December 30, 2014
Asian American actors are still largely missing from the big screen in major roles. A year-end wrap up shows small gains for major movie roles for Asian American actors in Hollywood.
Even for Asian actors who are not American, major roles in a current Hollywood movie are scarce.
First time actor Takamasa Ishihara from Japan made the most of his opportunity.
Ishihara, a 33 year old singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer known to his fans as Miyavi gave a chilling break-out performance as the brutal sergeant in Angelina Jolie's film "Unbroken."
Ishihara's role as Sergeant Matsuhiro Watanabe was so intense, he told Vanity Fair's Natalie Finn "It's a story that is still painful for my country," ... "But she (Director Angelina Jolie) told me she wanted to make a bridge between all countries that had conflict. She was very persuasive." And after filming some of the more violent scenes, "I couldn't stop crying," he admitted.
Ishihara has two daughters with American-born wife, Melody Ishihara, a fashion designer, who was a former TV show host and J-Pop singer known as Melody Miyuki Ishikawa.
One notable win to be celebrated for an Asian American actor in a Hollywood movie is Randall Park's role in "The Interview."
While the hacking scandal at Sony has grabbed international headlines for the comedy "The Interview" and its stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, some writers in the Asian American blogosphere have been abuzz about American actor Randall Park, praising his performance in the movie as Kim Jong-un, North Korea's leader.
Park, 40, said there was very little footage of Kim Jong-un available to research his role. He reviewed video of Kim Jong-un from HBO's show "Vice" about basketball star Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea.
Prior to "The Interview" Park was previously best known for his role on the HBO comedy series "Veep," as Minnesota Govenor Danny Chung, and has made a number of guest appearances on...