Jemma Redgrave – Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
Photo by Jen Clapp
Jemma: (referencing our glitter eyeshadow) God, you SPARKLE. Twinkle and sparkle!
Kim: That is our mantra! We will be in glitter all weekend.
Jemma: I’m going to need some of that!
Kim: Welcome to LI Who! Weren’t you supposed to come last year?
Jemma: I wanted to come last year but I got a job, so we were delayed by a year. I’m so glad to be here now!
Kim: I want to talk about that scene from “The Zygon Inversion” with Peter, Jenna, and Ingrid. What was that LIKE for you?
Jemma: You’re not the first person to ask me about that scene. It was a fantastic script, a completely brilliant piece of writing and it was toned down slightly because of the obvious parallels. But it’s an incredible scene and it plays out…I think it’s 5 or 6 minutes and we rehearsed it and Peter came in and that performance! My God, that man works. When Peter’s not filming, he’s round the corner on set and there’s a desk for him because he’s got scripts and he’s studying. He’s learning and learning and learning because he’s got these huge speeches. But that…that was like theatre. He came in and it was mesmerizing.
Kim: And you are watching and reacting to him but you’ve still got to deliver your line!
Jemma: It was an extraordinary scene to be a part of and it required absolutely no acting because it was so moving and so from the heart. From Steven Moffat’s heart and from Peter Capaldi’s. It was a privilege and an honor to be a part of it.
Sage: I love that in Series 9 you see the relationship that develops between Kate and Clara, where Clara is somebody who gets the call. It seems like there are things that occurred and there were conversations that were had and they’ve been planning and scheming about what to do when something happens. Do you get to have conversations about Kate’s arc for the whole series or does it just come script by script?
Jemma: Script by script.
Sage: So then how do you say “Jenna, this is what our relationship should be like in this particular episode?”
Jemma: We develop it scene by scene. You get the script and you get on the floor. You get used to picking up the clues very quickly. Jenna and Peter are fantastic. Jenna is a MARVELOUS actress. Peter, you see it and you see his brain working. Jenna is…when you are working with her on the floor, you see a certain amount of it. But when you actually really see it, when you see it on-screen, she’s working on two levels. She works so sensitively and communicates things to the camera that you don’t pick up when you’re face to face. The relationships really develop in the moment. Script by script, certain aspects of Kate’s background or character get revealed. So I didn’t know she was a bridge player and a gardener till I got that episode. Although, I might have guessed that. I’ve done a lot of work on her, created a background and a private life for her. I do think there’s a certain amount done, for example, with costume design. Peter said, when there was a lot of walking around with the Zygons in rubbly basements…
Kim: And you were doing it in heels!
Jemma: And Peter kept looking at my feet going “Really? REALLY? You know UNIT is an Army. Really?” But you see, the thing is, the costume designer and I worked on the character. Yes, she’s part of an Army and yes, she wears suits, and yes, she’s kick ass but there’s something really nice about the fact that she displays her individualism through quirks of costume. She likes to wear heels!
Kim: And that’s just a way for her to promote her femininity too. “I can still be all these things and rock a pair of heels.”
Sage: It’s so wonderful, with those episodes in particular, we have Kate and Osgood and two versions of Clara. It was such a wonderful female-forward arc for the show. It seems like having Kate in charge of UNIT changes the dynamic. As soon as she comes on-screen, it’s like the ladies are double in charge. It shifts it.
Jemma: It does! And if you look around at the episodes that I’ve been in, like the Cybermen episode (“Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven”), there’s Osgood and Kate and Missy and Clara. They create fantastically strong female characters. And all very distinct. They are not similar, there’s an age range, they are all flawed, they’re brilliant. It’s very empowering for girls to watch. And that’s great.
Kim: When you did the 50th Anniversary, did you expect that you would become a recurring presence?
Jemma: No. I had no idea. It’s been an unfolding joy and it’s been a great joy of my life. Because I think our lives are profoundly affected by it. There are few things as important to a human being as a sense of community and one of the things that has opened up to me through this part and this series is being a part of an incredible community. I’ve been embraced, partly because of Steven Moffat and partly because of Nicholas Courtney and I’m immensely grateful. It’s a privilege and an honor to be a part of it. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I could have included these amazing photos in the previous update but frankly, they deserve their own post 😉
Have a preview:
Be sure to take a look at the others as well. They’re fab! Thanks for sharing, Giellen!
