George Takei wants peace with William Shatner
Thursday, January 30, 2014 2:56:10 PM

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By Steven Zeitchik,

George Takei and William Shatner haven't exactly had a warm relationships in the four-plus decades since Star Trek went off the air, as anyone who saw the Shatner Comedy Central Roast in 2010 will remember.

LOOKING FOR PEACE: Star Trek actor and gay-rights activist George Takei. Reuters

But the man who played Helmsman Sulu wants the man who played Captain Kirk to know: He thinks Shatner's resentment of Takei is ginned up. And he wants peace.

"'Bill, 'fess up,'" Takei said when asked what he would say to the actor if he were sitting in the room. "This is all an act. He complained about not getting invited to (my) wedding. Everyone knows we did send an invitation." Takei added, "Why have this tension?"

Takei's relationship with Shatner isn't the only thing on his mind these days. The Star Trek veteran and outspoken gay-rights activist is the subject of a new documentary, Jennifer Kroot's To Be Takei, which world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

In it, the actor, 76, and husband Brad Takei can be seen going about their day in Los Angeles - there's a haircut, there's the watching of a Takei commercial, there's a spirited walk through the neighborhood - as his colorful life story is told in a series of montages and flashbacks.

As a young boy, Takei was sent with his parents to a Japanese internment camp for several years during WWII, an experience that deeply shaped him. He would go on to become one of the first Asian-American actors with a regular role on prime-time television and an early pioneer as a major celebrity who is gay, if for years not quite openly.

The actor, who in person has a similarly rich sing-song many will recognize from his roles, said he made the documentary for less the usual reasons than a desire to show that he and Brad have a life very similar to many straight couples.

"When you say 'gay couple' some people think champagne fountains and Liza Minnelli," Takei said in an interview here this week. "We had a nice wedding but it was no different from ordinary weddings. This was an opportunity to change people's perceptions."

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