Going Behind The Helmet
♦ CBS All Access’s Star Trek: Discovery returned for the second part of its first season on Sunday and on Netflix for the rest of the world on Monday and here’s a chat with Sarah Mitich who plays Airiam on the show from the official website…
Actor name: Sara Mitich
Character name/job title: Lieutenant Commander Airiam/Drive Ops Officer
Favourite Star Trek character of all time? Data
Favourite Star Trek series? The Next Generation
Favourite moment from set? One of the many laughing fits we all fell into in between takes. I can’t remember who set us off this particular time—maybe one of Doug [Jones’] dance sequences as Saru or the amazing poses he’d strike across the Captain’s chair—but I’d end up laughing so hard, I’d have to press my fingers to the edges of my lips, trying even harder not to laugh (which always makes it worse!) so the prosthetic wouldn’t rip or fall off! I couldn’t plug my ears because of the helmet, so I couldn’t tune out everyone else laughing their heads off.
Eventually I had to walk away and meditate through the giggle fits happening inside my body. My goodness. I had many holding-my-lips-together, having-to-walk-away moments throughout the season. I think that says something about this group of people: Through thick and thin, we always found the light together.
Which prop from Star Trek: Discovery do you wish you could keep? I’d love to keep my badge. The first time they put it on, I immediately felt the weight of what we were a part of. It solidified it all for me.
How hard was it to keep your role a secret before the show was announced? It was pretty hard, mainly in the functioning way of just not telling people what I was up to. When friends asked, “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?” I would have to find a random thing to say because saying “Oh, I’m working on this show, but I can’t say which one” just sounded so pretentious to my ears. It was easy in the sense that I needed those few months of it being a secret to actually process what was happening. It’s such a wonderful and massive franchise, and once you’re a part of it, you’re a part of it forever.
What are three items you can’t live without? My journal, morning coffee, the ring I wear on my left hand.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To actively spend more face-to-face time with close friends and family. With social media and text messaging, we get trapped in thinking we are up to date with everyone, but in reality we aren’t. In 2017, I didn’t get enough face-to-face time with my family and some of the people who mean the most to me; or face-to-face time via Skype/FaceTime, etc. with those that I can’t physically sit down with easily.
Who’s your favourite Star Trek captain? Captain Kirk.
What’s the best advice you ever got? I read somewhere Socrates’ famous line: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” and it’s always stuck with me.
What would you call your autobiography? From Steel Town to Tinseltown