My second interview was with another new star on Heroes, David Anders. This season David has become a series regular by playing the character of Takezo Kensei. Takezo is the legendary samurai that Hiro Nakamura idolized growing up as a kid. But as you can probably tell from the casting choice of this character, Takezo is not what he seems. That is just how the world of Heroes operates, though. Before David got on Heroes, he played Julian Sark on Alias to much critical acclaim. Here is how my conversation with the very funny David Anders went…
Josh Clinton: Hey David.
David Anders: Hey Josh.
JC: How are you doing?
DA: I’m doing alright man. How are you?
JC: I’m doing good. So what have you been up to since Alias went off the air?
DA: Well I did a little Grey’s Anatomy. A lot of looking for work, but work just didn’t come looking for me.
JC: Right. Did you watch the first season of Heroes?
DA: I only really watched the first three or four episodes.
JC: So you weren’t like a huge fan of the show then?
DA: I can’t say that I was, but obviously I would love to be on a show that is watched by 20 million people.
JC: Yeah, did they come looking for you specifically for this character or did you have to go an audition? How did you get involved with Heroes?
DA: Yeah, it was an audition for a character with two contrasting scenes. I didn’t know what to make of what was actually written for the audition. (In English accent) But you know I came in and did the English thing. It was my impersonation of Peter O’Toole. Then, they asked me to come back in and tone down the O’Toole a little bit, but still sound English. Then, I got the part a couple of weeks later.
JC: Cool. The character you play on Heroes is pretty interesting. We probably expect the character to be Asian, but as you said this character is English.
DA: Yeah, nothing is as what it seems in the Heroes world.
JC: True. Why did you want audition for this role? You were just a good villain on Alias, did you just want to be a “hero” this time?
DA: I don’t know. I guess I have the market cornered as far as an American with working papers that can play a Brit. I’ve been saying that I’m an English actor born in Oregon. I guess this is the English part of my career. I’ve also been really lucky to get on proven hits after the first season, and become a series regular. I’m very fortunate.
JC: Yeah. Is it hard to join a show with an established and successful cast already?
DA: No, I went through the same situation with Alias. Everyone in this ginormous cast of like 15 regulars has been very cool and welcoming. I’ve worked primarily with Masi and I have had a great time with him helping me with my Japanese.
JC: Right. Did you get the chance to participate in the “Heroes World Tour” that the others did?
DA: Um, no, I didn’t. I think mainly because my character is new and very secretive, and they were all out there promoting the first season on that tour. There were a few people on the tour who weren’t in the first season, though. I know Dania Ramirez was on that tour and she hadn’t done an episode yet until the second season premiere. (Laughs) I asked that question. I was like “what the heck?! I would like to go on that tour!” But I understand, I don’t want me and my big mouth to blow it.
JC: (Laughs) Right. So how would you describe your character on Heroes?
DA: (Back in English accent) I would describe him as an English drunk samurai Indiana Jones.
JC: (Laughs) That’s pretty interesting. So you are a series regular now, correct?
DA: That is correct.
JC: So you will be on this season from start to finish?
DA: I will guest star in the first couple, but then will be a regular for the rest of the season.
JC: That’s cool. Are you ever afraid that you won’t ever get away from being known as Sark, since he was such a big character?
DA: It seems that way. He has stayed with me up until this point. I’m so far from English, but the people who watch me on TV assume that I am English. I guess that’s a tribute to the job I’m doing, but I guess also that there are directors that are convinced that I can’t do an American accent. (Laughs) It’s pretty bizarre, but whatever.
JC: With all the new characters coming to Heroes this season, do you think it’s risky to add more people to a show that was successful last year? Do you think that there could be too many people on the show?
DA: Um, I don’t know. There is just a lot of places and a lot of different storylines, and a lot of things going on. It’s like eight different shows blended into one. I don’t know. I’m pretty confident that Tim Kring and his crew have a pretty firm grasp on what they are doing. I think it will all sort itself out. I think the more people that you introduce and let the audience get to know, the more people you have to kill off. They don’t want to get death threats for killing Hayden or something. A cheer squad in Oklahoma would be like “NOOOOOO! I love her!” (Laughs)
JC: (Laughs) Yeah, that would probably happen for sure if they did that. So you said you have only really worked with Masi so far?
DA: Yeah, primarily. I am just now starting to work with a few others, but I can’t divulge that information.
JC: I understand. Is there anybody on the show that you would like to work with?
DA: I would like to work with everyone. I would like to work with Greg Grunberg again. He was on Alias, but we didn’t have much to do with each other. But we’re friends, so it would be good to work with him again.
JC: Yeah. I have to ask you the obvious question. If you could have a superpower in real life, which one would you want?
DA: I would like to travel back in time. Who wouldn’t like to be able to do that? There is always something that people would like to change or alter or even just observe like the Christmas Carol kind of thing. I would love to fly as well. I want them all, why not.
JC: Yeah, that would be pretty cool. In your opinion, why do you think Heroes has become so popular with viewers?
DA: I think because it has such a wide array of possibilities. You can do anything with a live-action comic book. I don’t know, I guess it shows the nerd in all of us. (Laughs) With 20 million people watching it, there are a lot more nerds than we thought.
JC: Right. What is the theme of the second season going to be?
DA: I think it will show a lot of the origins of things. Hiro is traveling back to 1671 and meeting my character. He’s a “hero” to Hiro. We’re just getting to know the legend that he has prescribed to. What the heck am I trying to say? I don’t know! I don’t know how to answer that question. (Laughs) I’m just trying to get by from episode to episode, speaking Japanese and wearing my 50-pound samurai armor.
JC: Alright, fair enough. Do you think this season is going to be similar to last season as far as the storylines go or is it going to be completely different?
DA: There are a lot of new people getting introduced, and it’s opening up a lot more sores that will either heal or won’t heal. They did that on Lost, where they kept introducing new people and you are asking “what happened to the old people that we first connected with?” But in this case, everyone is still featured. If it’s not in one episode, it’s going to be in the next. It’s like an alternating episode thing with different groups of storylines getting featured each week. But I don’t think anyone is going to be left out in the cold and hopefully America will continue to watch.
JC: Yeah, hopefully they will like what they see this season. It will be good to see you back on television too.
JC: Thanks for your time and good luck with everything.
DA: Thanks. It was a pleasure talking to you.
– The second season of Heroes premieres on NBC in the U.S. on Monday, September 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
– The second season of Heroes premieres on the GLOBAL network in Canada on Monday, September 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Sir Linksalot: Heroes