Mary Wiseman: Live Long And BLEEP
Cadet Silvia Tilly is not your average Star Trek character. She's bubbly, talkative, and friendly. It turns out, one of the showrunners has a three-year-old niece who inspired this child-like character, played by Mary Wiseman, on the new Star Trek: Discovery. "And then I am a giant three-year-old, so I kinda fit in there really well," Wiseman told host Ophira Eisenberg.
As for her own origin story, Wiseman grew up with three very funny, very loud, and very tall older brothers. "And that's why I'm like this," joked Wiseman, who often plays the comedic relief in tonally serious productions. "A couple of years ago they finally, like, relented and, you know, gave me the title of Funniest Wiseman. So I did it!"
It is her family members that are the big Trekkies, not Wiseman herself, but through their interest and from starring on the show, she's "become a more enthusiastic Trekkie" herself. Though she was quick to add, "I don't think anything could prepare you for quite what it's like" when it comes to the "real passion for the universe" the fans have.
Once she joined the cast, she brought her boyfriend's mother— "the biggestStar Trek fan" —to set. She wept with joy, telling Wiseman afterward that she "felt like she was at church." Wiseman reflected that it's "really cool, you know, to be a part of something that means that much to people."
Not only is Cadet Tilly regarded for her lighthearted nature, but she was also the first character in the universe to say the F-word. "That's my legacy," she told the Bell House audience. "I'm glad you appreciate it!" Inspired by this landmark moment, we challenged her to a special audio quiz called Fill in the Bleep. Wiseman listened to a clip from a famous movie, and identified the non-curse word we bleeped out.
On working with Zach Galifianakis on Baskets
Zach is literally the funniest person I've ever met. It's like, the rate at which he makes jokes is like a little overwhelming. Like you can't catch your breath. So in that way it was really hard to keep a straight face.
On being cast on Star Trek: Discoverywith former Juilliard classmate, Mary Chieffo
...We like, Klingon-roared at each other in pure excitement, and it was awesome.
On if she was a Trekkie before playing Cadet Tilly
I sort of peripherally was exposed to it. My uncle is a big Trekkie, and now my beau-friend is like a big Trekkie ... So I have people in my life who are really invested in it, and I respect that.
On the many firsts in Star Trek: Discovery
They get you to do a lot of stuff on Star Trek by saying it's the first time this is ever gonna happen on Star Trek. ... They told a castmate, and this never ended up happening, ... 'You're gonna be the first bare butt on Star Trek!'
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