Character, rather than ethnicity, is what counts in Star Trek XI
according to Faran Tahir
As reported by Scifi.com, part of the appeal of Star Trek is not being judged on one's cultural or ethnic background. Tahir was honored to play the first captain of Middle Eastern ethnicity. "The thing that I love about that idea is that, to me, it gives a lot of hope that in the future all these racial divides and all these cultural divides will be non-issues," he said. "And that's the spirit of Star Trek, right? It's about moving forward with all of this. To me, as an actor, it was very freeing to be able to do that, where my character was not being seen through the prism of my cultural or ethnic ties. They were being seen as how competent or incompetent; through what kind of a captain I was going to be in that situation. What matters is the merits of the character, rather than what his background is."
Working on Star Trek XI was like revisiting childhood for the actor playing Captain Robau. "The first thing is that you all of a sudden go back to being nine years old when you realize that you're going to be in Star Trek as a captain," Tahir explained. "You walk onto the bridge and you see that bridge, and your first moment is not 'What is my line?'. Your first moment in yourself is 'Wow! I'm on the bridge of a Federation ship, and I'm the captain.' That's exactly what went on in my head. You have to get over that, and then you go, 'OK, now let's actually make him work.'"
Tahir will soon be seen in Iron Man, where he played the part of an Afghan insurgent leader, Raza, who is a villain. Iron Man will be opening on May 2nd.
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