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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Sonita Henry (born 23 January 1977; age 44) is an English actress of Scottish and Nepalese heritage who has a small role as the alien Starfleet doctor who accompanies Winona Kirk aboard the USS Kelvin in 2009's Star Trek. Her character helps deliver the infant James T. Kirk.

Life and career

Hailing from Dover, Kent, England, Henry moved to the United States in 1997. She made her film debut that same year, portraying the aide to President Lindberg (played by Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.) in the hit science fiction adventure The Fifth Element.

Henry later appeared in Woody Allen's 1998 comedy Celebrity, which also featured Famke Janssen, Bebe Neuwirth and Winona Ryder – the latter of whom appeared in Star Trek in separate scenes from Henry. She guest-starred in an episode of the CBS Paramount Television series Without a Trace, starring Enrique Murciano.

Before Star Trek opened, Henry was seen in the independent film Garden Party. Afterwards, she voiced Ellie Langford in the Dead Space video games, as well as guest-starring in NCIS, Chuck, Law & Order: LA, and Doctor Who.

Working on Star Trek

Henry shot her scenes on Star Trek for four days over a two-week period in November 2007. Filming of her scenes occurred at the Long Beach Power Station in Long Beach, California, and on soundstages at Paramount Studios. She worked closely with actors Jennifer Morrison and Kelvin Yu. [1] [2] [3]

While filming, she wore special "dots" on her face which were used to capture her facial expressions. This allowed for her eyes to be digitally enlarged during post-production to make her appear alien. Her freckles and eyebrows had to be covered up, which required approximately two hours of make-up each day. The effects team actually wanted to shave her eyebrows, but she would not allow it.

Henry recalled the intensity of her scenes, which involved a large number of special effects, including explosions, sparks, and moving gangways. She remarked that she was afraid that the sparks would cause the product in her hair to catch fire. The scene also made use of many extras who had to run against (and sometimes run into) Henry and her co-star, Kelvin Yu.

As with most of the cast, Henry had to endure the tight security measures of the film's shoot. She never saw the full script, only receiving the pages for her scenes. She received her pages on the day of shooting, and had to return them at the end of the day. In addition, she had to sign in to receive her Starfleet badge, which she also had to turn in at the end of the day. [4]

Reflecting on her role, Henry said "I’m always surprised when people recognise me from that or mention how much they loved that character. I was literally on the screen for a minute… if that. But I guess the opening scene of that movie is really important and special especially to Trekkers and Trekkies alike!" [5]

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