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It wasn’t easy, but George Takei survived Sundance

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(Keith Johnson | The Salt Lake Tribune) George Takei, the actor who played "Sulu" on the original Star Trek, signs autographs at the Comic Con FanX event at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City, January 17, 2014. Takei, now 76, came out in 2005 and has reinvented himself as a civil rights activist on Facebook and Twitter. He is at Sundance for the premiere of a documentary about his life.

By Scott D. Pierce

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jan 22 2014 12:00PM
Updated Jan 23, 2014 04:44PM

Pasadena, Calif. • George Takei survived his sojourn at Sundance — but it wasn’t easy for the 76-year-old "Star Trek" veteran.

"It was a series of 15- and 20-minute interviews," Takei said. "Going from one place to another in that slippery, dangerous place. And intense traffic — pedestrian and automobile traffic.

"Your brain gets completely scrambled," he said with a laugh. "And repeating the same thing over and over again. So it was hectic and chaotic and had me near lunacy."

But was the trip to promote the documentary ‘To Be Takei" worth all the trouble?

"Oh, yes," Takei said enthusiastically. "Because we’re very proud of the documentary and we want everyone to see it. So we’re going to invest our time and energy in spreading the word."

Takei appeared at the Television Critics Association press tour to promote his appearance in the upcoming season of PBS’ "Pioneers of Television," but Utah was still on his mind. He’s still clearly put out at the actions of Utah’s governor, who is refusing to recognize the same-sex marriages performed after Utah’s ban was struck down and before the Supreme Court issued a stay.

"And 1,300-plus couples got married in a very brief period of time, which shows that there is a hunger for marriage," Takei said. "But the governor, Gary Herbert, went a step further. The 1,300 marriages that occurred, the state of Utah will not recognize.

"The couples that got married in that brief time were lawfully married. They paid the fee. And this governor is saying, ‘No, I’m not going to dignify that.’ It’s clearly unconstitutional."

By the way, this was without any prompting from the only Utah journalist in the room.

spierce@sltrib.com

Twitter: @ScottDPierce

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