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George Takei: Trekking onto Clone Wars - Grrl Still Kickin'
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George Takei: Trekking onto Clone Wars

George Takei: Trekking onto Clone Wars

Words: Bonnie Burton

Sci-fi fans already know beloved actor George Takei as helmsman Mr. Sulu on the U.S.S. Enterprise (and of course, later as Captain Sulu of the U.S.S. Excelsior), but this week he switches galaxies to voice General Lok Durd in The Clone Wars episode "Defenders of Peace."

I chat with the legendary actor about his work on The Clone Wars, as well as his thoughts on the importance of sci-fi, how he answers hardcore Star Trek fan questions, what it's like to play Masi Oka's father on "Heroes," and why he ate beans and rice in the rain forest to entertain British TV viewers.


How did the role of General Lok Durd come to you for The Clone Wars?

My agent called me and asked if I would be interested. So they sent a drawing over and I thought, "Oh no, another fat guy!" I mean morbidly obese, this one! How the animators captured this morbidly obese person -- when he moves, his whole body jiggles in a genuinely flesh-like way. We have a real epidemic of obesity here, so I'm glad villains are depicted that way, rather undisciplined with their lives and their bodies.

How has your experience been playing Masi Oka's father on Heroes?

When the show first came out, there were billboards all over the place, so I knew there was an Asian actor on the show. I hadn't started watching Heroes yet, but my email would fill up with people telling me that there was a Japanese character on the show who is a ga-ga Star Trek fan, who has powers. And I thought, "Well, I better tune in on this." And that's how I got hooked on it. Then one day my agent gives me a call and says, "The people at Heroes want you to play Hiro's father." They sent the first script, and I didn't have any lines at all. So I thought it was going to be one of those cameo things.

But then, in the second script I had much more to do. It was much more of a father and son relationship. I was supposed to be a powerful, hard-driving corporate executive and one of the richest men in the world. I have this weirdo son who's off doing his crazy thing. And I want to bring him back into the fold and instill some discipline into him so that he can follow in my footsteps. I thought that was the relationship, and then a couple of months later another script comes where I'm handing baby Claire over to HRG. And I thought, "Oh my!" I'm more involved with the older generation club so to speak. I have no idea where this is all going to lead with Heroes because they keep you in ignorance. You learn more about your character in bits and pieces with each script. So we shall see where this all leads.

Well just because someone dies on Heroes doesn't mean we won't see them again.

You may have seen me fall off that high-rise, but there I am! Actually I'm supposed to be younger because they're flashbacks, and I like them because they add hanks of hair to my head. (laughs)

Or maybe we'll see alternate future versions of you in upcoming Heroes episodes?

"Who knows what lies in the minds of the writers!" You're much too young to remember, but that's a phrase from old radio show The Shadow -- "Who knows what evil lies in the hearts of men? Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh! The Shadow knows..." Those were the days.

Read the full interview here:
George Takei: Trekking onto Clone Wars


2 comments or Leave a comment
jawajames From: jawajames Date: January 26th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
nice article touching on a lot of aspects of Takei's work.

thumbs up bonnie!
bonniegrrl From: bonniegrrl Date: January 26th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
2 comments or Leave a comment