‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Actors Talk Working Alongside Klingons

T'Kuvma in Star Trek: Discovery

Entertainment Weekly has posted one more piece from their Star Trek: Discovery cast interviews. In the newest video they discuss their reactions to the elaborate new Klingon makeup.


Intimidating faces

“I love working with the Klingons. They have such a reverence. It makes for really amazing moments,” says Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham).


“When they emerge out, it’s quite menacing, you take a few steps back and go, ‘okay, I don’t wanna mess with that,'” remarks Michelle Yeoh (Captain Georgiou).

Do Klingons drink SlimFast?

Shazad Latif (Tyler) tells us that the poor Klingon actors can only sip protein shakes through straws when in their full make up, a drastic change from Michael Dorn’s prosthetic forehead & nose, which still allowed him to drink Worf’s favorite beverage in any given scene.

Even Doug Jones thinks the Klingon makeup is more burdensome then his complex Saru getup:

I have it easier than the Klingons do, I’ll tell you that much, the Klingon makeups are a bit heavier, a bit thicker, and a bit more cumbersome.

Lt. Saru (Doug Jones) on Star Trek: Discovery)

Lt. Saru (Doug Jones) in Star Trek: Discovery

Jason Isaacs (Lorca) recalls hosting a Discovery cast games night and not recognizing his co-stars out of their Klingon makeup despite having worked with them all day.

Mary Wiseman (Tilly), on her friend from the Juilliard School, Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), playing a Klingon:

The first time I saw her dressed as a Klingon was probably, like the most mind blowing experience, I’ll never forget it.


Three covers

The new issue of EW is on stands now and features three collectible Star Trek: Discovery covers. You can buy all three here, or purchase the individual covers here, here, and here.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I love the new look for the Klingons. It’s not that different, aside from the lack of hair, which to me is not a big deal. They look great…and very menacing.

Make no mistake. I like the look. It is eerie, uncanny and truly non-human, but it is also emotionally troublesome on a personal level. And Im not talking about freakin’ canon at all!

Worf was my hero from 12 to 25. At the age of 15, I grew my hair and beard to look like him against my father’s will. I was even somewhat happy when I began to loose some hair in the front part of my head early on (where Klingons had no hair at all). Sadly, my “Worf” look may have contributed to the fact that I have never gotten laid at all until this very day. :-(
In a way I sacrificed my youth and young adulthood to look like him. And now, this iconic Klingon look has been replaced by something completely different. No hair, no beard, everything I have emulated for the better part of my life is gone.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I should have gotten my priorities straight when I was still 22. Now it’s a bit late for having second thoughts about emulating a TV character to the level of social isolation and loneliness.
Maybe the time has come to finally grow up. Maybe this new Trek series will turn my life around ater all. Maybe these “adult version” Klingons are the kick in the butt I needed to become a normal human being… Yeah, sad story, I know…

@smike: worf is a worthy hero, and i commend u! =)

don’t let these fake blingons fool you! YOU know what’s right for YOU! =)

“Sadly, my “Worf” look may have contributed to the fact that I have never gotten laid at all until this very day. :-(”

You lost your virginity today? Why are you talking about that? Go out and get some, son!

Dear Smike

Thankyou for sharing your story; like many others I’m sure, I can recognise elements of my own life in there.
I totally identified with the character of Spock – and later, from 18 onwards, with Data – as individuals who sort of wanted to belong but were different and struggled to fit in. For me, this was due to being gay, being introverted, and having a profound sense of shame and social isolation. Whilst I managed to ‘get some’ it’s been few and far between, and certainly nothing for the last 15 yrs. And I never formed an actual relationship.
Is this because of identifying with Spock/Data? I don’t think so – if anything, they’ve been friends, role models and sources of happiness in my life.
I think, despite what you say, that Worf brought that into your life too? Maybe we should focus on that and less on the things we think are missing.

Won’t stop me feeling angry and depressed when Star Trek isn’t on though…

Best wishes

Hey bud – TV shows are the icing on the cake of life, not the whole thing. Don’t let anything control or influence you so much. Especially when it comes to your mental well-being. And this applies to everything material in life. It’s OK to draw strength from a thing, but don’t become too dependent on it.

