Check out our interview with Japanese actress Hazuki Kato.
Hazuki started her career as a professional model for fashion shows, magazines, music videos, and commercials. Her big break was when she was selected by the former super model Janice Dickinson as a regular on NBC Oxygen’s Reality Series “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Season 4.” Hazuki was the first Asian model to appear on the show.
After the show ended, Hazuki shifted her career to acting, playing leading roles in film and TV such as 3D horror film “Sin Reaper” with Lance Henriksen, action film “Atomic Eden” with Fred Williamson and Lorenzo Lamas, action film “Falcon Rising” with Michael Jai White and Neal McDonough, and TV horror series “Twisted Tales” directed by Tom Holland, to name a few.
In one her most recent films “In Full Bloom” directed by Adam VillaSenor and Reza Ghassemi, Hazuki plays “Asami,” the love interest of Japanese boxing champion Masahiro. The film won “Best Film” at the Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany in 2019 and the Grand Jury Award at the Mammoth Film Festival in 2020. It is currently continuing the festival circuit rounds.
Hazuki is also set to play the role of “Tarren Kh’an” in Sci-Fi trilogy “Garrison 7” by Gena8studios in Australia.
Follow Hazuki @hazuki__kato
Hi HAZUKI, please tell us a little about you?
Hi! My name is Hazuki Kato. I am an LA based Japanese actress. I was born and raised in Japan and came to the US for college. I’m here ever since!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Cheerful Adventurous Intuitive
Who is your role model?
My mother is my hero!
How did you get started into acting?
My mother is an English teacher in Japan and I grew up watching American movies to study English. I always dreamt about being part of the filmmaking process, but never as an actress. It was an unrealistic goal and if I were to tell my friends and family that I wanted to move to LA to become an actress, they would most likely laugh at me. But now that I think about it, I have probably always wanted to become an actress deep down inside. After moving to the US, I studied directing and special effects make-up in college. But then I suddenly became a regular on NBC Oxygen’s “Janice Dickinson’s Modeling Agency: Season 4” which kicked off my modeling career. Through modeling, I had the chance to meet directors, producers, crew, and other actors, and gradually became acquainted with the filmmaking world and fell in love with it. So I transitioned into acting as I realized that that was where my true passion lies.
How has this changed your life?
It has completely changed my life…I’m still in LA!!!
When I came to the US as an international student from Japan, I was majoring in film to become a director or a special effects make-up artist and I thought I would be going back to Japan after I graduated from college. But by being in LA, I encountered many opportunities in both modeling and acting that ultimately led to my obtaining a green card through my achievements in both careers.
I am very proud and grateful for the opportunities that Los Angeles and the US had given me.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
Life is like a roller coaster!
The best part is when all the preparation you’ve done pays off at the audition and you get the part, working with the director, your fellow actors, and the crew to create a great film, and then seeing the finished film on the big screen with your friends and family and the team that helped create it. And then getting another part for a different film! lol
The worst part is the opposite. When you do all the preparation you can possibly do, but fail at the audition and not get the part. You tell yourself that it just wasn’t the right part, but you do feel rejected and worthless at times. And when you’re in a slump, it feels like you can’t get out of it no matter how hard you try. You also need to be sensitive and vulnerable in order be a good actress, but that also takes a toll on your life when things don’t go well. I try to analyze what went wrong at the audition and try to focus on learning from my failures but it’s still tough emotionally.
But I think both the best and worse parts come with being an actress and that these experiences also make you a better actress.
Tell us about your work in NBC Oxygen’s Reality Series “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: Season 4”?
This was my first project ever, so it was a very memorable one.
I could barely speak English at the time and I had never modeled or acted before… I even cried once in the show because I was so frustrated with myself. I thought that I was not good enough to be around these good looking models and to be on this show. To be honest, I’ve never seen an actual model in person until then lol I had no confidence in myself at all.
