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First a sidekick in a recurring role and now a series regular. Ando Masahashi seems to have grown the most since Heroes began. In Volume IV,which is what we’re filming right now,you’ll see that the changes just get bigger and better.

Written by Pooja Pillai |
April 27, 2009 2:46:18 am

Better known as Ando of Heroes,the actor discusses his breakout role as the hapless buddy of a time-travelling hero

First a sidekick in a recurring role and now a series regular. Ando Masahashi seems to have grown the most since Heroes began.
In Volume IV,which is what we’re filming right now,you’ll see that the changes just get bigger and better. Now,all the post-humans are on the run because the government is hunting down people with abilities. Ando himself developed powers in Volume III — he could supercharge the powers of the other post-humans. In Volume IV,however,you’ll see that the power evolves into a different ability. Just wait and watch.

You’ve worked very hard for this role — you had a year-long audition and you even trained in Japanese with a coach. Has it been worth it?
I’ve learnt a lot from working on the show,not the least of which is Japanese. But at home,I still rehearse my dialogues first in English,then in Korean and then in Japanese,just to see what it sounds like.

It’s strange actually — my dad studied in a school in Tokyo and so he understands Japanese. And then I got this role where I play a guy from Tokyo. So it almost seems like life has come a full circle.

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What makes Heroes so interesting is that there don’t seem to be any real heroes or villains. Your comment?
The characters are all so well-rounded that you really can’t tell if this is a good guy or bad. We don’t have villains in the traditional sense. Take Arthur Petrelli,for instance. You know he’s not really ‘good’,but at the same time,you feel drawn to him. You understand him.

The first episode of Volume III gave us some tantalising glimpses of Ando’s character development and seemed to imply that he switches sides.

Ando is definitely one of the good guys. Yes,there was mystery created in that episode. There’s also an interesting story arc where both Ando and Hiro are suspicious of each other. But as the volume closes,you come to see that they’re still best friends,saving each other’s lives. In that sense,they’re like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer — very different personalities,but with a strong sense of adventure.

If you had to have a power,what would it be?
I’d ask for super-fast metabolism. I really enjoy eating all kinds of food and I eat a lot of it. Like last night,I had a fantastic Indian dinner. But I know that I’ll have to pay for eating so much rich food it by working extra hard at the gym. But with fast metabolism,I can eat as much as I want.

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