Thursday, November 7, 2013

Before Star Trek, George Takei Worked on Godzilla

"My father noticed an ad in a local paper for voice actors while I was back in L.A. during summer break from the University of California at Berkeley. I auditioned and got the job." --George Takei on how he got the voice acting gig for Rodan and Gigantis (Godzilla Raids Again) 

Marc Mancini reports at Mental Floss George Takei's Contribution to familiar Kaiju movies before he became Star Trek's Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu. Read an excerpt below:

Long before reaching stardom as Mr. Sulu of the U.S.S. Enterprise and again as a pun-loving facebook celebrity, Takei got his start working on the English dubs of Japanese creature features. It all began when Takei’s father, Takekuma (to whom he dedicated a moving tribute you can read here), spotted an ad for Japanese voice-actors and encouraged his then college-age son to try out, saying “You’re a real ham. You could do this.”

Takei was cast in Rodan (1957), a film about two colossal prehistoric pterosaurs which wreak havoc upon the city of Fukuoka. Lending his distinctive baritone to its American voice-over, Rodan became the young actor’s first paid acting job and it wasn’t long before he found himself working with a more infamous giant.

Gigantis the Fire Monster (1959), an American edit of Godzilla Raids Again, marked the radioactive reptile’s second film appearance (the name was changed because U.S. producers wanted their audiences to think they were seeing an entirely new beast as opposed to a sequel).Takei served as the movie’s narrator and human protagonist.
You can watch George Takei Talk about his worn in the video below.

Read the full text from Mental Floss here:

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