Masi Oka’s Radar

Photo: Radar. Milo Ventimiglia, Kristen Bell, Masi Oka and B.J. Novak

Heroes star Masi Oka talks to Radar about being a working- actor, receiving computer science & mathematics degrees from Brown University, working at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, and luck. You can’t believe everything you read, but here are some excerpts from Radar:

What brought you into acting?

I wanted to try to be comfortable with who I am. I mean I grew up being your standard geek. I was into math and computer science, and I had friends who thought the same, looked the same, and started smelling the same. I thought, college is a place where I can learn, and not just get an academic education, but a social education. I wanted to learn more about the human condition and to learn more about myself. That’s why I got into theater.

There’s something I’m very curious about. I’m Taiwanese and was raised by a very traditional Asian mother. I was wondering what your mom thought of your career choice. How did she react when you told her you wanted to be an actor?

She was like, “Ummm … okay whatever you want.” She wasn’t overjoyed, but luckily things worked out. My thing was as long as I didn’t put any financial burden on my mother, I figure she’d be supportive of what I did. I always had a great job at ILM [George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic], which supported my acting career, and they were very patient with me while I was pursuing it as well. Which is what I came to L.A. for and I got relatively lucky in the first few years.

Can you at least give us any clues about what will happen to your character this season?

Well, he’ll be in feudal Japan for a little bit. He meets his childhood hero and unfortunately gets disillusioned because it’s someone completely different. So there’s going to be a lot of him trying to right what’s wrong. And with the space-time continuum, whenever you try to right something in the past, well, some things were meant to be and some things aren’t.

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