Interview with a #DeadMan: An Actor to Actor Conversation with Akie Kotabe (@AkieKotabe) of “Everly” (@everlymovie)

Akie2
Akie Kotabe (@AkieKotabe)

What happens when you’re majoring in computer science at the University of Texas in Austin and decide to change to theater after successfully auditioning for a student film, subsequently finding your passion in life? If you’re Akie Kotabe, it pays off. With roles spanning across film, television, and theater, Kotabe is currently co-starring with Oscar-nominee Salma Hayek (Frida) in the action/thriller Everly, coming to theaters Friday, February 27th. So, what’s it like to act alongside Salma Hayek? Well, apparently it’s pretty incredible. Playing a character known simply as Dead Man, many of the characters in the film, directed by Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End) are referred to using descriptive monikers. Kotabe has a supporting role as a man who has become the target, along with Hayek’s Everly, of assassins and is left for dead. Trapped in an apartment, the characters are faced with dealing with their existence and survival, “Think Die Hard in a single room” Akie told me.

Based in both London and Los Angeles, Akie fell in love with acting in college when he auditioned for a student film on a whim and got the part. He says that he didn’t know anything about acting before that, but has since studied both at university and with various well-known acting teachers in the industry. This non-traditional trajectory into acting has proven successful for the Michigan-born, Texas-bred actor. He’s had guest spots on Mad Men, CSI: Miami, and Without a Trace. Kotabe also puts his bilingual abilities to the test where his roles may require him to have a command of the Japanese language and accent

However, he proves his versatility with quite an impressive filmography. Securing his first AFTRA gig (when SAG & AFTRA were separate unions) while still in Austin for the Jamie Kennedy Experiment, he says he’s had some interesting experiences. He got the aforementioned AFTRA show even after he accidentally bashed his face into a wall during the audition. Woops. We’ve all had weird auditions as actors, sometimes it’s the odd ones that pay off the most.

The passion that Kotabe has for acting is apparent when talking to him. As a fellow actor, we talked about our love for the craft, and the fact that being able to entertain people is one of the best things to be doing in life. Having gotten the acting bug in college, lived and worked in Japan, Los Angeles, and his current city of London, Akie says he’s enjoyed something different from every place he’s lived. He’s also learned from those places as well. From doing theater in Japan (both in English and Japanese) to film and television in Los Angeles and London, he tries to gain as much knowledge and wisdom as possible from the people he is surrounded by in the business. “You can learn a lot through the work” he stated, “It’s what gets me up in the morning.”

What was his favorite part of filming Everly? Well, everything. For Kotabe it was being part of a team and contributing to the bigger picture that was most exciting to him while filming in Belgrade, Serbia. I think we can agree that the best part of being an actor is the ability to be storytellers. I am fortunate enough to have the chance to tell Akie Kotabe’s.

Don’t forget to catch Everly in theaters Friday, February 27th.

Thank You Akie for being such a friendly and open fellow performer. It was such a pleasure to learn your story.

Follow Akie: @AkieKotabe & Everly movie: @everlymovie

For more information on Akie, you can also visit his website: Akie Kotabe

From #Maverick to #Rockford: Rest in Peace, James Garner (1928-2014)

jamesgarner

Ask anyone of my generation or younger, and they’ll probably tell you that James Garner is “the guy from The Notebook.”  My response to that  is, “WHAT?!”  Seriously though, today we lost another great: actor, James Garner passed away at the age of 86. To many, he wasn’t just that guy from The Notebook. He was Bret Maverick, and Jim Rockford. He was the unlikely movie star  with two purple hearts  from the Korean War. He appeared on Broadway, once, in a non-speaking role in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial where he learned and honed his craft.  In the 50s and 60s, westerns were big on television, and James Garner turned the character of Bret Maverick into an icon. He found television success again in the 70s as another icon, Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files. Even with his numerous  television successes, including an Emmy for The Rockford Files, he managed to find fame on the big screen too. He starred in  The Great Escape, and  received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 1986 for Murphy’s Romance. In 1994, he starred in the film version of Maverick, with Mel Gibson stepping into the shoes of the famous gambler, and Garner as Marshall Zane Cooper. In his later years, he starred in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and yes, The Notebook. He was a versatile actor who needs to be recognized for his impressive career. Rest in Peace James Garner, you were my mom’s favorite actor.                                                              You were more than the guy from The Notebook: You were a Maverick.

This is a clip from Garner’s famed series, Maverick, with Clint Eastwood looking for some trouble:

Happy 1st #Birthday RantsReviews&Reels! #Movies #Television #Acting #Life

bday

A year ago, I started a blog. I didn’t know where it would take me at the time, but I started it for fun. It so turned into something that I am very proud of.  Granted, I’m still at my day job, but I’ve been writing and acting over the course of this year, and it has really helped me center myself.  Despite the fact that some really crappy things happened last year that I am still dealing with, this was one of the good things. I’ve been able to merge my acting life with my writing one and do something unique that reflects who I am. I’m a movie geek, a writer, an actor, and a dreamer. I am so grateful to have subscribers and people reading this, I can’t even tell you how much it means. I am so grateful for all the positive responses and thought provoking conversations I’ve had this past year. Here’s to many more to come! 

Thanks for everything,

Stephanie

Some of the best of RantsReviews&Reels:

The_Way_Quad_3_LR
Emilio Estevez Directed “The Way”
Three People at Casting Call
Auditions: The Uncommon Job Interview and Why They Are So Stressful
350px-Law_&_order_svu_new_title_card_nbc_may_2011
Reduce Reuse Recycle: The Law & Order Guest Spot
BostonStrongRibbon
#BostonStrong: Why This New York Transplant Will Always Be a Boston Gal
534997_665651807426_10828895_n
Early For Everything: What Acting Means to Me. Being an Actor with a Disability

 

 

postive
Putting My Professional Goals Out Into the Universe