A Star Trek: First Contact Scene Left Alfre Woodard With Gruesome Injuries

A Star Trek: First Contact Scene Left Alfre Woodard With Gruesome Injuries

A Star Trek: First Contact Scene Left Alfre Woodard With Gruesome Injuries


There's no denying that Alfre Woodard is a force to be reckoned with. The proud holder of dozens of honors, including four Primetime Emmy Awards, Woodard is not only a fine actor; she's also a dear friend of Star Trek legend Jonathan Frakes, who convinced her to appear in "Star Trek: First Contact." As Zefram Cochrane's assistant, Lily Sloane, Woodard gives Trekkies one of the franchise's best performances. Unfortunately, the film gave her a little something in return — some pretty gnarly injuries she suffered while filming an explosion scene. In fact, Woodard was injured so badly, she's got the scars to prove it. Fortunately, she's more than willing to laugh about it now.

As Woodard recounted in a Collider interview, the injuries were the unfortunate by-product of a massive explosion scene she was filming with her co-star and "Star Trek" veteran James Cromwell, whose appearance as Cochrane was one of several roles he played in the franchise. In the film, the explosion occurs when the Borg attack the outpost where Lily and Cochrane have been building the first warp vessel, the Phoenix (which has since made its franchise return in "Star Trek: Brave New Worlds").

According to Woodard, she, Cromwell, and around 200 other stunt personnel had put in around five hours of rehearsal before giving it a go. The scene called for the pair to jump into the air, turn around, and land with their faces visible to the camera. "We practiced it for hours and hours, and then when it happened, the explosion was so intense it just knocked us off our butts," she recounted. "We just fell any way we could." Although Woodard managed to pull off the scene, she quickly realized her costume was ripped and both of her forearms were bleeding.

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Woodard laughs about the incident

A Star Trek: First Contact Scene Left Alfre Woodard With Gruesome Injuries


Recalling the scene's aftermath, Alfre Woodard told Collider, "I ran to Jonathan … my arms were bleeding, and all the skin was gone." She showed Frakes that she'd damaged her costume along with injuring her arms, and laughed while saying that the director assured her that they got the shot they needed. Despite her battle scars, Woodard harbors no bad feelings toward Frakes, whom she considers one of her dearest friends, for directing a movie scene that permanently damaged her body.

Woodard told The Hollywood Reporter that the pair met as young actors in their early 20s. As struggling artists often do, their group of friends was prone to surfing each other's couches and pooling their meager funds to purchase food and beer. Although they're the same age, Frakes has called Woodard his "godmommy" for decades, a designation she proudly accepts. Woodard also happens to be good friends with Brent Spiner (Data) and LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge), so when Frakes asked his old pal to join the "Star Trek" franchise, she couldn't turn him down. In her Collider interview, Woodard said she immediately appreciated the action-packed script, even if she didn't understand some franchise details. "It says I was, you know, coming out of Jefferies tubes, and I say, 'Well now, who's Jeffrey?'"

While Woodard's "Star Trek" injury did not deter her from performing stunt work from time to time, these days she's grateful for her rather protective stunt double, Cheryl Lewis. Praising Lewis in an A.frame interview discussing Netflix's "The Gray Man," Woodard bragged, "She immediately speaks up to directors, producers, whatever's going on, and just says, 'No. I don't want my lady doing this. Nope. I'm not going to let my lady do that. So, she's just great."

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