If you followed our twitter feed over the weekend, you may well know Jemma attended the Long Island Doctor Who comic-con recently. Take a look at these photos:
— Jen (@jendoctorwhofan) November 11, 2016
— Chris Kocher (@RealChrisKocher) November 11, 2016
— TBK (@HumanNothlit) November 12, 2016
— Resurgent Geek (@SutekhsCat) November 13, 2016
— Chris Kocher (@RealChrisKocher) November 13, 2016
— YosemiteForest (@YosemiteForest) November 13, 2016
— Kim (@Kimalysong) November 14, 2016
I also made a list of quotes by Jemma from the panels…
“Are you going to sparkle all weekend? I may need to borrow some.” – Jemma Redgrave, loving our glitter.
“The episodes you’ve been in have been hallmarks for a lot of reasons.” Jemma Redgrave: “Isn’t it because I’m in them?
“Sometimes, I want to save the world — and, in the UNIT series, I get to.” Jemma Redgrave on Big Finish Doctor Who
“Weeping Angels scare the shit out of me.” – Jemma Redgrave
Jemma Redgrave: “Weeping Angels scare the s–t out of me!
Jemma Redgrave said, “If you didn’t know, a lot of my family are actors…” and then the room started laughing.
Jemma Redgrave said if she could choose any Shakespeare role, she’d be Beatrice.
Jemma Redgrave: should Kate Stewart be full time companion? “Don’t think I haven’t thought about it!”
Here is a #LIWho interview tidbit – not only would Jemma love to be back on DW, her aunt Vanessa would love to be a villain!
Jenna’s headcanon is that Kate is married to a woman.
“We’ve all got to have a patch that belongs to us. Fuck it, this is mine.” – Jemma Redgrave on being the only Redgrave in Who.
Then Jemma apologized profusely for dropping an f-bomb with kids in the audience.
“I think that Vanessa would quite like to be in Who…but she just can’t. It’s mine.” – Jemma
“For a woman to rise to the top of UNIT…it’s hard for women to do that in science so I knew she was STRONG.” Jemma on Kate.
“I knew she was an incredibly strong woman and I knew she had a sense of humor and I knew she adored her dad.” – Jemma on Kate
Jemma rattles off all the different TYPES of women shown on Who recently: “It’s such a range of women for girls to look up to.”
“Whatever your profession, you need a round of applause every once in a while” – Jemma Redgrave.
“I just watched and tried not to forget my lines!” – Jemma on watching Peter do the Zygon Inversion speech
Kate’s relationship to the Brig reminds Jemma of her relationship to her own father. They used to watch Doctor Who together.
“If someone asks, I’ll be there.” – Jemma on doing theatre in NY
Jemma explained to the “Power of Three” director how special the moment is when the Doctor tells Kate he knew her father.
Jemma tells about a fangirl moment meeting Jon Pertwee: “I couldn’t speak!”
Having just lost her dad, she cherished those moments where someone would share their memories with her.
Jemma stresses the practicality of Kate’s heels: “They aren’t high heels, they are kitten heels!”
“I have loved every single moment playing Kate and being on Doctor Who.”
Jemma Redgrave can’t stop praising the entire Doctor Who production staff.
Jemma: “I LOVE working with Ingrid. She’s a spectacular actress.”
Jemma said Peter Capaldi took her aside to say “YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS.” re: Kate saying 5 Rounds Rapid.
“I like to think about a character’s story in my head, what secrets they might have” Jemma abt headcanons
“I’m playing an army medic at the moment, I try to channel that physically… shoulders back chest out”
“It’s so lovely to come a place where everyone is so happy to see you!” – Jemma Redgrave on the con experience.
Clearly, Jemma Redgrave is bestowed with our “McGanning” award of the con aka the biggest con crush.
“I got the best part (in #DoctorWho) than anyone else I know.”
“They were so close, such a wonderful unit.” – Jemma on Karen and the Babes on Power of Three
“I feel a little trivial after that.” – Jemma quips after Ross and Sarah talk about their physical work with monster costumes.
Jemma is very proud of convincing the costume designer Kate’s military coat should be Burberry.
.@DebStanish accidentally calls Jemma “Kate”. Jemma: “Thank you.”
“If you share that on social media, I’ll send a Zygon after you.” – Jemma Redgrave, out of context.
Jemma gets a little emotional when she talks about the Community of Doctor Who fans and how they’ve embraced her.
Ross Mullen just BROKE Jemma Redgrave with a funny story and her LAUGH is a glorious barking thing of joy.
“You did scare the shit out of me.” – Jemma to Sarah Madison (The Weeping Angel)
“Do you mean sonic screwdriver envy?” – Jemma, when asked if the Doctors on the 50th “sized each other up.”
Jemma says the Brig was Kate’s “north star” just as her dad was for her.
“Family and community are so important… and it’s so heartwarming” Jemma on being part of the Doctor Who fandom
“I’ve played doctors so many times I’m almost qualified!” (to actually be a doctor)