Date of publishing: 29th
Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated Masi Oka stars
in NBC's hit ensemble drama series "Heroes"
as Yamagato Industries heir Hiro Nakamura, a Japanese
nonconformist computer/anime geek. Hiro's ability
to pierce the space-time continuum and manipulate
time has empowered him with foresight into a dangerous
future -- and what he must do to change it. "Heroes"
follows the lives of ordinary people who discover
they possess extraordinary abilities.
No stranger to television, Oka has had recurring
roles on NBC's "Scrubs" as Franklyn and
"Luis" as Deng Wu. He has also guest starred
on "Without a Trace," "Joey,"
"Reba," "The Loop," "All
of Us," "Still Standing," "Will
& Grace," "Yes, Dear" and "The
After graduating from Brown University with degrees
in mathematics and computer science and a theater
arts minor, Oka pursued an acting career while taking
his first job at George Lucas' Oscar-winning special
effects house, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).
Today, despite his successful career as an actor,
he continues to provide ILM with technology for groundbreaking
effects for more than 30 films.
The Scifi World had the opportunity to take a part
on a press conference with both of them. Here is the
full report of this conference. BEWARE
this week there was some critical backlash for the
premiere and the season premiere was shown at Comic-Con.
Everyone loved it. So now it airs this week and all
of a sudden the critics, they’re bashing it.
So is there really something that needs to be fixed
or do you think the critics are just bashing it for
the sake of bashing it at this point?
Masi Oka: Oh I don’t know.
Every critic is different and it - people look for
different things. When we did premiere at Comic-Con
and that’s exactly the same one that we aired
on the broadcast. At Comic-Con there was this great
buzz and everyone loved it. And I think people were
- after not - seeing it for nine months they were
still excited to see something great. And I think
Season 3, the premiere was an answer to what kind
of feedback we received from the fans. They wanted
more story. They wanted faster pace, a lot more action
and a lot of focus on the original characters. And
that’s what we focused on. And the writers and
the production staff, we all feel that we delivered
based on what the fans wanted. So I don’t know
if the critics are bashing for the sake of bashing
it, but maybe it’s just like a continued - well
continuing (stealing the hat) from Season 2. So I’m
hoping that as the episodes progress that they could
just go back to what made Heroes great with Season
1 and where Season 3 is headed towards, and then go
back to seeing it as pure entertainment for the whole
Are you happy with the scripts
you’ve seen for Season 3? And what can you tell
us about the relationship between Hiro and Daphne
which looks like it could be a big positive?
Masi Oka: Yeah, absolutely. I’m
very excited. We’re already shooting already
into Episode 12 so we’ve gone pretty far. And
there’s a lot of great shocks and twists and
turns. And the pacing is overall really fast and a
lot more action. So it’s a lot of fun. With
Hiro and Daphne, Daphne is kind of like the quintessential
nemesis for Hiro. As Batman gets his Joker, Hiro gets
Daphne. And it’s like a joke I use all the time.
But it’s like I see more like a Wile E. Coyote
and a Road Runner scenario except she said more than
meep-meep and not as many Acme gadgets although you
will see Hiro fall on his face a lot.
it - as Hiro sort of gets more information and experience
is it hard to keep the balance of the sort of happy,
naïve, enthusiastic person we met the beginning
with the weight of the experience and the tragedy
he’s had, and make it seem like he’s growing
without making him grow too tragic?
Masi Oka: Oh absolutely. I think
that’s an important balance to have and the
writers are very conscious of that. But what makes
Hiro great is his enthusiasm. He’s not - he’s
(only) discovered his power so it’s a little
bit different. One thing we know about Hiro is that
he’s always going to be very pure. No matter
what it is, he’s going to do what he feels is
right in terms of saving the world. So his naiveté
might have gone away because of all the tragedy he’s
experienced, but his purity and his sense of morality
will always stay the same. So that’s something
we’ll see and his childlike sensibility. So
he’ll always be - there will always be some
sort of wonderment. We’ll see him as he goes
through various locations and he’ll find some
like wonderful discovery at - wherever he goes. Also,
the writers have actually come up with a very creative
way of finding that rediscovering of the power and
we’ll see that later on in the season. So I
think - it’s definitely a difficult balance.
You got (sight) - Hiro’s storyline; Hiro and
Ando have always been kind of like the comedic relief.
