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Old May 2 2008, 05:25 AM   #1
TrekToday
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Takei On Casting Cho

George Takei helped set J.J. Abram's mind at ease about hiring John Cho as Sulu.

As reported by Cinemaspy.ca, Abrams was concerned because Cho was Korean-American and not Japanese-American and Abrams thought it might become an issue with fans. "I did have breakfast with J.J. Abrams," said Takei. "He was concerned because he was going to cast a Korean-American actor and he thought there might be some discussion by Star Trek fans. I told him Gene's idea was to have Sulu represent all of Asia. Apparently J.J. didn't know that, so he was quite comforted by that background information and went ahead and cast John Cho."

Takei went on to explain that Roddenberry meant for the character of Sulu to represent Asia, not any specific country. "Gene Roddenberry was a real visionary and he incorporated a lot of his own personal philosophy into Star Trek," said Takei. "He felt that the Starship Enterprise was a metaphor for Starship Earth and the strength of this starship lay in its diversity coming together and working as a team in concert, each contributing his or her unique talents, unique vantage points and unique experiential background. That's what made the Enterprise that much stronger and more competent at solving problems and challenges. We would represent different parts of the Earth. He wanted my character to represent Asia."

Takei was pleased with Cho being cast, being familiar with the actor from other productions. "I am very happy with that casting," said Takei. "I knew of John's work from way before. I've been Chairman of the Board of Governors of the East West Players, which is the oldest minority theatre company in the U.S. ...and John appeared in about five or six of our productions. He was impressive in all of those productions."

Cho himself was a bit nervous about portraying Sulu, but a meeting with Takei reassured him. "He [Cho] was very excited, but also nervous about taking on this project and he asked me to have lunch with him," said Takei. "I told him, Don't worry. You're going to be fantastic. It's going to be a great career boost for you, as if you needed a boost, and before too long I'll be known as the old guy who played John Cho."To read more, head to the article located here.

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Old May 2 2008, 12:05 PM   #2
Kpnuts
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Re: Takei On Casting Cho

Wow, Takei opening his mouth again, who would have thought??
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Old May 2 2008, 07:25 PM   #3
Augustus
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Location: Sadly, not in Texas
Re: Takei On Casting Cho

Wasn't he also impressive in Harold and Kumar????
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Old May 2 2008, 07:48 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Takei On Casting Cho

Abrams was concerned because Cho was Korean-American and not Japanese-American and Abrams thought it might become an issue with fans.
Assuming fans even can tell the difference between a Korean and Japanese surname, why would they care, after decades of accepting human actors playing aliens, robots and interstellar dieties?

That attitude always throws me. Actors are paid to act. It is their job to pretend to be what they're not. But to think of Star Trek fans being narrow-minded bigots is the strangest thing of all.
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Old May 4 2008, 04:31 PM   #5
Geck
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Re: Takei On Casting Cho

^ Agreed. If people can accept Patrick Stewart as a Frenchman, I think people can accept this.

I remember the fuss a few years ago when the [i]Memoirs of a Geisha[i] movie came out, with a Chinese actress playing the lead role, rather than Japanese, but I don't think it should be an issue in this case.
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Old May 4 2008, 06:08 PM   #6
number6
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Location: number6 has left the village through some inexpicable hole in the ground to head the corporation.
Re: Takei On Casting Cho

Frankly I am more concerned about what Takei will do when they cast Cho in the lead for "The Adventures of Captain Sulu."
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Old May 5 2008, 10:32 AM   #7
Aragorn
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Re: Takei On Casting Cho

Geck wrote: View Post
I remember the fuss a few years ago when the [i]Memoirs of a Geisha[i] movie came out, with a Chinese actress playing the lead role, rather than Japanese, but I don't think it should be an issue in this case.
Well Good Will Riker, for one, threw a hissy fit about it.

Of course, there have been straight actors like Tom Hanks, Tom Selleck, Kevin Kline and Russell Crowe playing gay characters, and gay actors like Ian McKellan, Rupert Everett, Victor Garber and Neil Patrick Harris playing straight characters, and no one's ever complained.

I was under the impression that actors, you know, act. I doubt Tom Cruise killed a bunch of people to prepare for Collateral. Or that Charlie Sheen actually had to reach 100 MPH with his fastball for Major League.
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