been doing and some recent developments.
Kate Mulgrew: “Well my job is to talk about it, get it out there, to help the University of Minnesota Hospital, in particular, the Grossman Center, I’m working with Dr. Karen Ash, who is I believe a pioneer in Alzheimer’s. And she invented the Alzheimer’s Mouse.
“There’s been a recent breakthrough out of Canada, I don’t know if you’ve read about it, a clinical trial. But I think that there was a discrepancy so we have to start again and each one of these trials is about $60 million. So raising the money is very difficult.
“So all I can do is write about it — vis-à-vis my experience with my mother, which was deeply personal, as you can appreciate — and speak about it and get it out there, because you know, by 2050 this will be pandemic. And if we do not get our hands around the throat of this thing now we’re going to be a lost people.”
Kate Mulgrew will make her first appearance as Jane on Warehouse 13 later tonight on Syfy Channel.
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By Ian M. Cullen