The Star Trek: Discovery panel at PaleyFest NY on October 6th had the cast talking about the stakes of sacrificing everything they knew to go 930 years into the future. At the panel, Mary Wiseman talked about how Tilly will be spending a lot of time processing that loss, feeling homesick, and even missing her mother, with whom she has a very complicated relationship. She also said that Tilly and Stamets might “chafe a bit” now that Tilly sees herself as less of a mentee.
On the red carpet before the panel, we asked Wiseman a few questions about season three.
Does Tilly get to do anything that’s actually fun this season?
Tilly always is havin’ fun, she likes to keep it fun. (laughs) But she’ll also get moments of, I don’t know, something more serious, something deeper. But she always loves a party, she loves a group activity. So definitely you’ll get to see her have a little fun and break out of her comfort zone a bit.
Any particular group activities that she gets people involved in?
Oh my gosh, I don’t know, but maybe like a group hug or two? Not like a Monopoly game—less than a Monopoly game, more than a three-person hug.
Now that she’s nowhere near the Command Training Program, how is she dealing with her career and her previous plans?
I think it’s a bit unmooring. She’s had this goal for a long time, and I think she still knows that she wants to serve, and she wants to be of use for Starfleet, but what that means in the future is a little bit up in the air. So she’s going to have to start finding her own way and looking for guidance wherever she can get it.
Is she still sharing a room with Michael Burnham?
You know it! (laughs) Roomies for life, no matter what!
But isn’t there a whole lot of empty space on that ship now?
You know, it’s a comfort thing at this level, I think neither of them has brought it up, because nobody wants to start the conversation about getting their own rooms. (laughs) I hope they live together forever, and they each get married and have kids and live in the same small room.
What do you think about Tilly’s character arc over the past two seasons?
That’s a big one. I think we’ve seen someone who didn’t know how to hold their own space, somebody who was deeply and profoundly intimidated but had big dreams, get closer and closer to achieving those dreams, and then find a way to kind of stand up straight and hold space, hold power. And I think you’re going to see a continuation of that journey this season. Somebody’s who’s kind of stepping into, if not the Command Training Program, a command mentality and starting to allow herself to be a person who is a leader.
Does she still get to be the smartest person in the room?
You know it! (laughs) She’s so smart! I assume that anytime anybody else says something smart, Tilly was already thinking that. Yeah—that’s how I play the character, it’s really not fair.
Do you have any favorite Tilly moments or scenes from the first two seasons that you loved doing?
From the first season, obviously when she finds out that she was a captain in the mirror universe, [that] was one of the most fun things I ever shot.
Also the season finale of season one when they’re in the Orion uh… not colony, but area on Qo’noS? That entire episode, where we’re all wearing leather and she straightens her hair and she’s with Georgiou and it’s really scary. That’s maybe the most fun I’ve ever had in Star Trek. It was silly and serious and fun and I got to work with Clint Howard and I got to get high (laughs) and it was just a blast. I want to go back.
Has there been anything you’ve filmed so far for season 3 that’s been fun like that?
There have been some truly beautiful moments this season that I’m really excited to share with people. Visually stunning, emotionally true, and heartwarming. I don’t know if I can pick just one, but there’s gonna be some great stuff for the fans that I’m very excited to share.
Who have most of your scenes been with in season three so far?
Ooh, that’s a good question. Kind of a mix. I mean, she has her little social circle. So Michael, Saru, Stamets always. It’s been a mix this season.
And since I’m obsessed with your hair, are we getting a lot of different Tilly hairstyles this season?
Mainly the one you’re looking at. (laughs) I really brought Tilly with me to New York today. But who knows about the future? She likes to mix it up.
More from PaleyFest
We’ll have more Discovery interviews from the red carpet at PaleyFest throughout the week.