Movies: Star Trek: Nemesis
Character(s): Kathryn Janeway
In 1995, Mulgrew received a call to take the part of Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. She had auditioned for the role when producers announced casting. She initially submitted a video-taped audition. Unhappy with this audition, she auditioned in person a few weeks later. That day, film actress Geneviève Bujold was selected to play Janeway, but she left the role after two days of filming, realizing that the amount of work required for an episodic television show was too demanding for her. Mulgrew was offered the role, which she accepted.
Mulgrew made history in the Star Trek franchise when she became the first female captain as a series regular in a leading role. Mulgrew won the Saturn Award for “Best TV Actress” in 1998 for her performances as Janeway.
About her years on Voyager, Mulgrew said:
“I’m proud of it. It was difficult; it was hard work. I’m proud of the work because I think I made some minor difference in women in science. I grew to really love Star Trek: Voyager, and out of a cast of nine, I’ve made three great friends, I managed to raise two children. I think, “It’s good. I used myself well.”
Speaking about the best and worst part about playing a Star Trek captain, she said:
“The best thing was simply the privilege and the challenge of being able to take a shot at the first female captain, transcending stereotypes that I was very familiar with. I was able to do that in front of millions of viewers. That was a remarkable experience—and it continues to resonate. The downside of that is also that it continues to resonate, and threatens to eclipse all else in one’s long career if one does not up the ante and stay at it, in a way that may not ordinarily be necessary. I have to work at changing and constantly reinventing myself in a way that probably would not have happened had Star Trek not come along. I knew that going in, and I think that all of the perks attached to this journey have been really inexpressively great. So the negatives are small.”