[Rerun] Takeshi Kaneshiro’s Not Down With Hollywood’s Typecasting of Asian Actors

This makes me respect the 37-year-old (very) popular Japanese actor even more. I always knew he was smart, but this interview confirms his savvy when considering entering the Hollywood American market. He has no interest in it because he has no interest in being typecast into the same parts or “characters” as he states in the interview below. If you’ve seen any of his movies, you know that all of his characters are strong and masculine. Why should he come to Hollywood and be cast in a desexualized, nerdy or token role?

This echoes one of the previous posts about Rick Yune and why there should be no reason why he can’t be successful in Hollywood.

14 thoughts on “[Rerun] Takeshi Kaneshiro’s Not Down With Hollywood’s Typecasting of Asian Actors

  1. Nice interview with Takeshi, and to be able to hear his views. I loved him in the movie “House of the Flying Daggers”. It’s interesting that the Interviewer asked the question about ‘Hollywood movies getting stale’…. It is due to narrow-mindedness, which needs to change. Unlike before everything is so global, and with the use of internet everyone can easily enjoy and appreciate movies from other countries/international markets. Though Hollywood may exceed in technology, equipment, special effects, logistics, etc… the core content, story and substance is not growing at the same pace with the world. They will need to change at some point, or gradually loose out to international markets, because they lack substance. Don’t get me wrong — I still enjoy our movies, but it is so obvious to see that there could be so much more. There is so much international talent out there to enjoy. 🙂

    • There’s definitely a “staleness” in Hollywood. There’s also a constant recycling of old films, and the majority of them are not flattering or complimentary to the older films. Asia has some amazing writers…I’m sure you’ve seen several of the movies and dramas from there that are now so easily accessible on the internet. And yes, “House of Flying Daggers” is one of my favourites! 🙂

  2. Great interview with Takeshi. I have enjoyed his movie presence since “Red Cliff” and loved him in “Shinigami no Seido”. He sounds like a man who knows what he wants in his acting career and won’t settle for less. One has to respect that in an actor.

    I feel that Hollywood ha been less productive over the last decade. Sadly, our films lack depth and meaning. If something is blown up, mass destructive of property and hardcore fight sequences, then the general audience seems satisfied. I think U.S. writers need to really take a look outside of the States for newere and fresher ideas for filming and dramas.

  3. I agree with you and I can’t stand all the typecasting that hollywood loves do. but most of all I hate that Hollywood will WHITE cast a movie that you know good as me are suppose to cast actors of different nationalities and those movies ending up bombing such as the Prince of Persia, Dragon Ball Z, Takken,Mortal Combat,The Last Air Bender, and i even heard that hollywood is going to remake Akira the anime and manga series into a movie,but all the actors are going to be white, which is crazy. However, i think that it is ironic that hollywood seems to not understand that diversity is actually a good thing and could outrun those movies that are all white, such as Cinderalla featuring Brandy, the triology of Fast and the Furious, and the Karate Kid featuring Jaden Smith. The Karate Kid movie came out the same time as the Air Bender I believe and made about 10 or more million dollars than the AirBender, which shows what people in States and global want to see more of.

    • @elli mac: so true! Hollywood is afraid of showing just how diverse America is. I wonder how long we, the consumers will have to deal with Hollywood’s insecurities? I still haven’t seen Prince of Persia. There are several issues I have with that movie, the title being one of them, for the fact that it is the title of a very powerful demon who opposed God’s messenger angel in the Bible. Also, as much as I like Jake Gyllenhaal, you’re right, in the video game with the same title, the main character is PERSIAN….Jake Gyllenhaal clearly is NOT Persian. I just “love” how Hollywood makes these very interesting details fit their film…I’m not really surprised since Disney is involved…

  4. Man, I fell out of love with Hollywood over 20 years ago. These day good movies have become figments of our imagination.

    Hollywood have never been for minorites since the creation,but Asian male actors are the most shafted of all of them. I cannot blame Takeshi or Rick for rejecting those roles. Most famous Hollywood actors will tell y tou about the disease of being typecasted .. Why would they want that for themselves? I want to see more Asian male actors put into non stereotypical roles instead of them always being put into, as BOAB81 said, nerdy ,,desexualizing roles.

    When a reporter asked Jett Li about not having a kissing scene, it wasn’t so much tat he didn’t want to have one. He had to contend with 2 problems: Hollywood not offering romantic roles to Asian male actors like himself and dealing with the thoughts of the netizens. rain even once commented that in spite of him being in Ninja Assassin that Western women would never see him or other Asian men as sex symbols. Boy, if her really know how much Hollywood is trying to hold back actors like him from from women like us.

    • @ATLSis: it seems that Hollywood keeps coming up with the same excuse as to why it doesn’t portray Asian men better in it’s movies. This is the 21st century and those excuses are just that–excuses. It’s obvious that Hollywood has no real intention of helping change those hurtful stereotypes. I’m glad that an actor like Takeshi Kaneshiro will not lower himself just to be featured in a Hollywood movie. I have such great respect for him for refusing to resort to being a “token”.

      • Agreed! that is why Hollywood has become so dull and as long as they keep people in the area they want, they will continue to get bad. I admiring anybody who will not bow down to these stereotypes. Some people in Hollywood say well, it’;s about getting your foot in the door,but I’m sorry too many minorities have done this and still is stuck on level one.

        What Takeshi said reminds me of Angela Bassett in terms of what he said. She said that she would refuse to play roles that degrades the the moral character of Black people and so far she has kept her promise. I’m glad that Takeshi is keeping his. Hollywood don’t want for minorities to play human roles, they want to make money by hurting ourselves .

  5. I agree that Hollywood movies are getting stale. I find it difficult to watch and enjoy a standard Hollywood movie these days, they are so problematic. Women, people of colour, queer folk, transpeople, basically any one that isn’t a cis white heterosexual male is a walking stereotype.

    • @BiAlamode: I’ve said this before, but as much as I want him to succeed, I don’t want him to be chewed up and spit out by the Hollywood machine. It would break my heart to see them make him into some sort of joke. Ooh, I get chills just thinking about it!! 😦

      • Honestly, I think Bi’s a lot stronger than we realize. If anything he’ll give it a try and he’ll push forward 150% being the “over achiever” that he is (SMILES). Because I believe (if I’m not mistaken) he wants to help push open some of those closed doors in Hollywood for other Asians. He once said that his hope is that those who come after him will be able to surpass his success in the future. You know, as people of color….yeah, you do get tired of seeing the stereotypical bullsh_t, but somebody had to be the first one to “knock on the door.” I shudder to think where we’d be (for sure) if the first person to get doused with that high pressure water hose back in Selma said….”screw this it ain’t worth it.” Blazing the trail ain’t a pretty proposition, not at all. However, judging by how few and far between we people of color get to see quality films in which we star, I would say a lot more trails need blazing.

        As much as others have turned their back on Hollywood, I still want to root for our people, and others of color, who are still in the struggle in that town. One thing’s for sure, you can almost guarantee that true diversity won’t happen if the struggle to open those doors stops. But hey, if Takeshi (and others who feel as he does) feels that’s not a fight he wants to fight or a road he wants to walk down, that it’s not worth it in the long run, then that’s cool too. Well anyway, that’s it for me tonight. I’m off to find another K-drama to watch. You ladies have a good evening. (SMILES)

        BTW, Takeshi……..”House of Flying Daggers”……HURT ME, Sexy!!

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