And we want to makes sure we have some sort of that
entertainment on the fun side, the light side of saving
the world to balance kind of the dark tones of the
rest of the storyline.
you think that the fun side was maybe lost last season
for your character?
Masi Oka: I don’t know if
it was completely lost. We interjected it where we
can. In Feudal Japan there was a lot more - a lot
of fun to be had with Kensei’s dynamic. When
we got back, it was very grave and it just - when
he found out about his father’s death. And when
you deal with your father’s death it’s
kind of difficult to make light of that. We try to
incorporate - it is a comic book style of storytelling.
So we do want to be able to put in light moments where
we can, when appropriate. So we may have lost it but
- lost it a little bit, but at least as an actor and
as the writers, we are conscious about throwing in
those when we can - throw in little Easter eggs or
little jokes here that lightens the mood. Especially
there is humor within tragedy - it’s a way of
release for - in terms of laughing at the tragic -
laughing at ourselves to be able to celebrate life.
you talk about challenges that you’re having
this year as an actor? Is there more stunt work for
you? What’s different this year?
Masi Oka: There’s definitely
a lot more stunt work. It’s a lot of fun being
kind of put in a harness and just walking in the air.
I feel like Mary Poppins. That’s not a (pun).
But I think the biggest issue is also kind of trying
to like gauge where it’s appropriate in terms
of throwing - putting in that humor and that’s
where I kind of rely on the directors and the writers
to kind of say that’s a little bit too much.
That’s seems - that’s (grounded) but probably
inappropriate here. And also kind of the level of
English that Hiro has mastered because I don’t
want him to be completely masterful of English because
you want room to grow to. But at the same time, time
has progressed. And probably the last issue is just
time. Hiro’s timeline is so out of whack. The
series may have gone a couple times, but Hiro himself
- his biological time hasn’t moved as far even
if he has gone to Feudal Japan and then back. For
him it’s still three weeks or a month versus
the world might be moving in a good 400 years. So
just being able to keep that continuity has been difficult
Can you talk a little bit
about the importance of the family to Hiro? And are
we going to see his sister again or will his mom be
Masi Oka: Yes. I mean, family is
always important to Hiro. There’s so many things
- the most important thing to Hiro is definitely his
family and his friendships; and of course being a
hero saving the world. But that’s what his family
taught him. His father in particular and his mother,
they taught him the values of being a good person,
a good servant to civilization; and sacrificing himself
for the world. So, not having his father as - father
figure in giving advice -- fortunately we saw this
advice come through at DVD. But you might still see
various fatherly advices from his father; kind of
like how Obi-Wan and Anakin comes back in Return of
the Jedi. We haven’t - to be honest with you
I don’t know what Hiro’s sister is doing.
I would presume she’s very busy running the
company. Like Hiro is the CEO and I think Kimiko is
kind of the President. So she actually is a day-to-day
hands-on person. So we haven’t seen her yet
but we will see Hiro’s mother. When, I don’t
know. It might be Season 6. But we will see Hiro’s
you enjoyed the online comics and graphic novels;
what it’s like to have your image drawn by legendary
comic artists like Alex Ross, Tim Sale and Mike Turner?
Masi Oka: Oh my god, it’s
such an honor and it’s - first of all, the online
comics on NBC.com is absolutely brilliant because
even when we had the writer’s strike, I know
they had original content every week. And it’s
a great way to give the fans a continuity and some
back-story to a lot of the things that we don’t
get to see on the air. It’s a great way of filling
in the gaps. And that’s where a lot of the fans’
imagination can grow. So, that’s a great thing
to see the comics and I love seeing it. And just to
be drawn by these folks, it’s such an honor
just - I got excited when I was - when I had a caricature
drawn of me at a bar mitzvah. And now to have these
amazing legendary artists draw you, it’s - who
would have thought it? It’s definitely, as a
comic book reader, it’s something that you’re
very proud of and very happy about it - grateful also.
And at the same time you have these action figures
and now bobble heads. What more can a guy ask for?
I could ask about your feeling about the comic influences
on the show, how comics like Watchmen or X-Men, or
Harbinger have influenced the show and what it’s
like to have a comic luminary like Jeph Loeb kind
of heading up the ship?
