Q&A: George Takei Talks to Chron.com About Comicpalooza, ‘Allegiance’

Chron.com interviewed George Takei as he was preparing for Comicpalooza in Houston. Here is a snippet of the Q&A:

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired to tackle new things like “Allegiance”?

A: Life is a continuous series of reinventions. Mother Nature does it for you. You age. I’m no longer what I was when I did “Star Trek,” but you find new things to engage you. My mission in life has been to tell the story and raise the awareness of the internment of innocent Japanese-Americans, simply because we happen to look like the people that bombed Pearl Harbor. It was a most unconstitutional act. And because we really haven’t learned from it, something similar happened to Arab-Americans after 9/11. At the core, it’s racism. The word “Ferguson” appears regularly in headlines. It’s a very relevant story.

Q: You’ve also used your platform to educate people on equal rights.

A: We’re living through one phase of our history. But remember there was another phase of our history where black people were used as property, as chattel. We fought a bloody war over it, and that eliminated slavery. But racism still existed. Still to this day, there are efforts to make voting by African-Americans as difficult as possible. The LGBT issue today is just like the slavery issue at one time or racial segregation during the Jim Crow years. We have to work to make our society a better society, a better democracy, to let people have full opportunity to be who they are.

Q: How is your husband adjusting to his own celebrity after the 2014 documentary “To Be Takei” and your Web series, “It Takes Two”?

A: He steals it, doesn’t he? He’s a funny guy. You know he gets recognized on the street. People want selfies with him. They ignore me. I’m absolutely delighted by that.

Q: Did Betty White offer any tips for staying youthful when you appeared on “Hot in Cleveland”?

A: Isn’t she amazing? She’s in her 90s, and there she is. Another one of my heroes is Angela Lansbury. Every season, she’s on Broadway in a new play. She’s a real trooper. They’re my inspirations, and I hope that I can be functioning like that when I’m their age. My grandmother lived to 104, and I hope I have her genes. One night she went to bed, and the next morning, she didn’t wake up. That’s the way I want to do it.

Q: What comes to mind when you think of Houston?

A: I remember being there on a blazing-hot summer weekday. During lunch hours, I saw runners in that murderous sun. These people, running in that kind of weather, could be courting disaster. It’s not a healthy climate to be running in. I used to be a runner. I had a running accident, and now my doctor has forbidden running for me.

Read more at Chron.com.