‘There was one prima donna on Star Trek’: George Takei on William Shatner, love and life as an ‘enemy alien’

TV made him a star, but activism turned him into a hero. Now 85 and still going strong, the actor remembers his friendships and feuds, and his shameful treatment in the second world war

George Takei is on a mission. But this time the Star Trek actor is not boldly going where no man has gone before. Now he’s boldly going where too many men went before, to ensure history does not forget them.

Takei is about to star in the British production of the musical Allegiance, inspired by his childhood as one of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans forced into internment camps after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Now a youthful 85, he says it remains the defining experience of his life – one that shaped him as an actor and an activist.

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