Masi Oka: I think it’s really
important because our series is based on that comic
book storytelling. A lot of the characters are comic
book archetypes and the plot does come a lot from
comic book universe. So I think there’s going
to be a lot of - there might be a retelling of similar
stories but because comic books are told in certain
ways. It’s open ended and it’s very fast
in the way it moves. Having someone like Jeph Loeb
and like (Aaron) and (Joe), and (Jesse) - having that
kind of that sensibility works so greatly in our favor
in terms of telling the kind of stories we want to
tell on Heroes, and the pace we want to tell it in.
last two seasons Hiro has had a love interest. He
had Charlie and she died, and then Yaeko, but she
- well he (lives) without her as well. So is he going
to be having a love interest this season?
Masi Oka: Oh, we don’t know
yet. I mean, that’s always up in the air. Personally,
as a fan, I kind of like Hiro and Charlie’s
love story and just kind of leave it at that. In some
senses, I’m just having him fall for Yaeko right
afterwards - because in Hiro’s biological timeline
it was literally two weeks after Charlie’s death
when Hiro had spent six months with Charlie. So I
think that that love story is something that’s
pure and I don’t think we want to compound on
that too much. That being said, you never know what’s
going to happen, if Hiro is - there could be a love
story up ahead for Hiro. We don’t know. Everything
is kind of up in the air.
you read the book about Charlie and Hiro called Saving
Masi Oka: Yeah, I thought it was
great. It was a great way to fill in that story. I
mean, I learned a lot about my character through that,
too. Hiro actually gets pretty randy in that one.
But ultimately if there is an end for Hiro, my poetic
ending for him would be like to live in an infinite
time loop and living his life - and living his times
with Charlie over and over, and over again. So there’s
something - there’s definitely something sweet
about that love story. I think it’s very hard
for you to top that. So, unless there’s something
that’s great that comes by, I think it’s
great to have what we have.
The Heroes fan base is extremely
devoted to you guys. Have you ever had die hard fans
come up to you on the streets and actually think that
you have these real powers in real life?
Masi Oka: Yeah, sometimes they do.
I mean, it is quite interesting. The most awkward
times are - I hate to be crass in the morning but,
when you’re in the restroom. And I’ve
had fans recognize me and like they’ll come
into the restroom with me. And then they’ll
watch me, for lack of a better word, take a leak.
And they’ll be watching and it’s like
oh, it’s not like my urine stops time or anything.
Like can we please not - can you please not stare
at me while. It is kind of interesting though. I mean
sometimes, it’s - I don’t think they believe
I can teleport but people do ask me to do things.
I personally think I can actually stop time because
every time I go into a room and like I tell a bad
joke, man time freezes. It feels like a long time.
great. Now if you really could stop time, do you have
something in particular that you’d want to stop?
Like would you want to stop right before you get in
a traffic jam or an embarrassing moment, or something
Masi Oka: I think all the time.
I mean, if there is a way to get out of a jam that’d
be great to literally stop time. I mean, I don’t
know. There are just - there are moments where you
wish like this could last forever and hope, I don’t
know. It - that’s an interesting question. Like
stopping time is something - especially when I go
to a different location, it would be nice just to
stop time and just like really absorb the surroundings
or like really enjoy your vacation or something?
Masi Oka: Yeah. I mean I think we
live in such a fast-paced society that it is important
to “stop and smell the roses” at times.
And it would be nice to just be able to - just stop
time and kind of get away from it all for a second
and just really appreciate where you are, and where
we all are in life as a - with the economic downturns
and like what’s going on with the environment.
Just take life to (look forward) - to be able to appreciate
that moment. So I think all of us would love to just
kind of stop time and just take a moment, and breathe.
Now, the promo for Volume 3, it said in every hero
there could be a villain. What would you do if we
found out Hiro was a villain?
Masi Oka: I don’t know. I
would go and smack some sense into Hiro. I mean it’s
like what are you doing. But it’s - Hiro is
one of the - as I (saying). I think he’s very
pure. The naivety has gone away but he’ll do
what he believes is right and sometimes what he believes
is - might not be the right thing. And I would think
he’s very susceptible to a lot of things, very
gullible. But he would never do anything that’s
morally wrong in his mind because he follows a basic
conduct of heroism. He goes by the bible of the comic
book. That being said, we’ve seen what happens
to various heroes that’s gone to the dark side.
