John Cho worried about George Takei’s reaction
John Cho was concerned about how George Takei would feel about Hikaru Sulu being gay.
The 44-year-old actor reprises his role as the USS Enterprise commander ‘Star Trek Beyond’, in which it is revealed his alter ego has a husband and daughter, and though he backed writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung’s depiction of the character’s personal life, he was initially concerned about the reaction of the veteran actor – who made the role famous – as he didn’t want him to think he had just been "reduced to his sexuality".
John said: "I thought it was a beautiful idea. But I had three concerns I expressed in that office that day. They were immediate and clear to me.
"My primary concern was that I was wondering how George would feel, because he’s a gay actor that played a straight part and crafted a straight character. I didn’t want him to feel that we had reduced him to his sexuality by sort of borrowing this bit, if you will, from his life. You know? And his opinion was important to me, and I would have rather had him support the decision than not, so I wanted to reach out to him."
George – who came out in 2005 and is married to Brad Altman – previously admitted he is "disappointed" by Sulu’s sexuality as he felt it went away from creator Gene Roddenberry’s initial vision.
And John "respects" the 79-year-old star’s stance.
He told New York magazine: "I reached out to him and told him that this might be happening, and I just wanted to know how he felt. His objection was the same as it was a week ago. It turned out that George’s objection was mostly, as I understand it, ‘This isn’t canon.’
"It didn’t turn out to be a political argument at all. It was interesting, but that’s who he is: He is a devotee of Roddenberry’s. Everything he does in the ‘Star Trek’ universe, it’s like What Would Jesus Do:’What would Roddenberry do?’ I’ve got to respect him for that."