Star Trek fans know how J.J. Abrams tried to maintain the secrecy of Star Trek XI, but that even extended to the audition process for new actors hoping to appear in the movie.
Jennifer Morrison was tapped to play Winona Kirk, mother of James T. Kirk, in Star Trek XI and her audition reading contained nothing that actually appeared in the movie.
“They gave me sides that had nothing to do with the movie, that just had a lot of emotions that I guess would be comparable to what the character was going to go through in the movie,” said Morrison. “I went in and read for (casting director) April Webster.
“It was a crazy scene where I was supposed to be in some sort of water thing where the walls were closing in. It was me and my husband and we only had one air tank. I wanted him to take the air tank and he wanted me to take it. So I had to watch him drown while I took the air tank, and then I had to swim with him and get him to shore and then resuscitate him.
“I mean, this is a lot when all you have is a room and a chair and a camera. It was one of those things where you just had to completely go for it or you’re going to look like a crazy person.”
Like most who work with Abrams, Morrison was filled with praise with him. “Working with J.J. Abrams is a dream,” she said. “He’s one of those just extraordinary human beings and crazy-crazy-crazy talented. It didn’t matter how many takes or how many angles we did, he’d always come in with a new idea. I always come in crazy-prepared. I’m very anal. I do tons of research. I come in with all this stuff…and he put me to shame with the amount of ideas he came up with. We were on the fiftieth angle of however many-th take and he’d say, ‘What about this? What about this?’ As an actor, that’s just so great because every take feels new and fresh and inspired. It was just incredible.”
Morrison is currently starring as Emma Snow in Once Upon a Time.