Masi Oka on Heroes and the Future

The hit NBC TV series, “Heroes” is gaining a lot of attention these days. The show was recently nominated for a Golden Globe award in the Drama Series category. “Heroes” is about a small group of individuals from various walks of life who struggle with new-found powers that set them apart from the average citizen. Each “hero” possesses a unique ability that will ultimately be used to save the world. It is yet to be determined where these powers came from, and why these specific individuals were chosen to carry out such an important task.

Masi Oka stars as Hiro Nakamura in the series. His character plays a pivotal role in the scheme of things. Hiro has found a way to pierce the space-continuum and travel back in time through sheer will power.

In the beginning, Hiro wasn’t included in the original pilot. Creator and writer Tim Kring added the character as an afterthought. The Japanese futuristic computer wiz has a slight innocence about him laced with a touch of humor. His light-hearted personality creates a balance on the show since the other characters tend to be somewhat anxious and dismayed with their extraordinary abilities. Oka added a little more humor to his character making him a hit with the viewers. For the role, the talented actor was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Masi Oka loves his role in “Heroes” and enjoys working with the other actors on the show. His enthusiasm is evident when he talks about the series and what viewers can look forward to in upcoming episodes.

He commented on how the theme for the second half of the season would be different from the first. “The first half was definitely about the discovery (of special powers). The second half is more about the realization of it, and then the growth with the power.”

Viewers got a glimpse of a different version of Hiro from the future in the end of a previous episode called “Collision.” The variation was a pleasant change for Oka. He said, “It definitely was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun. Anytime as an actor you get to be challenged in a completely different role in the same series it is wonderful. Even with the story with Charlie where I got to access more of the dramatic love interest side–that was a lot of fun. It’s always a lot of fun to do something different. Yes, from what I understand we will see Future Hiro in that form, I think, sometime in the season. That’s the plan, but there is nothing concrete. That’s the rumor that’s going around. That could change with a drop of the hat, of course. I’ve got to say that the biggest compliment is when people come up to you and say so who’s that guy who played Future Hiro? It kind of looks like you, but it’s not. I think that is the best compliment you can get as an actor.”

Hiro’s love interest with Charlie opened him up to a whole new experience. It is very likely that he will become involved in another relationship some time in the future.

“Yes, I heard from Tim (Kring) somewhere down the line, I’m not going to tell you when, but they are working on having another love interest for Hiro,” said Oka. “From what I understand it will be a new character.”

The actor was pleased with the assumption of having another love interest on the show because there are not many romantic stories with Asian-Americans on screen. He would like to help bridge that gap.

Future episodes will also delve more into the relationship Hiro has with his father, who is played by George Takei. There will be notable tension between the two because of his father’s attitude and expectations toward his son. Hiro views his father as an intimidating figure and someone he has to live up to.

According to Oka, “The relationship is kind of complex, but simple. Without trying to reveal too much, I don’t want to spoil it, you’ll find out that the father has a lot of expectations for his son. Hiro is his only son, who he expected to be his heir to his company. Because of that there are some expectations, and he kind of views Hiro’s journey to be very childish and foolish. He wants him to grow up.”

Oka thinks answers relating to Hiro’s super powers will be revealed in future episodes. “I believe that will be the case from what Kring talked about of an origins episode, but at the correct time I think. We are just acting and everyone is just taking a leap of faith and not really questioning where they come from, but they will be answered sometime in the future. That’s not what the show is about right now in terms of where these things come from, but rather what are people are going to do with their powers in the journey they are taking to see the world. Eventually they will be answered because the show has been very good about answering questions. Sometimes the writers have to be held back because they want to move a lot faster than they wanted. They are itching to get these answers out so they will definitely be answered.”

There is speculation that Hiro’s quest for the sword may have something to do with his powers, including time travel. Oka couldn’t talk about that particular story plot, but did say that viewers would learn more about the sword’s significance somewhere between episodes twelve and eighteen.

In the future, Oka hopes he will be able to use some of his Kendo sword skills on “Heroes.”

Questions relating to the dinosaur plotline on “Heroes” will also be enlightened to the viewers. The actor said, “I’ll say it straight up the answer will be given in episode twelve.When the first episode comes back you’ll see the dinosaur in play. Our shows have always realized Isaac’s paintings come to fruition in one form or another. All I can say is that I do work for Industrial Light & Magic and we have worked on a great show called ‘Jurassic Park.’ What does that mean? I don’t know.”

Source: Alice Chapman Newgen