He and William Shatner really don’t get along. Takei and Shatner’s strained relationship gets its fair share of screen time in To Be Takei, starting with an early moment where Takei sees a billboard for his former captain’s failed Shit My Dad Says sitcom, in which Shatner’s mouth is taped up, and muses, “as well [it] should be.”
He ran for Los Angeles City Council. After helping out on Tom Bradley’s campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles in the early 1970s, Takei ran for the City Council seat Bradley vacated. He lost, but just barely (the victory margin was less than three thousand votes). However, Bradley appointed Takei to the board of directors for the Southern California Rapid Transit Disctrict.
He was appointed by Bill Clinton to the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. He served for two terms; he’s also a member of the board of director of the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation.
His husband Brad runs the show when he does public appearances. George and Brad Takei have been together for over 25 years, and Brad works as kind of an in-house manager for him—arranging his schedule, coordinating transportation, and keeping things moving (while taking care of the pictures and the cash) when Takei goes to sign autographs at sci-fi and comic book conventions. And To Be Tokei’s greatest virtue may be the specific way that Kroot and co-director/editor Bill Webber observe Brand and George’s entertaining two-act. They’ve got a rhythm down by now in their interactions, playing the roles of the old married couple to the tee, and this sweetly enjoyable documentary captures that, and much more.
To Be Takei is playing this week at the Sundance Film Festival.