Star Trek Into Darkness’ Alice Eve Defends That Controversial Underwear Scene

Alice Eve as Carol Marcus in underwear in Star Trek Into Darkness
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Along with having played young Agent O in Men in Black 3 and Mary Walker in Netflix’s Iron Fist series, Alice Eve has genre cred from her time as Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness. When the second Kelvin Timeline-set Star Trek movie came out in 2013, it caught flak from various moviegoers for a scene where Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk briefly sees Eve’s Carol stripped to her underwear. Nearly a decade later, Eve has come to the defense of that scene.

While promoting her upcoming sci-fi movie Warning, Alice Eve touched on the controversial Star Trek Into Darkness scene, which producer Damon Lindelof later apologized for, while director J.J. Abrams acknowledged that he understood the criticism. From Eve’s end, she was surprised the scene caused so much outcry, telling Inverse:

It was something I voluntarily worked with a trainer to be fit for, was very much prepared for, and very much enjoyed [doing] — filming, executing, promoting. The feeling I shouldn’t have done it, or that it was exploitation, was confusing to me.

The Star Trek Into Darkness moment in question happened right after Captain Kirk learned that the woman who boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise under the pseudonym Carol Wallace was actually Carol Marcus, daughter of Peter Weller’s Admiral Alexander Marcus. While speaking with Kirk about the torpedoes that Admiral Marcus ordered the Enterprise carry, Carol disrobed to put on a spacesuit in preparation to open up one of the torpedoes on a nearby planetoid. Kirk turned around after Carol had taken off her Starfleet uniform, and, well, the rest is history. You can watch it unfold below:

As laid out by her earlier comment, Alice Eve had no problem shooting that Star Trek Into Darkness scene, and despite being baffled by how much controversy it generated, eventually the actress set it all aside. In her words:

There are many things in the world that are confusing. I put it down to one of those anomalies. I’m proud of that scene, and all the work I did.

Alice Eve is the second actress to play Carol Marcus in the Star Trek film series, with the character originally being played by Bibi Besch in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Star Trek Into Darkness was also notable for featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as a character first identified as John Harrison, but later revealed to be Khan Noonien Singh, who was originally played by Ricardo Montalbán. While Into Darkness wasn’t as critically well received as 2009’s Star Trek, it did outperform its predecessor commercially with a $467 million global box office haul.

Star Trek Into Darkness was followed by 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, and while the film side of this franchise has been in suspended animation since then, two separate movies are in development: one from Star Trek: Discovery writer Kalinda Vazquez, and the other from WandaVision director Matt Shakman, with Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson writing the script. There’s no word yet on which of these will take the June 9, 2023 release date Paramount Pictures has secured for a Star Trek movie.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.