Eric Stillwell Reveals What it’s Like to be a Klingon

Being an additional in aStar Trek film is just about each Trekker’s dream. Few individuals truly get to reside that dream although. Eric Stillwell is considered one of them. He obtained to be one of many Klingons within the courtroom scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.He shared the set with the likes of William Shatner, Christopher Plummer, and his favouriteStar Trek actor, DeForest Kelley.

However, the expertise wasn’t practically as enjoyable as he thought it could be. In an interview withHeavy in February, Stillwell talked concerning the troublesome elements of turning into a Klingon.

Landing the Job


Stillwell was working behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation across the similar time thatThe Undiscovered Countrybegan filming. The show was on a season break when he and among the different behind-the-scenes people heard that the film was on the lookout for extras. Since they weren’t working, Stillwell, his writing companion Trent Christopher Ganino, and a manufacturing assistant named Dave Rossi all determined to show up and volunteer to be extras.

Stillwell was cast as one of many Klingons that crammed the rafters of the theater-like courtroom. Ganino was cast as one of many Klingon judges and Rossi was cast as one of many random aliens on the jail planet of Rura Penthe.

Becoming a Klingon

Klingon Courtroom scene from Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country


When they went in for his or her costume fittings, Stillwell and Ganino had been fitted with random items of costumes borrowed from different film and tv costume departments, together withPlanet of the Apes. However, they did not know concerning the closing, most uncomfortable a part of turning into a Klingon till they confirmed up for filming.

To create their Klingon faces, Stillwell and Ganino had don rubber masks that Stillwell described as “actually hideous.” Typically, Klingons did not put on a full masks for the function. Instead, they wore a brow prosthetic and had elaborate make-up utilized. However, because the courtroom scene had extra Klingons in itthan any earlierStar Trekscene, there wasn’t time to give each additional the total make-up remedy. So, the extras obtained “hideous” masks.

Stillwell went into nice element about how uncomfortable the Klingon extras had been throughout filming.

There had been a couple of nostril holes, however you could not actually breathe by these masks. There was a slit the place the lips had been… It was actually laborious to breathe and it was actually scorching, and it took two days to shoot that scene. We’d be standing up within the rafters chanting and no matter… and it was so laborious to breathe that we complained.

The director of the film, Nicholas Meyer, instructed his assistant administrators to discover a resolution to the issue. They got here up with a fairly unconventional repair. The assistant administrators gave everybody who had to put on a masks some small plastic tubes. They had been instructed to insert the tubes into their masks so they may breathe by the tubes. Stillwell did not suppose the tubes labored effectively sufficient so he, “introduced a turkey baster from residence to use.”

Stillwell joked that the assistant administrators all the time had to remind the extras to take away the tubes from their masks earlier than the cameras began rolling. He additionally revealed that “half the Klingons did not show up the subsequent day as a result of it was not a enjoyable expertise.”

However, Stillwell clarified that regardless that it was uncomfortable the expertise was crucial to him as a result of he “obtained to participate within the authentic Star Trek.”



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