An “intimate,” “welcome-home kiss” between Sulu and his husband was cut from Star Trek Beyond, says actor John Cho, who earlier this month made headlines after revealing that Sulu was gay in the latest film.
In a new interview with Vulture, Cho talks about the character development and some of the concerns he had.
I was concerned also that there might be Asian-American backlash. There has been this feminization of Asian men, so I thought this might be seen as continuing that lineage, which I disagree with personally, but I brought it up. I was also concerned, scientifically speaking [laughs], that we’re in an alternate universe but I’m assuming that Sulu is the same genetic Sulu in both timelines, and I thought we might be implying that sexual orientation was a choice. Does this sound super overthought?
Cho said that Takei’s first reaction was not an objection to the sexual orientation of the character but that it “wasn’t canon.”
He also talked about how it came about that screenwriter Doug Jung ended up playing his husband.
Early on I said to Justin, “Dude, it would be important to me to have an Asian husband.” … We were in Vancouver first and we finished up the production in Dubai and that scene was in Dubai and I was like, “Hey, so who’d you get?” They were like, “We can’t find anybody! Doug may have to play him!” It started out as a joke. I was like, “Haha.” And then at some point they were not joking. We definitely had trouble finding East Asians first off, and then actors willing to play gay. We had a guy and then his parents really objected.
Cho wanted to prove a point about cultural shame in the Asian community and give a nod to his gay Asian friends, and show that being gay would “seem really normal in the future.I thought that would be the most normal thing, that there was zero shame in the future.”
Unfortunately, however, a kiss between Cho and Jung was cut:
“There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore….It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough. Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”
Read the full interview HERE.