Nazneen Contractor, who played Rima Harewood, the mother of a sick daughter whose illness set in motion a terrorist attack by her father, explained how her role originally was a bit larger than what appeared on the screen.
“I thought it was a very important role and it was much bigger, what we shot, than what actually got into the film,” said Contractor.
“When I auditioned for it,” said Contractor, “I just knew that I had a sick child and I had to do something about it. I was actually nine months pregnant when I auditioned for it. I had my first son just six weeks before we went into production. J.J. really guided me into tapping into those emotions of being a mother, of being a new mother, which is a very crazy, kind of conflicting time, and using that to bring to each scene with my daughter. J.J. was very specific. He said, ‘I need you to hold her head here,’ because, originally, we opened the film. He actually had a very specific mise en scene in his head that we were portraying. There was room for some improvisation and some opinions, but he actually had a very specific, detailed idea of what he wanted, but we were performing to his demands, to what he wanted, which was very cool.”
Contractor explained what had been cut; a scene with Chris Pine. “There was a scene at the end of the movie, after the memorial service, in which Chris Pine (as Kirk) comes up to me and my daughter,” she said. “He sees us, and my daughter is now healthy, with a full head of hair, and I thank him for his speech. He looks up at me and he knows who I am, and then he looks at my daughter, and they both have this moment where they know they share Khan’s blood. But it got cut.”
The actress is now working on Parts Per Billion, and is hoping to appear at Star Trek conventions soon. “I have not done any yet,” she said, “but I would totally welcome an invitation. I would love to check them out, just to see what it’s like. Everyone raves about them.”