Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below the knee as a result.
In February, a stunt car on the San Pedro, California set of the show struck a shipping container causing it to roll onto Sonnier and co-showrunner Brandon Margolis, who were watching the car stunt scene on a monitor in the video village. Sonnier’s leg was pinned by the container, and his foot was amputated due to the injury.
“L.A.’s Finest,” exec produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, was renewed for a second season by Spectrum Originals on Friday.
In Monte Carlo, Union said: “I don’t know if there is a word that’s big enough to describe how the whole production felt, how everyone associated with the show felt, I don’t know if saying it was ‘heartbreaking’ or ‘devastating’ is enough.
“I don’t have a word. With all of my fancy degrees I don’t have a word that’s big enough to describe how we felt.
“I think Brandon [Sonnier] led us. Um… He was back coaching on the sidelines of his kids’ games within a week and a half,” Union said, her voice catching as she struggled to keep her emotions in check. “We were still like… and he was like ‘It’s my new normal; get on board, guys.’”
Alba added: “A fully hands-on father for… yes, he is so resilient and inspiring. But when you go through something that is like that you see the type of family and community that you surround yourself with, and he and all of us really came together as a family in a way that you just never even realize until something like that happens.
“We’ve been texting. They are excited for this next season. They are already pitching different things. We are securing our crew. They are texting us about that. There are many emojis that he is using. Yeah, he is just so resilient.
“He’s like: Okay, great! Back in the writers’ room. Who do we need? Who is going to be permanent. What directors do we need. Are we going to start lining up…”
Union added: “Like us they take their seat at the table very seriously as well. He was like: ‘Guys, this is the new normal, and I want to make sure that while I still have a seat at this table I keep that door open, and I have embraced my new normal. Get on board, let’s move forward, and who else can we empower this season… female directors, directors of color, creating storylines that touch even more communities. He’s leading and we are following.”
Union continued: “A big shout out to their Temple. They have a huge village and we all folded in, and we were all there as an entire production along with their Temple family and we just rallied around, and that’s who we are as a production and that’s who we are as people. But we have been led by him and been inspired by him.”