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News post: Warren T. Takeuchi SCIFI.com chat transcript


<font size="+1">Warren T. Takeuchi SCIFI.com chat transcript</font>
<font size="3">Read up on what Warren had to say at last night's live chat</font>

Over at SCIFI.com, Warren T. Takeuchi (Kitaro Sasaki in B5LR) took part in an online chat last night, Thursday December 13 2001. Below is a transcript of the moderated portion of the chat, which has been edited for ease of reading.

Many thanks to Lyta who sent in this transcript.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod): Hi everyone, thanks for joining us here. I'm Patrizia DiLucchio for SCIFI. Tonight we're pleased to welcome actor Warren T. Takeuchi who plays Kitaro Sasaki, the navigation, communications and translations specialist in Babylon 5: Legend of the Rangers, an original SCIFI Channel movie we'll begin screening on January the 19th.

The "T" in Warren T. Takeuchi stands for Teruo, the light that comes from a star. No wonder Takeuchi is a die-hard sci-fi fan ­ appearing in numerous genre series, including The X-Files, Dark Angel and Stargate SG-1, and in films including The Sixth Day and Lake Placid.

When he's not acting Warren studies the martial arts, paints, sculpts, and plays the drums and guitar!

Let's start with something easy...Tell us about Kitaro?</font>

I hope that my typing skills are adequate. Thanks. first, it is a pleasure to be here...thank you! Well, lets see... Kitaro is the navigations, commn, translations specialist aboard the starship liandra very earnest character loyal, honest...diligent Just happy to be there! He is someone that can always be relied upon...to get the job done!

<font color="#6699cc">(OmahaStar): Have you seen the movie yet, or are you still waiting with the rest of us? </font>

Joe S. was kind enough to invite some of the cast members to a private screening of Rangers ealier in the year. I would say about a few months after wrapping the project. It was fantastic experience.

<font color="#6699cc">(TBoltDemon): How tough is your character? Could he win a fight against any of the other rangers?</font>

Ha ha ha ha. funny. Well... is that question referring to a physical fight? or verbal?

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Well, both...in the grand tradition of B5

Geez. that is really a tough question. I hope that it doesn't come true. Well, Kitaro is quite good at martial arts. I would say yes! Ooops. I hope that Captain David Martel is not seeing this!

<font color="#6699cc">(Technomage): Ro here. Warren, in ten years, what would you like to be able to be doing career wise? </font>

I am very much interested in directing. I would love to direct an episode of " Legend of the Rangers". I am hoping that somewhere down the line, I can try directing a few projects...so, that is pretty much what I would like to be doing in the next 10 year or so!

By the way. Check out "Amelie". it is brilliant. Jean-Pierre Jeunet is my favourite director. Delicatessen...City of the Lost Children...

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) We'd love to see you direct an episode of Rangers! Thus, let us remind B5 fans...watch the film! Watch it more than once! Let's see to it that in the fickle world of TV rating LOTR does indeed become a series!
Okay...Off my soapbox now...</font>

<font color="#6699cc">(Lyta-B5LR): Whom do you admire the most? In what way does that person inspire you?</font>

Well. There are two people that come to mind off the top of my head! Bruce Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. They both inspire me. They both were about change, positive change. Determined people to influence their positive philosophies. They both grew up in times that were seeming almost impossible to influence a change in the world...and they succeeded.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren, many people are asking how familiar you were with Babylon 5 prior to the LOTR project? (Not, Lord Of The Rings, by the way) </font>

Yes. Well. I have to say that I don't watch alot of TV. I had seen a few epsiodes of Babylon 5... But, to be honest....I didn't really know much about Babylon 5 until being cast in Legend of the Rangers. One thing that I must say, I found Babylon 5 to be quite realistic ...very intelligent.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren, you've been associated with several very successful Canadian television series, and you done US shows like X-Files. Any difference in their approach to story telling?</font>

Being in Vancouver, BC, the industry is dominated by US productions. I have mostly worked on US projects. The US market seems to be geared towards a business moreso than Canadian productions. In General that is... Da Vinci's Inquest. This has been the best Canadian production that I have worked on in terms of excellent writing....talent etc... Trying to tell a story...and not geared towards trying to make money...

