TAIPEI, Sept 8 — Award-winning Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro is notoriously private, so when he decided to give a rare, in-depth interview recently, his fans sat up and paid attention.
The 40-year-old shared a more personal side of himself with GQ and opened up about his acting, looks and insecurities.
1. Kaneshiro who will turn 41 in October is happy to be a silver fox.
“I am finally growing white hair! My manager asked me to dye it black, but I refused. There is a time for everything and since I am now in my forties, it is only right that I look the part too.”
2. He doesn’t understand why people make a fuss about his looks.
“My looks are from my parents [and have nothing to do with me]… I used to be quite disdainful of my looks when I was younger. But now, I have tried to understand…”
3. He does read online reviews.
“Yes, I would if I come across these comments, although I wouldn’t go out of the way to read them. When I see negative comments, I will just think to myself, ‘Oh okay, I guess everyone’s tastes are different.'”
4. If it weren’t for Wong Kar-wai casting him in “Chungking Express,” Kaneshiro might not be acting today.
“That was when I finally realised being in a film could be so fun, that a film could actually be shot in such an interesting manner.”
5. He was initially reluctant to appear in Peter Ho’s “Dragon”.
“I kept asking him, ‘Why do you need to include my character? Wouldn’t the story be more complete without him?'”
6. Kaneshiro came to regret suggesting that his character in “Dragon” detective Xu Baijiu speak Sichuanese.
“I had no idea how to speak the dialect, although I really liked the sound of the accent…. I was speaking utter gibberish on the set, and the person who had to eventually dub me had such a difficult time.”
7. He doesn’t feel that he is convincing in a martial arts role.
“I just don’t think I look very professional while doing it. There is such a stark difference between those who have been trained in martial arts and those who are untrained. I love action films, but when I am asked to film a certain move, I look so clumsy and unconvincing. Does it matter to the audience? I don’t know. But I know that if I was a member of the audience, it would matter to me.”
8. Kaneshiro is still not sure if he’s a good actor.
“I don’t even know if acting is what I am best at.”