Kate Mulgrew talks NTSF:SD:SUV::
Season 2 of NTSF:SD:SUV:: continues tonight on Adult Swim (on Cartoon Network) with an episode that finds Trent and Alphonse welcoming a teen heartthrob on a ride along and Kove starting a podcast. To celebrate the excitement that Season 2 brings, I spent some time talking with Kove herself – the lovely Kate Mulgrew – who let me in on why she joined this crazy series and what she hopes the future holds!
I love this show!
NTSF? Why, tell me why!
It’s so different than things that are on the air, and at the same time, it’s a really great send up of everything we’ve seen before. It’s smart, and hilarious.
Oh good, I’m so glad! Because I often wonder what people think about it. I don’t know by and large. I know that our ratings are good; Paul just sent me an email. And that’s due to Paul Scheer, the great guy behind this whole thing. He’s an extraordinary person, so it’s all really about him, and attributable to him.What was the reason you thought “ok, this show is what I want to be doing right now?”
He called me directly. They made the offer and then he said to my manager and said, “can I speak to her?” I didn’t know what it was, I had no clue. I said, “I gotta talk to the guy?” He said it’s just a send up. We’re just going to have fun. We’re going to have great fun. And we’re going to try to make it as smart and sassy, and good as we possibly can. And you’re going to be our M. And that’s what got me. The James Bond idea.
Is there one episode so far, or story so far that has surprised you or has been your favorite?
You know how fast it goes? It goes so fast! Whenever it’s about Trent, going undercover with Trent, it’s always great fun. You know, Kove is obsessed with Trent. We’ve been married and divorced twice. And I love our two little children, who don’t speak, but they’re karate champions.
Oh the karate champions! I’ll look back on an episode, and every minute of the 15 had something important to it, which is another thing that sets the show apart.
Oh I’m so delighted to hear you say that. When you’re in it, you lose perspective, because you’re so immersed, right? But I’m very aware of certain things. I’m aware that in the second season there was a quality to the shooting, to the tone on the set that was slightly more elevated, meaning that it was altogether better. Paul, just sort of tightened it, but at the same time, he liberated. I don’t know how he does that. You have to be a true comic genius to do that. But he does it. We’ve got Jonathan Stern, Curtis Gwinn, and the company is fantastic!
What can we expect from this season – great guest stars, a lot of movie spoofs. What can you tease?
It’s full of movie stars. it’s full of the best comedians in movies. One after the other just came through. My head was on a swivel because I just kept saying “I’m’ working with that person?” As I say, a more advanced quality of lunacy. At the same time, the stories are more clear. Rob Riggle as president of the Navy plays a much bigger role this season, and I sort of have an interest in him beyond our strictly official roles [laughs]. I’m always going to with him to socials and things like that, and that’s very important. The character development. Rebecca Romijn and June, that’s very, very important. The bonding between the women and the men; he’s really smart. He’s taken the characters seriously. Even though it’s a send up, as we all know, the only reason that it’s a good send up is because it’s rooted in something that could be viable.
Sure, some of these characters wouldn’t exist in real life
Well not robot SAM for sure [laughs]
But it’s rooted in some sort of realism.
I was talked to Martin about some great guest stars – are there more people that you’d love to talk to and get on the show?
This is the other thing! I’ve done it twice with Paul,and he said absolutely. He picked up the phone and called them. He had Bob Picardo on, who is my great friend when I recommended him. And then I said, I’ve got this young friend who is a brilliant comedian; he picked up the phone and had him on. So, Paul is completely game to have anybody on.
Is it different to shoot a 15 minute show, versus hour long drams? How different is this from other roles that you’ve done?
That’s an interesting question, because it has the same intensity. Even though it’s a 15 minute show, we’re still shooting it sequentially over a 5-6 week period. So rather than a 6-7 month season of shooting, we have a 5-6 week season of shooting, making it more intense. We could be shooting 1 or 2 in a couple of days, you know what I mean? If anything, one has to really be on one’s game.
Why do you think that this a show that people should find or should be watching?
If you’re absurd at all, and you see how heavy handed we can be in procedurals, and how self-congratulatory we can be on television, tune into this and have a laugh. It’s a whimsical look at everything we live or die by. And it’s a very smart little send up, isn’t it? Everybody is poking fun at everything.
Are there any procedurals that you watch that you’d love to see a send up of?
I don’t’ watch procedurals. I don’t think. Is MAD MEN a procedural? [laughs] No, so that’s probably it. I love MAD MEN and THE KILLING. Those are the only two shows I watched in the last couple of years, but I know they’re on. LAW & ORDER’s been on for 500 years, and like CSI: POUGHKEEPSIE. It’s crazy isn’t it?
What’s great about your show is that there’s a spinoff built in, too, with the Alaska NTSF!
Exactly! Have you seen any of this season’s episodes?
I have seen the first three episodes! As a fan of the 1st season, I was excited for the 2nd season, so combine that with CHILDRENS HOSPITAL and it’s a nice one two punch on Thursday nights.
Let me ask you something because I’m somewhat of a neophyte – what kind of a demographic is attracted to NTSF.
It runs the gamut. I’m just in my 30s, and my group of friends are fans. High school kids, an older demographic. I think it can be universal!
I think that’s good. Some of the humor gets a little out there [laughs].
We’ve seen you on WAREHOUSE 13 as Pete’s mom – will we see that continue?
Yes, I have a recurring role on WAREHOUSE 13. I’m the Head Regent now, so Jack Kenny, who is the showrunner, will probably have me back again and again. They’re a lovely group. I [went up last weekend] to the Expo [in Toronto]. I’m going to do a play in the Spring in New York, and that’s even more fun.
As you knock these things off your to do list – Comedy, Plays, Dramas, etc., is there one that you gravitate towards?
As I get older, to be able to exercise a little bit of dexterity is the greatest joy of all. A little bit of darkness, a little bit of light. Keep it all in balance. Which is something that I didn’t do when I was a younger actress. I was a serious leading lady, and now I can say, oh yeah, let’s go have a laugh. It’s perfect!