Portraying the doctor who delivered James T. Kirk meant dodging stunt people in the corridors while hoping one’s hair didn’t go up in flames.
As reported by Total Sci-Fi, Sonita Henry was a Star Trek fan, but it took until her first day until she really realized how big Star Trek was. “My dad and my brother were huge fans of the original show and I remember growing up watching the movies, like The Wrath of Khan, so I did enjoy it,” she said. “I remember getting the call and they said, ‘Oh, they want to offer you a part in Star Trek!’ But it wasn’t until I was on set, especially on the first day, I think it really sunk in. This is huge!”Certain features of Henry helped her land the role. “There were men, there were women, all completely different-looking people, all reading the same character, I think just to see how you came across on tape,” she explained. “Every color of the spectrum is in this movie, just to make it look like something that’s in the future, and Abrams wanted my British accent. I don’t know this for a fact, but the make-up artist told me that I was cast because of my cheekbones, because they wanted to stretch out my eyes, so my bone structure worked better for the camera!”
Filming the scene where Winona Kirk was being taken to the medical shuttle was exciting, if a bit nerve-wracking for Henry. “In the scenes where we’re running down these long corridors we were pushing Jennifer Morrison in a wheelchair, because her character is heavily pregnant and they had wet the floor,” said Henry. “That added another element on top of it. There were big explosions going off, my hair was full of hairspray, and I was like, ‘Oh, great, I’m going to go up in flames!'”
Another hazard was trying to dodge stuntmen. Occasionally, something went wrong. “I remember one take, the timing was completely off and a huge stunt person ran straight into Kelvin Yu, who plays my med tech,” said Henry. “Kelvin just went flying up in the air and landed on his back. He was OK. We just got up, dusted ourselves off. ‘Yeah, it’s fine. It’s for J.J., it’s all right!'”
Although the birth scene looked hectic in the movie, it was filmed on a quiet set. “The actual birth scene was filmed a couple of days later at Paramount,” said Henry. “The set for this part was so quiet that J.J. kept saying, ‘Keep your energy up, because we’ve just come from this explosion.'”
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