There are few actors whose first big film brings over $267 million to the box office on the first weekend! Karen Fukuhara, who plays DC comic character Tatsu Yamashiro or Katana is a phenomenal actor, who has no intention of slowing down after her first big-screen debut in Suicide Squad.
The 29-year old Japanese-American actress was raised in California. She started her acting career by playing the host to Movie Surfers, a Disney show. Speaking about her childhood, the actor revealed her childhood was a mix of American and Japanese culture. Fukuhara used to go to school during the week and learn Japanese subjects on Saturdays. She belongs to a first-generation immigrant family who had no connections with the film industry.
Karen Fukuhara’s Rise to a Golden Career
Before Karen Fukuhara got her iconic role, she worked as a guiding Japanese model and a translator. For her, securing a role as a stoic Japanese martial artist with a powerful sword capturing the souls of her victims was more refreshing than most other romantic roles. It meant a lot to her because she felt it was out-of-the-box to cast a woman of Asian ethnicity.
What many don’t know is apart from live-action roles, Karen has also done a few voice acting. She has voiced for Princesses of Power Glimmer. (2018-2020). Later she won the 2021 IMDb Fan Favorite Award for the role of Kimiko in Amazon’s The Boys; a superhero drama centered on a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
Her Child Was a Blend of American-Japanese Traditions
In an interview with NBC, Karen Fukuhara said it was always her dream to be an actor, but she didn’t know the route that would land her there. She was immersed in Japanese culture during her childhood though she was born and raised in Los Angeles. Talking about her Japanese origins, Karen Fukuhara spoke the language at home, ate Japanese food, followed all the Japanese traditions, and celebrated the Japanese festivals. But outside the house, she blended freely with the American kids and became one with them.
She Turned Her Challenges Into Her Advantage and Eyed on the Prize
Karen Fukuhara’s first language was Japanese in school, and she attended Japanese schools for eleven long years on Saturdays. Falling back on it, she expressed her happiness that her parents chose a unique sort of double education for her. The Stray actor thinks this practice helped her speak the two languages fluently, understand both cultures, and have deep empathy for them. It has opened a broad array of opportunities for her.
However, Karen Fukuhara also admitted that she feels she doesn’t belong to either group because she always missed certain aspects no matter how much she tried. Her mother suggested she opt for a Major in Acting as she planned to go for UCLA. But Karen studied Sociology as well without giving up her career in film and acting. So, she now holds a BA degree in both Theatre and Sociology.
Despite her immense success on the silver screen, Karen Fukuhara currently stays with her parents and finds nothing ‘glamorous’ about the entertainment industry. Her acting career was never about glamour or limelight; it was always about art. “I want to keep my private life kind of away from that, but it’s impossible with a movie like Suicide Squad. It’s everywhere,” said the star to Vogue, in a recent interview.