In three seasons of “Heroes”, Hiro has gone through enough loss, darkness, and terror to dampen even his loveable naïvety. Oka says there’s a balance to be maintained between showing that Hiro has been affected by his experiences while retaining his unique personality. “That is definitely a challenge, because one of the great things about Hiro is his innocence, and that’s what the comedy comes out of a lot of the time – his childlike wonder.
I think his innocence is gone now, but his purity is still there. He still believes in people, he believes in destiny, and he’s just like a pure being, in the sense that he can be influenced by good and evil. He’s like a blank canvas. But he’s learned a lot in terms of going through tragedies and things that have consequences. I mean, he’s a grown-up child still, and he still has that sense of wonderment, but I think he’s a little bit more street-smart.”
Classic Hiro Moments-
Oka says his favorite episodes are still some of the original classics from the first season. “There’s something about the magic of the first season. I loved the Hiro and Peter scene in Hiros. I think so far that’s my favorite, because you get to see the future Hiro and I think the tension was great, and knowing that if the explosion in New York didn’t stop, then Hiro would become the very dark Hiro. That was like a ticking clock for Hiro, and the impetus for the audience wanting the world to be saved. So I loved that.
Also the love story with Charlie in Six Months Ago will always be a favorite of mine.”
Another memorable sequence is the plane crash in Fugitives, which Oka reveals was very light-hearted when the cameras weren’t rolling. “That was so much fun, because I don’t remember the last time when all of us got together in a scene. We were joking and Greg [Grunberg] and I are goofballs, so we were making faces. They blew all this confetti at us to make things look like they’re shaking and we’re shaking. While they’re doing that, we’re all just yelling really stupid things over each other and making each other laugh. It was definitely one of the most fun times I’ve had on set.”
New Season, New Powers?
Although it seems possible that Hiro will get some powers back, Oka doubts visiting past and future will be part of the package. “There won’t be any more time traveling. I think that’s a safe assumption. I think we realized that we had a great story arc in the first season and we kind of exhausted it. Time traveling is such a powerful thing because logic dictates, ‘Oh, why don’t you just go back in time and fix whatever went wrong?’ So even with the rules we put on, the characters still need to grow, and so do their powers.
Oka isn’t giving away much about what new powers he might be getting. “It’ll be interesting,” he teases. “He will get his power back – that’s inevitable – but we’ll wait to see what it is.”
Read the full interview in issue 10 of the Official Heroes Magazine on newsstands now.