Masi Oka, who plays Hiro Nakamura on NBC’s Heroes, spoke with SCI FI Wire about the upcoming premiere for the fourth chapter in the saga — Fugitives. Some of the highlights:
Q: What will Hiro be up to in this new arc?
Oka: What’s interesting about Hiro is he starts off powerless. I find it actually interesting to play a powerless character, because you kind of get the joy of rediscovering that power and what it means to be a hero without powers. So having someone who had had powers and going to someone who’s powerless is an interesting character mindset. You kind of fall from grace in many ways. So it’s about adjusting to that, and how do you live your life knowing that once you were a hero and that you can still be a hero by helping others … and possibly trying to get the powers back?
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the Hiro-Ando relationship and what we have to look forward to in that regard?
Oka: In the beginning, Hiro’s powerless, and Ando has a kind of supercharger power, so Hiro is trying to nudge him on. In many ways he realizes, “OK, well, now he’s had his turn, so he needs to kind of step up and see what he can do.” And he takes on pretty much the role of the butler. He becomes Alfred in many ways. He’s trying to make a Batman out of Ando, but Ando is reluctant, and he only cares about girls right now. So Hiro is trying to make him use those powers for good, to save other people. And of course, Hiro ends up getting in trouble, and Ando ends up helping him. But then, you know, then it’s about them trying to work together and find new ways to get [Hiro's] power back.
At this point, I’m not sure Batman would be high on anyone’s list to emulate (unless you want to become extra-crispy when you grow up), but the series certainly promises to get more down-to-earth.