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7 February 2011
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Interviews | Alice Krige
The Costume

The Borg Queen can do many things, but she can�t pee

Picture The first whole day that I spent in the Borg suit, started very early. I guess I left home at two o�clock in the morning and got to my little trailer where Scott Wheeler was waiting for me at about quarter to three. And rather foolishly I drank coffee, water, juice. Oh, eight hours later, we glued me into the suit and at three o�clock that afternoon, I had continued to drink coffee, water, juice � I was desperate to go to the loo.

And I said to the first assistant director, Jerry, a dear soul. I have to go to the bathroom. And he said all right. Forty five minutes later, they got me back into my suit, which was the most expensive pee in the history of Star Trek. An entire crew had been waiting for me.

Later in the day Mike Westmore said to me you know, I once made a bright pink, skin-tight, latex suit for an actress that we had to roll onto her. And we solved the bathroom problem by making slits in the soles of her suit and she stood on a drain and peed in the suit. We could do the same for you. And I said no thank you, I just won�t drink anything. And so I didn�t. I would stop drinking about half way through the make up process and then not drink again until an hour before we were due to wrap.

When I went back to work in Voyager, in the last episode of Voyager, they had adapted the suit for television. I.e. it was infinitely faster. So I actually was taken out of the suit at lunchtime. So I was able to, you know, put away the water and coffee and tea and whatever. It was much, much easier to wear the second time round.

The suit that I wore ultimately was not the first suit. The first suit that I wore was constructed in pieces. I spent the whole show kind of working against the tension of the suit. But it was very useful. It was an inadvertent gift because it created a kind of muscularity for the character that I might never have come across had it not been that the suit was too tight and skewed.

They made me a new suit and this was soft foam, so it was like being wrapped in marshmallow. I had a blissful, comparatively speaking, rest of the shoot because my poor Borg, the rest of my Borg were in the hard suits. And they spent the shoot with blisters around their necks, under their armpits, round their wrists, at their ankles. In agony. They had a really hard time.

To sort of add insult to injury, I became aware, one day on the set, that whenever a Borg moved up to the coffee table, whoever was there would sort of slowly retreat. So the Borg were not only in pain, but they were kind of ostracised. Everyone just uncomfortable in their presence. Which was terribly interesting for me, but I did feel heartbroken for my minions.

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