Thursday, July 19, 2007

Masi Oka on TV Guide: “Kensei is NOT Japanese”

As we all know this week’s edition of TV Guide (in stores Thursday, and if you are a subscriber you might have received it already) includes an interview with Masi Oka.

Wonderful interview, lots of spoilers, background information and commentary from one of the most beloved actors on Heroes, Masi Oka.

We suggest you go grab a copy of TV Guide and read the whole thing, in the meantime we offer you here a short -but sweet- snippet. When announcement was made that David Anders landed the role of Kensei, fans raised in arms: “Impossible!” “Kensei is Japanese!” “He’ll need lots of make-up!”, forgetting -maybe- that this is Heroes, not your average TV show. Masi Oka offers an explanation:

The characters on Heroes will leap forward four months when the show returns on September 24–everyone, that is except Hiro. The time-tripping fanboy, played by Masi Oka, was suddenly teleported to 1671 Japan in the cliff-hanger of last May’s finale. The Season 2 premiere will find him right where we left him–stuck in the middle of samaurai who are about to wage war.

Immediate danger aside, isn’t this Hiro’s dream come true?
Mine, too. It’s the dream of many Japanese boys. We grow up playing samurai like kids in the U.S. play cowboys. Even the crime prodeurals on Japanese TV are set in feudal Japan.

Will you spill some exclusive scoop?
Next season, Hiro meets the legendary warrior Kensei, his hero from childhood, but it turns out the storybooks have exaggerated. Kensei isn’t the kind of man Hiro idolized. This will put Japan’s future at stake, so Hiro has to make this Kensei into the one of legend.

Alias’ David Anders has been cast as Kensei, but he isn’t Japanese. What’s with that?
If you remember, Kensei didn’t look Japanese in the ancient tapestry [seen in Season 1]. But I have no idea where the writers are going with this. Here’s another mystery: They told me something terrible will be happening in the present, maybe because Hiro wasn’t there. When he returns to modern day, he’s in for the shock of his life.

Heroes has also hired Japanese pop star Eriko Tamura to play a feudal princess. Do we detect a hint of romance in the air?
She’ll fall in love with Hiro, but this will be a disaster because she is supposed to fall in love with Kensei. Eriko is very famous in Japan–not quite a Britney Spears, more a like a Kelly Clarkson.

First Charlie from the diner, now this. Is Hiro doomed to fall in love with the right girls at the wrong time?
I think that’s going to be the nature of every romantic story for Hiro. When the writers decide they’re done with me, I hope they send Hiro back in time where he can live forever in a an infinite time loop with one of his women. Or maybe all of them! It can be like Big Love. “I’ll be right back, Charlie. I’m going to run next door and see the princess!”


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