We recently caught up with talented and inspirational Asian actor Kento Matsunami. In between his busy schedule, he was able to answer some of our questions on his career so far and upcoming projects. Here is what he had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
Hi I’m an actor from Tokyo, Japan, currently based in LA. My dream has always been to be an actor based in the US, so I learned the English language upon my arrival to America. Also, I wanted to see different side of the world, and Los Angeles is one of the biggest entertainment cities on the planet. I had lived in Tokyo my whole life and it became boring and monotonous living in the same city, so I decided to go to America and experience something new. When I was studying Theater arts at Santa Monica College, I performed in the musical Aladdin, which was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?
My dad. He works at an advertisement company in Japan and when I saw my father’s job, I decided to become an actor. It’s simple. I loved dancing, singing and acting that’s why I got into this industry.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I have had voice training, stage movement, dancing, clown, improv, Japanese sword fighting and so on.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
Definitely, Akira Oniwa, which was the lead role in the feature film ‘Another Yesterday’. I was cast three weeks before the start of shooting, so I had to memorize and practice my lines pretty quickly. Luckily, the production hired an English dialogue coach for me for two weeks, which helped a lot. We shot a whole month at the Wisconsin, Oshkosh, so it felt like I was traveling and filming. All of the cast and crew were so nice, so it was really fun to work with them, also.
What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far?
As mentioned, I would have to say, being cast in the feature film lead role, ‘Another Yesterday’. It was a really exciting opportunity as well as a huge achievement for me.
What projects do you have coming up?
I’ve been cast in the upcoming series ZAPS inc . This series also cast some well-known actors like Mackenyu and Wesley Wong from the Pacific Rim; Uprising . Masa Yamaguchi from the Wolverine , and Osric Chau from the 2012 . I can’t wait to work with them! I’ve never experienced being part of an action film so I’m a little bit nervous– but I’ve always wanted to participate in one of these types of films. I feel so lucky and honored to act alongside these wonderful talented actors and I just want to do my best and have fun at the same time.
Who would you most like to work with?
There are a lot of actors I want to work with, but I would say Ryan Gosling, he is my idol. He can act, dance, sing and is funny, at the same time. I love every single film he did, in particularly, I really like ‘The Notebook’.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to be an actor who represents Japan and the Asian community. My goal is to make Asian actors more known and recognized in the film/TV industry especially, Hollywood. I also want to be an actor who gives happiness and hope to every Asian actor and for the younger generation. So, in that being said, look out for my next film and keep your eye on me!
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Believe yourself and love yourself. You can do anything if you trust yourself.