10 Questions with HEROES Star Masi Oka

masi oka hiro heroes

1. On Critical Backlash
Masi Oka:
Every critic is different and people look for different things. 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, you know, 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, you know, pure entertainment for the whole family.

Season 3 is definitely a lot more fast paced. You know, it’s basically the writers’ answers to what – the feedback we received from the fans. They wanted more – you know, there was fast storytelling, you know, a lot more action and a lot more of the original characters.

2. On Hiro and Daphne
I’m very excited. We’re already shooting Episode 12 and there’s a lot of great shocks and, you know, twists and turns. With Hiro and Daphne, you know, Daphne is kind of like the quintessential nemesis for Hiro. As Batman gets his Joker, Hiro gets Daphne. That said, I see it 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.

3. On the Evolution of Hiro 
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. While his naiveté might have gone away because of all the tragedy he’s experienced, his purity and his sense of morality will always stay the same.

4. On the importance of Hiro’s family
The most important thing to Hiro is definitely his family and his friendships; and of course, you know, 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; with a willingness to sacrifice himself for the world.

Even though Hiro’s father is gone, you might still see various fatherly advices from him; kind of like how, you know, Obi One and Anakin comes back in Return of the Jedi.

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.

And even though we haven’t seen her yet, we will see Hiro’s mother. 

5. On Bizarre Fan Encounters
It is quite interesting. You know, the most awkward times are – I hate to be crass in the morning but, you know, when you’re in the restroom. And I’ve had, you know, fans recognize me and like they’ll come into the restroom with me. And then they’ll watch me, you know, for lack of a better word, you know, take a leak. And they’ll be watching and it’s like oh, you know, it’s not like my, you know, my urine stops time or anything. Like can we please not – you know, can you can please not stare at me while, you know.

It is kind of interesting though. I mean sometimes, you know, it’s – I don’t think they believe I can teleport but, you know, 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.

6. On Hiro and Ando
I think 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.

7. On Hiro’s Sword
To be honest, I haven’t used my sword yet. But hopefully there will be more opportunity to use it. 

8. On the Paradox that is Hiro’s Powers
You know it’s very difficult in terms of plot because like okay Daphne stole the paper. Why doesn’t Hiro go back five minutes earlier, you know, and make sure he doesn’t have it, you know?  There’s always ways around it unfortunately. But, you know, we’re kind of in a point that, you know, Hiro doesn’t go back in the past because he knows it’s going to destroy the time/space continuum; something wrong will happen. 

9. On TV outside of HEROES
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.

We need more of that. Comedy is kind of a dying breed right now. We need more laughter in this world.

10. On Meeting his Heroes
The best thing, without a doubt, is the people I get to meet whether, you know, it’s my real life heroes and like my idols and my icons in terms of the, you know, like the creative folks like Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks.

And also like my brothers and sisters I meet on set, you know, 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, you know, Africa and to know that our show has touched their lives, you know, 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.

Photo Credit: Wired

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