Photographing Kiki Sukezane was a delightful experience for our Composure Magazine team. Kiki was full of energy and was always present on set. Her movements were thoughtful, strong, and yet she flowed effortlessly. With a family history of samurais and having been trained under Takashi Kora for martial arts and sword fighting, Kiki’s latest role is Miko Otomo in the NBC’s Heroes Reborn. Kiki speaks to Composure about acting, her inspirations, and future work as a humanitarian.
CM: You come from a family background of samurai – what does this mean to you in today’s culture and how has it influenced you?
KS: Yeah, my ancestors from both mother and father’s sides are samurai, but I heard this only a couple years ago from my father. I’m not certain of the details regarding their positions, so I should find out when I go back to Japan. It’s so fascinating for me to learn about my family roots.
CM: What inspired your martial arts training and how long have you been training for?
KS: After I decided to be an actress, I moved to Tokyo and went to acting school called UP’s academy which is owned by Yoko Narahashi. She is one of the big casting director in Hollywood. She casted Rinko Kikuchi for the film Babel. Ken Watanabe for The Last Samurai. They had a class for Japanese sword fighting called ‘’Tate’’. I learned sword fighting there for the first time in my life. Takashi Kora was our teacher who was in The Last Samurai, and he was a great teacher. He actually showed us his martial arts movement while acting and he impressed me every time I attended his class. His martial arts movements along with great acting inspired me a lot! I learned the most important basic movements in his class. I’ve been keep training since and it’s been six years now.
CM: What inspired you to pursue acting? Did you always want to pursue a career in the US?
KS: I’ve always wanted to be on screen when I was a little, but I didn’t really do anything to be an actress until I was around 20 years old.
CM: What was your experience when you started acting? What is your favorite memory so far?
KS: My first memory of acting was terrible. I had to do one scene in a class in front of audience.
We started the scene and just after a couple of my lines, all the sudden, all of my lines have gone away from my head. I could remember nothing. We had to finish at the middle of the scene! I was too nervous and not prepared enough.
CM: Who were the actors that inspired you?
KS: I like Angelina Jolie. She does so much humanitarian work. That’s what I want to do and she inspired me to become an actress.
CM: What kind of humanitarian work would you focus on?
KS: That’s really what I have to search and think about it. I want to help people who are dying from hunger or those without clean water to drink. I need to find out how I can really help, not only for a short term, but for their lifetime.
CM: Congratulations on landing your role in Heroes Reborn! How did you feel when you received the news?
KS: I was so happy, I was crying and running around my apartment!
CM: Can you tell us about your role as Miko Otomo. What can viewers expect throughout the season?
KS: Miko is really a unique character. She lives in Tokyo, Japan and she searches for her missing father. She has a lot of fighting scenes. Also something very new and cool happens with her character.
CM: Did you have to go through a lot of training to prepare for your role?
KS: For my role, there is much memorizing of choreography for Miko’s character. It doesn’t require much training since I can use what I’ve already learned.
CM: Are there similarities between you and your character Miko?
KS: Miko and Kiki never give up. Haha!
CM: How is Heroes Reborn going to be different from the original Heroes?
KS: In Heroes Reborn there are so many new characters and newly developed stories. If you have never watched the original Heroes, you’ll still totally enjoy the show. If you have watched original, you will know each character’s history so you can understand the story in depth.
CM: What is your favorite part of the show?
KS: I love the Japanese parts of the show. There’s one more Japanese actor Toru Uchikado in Heroes Reborn. I have many scenes with him in Japanese and I’m so excited to watch those episodes.
CM: What other types of roles do you hope to act in the future?
KS: I hope I get to act in many different roles. I like to play crazy characters,
but I also want to act in a drama.
CM: What kind of crazy characters?
KS: I’ve played gangster, a cat monster, and a geeky girl for Japanese films before.
And currently for Heroes Reborn, a fighting girl. So maybe a ghost, a robot, or a Dracula next time? Haha!
“Heroes: Reborn” premieres Sept 24th 8/7c on NBC