As was often the case with actors working on Star Trek XI, Greg Ellis (Chief Engineer Olson) and Sonita Henry (the doctor who delivered the infant James T. Kirk,) found working with J.J. Abrams to be a pleasure.
As reported by Hotter In Hollywood, while happy to be offered a job, Henry was just as thrilled to be working with Abrams. “At the time, I think I was just really happy to book another gig,” she said. “I think I was way more excited about the fact that I got to [work] with J.J. Abrams. I mean, the guy is a friggin’ genius. I’ve been a fan of Alias since the first season.” “I had wanted to work with him for so long,” said Henry. “So, I get the call saying I had booked it, and I was basically freaking out about that. And it really didn’t sink in that it was Star Trek until the first day on set, and you’re wandering around, and things are blowing up, and I’m wearing this weird eyebrow cover, and I got these dots on my face and they’re talking about CGI-ing my face. And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay, it’s that movie.’ It’s a big movie.”
Sonita, who played the doctor who delivered James T. Kirk while the Kelvin was in battle, found working with real babies to be a bit daunting. “I don’t really hang out with kids,” she said. “I’m not around babies. So I kept thinking I was going to drop someone’s [child]. And these babies are ten days old! Brand new babies. Time to not drop a child.”
But in spite of what was seen on screen, the actual birth scene filming was rather calm. “It wasn’t chaotic,” explained Henry. “It was extremely quiet on set. And the problem was that the scene itself had to be very chaotic, so it was a very interesting dynamic, keeping your energy at that level but, at the same time, on a set where you could drop a pin and hear it.”
Ellis spoke about his preparations to play the doomed redshirt who was fried to a crisp when he landed in the wrong part of Nero’s laser drill. “Before I actually got to set, there was some wirework that I had to practice with over at Paramount, getting on up on the wire and feeling comfortable dangling up in the air,” he said.
Working with Abrams was easy for Ellis, due to the director’s cheerful attitude. “He really is a joy to work with,” explained Ellis. “When you have a director who has a big-budget movie, they have a bajillion tings flying at them from all different angels every second of every day…and to be able to deal with that and then still focus on the task at hand at any given moment, and do it with a smile on your face and be courteous and be fun to be around, it’s a rare feat, and JJ Abrams does that.”
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