• Ken Ogata: “His confidence was contagious”

    By Paul Schrader

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    Ken Ogata was a brave and talented actor. He took chances in a system that discouraged risk taking. I had been told that no reputable Japanese actor would star in Mishima because of the controversy surrounding Mishima and the notion of an American filming a story about him. The script had been written with Ken Takakura (who had starred in The Yakuza) in mind, but under pressure from the right wing (which, in Japan, is not a wing but the main building), he had to decline. Ogata read the script, liked the challenge, and accepted it without hesitation or apprehension. His confidence was contagious; it brought other talented actors to the project. With his death, Japanese cinema has lost one of its giants.

2 comments

  • By jason
    November 27, 2008
    05:58 PM

    Mr. Ogata was a truly great actor--intense and focused in all of his roles. The authenticity of acting--already in short supply--is diminished with his passing. Rest in peace.
    Reply
  • By Tosh Berman
    November 29, 2008
    01:33 AM

    Ogata was a fantastic actor. Mishima is also a superb film, in fact it's the best film about an artist or writer. And I once saw Ogata at a coffee shop in Tokyo. Of course i didn't talk to him, but it was a great sighting, and seemed very Tokyo like as well.
    Reply