Peo­ple call it rein­ven­tion, I call it op­por­tu­nity. I ran into the arms of and ran into the arms of Mul­grew

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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

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