@Bryan — truly, it’s a no brainer, especially seeing that image of Worf from TNG — there’s no question in my mind which Klingon looks the most real and interesting by modern standards. Worf looks like a shaved wookie … I.e. A big teddy bear. His makeup and wardrobe is very top heavy, in many instances looking silly, as I rewatch old TNG episodes today. All things considered this is a good step toward protecting the future of the franchise.

Some of the early Worf makeups don’t hold up but his longer hair look in season 7 and his makeup from then on through DS9 looked great.

@Alan — it’s a matter of opinion and taste. I’ve been watching DS9 lately and he’s almost too perfectly coifed. He certainly doesn’t come off as a frightening, menacing species, and for that matter neither do the others who appear on DS9. No doubt his makeup improved in consistency and application, but it’s still a softened concept of how such a species should likely appear. It worked for the time It was presented, and for the kind of relatability the characters needed in the 24th century narrative. But neither the sophistication, nor the menace needed for modern audiences and this narrative are there. I was watching TVH recently on Amazon, and the gallery of Aliens during the trial is absolutely embarrassing by today’s standards. While the makeup improved over the next decade, it’s still very much derivative of that concept. And that’s what has to change.

the disco klingons are extremely ornamental, and impractical…
typical for this production: all show, and no go =(
many poor decisions amongst scattered brilliance
so far: frustrating failure =(

Disco Klingons? What the heck are you even talking about?

Yeah, not sure where “Disco Klingons” comes from. “Idiot Fans” as a label for him and his ilk is a lot more fitting.

Disco as in DISCOvery. It was mentioned in the most recent Trekmovie podcast.

+1 for banning @Torchwood, if there’s a count… [eyesroll]

I’m gonna use the same logic and say: the show is awesome, well executed, I love every minute of it, the critics agree it’s a resounding success, the ratings are off the charts…

…even though the show hasn’t even aired yet

Hahaha, good one! :)

I can understand not liking the new design, but I don’t see how you can label it a “failure” at this early stage.

smike, there is no “right time” for anything. There is no “right” look. It is about who you are as a person and not what you look like. That´s what Star Trek is all about. There is strength in diversity. Embrace that. And then reach out.

In love with the new Klingon look. I can convincingly believe these aren’t just actors in prosthetics, but actual aliens from another world. That’s world building and that’s a success.

I think the ears are the only part I don’t like. They look a bit too Vulcan. Otherwise, the new look has grown on me.

I wonder if anyone has asked the opinions of Michael Dorn or Michael Westmore on what they think about these new Klingon make ups. I would be curious to hear their honest answers.

They would problably say ‘Great!’ if it takes less than four hours to put on and off.

With regards to the Klingons, as Kirk said in VI; people can be very frightened of change..

Thank youu this is the exact point I think the DSC producers are trying to make — you think you know someone when you don’t; you think things should be one way, but you haven’t considered the possibilities. Butthurt fans need to acknowledge their own prejudice when it comes to how aliens “should” look. I hope those people don’t apply the same worldview to flesh and blood humans.

Especially if it’s change for the worse…and overly ‘re-imagined’ Klingons in this case.

No. The new Klingons are terrible. We never needed them to “look” scary, because the mindset of a Klingon is terrifying. They die with honour if they die in battle. What a terrifying adversary! Keeping them closer to human form made them more scary than monster makeup. Furthermore, their clothing was rugged and messy, designed for combat. It was not the ridiculous, impossible-to-battle-in, nonsense they’ve currently changed it to. Klingons don’t care about style! The look a lot more like the Gem’Hadar or the Xindi-Reptilians. Not to mention, they can’t even eat in this makeup!? What about the blood wine!

I have no problem whatsoever with how they look. Their ships certainly look menacing enough thus far, so they should too. A new take on an old established villain race. I dig it, so far. And I like the fact they’ll be using subtitles when they speak, neat.

I guess I’m OK with the redesign. It’ll be a tough adjustment, but I appreciate the effort they are putting in. Honestly, I’d be much more comfortable with the new look if they just had beards ;)

I’m ok with the way they look because if you gave them a long wig and facial hair they’d look like the Klingons we’re used to. Those ridges are BEAUTIFUL by the way, and they do look more menacing and imposing that even the TOS Film era and TNG Klingons when I first saw the updated look