So it’s interesting because villain and hero,
it’s very relative. What is good and what is
evil? Because in the villain’s mind what the
good people do, that’s considered evil in their
mind. So it’s from - maybe from a society perspective,
it’s clear to see what’s good and what’s
villain. But from a personal perspective - from a
villain’s perspective it’s very different
of how they see the world. So it’s an interesting
moral question. But, I have faith in Hiro that he’s
always in his heart going to be a good guy no matter
what he does.
the last time you caught up with Adam Monroe, Petrelli
stopped you from killing him. I was just wondering
how would you kill him if you got him alone since
Masi Oka: He is - I mean, the way
Hiro kind of like encased him was pretty cold and
- in retrospect. I mean, he just put him in the coffin.
And actually, the way it was edited, it just made
it a very dark decision. There was actually a lot
more to that based on what we had as an ending and
stuff. But because of the the writer’s strike
and the way it was edited, it just seemed like a really
harsh decision that was made. But how - I mean, we’ve
seen that everything is kind of like related to the
spinal cord in terms of immortality. And in Season
1 we saw Claire kind of going through a state of mortality
in that sense. So maybe that’s the way to kill
So in one of the flash forwards
this week we saw Ando killing Hiro. So - and it seems
like he obviously doesn’t trust his best friend
as much as he did in the past. Do you think that that
was - that they will get back to where they were before?
And do you think that they’re kind of making
all of the Heroes this year a little bit darker than
in the past?
Masi Oka: I think so. I think we
just - the writers wanted to introduce a little bit
of a different dynamic between Hiro and Ando just
to start things off. We will see them back to get
their original selves, hopefully very soon. But I
think everyone is kind of like - because this is a
season called Villains, or the volume is called Villains,
we wanted to kind of put in seeds of doubt in terms
of every relationship we’ve had and kind of
shake up the status quo. So I think that’s definitional
an intentional part by the writers to put that in.
And then if you could have any power besides the stopping
time on the show, which one would you want?
Masi Oka: Any power besides the
stopping time on the show? Can I cheat and say Peter’s
power? Because he has - he can do everything.
You’ve done a lot of CGI in the past. Do you
still have any time to do that on the side?
Masi Oka: Unfortunately it’s
been increasingly difficult to do some stuff. I’m
technically still an ILM employee so I’m hoping
to - I’m actually kind of involved in producing
a couple of projects that involve CGI. So I’m
hoping to use my employee discount when that comes
someone brought it up already, what can we expect
from round two between Adam and Hiro?
Masi Oka: Well, we will - let’s
see. I think the promos kind of - did it come out
on it for - I think like the episode descriptions
kind of already gave away that Adam Monroe will be
coming back. So we know he’ll be coming back.
How? Why? Well that we don’t know yet. But that
one I probably can’t spill too much on. But
there will be a Hiro/Adam Monroe round three.
lot of the characters have gotten better handles on
their powers as time has gone by. Are we going to
see a leap in Hiro’s powers or see him use them
in a new or unique way?
Masi Oka: Possibly. The writers
are definitely very creative about how Hiro uses his
power. It’s a very strong power. So it’s
- theoretically, Hiro could just go back in time and
fix everything. So it’s very difficult in terms
of plot because like okay Daphne stole the paper.
Why doesn’t Hiro go back five minutes earlier,
and make sure he doesn’t have it? There’s
always ways around it unfortunately. But, we’re
kind of in a point that Hiro doesn’t go back
in the past because he knows it’s going to destroy
the time/space continuum; something wrong will happen.
In terms of powering up, let’s see, I don’t
know how much more Hiro can really power up teleportation
and time travel. I think he’s more accurate
with his time travel now. So that’s definitely
something and the teleportation maybe he could go
further and - but I mean it’s just having more
control over them. But there - actually there might
be a couple of things that are different in terms
of how he uses his power. So maybe he could do a dimensional
that would be interesting. Do you get to use your
sword again this year?
Masi Oka: Do I get to use my sword?
To be honest, I haven’t used my sword yet. But
hopefully there will be more opportunity to use it.
But as of now there is no sword play. And maybe we
could have Hiro teleport to like Mars or something.
That will be Season 4.
your most memorable moment filming this season - anything
scary or funny - moments or stunts?
Masi Oka: Well this - well definitely
the stunts. Like anytime you get put in a harness
in mid air, I personally love it because you can do
a lot of play and while we’re in between takes,
I kind of goof around and pretend I’m like --
as I said -- like in Mary Poppins or in Crouching
Tiger Hidden Dragon. And just do all those fun moves
in the air. But I can’t - I’m trying to
think. The most memorable moment is actually - I would
just say actually last week we were shooting. I got
to work with the - for the first time I got to work
with someone I’ve wanted to work with since
Season 1. So that was a very memorable moment.
is that? Can you tell us?
