Ray Park gets plenty of face time on NBC's 'Heroes'
The actor's face has been obscured in almost every film he has made. He wore demonic red and black makeup to play Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" and was behind a mask as Snake Eyes in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." In "Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow" he didn't even have a head.
Park is more visible these days playing the evil Edgar on the NBC series "Heroes," where he's acting sans mask and heavy makeup.
"Heroes" is not the only way Park has gotten his face out there. He's also a regular guest at science-fiction and comic-book conventions.
"I like to get out there and meet the fans," Park says. "It surprises people when they get to see my face. They always want to know why I have always been covered up.
"I tell them these are the roles that came along over the past 10 years. It's not like I had a lot of roles to pick from."
Park has a positive attitude about his face-hiding past. He believes those roles gave him the opportunity to mature as an actor and gain some experience while remaining a relative unknown. Now, he feels more confident when he auditions for parts where he can be seen, such as "Heroes."
Park was a fan of "Heroes" before being cast.
"I was just in awe of the show and where it was headed. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking this show is awesome and if I was to do a TV show it would be a show like this," Park says. "I feel very lucky."
Viewers were only supposed to be able to see Park's face in six episodes of the NBC series. But so far he was worked on 11 of this year's episodes. He's not certain what the fate of his character will be — or at least he isn't saying — but Park has thoroughly enjoyed being on the show.
Park got two treats when filming a scene for Monday's Thanksgiving episode of "Heroes." He not only got to work again with Robert Knepper ("Prison Break"), who plays the head of the carnival that Edgar calls home, but he got a big meal.
"For the first time in my career they actually brought in caterers to make turkey, pumpkin pie, potatoes and a whole meal for the scene," Park says. Normally, food for a scene is either fake or has been sitting around so long only the foolhardy would take a bite.
Seated around the table were other members of the weird traveling carnival. Park looked at his fellow actors and suggested it would be a sin to waste the food. He thinks he ended up eating four plates of turkey.
And Park's face was visible the entire time.