EXCLUSIVE: Mary Chieffo Talks L’Rell And Klingon Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

At the Hollywood blue carpet premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, TrekMovie had a chance to speak with actress Mary Chieffo, who plays Klingon commander L’Rell. The actress talked about the different Klingon houses featured on Discovery and what it means for L’Rell to be from two of them. She also talks about (and in) the Klingon language and gives some insight in the Klingon-heavy episodes for the season. The full video interview and highlights are below.

Getting to know the Klingon houses with Klingon-heavy episodes

So much of what we have seen of the Klingons in promos for Star Trek: Discovery is actually almost entirely from just one of the many Klingon houses (House T’Kuvma), but according to Chieffo we will learn more about the different houses and their different styles:

You are definitely going to get to learn a lot more about the various [Klingon] houses…I can promise you that you are going to get a flavor of a few different houses. And I think you are going to like those flavors.

The actress couldn’t reveal how many episodes she was in during the first season of Discovery, but she did reveal that there are a number of “Klingon-heavy” episodes:

[There are] Klingon-heavy episodes – certain episodes where you get to see what we have been talking about, which is where you get to see our side of the conversation. Obviously [Michael] Burnham and the Federation are our core of the story and so a lot of the story focuses on them, always. And then there are certain moments when you get an amazing window into what the Klingon world is like and what conflicts they are going through internally in addition to how their conflicts are arising in the Federation.

 Mary Chieffo as L’Rell

L’Rell: split between Klingon houses, with her mind as greatest weapon

Mary Chieffo also offered up some more detail on how her character deals with split loyalties between two houses:

L’Rell’s father was of House T’Kuvma and her mother was House Mo’Kai so growing up her parents were from two different houses and she was given a choice of who she was going to pledge her allegiance to. But in some ways, L’Rell is someone who knows how to compromise and work with both.

And when asked what was L’Rells signature Klingon weapon the answer was surprisingly not about a D’k tahg, Bat’leth or even a disruptor. The actress said it was her brain:

She knows how to use her literal weapons, but I think her strongest weapon is absolutely her brain, and her heart.

Mary Chieffo as L’Rell with Chris Obi as T’Kuvma

More to come from Hollywood premiere


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TrekMovie has more interviews with Discovery cast and crew. These will be posted over the next few days so stay tuned.


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.




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