Legendary Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada plays a patriarch who will do everything to protect his family in Sony's 'Bullet Train.' His son in the film is played by British Japanese actor Andrew Koji, who is also the lead star of HBO Max’s 'Warrior.'
Sanada and Koji formed a connection even off-screen. "From our scene together in the hospital, that was the very first scene for the whole entire movie. After the rehearsal, we could jump into the role, each other, and then I could feel him, my son. And then he called me Oyaji, father in Japanese, all the time. On-camera, off-camera, he always called me that," Sanada said.
In 'Bullet Train,' Sanada faces off with Brad Pitt. He stressed how 'little by little,' Asian roles are getting more space in Hollywood and the door is opening wider for Asian actors.
"My first movie here [in Hollywood] was 'The Last Samurai' 20 years ago. And it's hard to understand each other but I thought the important thing from now on between our cultures is respect each other, learn from each other, create something new that no one else has ever seen."
Meanwhile, Koji plays a man determined to get justice for his own son. The actor shared what it was like working with Sanada.
"He's amazing. I’ve known his work for the longest time. Even from 'The Last Samurai,' one of my favorite films, and he hardly spoke a word in that film. He just put so much soul into it. So to get to work with him and so many of these people who are in films that I have grown up with and have inspired me, especially Hiroyuki, it was very strange. You're working with your heroes and idols," Koji said.
'Bullet Train,' the big-screen adaptation of Japanese author Kōtarō Isaka's bestselling book, is directed by David Leitch, the filmmaker behind 'Deadpool 2.' It opens in the US on August 5 and in the Philippines on August 10.