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

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

I Watched #Paranoia (2013) So You Wouldn’t Have To. @Pocketnow, This One’s for You Guys.


Garnering a measly 5%, that’s barely one star, on Rotten Tomatoes, the 2013 mega-flop Paranoia is a film that I watched so you wouldn’t have to. Believe me, even with vets like Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, and even an appearance from Richard Dreyfuss,  this film is barely worth taking up space in your Netflix queue. I remember seeing posters for this Liam Hemsworth vehicle all along the NYC subways system and didn’t give it a second thought until today. During a Google Hangout with the super-tech dudes from, they mentioned the movie, and the wheels in my head started remembering those posters from the subway. So, thanks to the tech gurus at Pocketnow for the idea.

Now, I’m all for a good tech movie, and I love thrillers, but this is just ridiculous. Tech gurus will probably grit their teeth at this train wreck. It ended up feeling like a parody, as if the creators of SNL took a fake trailer and made an actual movie.  From the weird time lapses in the opening credits, to the vast array of smart phones with bad CGI, to poor Richard Dreyfuss’ makeup, this whole movie is a mess. Don’t even get me started on the dialogue. If I was given this script for an audition, I’d be like, “NOPE. Nope nope.” There were moments where it felt like a weird rip-off of Good Will Hunting, Boiler Room, or even the more recent Wolf of Wall Street, with its stock, predictable characters. The ONLY redeemable quality of this film is when either Gary Oldman or Harrison Ford (or both) are on screen, and that’s not enough time for either of them. Liam Hemsworth does enough “I sold my soul for the corner office” bit to last a lifetime and gets a bit redundant. I basically rolled my eyes at the screen the whole time. Pair that with a pointless love angle, and well, I wanted to throw up more than once at the stupidity of the dialogue and plot not making sense anymore. I was paranoid that I was missing the point of the movie by the end. But hey, at least the gadgets were nice…

For some real tech experts, and awesome YouTube videos, check out the guys at Unlike the filmmakers and screenwriters of Paranoia, these guys actually  know what they’re talking about.