Takei Talks 'Heroes' and TV BreakthroughsBy Michelle
January 25, 2007 - 10:11 PM
George Takei (Sulu) spoke briefly about his role on NBC's Heroes and how it fits into the Star Trek legacy, saying that he believes the new series follows in a tradition of science fiction challenging stereotypes.
"I'm delighted to be working on this show," Takei told The IESB. "There is a good fit there: science fiction of today as well as science fiction of the 23rd century coming together."
Takei described his character, the father of popular character Hiro, as a "powerful and wealthy industrialist in Japan and he wants his son back with the corporation." Hiro's father sees his son as his heir, "and I want him to get serious, so I hire some muscle to grab my son...I try to order him sternly to come back." The actor laughed that that was all he knew, and was as much in the dark about other surprises on the series as most fans.
The role of Sulu, he explained, was a breakthrough not only for him personally as an actor, but in terms of how Asian-Americans were characterized on teleivion. "Until then, we'd been portrayed in terms of two-dimensional stereotypes, either the quiet servant or the buffoon or the enemy," he said. "A character like Sulu was a real breakthrough and I felt very honored and privileged to be put in that position." Now, in part because of Star Trek's success, he has the opportunity to make a mark on another science fiction franchise.
Video footage of the interview and a photo of Takei with Hiro actor Masi Oka are at The IESB.