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If you ever need advice about time travel and/or romance, there's just one man to turn to: George Takei.
As Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise, Takei piloted starships through time on several occasions, even whipping a Klingon Bird-of-Prey around the sun to go back to the '80s in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." And in the animated comedy "Free Birds" — now available on DVD and Blu-ray — Takei portrays the actual time machine itself. He lends his stentorian voice to S.T.E.V.E. (Space Time Exploration Vehicle Envoy), who zaps a pair of turkeys voiced by Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson back to the first Thanksgiving.
But Takei is also an expert in the ways of the heart, as he proved when he answered our Valentine's Day-themed POPsessions questionnaire. The 76-year-old sci-fi icon has been in a committed relationship with husband Brad Altman for three decades, so he certainly knows how to make it work. He told us which screen hero was his first crush, who was the hottest TV couple, and his real-life Shakespearean romance.
1. What’s your favorite movie to watch on a lonely Valentine’s Day?
It’s hard to remember a lonely Valentine’s Day because I’ve been together with Brad for now, formally, 26 years. It’s going to be 27 years next month, so it’s never been lonely for 27 years. But I thought "Sleepless in Seattle" was a wonderful romantic movie.
2. Who was your first screen crush?
My first screen crush was Errol Flynn. I saw "The Adventures of Robin Hood," and here was this swashbuckling, dashing guy in tight tights, and I was transported to Sherwood Forest.
3. What’s the most romantic moment in movie history?
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly kissing as fireworks exploded in the background in "To Catch a Thief."
4. If someone did the "Say Anything," boom box thing outside your window, would you be into it or call the police?
I’d call the police. I am 76 years old now, and I don’t like loud noise. There was a time when I spent a lot of time in discos with the booming going on all around me, but you know, you change with the years.
5. Would you date a vampire if he was, like, insanely super hot and totally into you?
I like living, and being in control of my faculties. So as hot or as sexy as a dashing vampire may be, I want to be able to enjoy other hot, dashing people. So no, I will not get into any kind of terminal affair with a vampire.
6. What romantic role from history do you wish you could play?
Well, obviously, one of the great Shakespearean romances is that young, impetuous Romeo. And Brad and my early, hot, passionate, fevered days were sort of like "Romeo and Juliet." First of all, we were gay, and there’s that old social opprobrium. And I’m Asian and he’s white, and so there’s that racial thing, and so we got kind of a Romeo and Juliet thing, you know? We kiss in the shadows. [Laughs]
And also, you’re quite a fencer, too?
Oh yes. Yes. Which I got to demonstrate on "Star Trek" in that episode, "Naked Time."
7. Hottest TV couple ever?
Maybe Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers in "Hart to Hart."
8. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Yea or nay?
Yea. He’s a neighbor of ours. He lives on Hudson, a block over. He’s got a place in Chicago, too, and so we don’t see him all the time here.
9. Carrie and Mr. Big from Sex and the City, yea or nay?
I guess I’m not familiar with them.
10. Kirk and Spock, yea or nay?
Yea! [Laughs] You're into slash [fiction], too, are you?
I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but I know there are plenty out there that will appreciate the vote of confidence.
Yes. Leonard [Nimoy] is well aware of that. Not as comfortable with it as Bill [Shatner] is.
11. Best breakup song?
You know, my teenage days they had a lot of heartbreak songs. "I Went to Your Wedding" was one of those. [Sings] "I went to your wedding…the thought of losing you…la de da da de dum…" I can’t remember all the words now.
12. What’s your favorite breakup movie?
Well, there’s this movie that just came out. I saw it a couple months ago. Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. And that was heart breaking. Wonderful performances. And the child actor, early teens actor that plays Kate Winslet’s son, Gattlin [Griffith] I think is his name. He’s, he was really fantastic. Very moving.
13. Who’s your favorite fairy tale princess?
Well, I recently saw "Frozen," and the lead princess is Princess Ann, or Anna, I think her name was Anna in "Frozen."
14. What love song makes you cry?
Barbra Streisand, "The Way We Were."
15. Flowers or chocolates?
Well, personally, I have a weak spot for chocolates, however I love flowers, too, but deep dark bittersweet truffles. Lots of antioxidants. But my doctor also reminds me it’s got a lot of fat and sugar.
16. Do you watch or hate-watch The Bachelor?
You know, I hear about it, but I’ve never watched it.
17. What’s the best move to make out to?
18. What new phrase would you write on a candy heart?
A new phrase. Forever is what comes to mind, but that’s not new.
Well, there is a phrase associated with you that would work well on a candy heart.
Oh my? [Laughs]
"Free Birds" is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download now.