The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Hiroyuki Sanada, who currently stars alongside Brad Pitt in Bullet Train. It wouldn’t seem a surprised that the Tokyo-born Sanada would become a global action star, who’ll next star alongside Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4. After all, he was discovered at age five, and made his film debut in Game of Chance. He played the son of action hero Sonny Chiba in that film and two sequels. He became proficient in the martial arts and became Chiba’s protege, slowly learning to overcome the language barrier in a most unusual way: playing the role of The Fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear in the UK. His work in Hong Kong action cinema, he has been in high demand in Hollywood, co-starring in such films as The Last Samurai, The White Countess, the Chen Kaige-directed The Promise, and The Wolverine. He is attached to star in and produce the Shogun miniseries remake at FX. Here is how the star found his acting mojo.