In the last few episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, we’ve gotten to see some new sides to the latest iteration of the Klingons. On the red carpet at PaleyFest 2017, Mary Chieffo, who plays Klingon L’Rell, told us to expect to get to know the Klingons in all new ways later this season and talked about how playing the role of an alien makes her feel at home. Watch the full interview below, and then read on for the highlights.
L’Rell will fight the good fight for house T’Kuvma
With T’Kuvma dead, where does that leave L’Rell? While Voq may be T’Kuvma’s protegé, L’Rell is a born member of house T’Kuvma (and a member of house Mo’Kai). Chieffo didn’t tell us exactly where L’Rell fits into the structure of house T’Kuvma now, but she did say that her character is severely loyal to his cause:
L’Rell has a deep respect for what T’Kuvma set forth. And, his message of reunification is important to her, and she is going to do everything in her power to make that message be heard.
We will get to know the Klingons as more than warriors
It has been noted how deadly serious the Klingons have been so far in the first few episodes of Discovery. Episode 4, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” (which premiered the day after this interview) gave us a bit of a window into what Mary Chieffo says we will see more of as the season progresses — Klingons as they are with each other, rather than just Klingons in the throes of battle.
I’m thrilled [about episode 4]; that’s my big thing. What’s fun about the first two episodes is that you meet us in a time of battle. You meet us prepared for war. You meet us as we have usually been seen. I think what will be fun, as the show progresses, is you will get a window into who we are to each other when we’re not going off to battle.
And, I’m really proud of what the writers created in that regard and what we were able to infuse into it as actors, and I’m really excited to hear what [the fans] have to say! I promise you some fun stuff.
Playing a Klingon is authentic and empowering
Mary Chieffo is in good company with a majority of Star Trek fans, who are drawn to a show full of diverse humans and aliens. It’s a world that can make you feel like you belong when the real thing doesn’t. When asked about her favorite aspect of playing a Klingon on TV, Chieffo told TrekMovie that being Klingon feels more authentic to her than being human sometimes does, noting that she never felt quite human growing up.
You know, I always joked that I never really felt like a human growing up. I grew up in the Valley, I’m technically a Valley Girl from LA, but I never really felt like I fit that.
For Chieffo, L’Rell allows her to fulfill a role that humans can’t, and that’s empowering.
And there’s really something about L’Rell specifically but also about the Klingons in general. Being an alien species is just so empowering, and it feels almost more authentic to me than sometimes in my day to day life. They get to be as full and true as they can be.
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Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.