May 29 2024

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Chieffo: From Soldier To Chancellor

2 min read

Mary Chieffo‘s character, the fierce L’Rell, ended the first season of Discovery by becoming the head of the Klingon High Council. In the second season, L’Rell will have to deal with being in a role formerly filled by males.

The finale of the first season was “the last moment that you see L’Rell as L’Rell the soldier; the commander who lived in the shadows,” said Chieffo. “And when you meet her is Season Two, she is trying to embrace this queen-like archetype.”

Preparation for this role meant studying females in history who have had power and/or have reigned. “I’m literally looking to Medea, Antigone, Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare‘s Richard III, Queen Elizabeth the historical figure, Hatshepsut the Egyptian pharaoh,” said Chieffo. “So many of these women whose stories have almost been told, but not quite.”

One of the negative points of being in charge is wider exposure, which could mean danger when it comes to being a female ruler in a male world. “It shows why she wanted to stay in the shadows [last season] because any time you put yourself at the forefront, it’s vulnerable,” said Chieffo. “And yet she does really believe in the idea of unification and she wants to push that forward. But she’s also struggling with her femininity, how she can embrace the archetype that we know from female Klingons and yet make it her own. It’s a struggle, and I relate to that as Mary, too.”

Season Two of Discovery premieres in January.

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