HIROYUKI SANADA (Shingen) first became famous in 1982 as an action star with his role in The Shogun's Samurai. He then won the Japanese Academy Award and became one of the most talented and highest regarded stars of his generation in Japan.
Sanada recently completed The Railway Man, an epic true story based on Eric Lomax's book. Sanada and Colin Firth play two men haunted by their experiences on the notorious Death Railway in WWII; decades later, Lomax's wife, (Nicole Kidman), risks everything to bring these former adversaries together for a devastating final confrontation. Hiro plays Nagase, the soldier at the Japanese prison camp during WWll where Eric Lomax, played by Colin Firth, is held prisoner. The film is based on Eric Lomax's autobiography about his real life experience. The screenplay adaptation was done by Andy Paterson and Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky. Lionsgate International backed the U.K. Australian co-production for producers Chris Brown, Andy Paterson and Bill Curbishly.
Sanada will next been seen opposite Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin, an epic fantasy action film for Universal Pictures based on of the most celebrated true stories in Japanese history about forty-seven disbanded samurai or ronin that take on a mythical army in order to avenge their master's wrongful death in 18th century Japan. In 47 Ronin Sanada will play Oishi, the chief samurai of the Asano clan, as one of the swordsmen; the group and their master are revered in Japan for their revenge attack on Dec. 14, 1702.
The film tells a stylized version of the story, mixing fantasy elements of the sort seen in The Lord of the Rings pics, with gritty battle scenes akin to those in films such as Gladiator. Carl Rinsch who garnered critical praise for his short film, The Gift, which debuted online, directed the film. Chris Morgan, who co-wrote Wanted and The Fast and the Furious for Universal, wrote the script. Scott Stuber produced with Pam Abdy through his Stuber Productions banner.
Sanada is most known in Japan for his leading role in the original Ringfilm and its sequel. He won the Award of the Japanese Academy for his role in The Twilight Samurai where he played a mid-19th century low-ranking samurai employed as a bureaucrat. Poor, but not destitute, he still manages to lead a content and happy life with his daughters and senile mother. Sadly, through unfortunate turn of events, the turbulent times conspire against him. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Sanada was also nominated for an Award of the Japanese Academy for his role in Aegis.
Sanada first made his mark with American audiences in Ed Zwick's The Last Samurai opposite Tom Cruise and Ken Wantanabe. He then starred alongside Ralph Fiennes, in James Ivory's The White Countess; set in 1930s Shanghai, a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd -- and sometimes illicit -- jobs to support members of her dead husband's aristocratic family.
Other film roles include playing Kaneda, a genius scientist on a desperate mission to keep the sun from dying in Danny Boyle's Sunshine alongside Chris Evans, Mark Strong and Cillian Murphy. Sanada also played a villainous racecar team owner in The Wachowskis' Speed Racer alongside Emile Hirsch, Susan Sarandon and Christina Ricci.
In 2007, he joined the Rush Hour franchise playing Kenji, the main villain and brother to Jackie Chan's character in Rush Hour 3.Brett Ratner directed him opposite Chan and Chris Tucker.
Sanada had a starring role in The City of Your Final Destination with Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney, which reunited him with director James Ivory.
Hiro recently did an arc on the hit ABC freshman series, Revenge where he plays Satoshi Takeda, Emily's (Emily Van Camp) mentor and spiritual advisor who offers to her the manual to life but explains to her the caution that comes with it. Though requested, Hiroyuki was unavailable to return for more episodes.
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