Follow Us & Boldly Be Social RSS Feed Like us on facebook follow us on twitter Find us on flickr Watch us on youtube

"Just Make Him Normal" Says Garrett Wang to Voyager Producers.

"Just Make Him Normal" Says Garrett Wang to Voyager Producers.

Garrett Wang is Indianapolis this weekend for the 14th annual Starbase Indy SciFi Convention.  And, Scott Thien from Indianapolis Star was able to get an interview before the Con.  Garrett talks about his life growing up in the south and the racism he dealt with there as well as his love for trek and all things SciFi.  Check out an excerpt from the interview below.

“Being in the South really impacted my life,” Wang (pronounced “wong”), 40, said by phone recently, recalling his high school days growing up in Memphis, Tenn. “Having to deal with racial epithets every day really molds your life.”

That’s why he dumped his pre-med ambitions and Asian studies major at UCLA and turned to acting. He bounced from one theater production to another before landing an audition for “Voyager” (1995-2001), the fourth “Star Trek” TV series. It took him six auditions to earn the gig, he said.

Knowing his role was historic in Trekdom — he was the first Asian-American actor to appear regularly in a “Star Trek” series since George “Sulu” Takei in the original 1960s show — Wang, then 24, quickly set the tone.

“I approached (the producers) about my concerns” on stereotypes, said the Riverside, Calif., native. “I told them, ‘I really don’t want scenes of (Kim) ordering a bowl of noodles from the food replicator. Just make him a normal, young Starfleet officer.”

On Star Trek XI

Fast forward to today, Wang said the latest “Star Trek” movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, has reinvigorated the franchise. He saw the movie nine times — “The only movie I’ve seen more than once was ‘Star Wars’.”

“I thought the casting was great, although I’m not sure I’m sold on John Cho on being Sulu. … The soundtrack was amazing, the pacing, the editing, the script. Everything in the film was super, super cool. Being someone who worked on Star Trek, I was kind of nervous before the release. I thought, ‘What if this thing sucked?’

Wang said he was irked that neither he nor any previous Trek cast member except Leonard “Spock” Nimoy was approached to star in the new flick.
“Word on the street was, (director) JJ Abrams didn’t anybody from any past Star Treks. He wanted all new faces — even down to the makeup artists. That’s insane. But it was like, ‘A new king’s in town. We’re going to have all new people.’ And that’s what happened. And I would say it worked.
” (source

Read the full interview here.

Check out Starbase Indy's convention site here.


Image credit

Bye Bye, Robot: Official Licensed Star Trek Fine Art