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Time 'To Be Takei' At Facets

By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 26, 2014 9:15PM

© 2014 Starz Digital Media

Oh myyy! Trekkies won’t be the only ones heading to Facets Cinematheque starting Friday, when the documentary To Be Takei opens for a weeklong run. The film’s subject, actor and activist George Takei, may be best known as Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek series, but the offbeat path of his latter day career has earned him a large fan base beyond sci-fi fanatics.

Takei’s cultural renaissance began when he started appearing on the Howard Stern Show, eventually becoming a periodic announcer and semi-regular personality on the program. Takei’s infallible politeness made a very funny contrast with the shock jock’s abrasive style. Takei also seemed OK with the humor often coming at his expense, which endeared him to Stern loyalists.

More significantly, in 2005 Takei publicly acknowledged he was homosexual, an announcement that coincided with the same-sex marriage debate becoming more prominent in the headlines. A longtime political activist, Takei now became a public figure in the fight for LGBT rights.

These days, the 77-year-old actor is reaching his biggest audience as one of the most-followed celebrities on social media. Sharing both frivolous and socially conscious posts, usually with a sly comment, he has amassed over 7 million “likes” on Facebook.

To Be Takei covers these areas of his life and career, as well as the most historically haunting chapter: his years as a little boy confined with his family in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

To Be Takei is also available via On Demand services, but I suspect this will be a fun film to see with the right crowd. Show times and more information can be found here.