‘I’d love to get to work on more physical things’ – An Interview with Akie Kotabe

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Akie Kotabe is an American TV and Film actor. He recently starred in Joe Lynch’s action thriller Everly, alongside Salma Hayek, who plays a prostitute besieged in her apartment by her embittered former employer, the crimelord Taiko. Akie has had a fruitful TV career featuring in a number of popular series, including ERMad Men, and Termanitor: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He also recently landed the lead role in Disney XD’s Boyster and voices the main character in the French/American co-produced cartoon that follows the misadventures of a boy who possesses some rather unconventional special powers. The Edge caught up with Akie to chat about his recent roles.

You have recently voiced the lead role in Disney’s Boyster, the titular boy that has the powers of an Oyster. If you could wield the powers of any creature what would it be?

Oysters! Before I had this opportunity to work this animated series, I had no idea how cool oysters
were. Making pearls, having no bones, flying (well…) ‐ I think my perfect combo would be a cocktail
of powers ‐ owl eyes, oyster pearl making, monkey climbing, shark breathing, and flying squirrel
gliding.

What kind of reactions have you received from friends and fans following your involvement in the show?

Haha, it’s been quite varied. My friends and family are incredibly supportive, and I have some
followers on Twitter who quite like the show. (Here’s looking at you, Kendall Lyons) It was a fun
ride, and I hope a season two commences!

Boyster is shown on Disney XD, Disney’s prime early and pre‐teen kids’ channel. Did you have a favourite cartoon character as a kid?

I did ‐ a space cat named Doraemon. They’ve rebooted the series now, and it’s also on Disney XD,
ironically. I loved the Doco‐Demo Door he had (a door that he could pull out of this kangaroo type
pouch and transport you wherever you wanted) ‐ that’d be a power I wish I had!

Boyster gets up to some pretty crazy adventures, are there any particular stand out escapades that you can remember from growing up?

While living in Columbia Missouri, I remember going to a Fun Fair and always being a bit too short to
ride this cool rollercoaster, which was one big loop. Once I was finally tall enough, I eagerly got on
with my father … but at the top of the loop the ride stops, with the riders suspended. I started to fall
through the safety rig, and if my father hadn’t been there to grab me by my hair and my shoulders …
I probably wouldn’t be here answering these questions today. That was a pretty unexpected crazy
time.

In your film career so far you’ve largely acted in supporting roles, do you have a favourite performance from a supporting actor/actress that has inspired you?

Hey, I’ve had my share of leading roles ‐ generally in independent films you’ve likely not seen! Hehe,
slightly kidding ‐ I love acting, and getting the opportunity to play a part in any story is amazing. I’d
have to say I have many favorites; I generally like when actors that usually play one type get to
switch it up and play quite a different character. Examples include Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder, as
well as Robert Downey Jr. in the same film. Kudos to Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained as well ‐
bold choices and having fun is what I’m about.

Having landed the lead role in Boyster are you hoping to seek out more title roles or do you still enjoy playing a supporting character?

I’d love to get to work in more leading roles ‐ with characters like Boyster, it’s great to really
experience all the different situations and figure out how to act in them. I’d love to play a regular
character on a TV series someday as well as in more films.

In your most recent film Everly, you get a chance to act alongside academy award nominated Mexican star, Salma Hayek. What was it like working alongside her?

It was a dream come true. Salma is an incredibly strong and yet giving actor, so it was fun to see
what choices she made and what unexpected moments we created.

As in Everly, you’ve often featured in bloody and dangerous action thrillers, have you had the chance to get hands on and physical in many combat scenes?

I actually would love to get to do more, but so far have mainly played characters that observe and
comment on the action (similar to Mary Lynn Rajskub’s character Chloe in 24) ‐ so I’d love to get to
work on more physical things! Though I have to say, getting the squib gut shot in Everly and getting
fight training for this online series Making Sparks were fun experiences ‐ I got to beat up Merveille
Lukeba (Skins), hehe. Though his girlfriend then slits my throat.

Have you got any new projects on the horizon or auditions that you’re really excited for?

I will be appearing this summer in an episode of a new Channel 4 / AMC co‐production called Humans, which is set in an alternate present with synthetic humans, and also actually a regular voice for an upcoming animated series that has yet to make the news public! Thanks for your time, it’s been a pleasure.

Akie Kotabe plays ‘Dead Man’ in Everly, which will be released theatrically in the UK on 1st May 2015.  Series 1 of Boyster is shown on Disney XD.

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Film and English student also into music and travelling.

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