Cristin Milioti Interview: ‘Black Mirror: U.S.S. Callister’
“This was a dream role. I would do this role for the rest of my life,” reveals Cristin Milioti about her character in “Black Mirror: U.S.S. Callister.” The actress recently joined us for a candid webchat (watch the exclusive video above).
The acclaimed episode of the Netflix anthology series casts the actress as Nanette, a tech savvy new employee at a video game company. When head coder Robert (Jesse Plemons) becomes smitten with the new hire, he creates a digital clone of Nanette to live like a slave in his own personal copy of the video game. His game resembles a classic episode of “Star Trek” where he rules a cruel captain. Nanette and other clones from the office all retain their memories from the real world and must fight against their new overlord to escape. Milioti’s layered performance, which oscillates between real life and clone Nanette, has thrust her into the Emmy race for Best Movie/Mini Actress.
When Milioti was first handed the script to audition, it was only two pages long. “I was told nothing about it” due to the secrecy around the story, she confesses. But those two pages gave way to a multifaceted and complex role, which even Milioti admits is hard to come by for many actresses in Hollywood. Part of why she thinks the script for “U.S.S. Callister” is so compelling for today’s audiences, is because we get to witness a “misogynistic bully being bested… by a person you wouldn’t expect.”
In addition to getting to “see the underdog win,” viewers appreciate the episode because of its smart send up of “Star Trek” tropes. One of the most satisfying moments of “U.S.S. Callister” occurs when Nanette becomes a captain in her own right. “I’ve been wanting to sit in the captain’s chair of a space ship since I was a little girl,” Milioti says. Playing inside the sandbox of space proved so enjoyable that Milioti is up for exploring Captain Nanette’s adventures further in a spin-off. “I never knew how badly I wanted to do something like this” she gushes. “This is the thing I’ve waited for.”
Given Milioti’s extensive stage experience, including a Tony nomination and Grammy winning performance in the original cast of “Once,” we also consider the possibility of a musical episode for the hypothetical spin-off. Milioti is all for lending her vocal chops to as many projects as possible, and “U.S.S. Callister: The Musical” has a nice ring to it. Your move, Netflix!