Star Trek Discovery’s Rainn Wilson Shares His Escape Artist Jipper Recipe
The fourth and final Star Trek Short Trek was a serious treat for fans of both the newest and the original Star Trek franchises. In “The Escape Artist,” actor/director Rainn Wilson resurrects a classic character (one he played early on in Discovery’s premiere season), Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Better known as Harry, Mudd has had a long history on Star Trek, dating back to the original series when actor Roger C. Carmel played the role. Seeing him again and seeing… so much of him (go watch the short now if you don’t know what we’re talking about) was the best possible intro to the new season, premiering on January 17.
We chatted with Wilson about directing and starring in the short and got him to reveal the recipe for Mudd’s favourite cocktail, the jipper.
You’ve directed yourself a few times now, but are we correct in assuming this is the first time you’ve directed more than one of yourself?
Rainn Wilson: Yes! It’s always a pleasure to direct myself but it was really a profound joy to direct a couple dozen of myself.
What’s the directing experience like for you compared to acting?
I’m always going to love acting the most I think. But I really love directing, it’s an incredible challenge. It’s very difficult work. An incredible amount of decisions have to be made about some of the simplest things. I love doing both. I hope to continue doing both.
Where does the inspiration for the way you play Harry Mudd come from?
It comes first and foremost from Roger C. Carmel who created the original character on the original series. He did such a fantastic job of balancing the ridiculous with the dastardly. So definitely from that. You know, I love a good villain and a good con man and I like to play outrageous characters that, at the same time, are very loveable. At the end of the day, that’s what Harry Mudd is.
As a viewer, it always looks like it’s way more fun to play the villain than the hero.
Yeah, I don’t think I would know how to play a hero. I would have to play a villain or an anti-hero. I’m just not from heroic stock.
Were you a Star Trek fan going into this role? Do you have a favourite franchise or character?
I grew up watching the original series and just absolutely loved it as a kid. I’ve seen every episode of the original series four or five times. It’s funny, so many people come up to me now and say they’ve seen The Office four or five times or 10 or 11 times even, and I always think that’s a bit extreme, but I remember as a kid Star Trek reruns were on after school and on weekends all the time and I used to just love rewatching the original series.
Our final question is a two-parter: first, can you share your jipper recipe? And second: how many jippers do you have to drink before penetrating a space whale becomes appealing?
Jippers are quite simple. It’s a lotus fruit flash-frozen along with the blood of a fleablox [Editorial Note: we have no idea what this is or where to get one] and just a hint of lime—as well as 100-proof grain alcohol. So it really only takes two or three jippers before you’ll penetrate anything.