But after this life changing opportunity of living with former super model Janice Dickinson and with these beautiful models, I learned how to increase my self-confidence and most importantly, I learned that loving yourself is much more important than how you physically look. If you think you are awesome and beautiful, then you are awesome and beautiful no matter what other people think or say. I started to not care about what other people think of me anymore.
And tell us about your work in “Sin Reaper,” “Atomic Eden,” and “Falcon Rising?”
These were very fun projects! All three films were filmed outside of the US. Sin Reaper and Atomic Eden were filmed in Germany, and Falcon Rising was filmed in Puerto Rico. I had a chance to perform with and learn from established actors with long careers, which was extremely meaningful.
What other projects have you been part of?
I was part of the cast in HBO Asia’s “Grisse” which was filmed in the Batam Island of Singapore. This was an amazing experience!
This was my first project in Asia and it had a very warm, intimate, welcoming relationship between the cast, crew, and the creators. We were like one big happy family! I really enjoyed the creative process there.
I was also in the film “In Full Bloom” directed by Adam VillaSenor and Reza Ghassemi where I play “Asami,” the love interest of Japanese boxing champion Masahiro (played by Yusuke Ogasawara). The film won “Best Film” at the Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany in 2019 and the Grand Jury Award at the Mammoth Film Festival in 2020. It is currently continuing the festival circuit rounds.
I also just completed filming “Love Shack,” a comedy directed by Japanese brothers Katsuto and Kenji Kobayashi. I play a mysterious escort who confronts a serial killer (played by Kei Filipek) who plans on killing her but things don’t go as planned. It was a challenging but fun experience as this was my first comedy. This film is currently in postproduction.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When I get to work with people I respect, have the same passion, and have great chemistry.
In “In Full Bloom”, I was filming with two other Japanese actors and a very small crew in a snow mountain in Idaho. But it was one of the best experiences on set I had ever had. The directors had flown in a famous actor (Hiroyuki Watanabe) from Japan and I was really excited as I used to watch him all the time on TV while growing up in Japan. As soon as the three of us Japanese actors met each other, we knew we had strong chemistry. We spent most of the time together during filming and talked a lot about Japanese history, our characters, and acting.
All of us (directors, crew, cast) had the pure motivation and soul for one shared goal, which was to tell this story and create something great. It was an amazing feeling and experience.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I would like to play a non-human role like an Android, Alien, Vampire, Supernatural being, or someone with superpowers… It would be soooo much fun!
I’ll be playing the character “Tarren Kh’an” in “Garrison 7,” a sci-fi trilogy that will be shot in Australia, and I’m really excited to play her as you can probably guess from her name that she is a total badass and fits the type of character I love to play.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Avocado, Salmon, Edamame
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
Chic & Casual
How would your best friend describe you?
Impulsive and Funny
What’s next for HAZUKI KATO in the last months of 2020?
As I feel like this time is best used to improve my skills and be ready for whatever comes my way, I will be taking more online classes to improve my acting skills and continue training martial arts at home. I’ll also be reading a lot and watching various types of films to educate myself.
What is your own definition of happiness?
If I can feel that I am happy for whom I am before going to bed.
How is a normal day in your life?
If I can feel that I am happy for whom I am before going to bed, that would be a normal day in my life. Other than that, every day is a different one as an actor.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Charlize Theron. I love her… and I admire her.
Best advice ever given?
Everything happens for a reason.
If I have this in mind, I feel more at ease with my life. Even if something bad or shocking happens, if I can think that these things happen for a reason and that it actually makes me stronger, I can move on with my life.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Water, Martial Arts, Manga
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I’ll be in more movies and TV shows!
Favorite song? Why?
Somebody Told me by The Killers.
I used to listen to this song over and over again when I first moved to the US as it was playing on the radio all the time.
What music do you like?
Rock, EDM, Dubstep
Where we can follow you?
Favorite Singer/Artist: 30 Seconds to Mars
Movie: Girls Interrupted
Travel Destination: Mykonos
TV Show: Game Of Thrones
Book: Books written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami
Photo Credit: exactdigitalphotos