Masi Oka: I can’t say it.
But that would probably be so far my most memorable
Okay, and what are your favorite
Masi Oka: My favorite TV - I definitely
love smart comedies and right now 30 Rock is absolutely
brilliant and The Office - there’s these shows.
I mean, honestly they’re both on NBC on Thursday
nights, but they’re really smart. I love that.
We need more of that. Comedy is kind of a dying breed
right now. So whatever we can do to rescue it, because
we need more laughter in this world. So...
you’re obviously such a multitalented guy, did
you had any aspirations to maybe write or direct an
episode of Heroes or maybe provide them with some
new visual effects?
Masi Oka: I’m actually doing
a lot of that outside of Heroes. Within Heroes it
would be great to actually possibly do an episode.
We’ve actually been talking about that and I’m
looking to shadow a couple episodes. Of course, our
schedule is really tough so it could get a little
bit difficult. But writing wise, what the writers
do on the show is absolutely amazing. And they’re
way ahead of the curve. They have a great team assembled.
And the way they write is a - what’s called
gang writing and everybody writes on the episode and
then the writer on record polishes it up. So I think
it’s really difficult for anybody to just “write”
a Heroes episode. But fortunately I’ve had an
opportunity to exercise my writing a little - like
my behind the scenes skills on projects outside of
are you planning on doing anymore feature work in
Masi Oka: Yes, absolutely.
Season 1 there was a lot of fun that it seemed like
you had and a lot of the fans had with your - Hiro’s
Blog. And that’s kind of disappeared. And we
were wondering if you were going to be bringing that
back any time soon?
Masi Oka: You know what? That’s
actually all on me because the Heroes Blog is something
I wrote - it’s something at - like everything
I wrote and then I would pass it on to a producer
and just making sure it’s okay and stuff. And
to be honest, I’ll take the blame for that one
because I dropped the ball in terms about doing Hiro’s
Blog in this season. Last season we couldn’t
do it because it didn’t make sense, because
he was 400 years before in time. But... You know what?
I mean, I talked to the NBC.com folks because I am
actually interested in doing it again. So if we can
make it work, I’ll find a way to start writing
again because it was actually really fun. It was fun
writing in - from the characters perspective and throw
all the geek references in there. So, it’s a
good creative exercise. Unfortunately I don’t
have as much time as I had in Season 1. So it’s
just a matter of a time balance. And I don’t
want to give it off - farm it off to other people
to write it for me and just put my name on it because
I know a lot of other character blogs are done that
way. And something like Hiro’s blog, I’d
feel like a disservice to the fans. So I want to take
care of that by putting my own words and putting off
my own creativity on it. So if I - if it was to be
done, I want to make sure that I’m the one doing
it rather than farming it off to someone else.
character of Adam Monroe, when do you think we’ll
see him back?
Masi Oka: I believe - where does
it say in the episode description? In the episode
description that was released by NBC, I believe they
said Episode 5, Adam - David Anders guest stars. Is
that Episode 5 or 4? Four or five I believe is when
we start seeing Adam Monroe, so pretty early on. So
you’ll see in the next - one of the next three
we be seeing any face-offs with Sylar again, like
we did in the first season?
Masi Oka: Will we see any face-offs
with Sylar? Well, Sylar is one of - let’s see,
will we see any face-offs with Sylar? I think you’ll
always see a face-off. There is going to be a lot
of face-offs, not just with Sylar but a lot of villains
with heroes; a lot of heroes with heroes, a lot of
villains with villains. Like kind of - the match-ups
you don’t expect, you will definitely see, so
a lot of face-offs.
As an actor are you satisfied
with the way in which Hiro is being developed or stretched
this Season versus what you got to do in Season 1?
And is the door to the writers’ room open for
you and your fellow cast members? Do you have the
opportunity, if you want to, to sit down with the
writers and discuss concerns or ideas about your character’s
Masi Oka: Yeah, part two is - absolutely.
I think the writers are very collaborative. They’re
very open to discussing characters and they let where
your characters are going. And they’re very
collaborative in that sense, they’re very open
to it. A lot of it also gets done in the editing as
well. So you think you shoot something and then when
you actually see it on screen it a little bit different.
