Masi Oka is much more than the star of NBC’s breakout comic book-driven hit, “Heroes”, and the man behind the special effects you’ve enjoyed for years in movies like Star Wars Episodes I and III, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, War of the Worlds and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, he is also a gamer. When he’s not playing Hiro Nakamura on NBC, Oka spends some of his free time working with George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). When he is on set, he spends his free time playing on the PSP.
“I like playing the puzzle games, because as an actor, I’m always trying to kill time on the set,” said Oka. “On ‘Heroes,’ there’s a lot of waiting. I can’t play a long role-playing game, because once you get into that, you get so hooked, you don’t want to stop. The AD is trying to get you to the set and you’re in your trailer yelling, ‘Hold on, I’m almost done.’ But you’re never really done. I like playing self-contained games like sports or puzzle games.”
Oka, who returns to Japan routinely and travels a lot for work, also finds his PSP system a godsend on airplanes.
“On planes, it’s great to watch a movie or games,” said Oka. “That’s all I do on planes, is whip out my PSP and just stay focused on it the whole ride through. I won’t even get food. I’m not a big fan of flying, so the PSP system helps me. I usually bring 10 games with me, like Loco Roco or Star Wars Battlefront II. I play a lot of Capcom Classics, Mercury, Sudoku. I also like compilations like the Sega Genesis Collection, Midway Arcade Treasures and EA Replay.”
Oka’s into all type of technology and games. He said he didn’t even realize the full potential of the PSP system when he first got one. Now he uses it for everything from watching UMD movies to listening to MP3s.
Oka’s psyched about the new Remote Access for the PSP system, which allows any Wi-Fi connected home to share content between PLAYSTATION 3 and the PSP system. The actor recently received a PS3 and he’s looking forward to Sony’s next step in Remote Access, which will expand the technology in 2007 to allow for instant access of PS3 content from any hot spot anywhere in the world.
“As an actor, Remote Access will allow you to connect to the Internet with the PSP,” said Oka. “It’s so much smaller and lighter than lugging around a laptop. I can be on location and surfing the Web with my PSP. It just gives you a lot more versatility and a lot more options.”
When the acting quiets down at some point down the line–with 14 million people tuning in each week to “Heroes,” it likely won’t be soon–Oka said he’d like to get involved in videogame development. Through ILM, he has friends that work at game companies like Electronic Arts and Activision. And he has a lot of ideas that would be great for games, including one for a “Heroes” game.
That show has certainly changed Oka’s life. No one out there knew he was the guy who made the water effects in blockbuster movies, but everyone knows him as Hiro.
Gamers will likely hear a lot more from Oka, both through his TV role, his behind-the-scenes work on films, and, some day, through his videogames.
[Via: PlayStation NA]