Paul Giamatti Plays A Star Trek Klingon And You Must See It

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Paul Giamatti has always wanted to play a Klingon in Star Trek.

During a recent interview, the actor was asked if he would reenact his famous “I am not drinking any f**king Merlot!” line from the film Sideways in Klingon. Giamatti happily obliged, and the dialogue was edited into a scene from The Next Generation.

In the Star Trek clip, a Klingon version of Paul Giamatti is seen interacting with the characters via video call. Since Klingons prefer Blood Wine over Merlot, the line (sort of) made perfect sense.

The expletive was also tactfully removed, with the Klingon translation becoming “Merlot vItlhutlhbe.” The video was even approved by the Klingon Language Institute, which deemed Giamatti’s effort “honorable.”

The Klingon Language Institute, which deemed Paul Giamatti’s Star Trek effort honorable

Acknowledging the difficulty pronouncing certain Klingon combinations, they suggested potential enhancements for a more emphatic refusal to drink Merlot.

Despite being a nonprofessional Klingon, Paul Giamatti received praise for a “great job.” The institute even suggested that, if given the chance, Giamatti could benefit from a Klingon coach to perfect his performance.

Paul Giamatti

Paul Giamatti revealed that playing a Klingon on Star Trek is his “dearest wish in the world”

Paul Giamatti’s desire to play a Star Trek Klingon dates back to a 2019 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The actor revealed that it is his “dearest wish in the world” to play a Klingon but was never offered the opportunity. When Colbert suggested Giamatti didn’t seem “dangerous enough” for the role, the actor offered to play one of the less vicious “blue guys.”

While Paul Giamatti may not have played a Klingon yet, he is no stranger to heavy prosthetics and sci-fi. He played an orangutan named Limbo in Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes, showcasing his versatility in roles requiring intricate makeup.

Other actors who previously expressed interest in a Star Trek role include Tom Hanks, Rosario Dawson, Nicolas Cage, and James McAvoy.

Paul Giamatti’s most recent project is the 2023 comedy-drama film The Holdovers. Set in the early 1970s, the story revolves around Giamatti’s character, a strict classics teacher at a New England boarding school. Forced into an unexpected role as a chaperone, he oversees a group of students with nowhere else to go during the Christmas break.

Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers

The Holdovers, from director Alexander Payne, made its debut at the prestigious 50th Telluride Film Festival in August 2023 before hitting theaters that October. Since then, it has earned positive reviews from audiences and critics. The Paul Giamatti-led film’s success extends to its financial performance, as it earned an impressive $23 million at the box office.

Paul Giamatti’s most recent project is the 2023 comedy-drama film The Holdovers

Acclaim for The Holdovers is not only reflected in its commercial success but also in the numerous accolades it has received. The film was recognized as one of the top 10 films of 2023 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. It even won two awards at the 81st Golden Globe Ceremony.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph earned the Best Supporting Actress award for her outstanding performance as Mary Lamb, while Paul Giamatti received the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Paul Hunham.