As an actor, they’re constantly challenging
me about - having me do things left and right. I know
someone leaked that Hiro is going to be ten years
old. So something like that is a challenge having
balanced, the dram and the rounded - the heavy with
the light stuff. So, as an actor I think it’s
always challenging. As long as they keep challenging
me, it’s a great learning experience. The one
thing - for me I’m just - it’s difficult
to find the consistency of course, because you want
the plot to - you need to drive the plot and move
things forward. At the same time, the character actions
sometimes get compromised because of that. So we are
a slave to the plot. So if the plot dictates we do
something, sometimes we have to change what the characters
do. And for me, I was watching the first three episodes.
I’m like okay, Hiro you’re so stupid.
Why are you like defying your father’s orders
and doing that. But we needed that for the plot so
it made sense.
powers, you’ve got - really you could say you’ve
got three powers couldn’t you? You can stop
time, slow it down, and teleport. Which of them do
you think is like the most useful?
Masi Oka: Which - well if you live
in LA I’ll probably say teleportation because
the traffic is awful here. It would be nice just to
teleport to places in LA. And so that would probably
be the most useful I guess.
you’re going to be working with the Haitian
this season, aren’t you?
Masi Oka: Yes, I will be working with the Haitian
that good working - is the one who you haven’t
had the chance to before?
Masi Oka: Yeah, it’s always
great to be working with someone new. I mean, that’s
kind of the fun thing is in some senses we’re
all - we feel like we’re on different shows
even though we see each other all - every week on
TV. But we hang out with each other a lot outside
yet we rarely get to work with each other. So it’s
always fun to be working with new people because it
brings a new dynamic and it kind of reenergizes or
reinvigorates, your storyline. So it’s always
the future we see Hiro being killed by Ando. Is there
any chance that really Ando is doing the right thing
and Hiro is maybe in the wrong?
Masi Oka: I think it’s a little
bit ambiguous. Originally when we shot it, as kind
of a - it got edited down to be a little bit more
ambiguous. But the way it was written was it was supposed
to be Ando was actually on the evil side. There was
a whole evil and (Knox) - I’m sorry, Ando and
(Knox) and Daphne versus Peter, Claire and Hiro. And
that was the original vision of it. We kind of shortened
it for time’s sake. And the way it was edited,
the fight between those two got - between future Hiro
and future Ando got edited as well. The way it was
kind of explained to me was Ando was being like a
Lando Calrissian ...or there you - Ando and Lando
right there; that there was a betrayal. I guess he
got money for something. It was the formula and stuff.
So that was the back-story that was given to me in
terms of - for that. But the way it was edited, I
think it was kind of like left up to interpretation.
you had mentioned earlier with Daphne that you felt
kind of like Batman and the Joker. Or Wile E. Coyote
and the Road Runner. With Ando do you feel more like
Batman and Robin or more like C3PO and R2D2?
Masi Oka: I don’t know. Hiro
- it’s kind of both. I mean Batman and Robin,
they’re still friends in some sense. So it depends
on the situation. Sometimes it’s definitely
a Batman and Robin. Sometimes, it’s a C3PO and
R2D2. I think Hiro’s mind he does see it as
a Batman and Robin kind of situation. So from what
Hiro thinks, it’s definitely that or more like
a Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in some senses because
he’s so quixotic.
Your character in the Get
Smart film and in the spin-off film is not completely
dissimilar from Hiro because he’s hero worshipping.
He’s a little bit pop culture savvy, a little
self-effacing. Did you took pains to really differentiate
him from Hiro because you had the opportunity to play
somebody who was a little like Hiro but not Hiro?
Masi Oka: Yes, absolutely. I think
that’s something you look for when you’re
doing a feature film is an opportunity to show your
range and do something different. Of course, that’s
always going to be a part of me and something that
attracts me to the roles. They’re both kind
of geeks in their own senses. But Bruce’s point
of view is a lot more drier and sarcastic versus Hiro’s
(ebullient). And just the fact that one speaks Japanese
and one doesn’t speak Japanese kind of already
puts a different spin on things in some senses. So
they’re all - they’re similar yet dissimilar.
And there’s - I think that’s an important
thing from an actor’s perspective in terms of
a career. You always try to show something different
when taking on different projects because when you
have a great opportunity like Heroes and when you’re
constantly challenging with it a - with what the writers
give you, I think you take a future role where it
does allow you to kind of try something different.
do you have any other extracurricular stuff lined
Masi Oka: Yes, I do.
you say what it is?
Masi Oka: Well it’ll come out in the trades
in the next few months. We have to wait for certain
things to be settled. So...
