Actor Paul Giamatti is an Oscar nominee and Emmy winner—and a Star Trek fan. He has expressed his interest in playing a Klingon, and thanks to a Trekkie journalist, he now has a sort of Star Trek audition to make his pitch.
Klingons don’t drink Merlot
Danish movie journalist and friend of TrekMovie Johan Albrechtsen has once again used a non-Star Trek promotional junket to recreate a Star Trek moment. As Paul Giamatti was promoting his award-winning role in The Holdovers, Albrechtsen brought up the actor’s previously expressed interest in playing a Klingon in Star Trek, and then persuaded Giamatti to recreate his famous “I am not drinking any f###ing Merlot!” moment from the 2004 wine-themed film Sideways in Klingon. The moment was then edited to create a new Star Trek “audition tape” with Giamatti as a Klingon captain, cut into a scene from The Next Generation. Check out the fun video from Moovy TV/:
It makes sense a Klingon would prefer bloodwine to Merlot. To keep things honorable, the expletive was removed from the line, and the Klingon translation was “Merlot vItlhutlhbe.” After recording the video, Albrechtsen reached out to the Klingon Language Institute, which deemed the effort “honorable,” pointing out “That tlh combination is tough to pronounce without a little live coaching, so can be forgiven.” They also noted how the line could have been made more emphatic to be a “refusal” to drink the Merlot, giving you “Merlot vItlhutlhQo’!” But they still felt for a nonprofessional Klingon, he did a “great job.” Surely if Giamatti is ever given his chance to play a Klingon in Star Trek, he would be provided with a Klingon coach to perfect his performance.
In a 2019 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Giamatti said his “dearest wish in the world” would be to play a Klingon, but “for some reason, those jobs don’t come to me.” When Colbert said Giamatti didn’t seem “dangerous enough,” the actor admitted he was flexible, saying “Okay, I could be one of the silly blue guys, I don’t care what it is.” He then apologized for the “silly” bit.
Giamatti does have experience doing sci-fi with heavy prosthetics. In Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes, he played the orangutan Limbo. He even shot a Pepsi commercial as Limbo.
He joins a growing list of famous actors who have expressed an interest in being in Star Trek, including Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Rosario Dawson, Nicolas Cage, James McAvoy, Mila Kunis, and others.
For more nerdiness from Albrechtsen and Moovy TV, check out his 2022 Avatar: The Way Of Water interview with Zoe Saldana about Na’vi vs. Klingon.