On Saturday afternoon, Star Trek stars Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes and Alice Krige reunited for a GalaxyCon virtual panel. The actors discussed their work on Star Trek: First Contact and took questions from the virtual audience.
One audience member asked the actors about the most memorable scene they ever filmed. Sirtis jumped in immediately with a remarkable but incredibly unpleasant memory.
Sirtis Talked About an Awful Experience With Michael Winner
Before Sirtis landed the role of ship’s counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, she took whatever roles she could get. In the early and mid-’80s, she did two movies with infamous director Michael Winner — The Wicked Lady and Death Wish 3.
During the panel, Sirtis said that her most memorable scene was, unfortunately, the sexual assault scene she did in Death Wish 3. She said that the scene took the entire day to film and that Winner “pretty much tortured me for a whole day.” Sirtis said that his conduct, which she did not describe, was so heinous that when she told her brother about it, he threatened to kill Winner.
Sirtis went on to say that she was “treated appallingly” on the set of Death Wish 3 but felt like there was nothing she could do about it.
“It was before Me Too, it was before Harvey, and I couldn’t say anything… I was in my mid-twenties. There was literally no one I could go to, nothing I could say. He actually said, ‘You will never work again,’ because I stood up to him at one point.”
After a moment of silence, in which everyone appeared to be absorbing Sirtis’ words, the panel’s moderator said that he’d spoken to other actors who’d had awful experiences with Winner. Sirtis responded that she wasn’t surprised, then requested that one of the other actors share a lighter memory than hers.
Sirtis has Spoken out Before
Though Sirtis didn’t feel like she could talk to anyone about her awful encounter with Winner when they happened, she has talked about them on multiple occasions in recent years. In the 2014 documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, Sirtis shared a bit about what Winner did to her during that scene in Death Wish 3 as well as another horrendous experience she had with him during The Wicked Lady.
Sirtis told the documentarians that during the scene she spoke about at the GalaxyCon panel, Winner made her lie naked, in a cold garage for hours. There were very few other people on the set according to Sirtis. So, for most of the day, it was just her and Winner working on setting the scene, while she was nude, she claimed. When one of the few crew members present tried to cover her with a jacket between takes, Sirtis said that Winner screamed at him and insisted that she remain naked so they could get the lighting for the scene correct.
In the same documentary, Sirtis said that for The Wicked Lady, Winner literally cut off her top and made her film a scene topless. The Facebook page for the documentary shared an actual photo of Winner cutting off the top of Sirtis’ dress in front of the entire cast and crew.
Other actresses have publicly spoken out about awful encounters with Winner as well. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, The Mirror reported that three actresses made accusations against the director.
Sirtis’ accusations and those made by the other actresses were made after Winner’s death in 2013. According to The Mirror, Winner’s widow denied the accusations.
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