<font color="#6699cc">(Crusade-Tom): What was it like working on the "Rangers" set?</font>

Unbelievable. I have to say that being cast in Legend of the Rangers...has changed my life! The cast had an unusal bondiing right off the bat. It seem like this project was meant to be right from the start. Dylan Neal, Alex, Myriam, Enid-Raye, Jennie Rebeca Hogan Dean Marshall...Gus Lynch. They are all exceptional actors and I was honoured to be working along side them! Joe, Doug....Mike Vejar. It was the best experience to date...and will always be... I forgot to mention David Storch...oops!

<font color="#6699cc">(Channe): I noticed that two or three of the B5LR actors had done Da Vinci's Inquest (which we don't get here in America). Did you know them beforehand?</font>

I knew Dean Marshall before Rangers. We are in the same agency. The rest of the cast for B5LR I didn't know... only Dean.

<font color="#6699cc">(roomy): Babylon 5 blended comedy and some serious aspects into the show do you think Legend of the Rangers can do the same? </font>

Absolutely. Comedy is throughout "To Live and DIe in Starlight"...intelligent comedy!. Just like life. Which J.Straczynski is brilliant at.

<font color="#6699cc">(Technomage): Ro here- What were the special challenges of doing Kitaro? </font>

Wow! Tough question. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm probably...trying to keep up good work next to the exceptional talents of the rest of the crew members. Just trying to do a good job is all I can think of. Trying to be the specialist that Kitaro is.... Trying to be there for the rest of the crew...and as Warren...learning my lines! he he he

<font color="#6699cc">(OmahaStar): Have you heard anything yet about going to series? I know you can't answer if you are going to series yet,but can you answer just yes or no on if you've heard? And when you go to series (not if!) how long could we expect it to take before the cast is reassembled to start filming the first season? </font>

No word on the series as of late. nothing. I know that SCI FI wants to get the ratings before they make any business decisions. which makes sense. I would think that SCI FI would want to get the series up and running as soon as possible. I don't think that they would want a huge gap in between the airing of the pilot and the first episode of the season 1. But, I don't want to speculate on that one!

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren, several people have asked where they can write for an autographed picture?</font>

They can write to my agency:
Characters Talent Agency
2nd floor
1505 West 2nd Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6H 3Y4

It would be a pleasure to send anyone an autographed photo!

<font color="#6699cc">(hypatia): What inspired you to go into acting? It isn't exactly the easiest field to earn a living in. :S </font>

Yes. true. Well...as I mentioned earlier I want to be a director. That is my ultimate goal. I find that most directors don't know anything about acting. I want to educate myself in the area of acting....I want to be an actor's director...and I feel that I need to know what actor's go through... I need to understand acting in order to direct actors. I want to know how to take direction from actors...and understand that...so I can turn around and give direction and feel justified in doing so... So, really, that is why I am an actor.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren, how many auditions did it take to land the role of Kitaro?</font>

Sounds strange I guess. 365. sorry 363. I log all my auditions from day one of my acting career. I have a detailed log book that I recored ALL OF MY AUDITIONS! I am obsessed with being organized! I have every single audition recorded since day 1 !

<font color="#6699cc">(Crusade-Tom): Did you have any scenes with Andreas Katsulas ("G'Kar")?</font>

Yes and no. My first day on set was with Andreas Katsulas. It was actually the last scene of "To Live and Die in Starlight". And I was sitting next to G'Kar. I don't converse with him, my character that is, but, I was present with him! It was pretty incredible. I pretty much fell out of my seat from his (G"Kar) presence! Andreas (G'Kar) is incredibly charismatic indeed!

<font color="#6699cc">(Technomage): Which of the 363 auditions was most memorable? Good and Bad.</font>

The most memorable audition out of the 363 auditions was "BABYLON 5:The Legend of the Rangers"...indeed it was....hands down. not just because I got the part... but because of the company I was in when I auditioned for it! JOE, DOUG AND RON... that presence.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren, many people are asking about Kitaro's abilities as a translator? Does he have a "gift" for languages? How many can he speak and how many do we hear him translate in the film?</font>

Well, The extent of Kitaro's translations is done by the ships automatic tranlations system....it is an easy way I guess. I am sure that if "Legend of the Rangers" goes to series...we shall see Kitaro actually doing some verbal translations.

