Masayori “Masi” Oka is an actor and digital effects artist, plays Hiro Nakamura in the NBC series Heroes, was born in Tokyo, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in computer science and mathematics with minor in theater arts from Brown University in 1997 and also works at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic as a programmer on many movies such as the Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean series.
“I love both acting and programming equally,” said Oka, who enjoys challenging both sides of his brain.
“I think it enriches me and enhances me as an artist. I have a lot of appreciation for what people do in front of the camera as well as behind the camera. I don’t think I could like one without the other. Eventually, I think the road will lead me down to producing or directing, because it’s more about problem solving.”
From article: Masi Oka: Coder, Actor, Hero, by John Gaudiosi, Wired News
His comments reminded me of my interview with actor Dolph Lundgren, who attended the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, though he didn’t attend.
Lundgren said, “I am definitely finding out a lot more about myself as a person through acting. I think that’s one reason I was drawn to it.
“I felt I was very inhibited and shy and insecure in many ways. Sports was one way to make up for that, and I felt there was something about acting, I didn’t know what it was, that sort of intrigued me – having to tap into your own personality, into the depths of it, and find out what was really going on.”
He added that his technical background and training has been helpful to him as an actor
“It was actually working against me in the beginning, because you tend to be very intellectual and analytical, and as far as being an actor that can work against you: you tend to overthink things too much on a dramatic level.
“But now that I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with being an actor an working in front of the camera, analyzing material and planning a production, staying on top of every part of it – which you have to do if you’re starring in the movie – then it’s really been helpful.”
In the past couple of years, he has also been working as a producer.
Multitalented Creative People – Quotes by and about Leonard Nimoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Xavier Dolan, Juliette Binoche, Viggo Mortensen, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Natalie Portman and others.