Fast five with Karen Fukuhara
This newcomer scored the jackpot with a big role in debut film
NAME Karen Fukuhara
BORN Feb 10, 1992, Los Angeles, the US
FILMOGRAPHY Suicide Squad (2016)
1 SUPER-SIZED DEBUT
For a rookie, making your film debut in a summer blockbuster - complete with a sizeable supporting role as Katana in Suicide Squad, which is currently showing here - is too good to be true.
The 24-year-old US actress is still pinching herself over the once in a lifetime opportunity, telling M at the movie's recent press junket in New York City that everything is "surreal".
Fukuhara comes from a first-generation Japanese immigrant family, where she was raised in a "typical Japanese household, speaking only Japanese at home".
Her first brush with showbiz was landing the job of a TV reporter on Disney's Movie Surfers, a show that aired in Japan and in which she interviewed the cast of Disney movies.
2 KARATE CHAMP
The University of California, Los Angeles graduate, who majored in sociology with a minor in theatre, is also a bona fide fighter.
"I come from a martial arts background where I was practising full contact karate, and I was also doing it competitively too," said Fukuhara.
3 LETHAL WEAPON
In Suicide Squad, Katana is part of a group of supervillains assembled by the government to keep metahumans such as Superman in check.
"(Director) David (Ayer) was looking for a Japanese person who can speak the language and who had a little martial arts background," Fukuhara said.
"When I auditioned for Katana, I had to do a bit of sword fighting and martial arts. So because I knew how to perform fight choreography, I think David probably saw the intent and the meaning behind my moves."
4 SWORD PLAY
Katana is deadly with the Japanese sword she is named after - hers in particular is an ancient weapon that absorbs the souls of those it kills.
"I knew from the get-go that playing Katana meant knowing all her fight choreography is a natural instinct to her. To become a samurai warrior like her, I needed to know how to use the katana naturally," Fukuhara, who spent hours during pre-production days practising, said.
She became so proficient with the katana that she did almost all of her own stunts in the movie.
5 WOMEN ON TOP
Fukuhara hopes to explore the backstory of her masked anti-hero in future Suicide Squad follow-ups.
"I'd love to slip into the Harley Quinn spin-off," she said. "The idea of a group of female superheroes or supervillains coming together is amazing. It is very empowering."
Babes with blades
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