<font color="#6699cc">(Channe): You've been cast in a cult phenomenon. Did you know when you were cast, that no matter if you never work for the rest of your life, you'll always have conventions? (They say to the Trek actors, you know, that "you're entering a world you'll only be able to exit upon death...")
Will you attend conventions when you're invited? </font>

It would be an absolute pleasure to attend the science fiction conventions if I were to be invited. I would be honoured. So...that is a yes for me! I didn't really think about the convention aspect of "Bablon 5" when I was cast... and I guess this is a realtiy of being in the "Babylon 5" universe. It would be a pleasure!

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren the most common question of the evening, oft repeated goes like this: What was it like working with JMS? What help did he give you with the character of Kitaro?</font>

Working with JMS, honoured honoured and honoured. I told JMS that....now that I have worked on his project...I have the pleasure of being associated with an exceptional person...an exceptional talent...and icon! I don't think of myself as being exceptional at all...so, with JMS crossing my path...I have that luxury...and it is an honour! In terms of the help that he gave me with my character Kitaro... He basically trusted me that I would be making the right choices with Kitaro based on Warren Takeuchi. He has mentioned the audition..casting process that he (JMS) waits for the character to walk in the door. And...somehow...I was Kitaro Sasaki. I fooled him ...he he he. He didn't really say too much. The same with Mike Vejar. They both just let me do my thing...unless I was way off on a tangent.

<font color="#6699cc">(Channe): My old standby question - seventy years from now, when you're sitting on the porch of the Happy Hillside with the other old-timers, what's the one thing you'll remember most about Rangers? </font>

JMS has a brilliant mind...and I was apart of that....JMS created this character "Kitaro Sasaki".... He manifested the whole thing... I made incredible friends out of this project. That is what I will remember... It is quite incredible for me to think that this whole project came from JMS the words...translated into the visuals! incredible! I will always remember JMS when I think of "Rangers"....it is his show...his project!

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Since we're all science fiction fans here...It's been six months since you finished B5:LOTR, and presuming there is a series, it will be a while before it begins production. Are you working on any other science fiction projects now or in the immediate future?</font>

I love science fiction. I would hope that there will be many science fiction projects on the horizon... I have auditioned for "Jeremiah" several times now... I would love to work on that JMS project for sure! So far, I haven't worked on any other science fiction shows since Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers.

<font color="#6699cc">(ChatMod) Warren you've been a great guest. Really wonderful. And a very good typist too! We are all genuinely excited about Rangers and can't wait for January 19th. Last question:</font>

<font color="#6699cc">(Yoshi): With a name like Scifi behind you, and a trademark like Babylon 5, do you ever stop to really realize exactly how important you are to the acting community and the entertainment industry? Does it ever seem like just a mere job to you? What advice do you give to others who aspire to do what you do?</font>

I guess I haven't really thought about how important I have been. That is a very difficult area for me! I just want to do good work and entertain alll the fans out there that are interested in science fiction. advice. dream....dream big. anything is possible. have a plan and follow the plan. 5 year goals. 10 year goals. always aim your arrow at the target. never take your eyes off that target. Visualization has always worked for me. thanks for all your time. it has been the greatest pleasure to have participated in this forum!. domo arigato gozai masu!. thanks.

[This message has been edited by AntonyF (edited December 15, 2001).]
Hello everyone!

I needed to make a correction on the address for those that wanted an autographed photo...

I typed the postal code incorrectly...

*V6H 3Y4* is the correct postal code!

Thanks...I am off to Tokyo, Japan...

Have a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year -2002!

Cheers! -Warren T. Takeuchi- "Kit"

I've got friends teaching English in Tokyo to Japanese businessmen - one of their slogans is "To Rid The World Of The Phrase, 'I Am Going To Shopping.'"

BTW, nice video on the scifi site.

The writer's life is not meant to be a happy one. We all accept that going in. -JMS
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kitaro Sasaki:

Thanks...I am off to Tokyo, Japan...

Have a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year -2002!


Well have fun while you are hangin about in Tokyo.

And Merry Christmas and happy new year to you also..

also thx for the correction on post code


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