Looking back at Henry's inaugural day on the Trek set, it was all-go for her. "We were shooting out at Long Beach Power Station, and there was myself, Jennifer Morrison, who plays Winona Kirk, KelvinYu, who plays one of the med techs, and another actor, whose name escapes me at the moment, I'm afraid, playing a second med tech," says the actress. "We were basically running full-speed down a corridor, stunt people running in the opposite direction, with things exploding and sparks flying everywhere. I had so much [styling] product in my hair and all I could think was, 'Oh, no, my first day working with J.J. Abrams and I'm going to go up in flames, I just know it,'" jokes Henry."We did a number of takes, and during one of them the timing was totally off. We left too late, so did the stunt people, and one of the biggest stuntmen ran full-speed right into Kelvin, who went flying into the air. Of course, there was that moment of, 'Oh,crap,' and everyone came running up to Kelvin to make sure that he was all right, which he was, thank goodness. "What I remember most about the entire shoot was being nervous and wanting to do a good job. There was also the secrecy surrounding the film. We wore these over-sized trench coats and were driven around in golf carts covered with little tents so that people couldn't see us. On the second day, the paparazzi managed to find us, which was amusing. Someone must have tipped them off because you just don't turn up at Long Beach Power Station hoping to find actors filming a movie or whatever." The actress chuckles when talking about the actual "birthing" scene she shot with Jennifer Morrison. "I'm sure it's not as uncomfortable as having to do a love scene, but it's right up there," muses Henry. "That was an interesting day and, I think, the same day that Leonard Nimoy [Spock] visited the set along with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, the Australian actor who plays Kirk's father [George]. They hadn't started shooting yet, but you could feel the energy and excitement about being involved in this amazing project." Having a mom who was a huge fan of old Hollywood movies, Henry was brought up watching Audrey Hepburn films until, according to the actress, she could quote them by the age of seven. Not surprisingly, Henry longed to one day work in the industry, but her dreams had to be postponed for a bit. "I grew up in a very small town in England, and you just didn't do that [act] for a living," she says. "You did community theater, and that's fine on the weekends, but otherwise you had a 'real' job. [caption id="attachment_765" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Sonita Henry. Photo courtesy of and copyright of JSquared Photography"][/caption] "So I put acting in the back of my mind and figured that I'd be an English teacher. Then, however, I went to college and graduated with a degree in journalism and media studies, which encompassed film, so I thought I'd try to get a job as a journalist. I moved to New York and interviewed with newspapers as well as [TV] networks, but one day I decided, 'I really had fun doing The Fifth Element; I think I'm going to become an actor.' Having made up my mind, I threw myself into acting school and began studying, and I'm still studying. You never stop. There's always something to learn. So from English teacher to journalist to actor, and here I am today." It was while still in college that Henry made her professional debut playing the President's Aide in the aforementioned 1997 Sci-Fi movie The Fifth Element. "I had done a tiny bit of modeling and really didn't enjoy it," notes the actress. "Then one day I found this ad in a magazine saying that [writer/director] Luc Besson was looking for people for his latest movie. "I'd studied Luc Besson's work in film class and thought he was a genius. Funnily enough, it was my Mom who sent my picture to him and I ended up getting a call from the casting director asking me to come in for an audition. So I went down to London, met with the casting director, and a couple of weeks later I was told that Luc Besson wanted to meet me. We met at Pinewood Studios and he offered me the role while I was there. Of course, that's not how you typically get an acting job, but in my mind it was. I took two weeks off from college, shot the movie, then returned to school and finished getting my degree. I enjoyed doing the film, but didn't think any more of it until I had moved to New York, and you know what happened next." Besides Star Trek, Henry is also working on a video game, the specifics of which she has to keep under wraps for the moment. "I would love to tell you all about it because it's going to be so much fun," she enthuses. "I get to do motion capture work, which I've never done before, where you wear the suit with all the weird dots on it. So my character is going to look like me, move like me and sound like me. It's not anything to do with Star Trek, but it is Sci-Fi and a really well-known video game." [caption id="attachment_767" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sonita Henry. Photo courtesy of and copyright of JSquared Photography"][/caption] Although the actress is new to the Trek world, she has already received a warm response from the franchise's many fans. "Before any details about my character were revealed, people were trying to guess who I was, and that was a neat thread to read on the [Internet] forums," says the actress. "The overall response so far from fans about the movie seems to be 50/50. Some of them don't think it should have been made, while others are really looking forward to it. "So I'm sure it's an interesting time for J.J. Abrams, but I know he's trying to reach as broad an audience as possible. I'm hoping the fans will be happy and that they'll be curious about my character, especially because of the fact that she's the first one to hold, touch, whatever you want to call it, James T. Kirk. I just think that's pretty cool in the arc of Captain Kirk and the Star Trek lore." Steve Eramo As noted above, all photographs courtesy of and copyright of JSquared Photography, so please no copying or unauthorized duplicating of any form. Thanks!