Hiro has or will do battle at different times with
Sylar, with Adam, with Peter. It looks like those
three characters really can’t be killed. So
sort of do you see these battles taking shape and
have you sort of talked about a way where Hiro could
ultimately be victorious against these characters?
Masi Oka: Well I think the writers
come up with some really ingenious ways of dealing
with those kinds of battles. When you make - when
you want - it’s kind of interesting, the (just
particular) of having someone super powerful so it
feels like a really big threat and then being able
to become victorious at the end as well. So it’s
an interesting problem and I think the writers come
up with a very interesting solution later on.
is the best thing to you about being in Heroes and
have you met any heroes of your own through the show?
Masi Oka: The best thing, without
a doubt is the people I get to meet whether it’s
my real life heroes and like my idols and my icons
in terms of the creative folks like Steven Spielberg
or Tom Hanks - those people you get to meet. And also
like my brothers and sisters I meet on set, my family
and my crew members, my cast mates. And also just
the fans all around the world - just being able to
go halfway around the world and to meet people in
Japan and Singapore, Hong Kong, Africa and to know
that our show has touched their lives in a small ways
is absolutely unbelievable. If I wasn’t doing
Heroes I would never have an opportunity to meet so
many people in my life. So I think that’s definitely
the biggest thing. And my hero is always going to
be my mom. So...
What would be the one thing
about your character that you would change if you
Masi Oka: If I could? One thing
I would change? Maybe be a little bit less - I don’t
know. I don’t know if I would change - I mean,
I would say less gullible. But that’s kind of
like what makes Hiro good I mean in terms of the -
and that’s what leads him to trouble. If he
wasn’t gullible and smart all the time, he wouldn’t
get in trouble so much, so that’s kind of the
fun of seeing Hiro get into trouble and go climb up
the wrong tree, and having to get himself out of it
or have Ando help him get out of it. So that’s
kind of the fun of that. So - if I were to change
him? That’s kind of a difficult question. I’m
trying - because I do like Hiro how he is. I don’t
Is everybody on the show
on the same timeline, in the current like present
timeline or like Hiro and Ando a little bit in the
future? Or do you know, or can you answer that?
Masi Oka: Let’s see, it would
- I mean, Hiro and Ando, maybe we could think of it
- maybe two weeks or three weeks have passed. I don’t
know how many - how much time has passed since Season
2. But I mean, it’s kind of interesting because
you do see future Peter. We see that (reveal) future
Peter is killing Nathan Petrelli and that’s
definitely a continuation from where Season 2 ended.
So that’s an interesting thing I never really
thought about. As far as we know they are all in the
same timeline. Of course, time is all relative to
Hiro. So... but no that’s an interesting - maybe
the - did the press conference happen like later?
It’s - everything kind of went out of whack
because the way - as we said, the way we wanted to
end the show was different from the way we originally
had in mind... because of the writer’s strike
and we had to like kind of force a conclusion. And
because - and so because of that the editing kind
of dictated how we shaped the show and how we ended
it. And I think we lost some of the things that kind
of explained the transition. So - but as far as I
know, we’re all on the same timeline. I think
his - I mean, it’s not too far ahead but maybe
like two or three - two months or something.
Kring said awhile back -- I’m not sure exactly
when -- that he could understand why fans were a bit
disappointed with Season 2 and how it all turned out.
What have you seen so far that would turn Season 3
maybe to Season 1 in terms of tone and story? And
what did you think about Season 2 overall?
Masi Oka: Well, Season 3 is definitely
a lot more fast paced. It’s basically the writers’
answers to what - the feedback we received from the
fans. They wanted more - there was fast storytelling,
a lot more action and a lot more of the original characters.
And I think the writers took those words to heart
and delivered something that the fans wanted. My reaction
to Season 2 - I thought the writers made a bold choice.
There was a lot of expectations. And the writers decided
to go a - kind of a different route than expected
by the fans to kid of shake things up and basically
make a bold choice. And it didn’t - I don’t
think the fans reacted the way the writers hoped for.
And we make the show for the fans and that’s
what’s really important to us. So we took that
to heart and the back half of Season 2 was back on
pace to what we originally intended. What made Season
1 great was a back storytelling and a lot of the twists
and turns. So Season 3, I think, is going back to
what the fans wanted. And following still to Tim Kring’s
vision and what the writers - the stories the writers
wanted to tell.
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