Can you even image “Heroes” without Masi Oka? The actor had bit parts on “Reba,” “Reno 911!” and “Scrubs” before he almost threw in the towel.
“I realized there weren’t characters being created for my type because Hollywood tends to have a narrow vision with regards to Asian Americans, or Asians in general,” says the 32-year-old Tokyo-born actor. He finally decided the solution was to start shopping his own scripts.
“I figured if no one is going to create stuff for me, I need to create stuff, at least for other Asian actors.” Then he got the pilot script for “Heroes.”
“They were looking for someone who was fluent in Japanese, who had a comedic background and who had American television experience,” he says, on break at eat. on sunset, a restaurant near the Sunset Gower Studios. “It was like a destiny.”
Fun Masi Oka fact – he worked as a digital special-effects artist at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic studio on “The Perfect Storm” after graduating from college, but quickly got burned out and turned to acting.
More photos (Ali Larter, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Leonard Roberts, Noah Grey-Cabey, Greg Grunberg, Lester Holt) from An evening with ‘Heroes’ held at the Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences after the jump.
(Hint – to open photos in a new window or tab, right-click the photo and chose open link/image in new window or tab.)
(Ali Larter, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Jack Coleman)
(Masi Oka, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Leonard Roberts)
(Noah Grey-Cabey, Greg Grunberg, Lester Holt)