Posted at 12:01 a.m. on July 25, 2012
Actor and gay rights activist George Takei is the subject of a yet-unnamed documentary about his life, and it is set to feature candid interviews with those who know him best — a cast that includes Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii).
The evolving project delves into the defining moments of the life of Takei, best known for his portrayal as Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” television and movie series, and his outsized persona. The two main story lines appear to be the rather impolitic treatment his family was subjected to in U.S.-run Japanese-American internment camps after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, as well the career renaissance he has enjoyed since revealing in 2005 that he’d been in a committed relationship with his partner and manager, Brad Takei (nee Altman), for decades. Takei also greatly expanded his fan base when he assumed semi-regular announcing duties on Howard Stern’s satellite radio program.
As part of her research, filmmaker Jennifer Kroot rounded up two prominent politicians who are purportedly tight with the out-and-proud thespian: Inouye and former Transportation Secretary and Rep. Norman Mineta, both of whom are of Japanese ancestry.
“They’ve known George was gay longer than he’s been out in the media,” Kroot said of a group that evidently bonded over their work for the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
“Senator Inouye has known George Takei for more than a decade,” Peter Boylan, Inouye’s deputy chief of staff, confirmed. “The Senator considers George a colleague and a friend.”
To wit, Kroot assured HOH she has footage of the three at a fundraiser — “So I have seen them interact together,” she said — as well as stand-alone interviews with Inouye and Mineta. She noted that Mineta mainly shared insights about internment camp living, while Inouye weighed in about LGBT issues and civil rights.
Kroot has been working on the feature-length film off-and-on for two years and is targeting late 2013 as the release date. She has so far managed to sit down with Takei’s remaining original Star Trek co-stars such as William Shatner (James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Nichelle Nichols (Nyota Uhura) but is still working on getting some face time with Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov).