People call it reinvention, I call it opportunity. I ran into the arms of and ran into the arms of Mulgrew
of survival’. This is a breathtaking thing to behold, without the constant interruption of testosterone. Correct?” Correct. “That’s what you’re saying, it’s uninterrupted female skill. We’re looking at survival on every conceivable level, from somebody like Red, whose excellence she has to find with her kitchen, with her nature, both maternal and menacing and God knows what I took the fall for, but I’ve been in there for 15 years, so it was significant. But you go from there to a character like Big Boo, whose tenderness is revealed in series three in the most extraordinary way, I think, and then you jump back to Piper and Alex and what’s going on between the two of them. It’s what happens when you Because you just know that life is in the balance at every turn. There are no boundaries here. Within very, very extreme boundaries, there are no boundaries. It’s that trying to define the very physical nature of the thing that I think is so outstandingly good.”
There’s something else, dare we say, more exciting than OITNB going on with Kate at the moment – her first book, a memoir called Born With Teeth. It’s no exaggeration that it’s astoundingly good.
“I’ve wanted to write all my life, clearly, and this is my debut book at an age now where most other authors have had their contribution well before. But I had no intention of writing this book as another, as you put it, ‘tell all’ or Hollywood memoir, it was to be a book of literary accomplishment and I think that my voice, in the book, is strong and clear, because the story has been written in my mind, scored on my heart low these many years – and out it came. And I faced the writing with a real discipline and austerity. I wasn’t interested in writing anything less than a story of honesty, literary merit and significance. And if I accomplished that, then I did what I set out to do. I wanted to write it well, I really wanted to write it well. And they tell me that I have,” she chuckles.
She has indeed, producing a book that genuinely falls into the ‘can’t put down’ category. She takes the compliment humbly, as a dignified person would, and while we’re somewhat pleading for a followup, she quickly says that there’ll be more, though perhaps not in a linear fashion. “It’s all still forming in my mind, but there will be another book.”
We note that Star Trek: Voyager forms only a few chapters – does she think there’s more to be said on her role as the first female captain?
“I think for the moment I would leave it alone, it may percolate again, in my imagination and in my mind, because I’ll tell you without hesitation that those seven years were very defining – but there was a considerable amount of darkness in those seven years. Offset, of course, by the light. Offset very much by the good, the privilege of playing that part, but it was a challenging period in my life, so I may write about. I have to see.
“Did I keep anything? I stole some things if that’s your question,” she says cheekily. “Of course. We all steal. I stole my dressing room plaque. But you know, the minute I stood up from the chair for my last shot, which was a close up, one of the guys came and started to take out the screws. They dismantled the chair! From underneath me! If Bob Picardo hadn’t appeared at that moment, I would’ve been