Tadanobu Asano wants to portray a regular guy but says he just keeps getting cast as a killer, the Associated Press reported.
"I never picked the roles that have to do with killing,'' the AP quoted him as saying, citing a South China Morning Post story. "I have no idea why they picked me. Maybe I do look like those types.''
Asano played a suicidal Japanese gangster on the run in Last Life in the Universe by Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.
Asano was in Hong Kong filming Invisible Waves, the upcoming film by Pen-Ek, which he co-wrote with Last Life writer Prabda Yoon. As with Last Life, Pen-ek is collaborating with cinematographer Christopher Doyle.
According to the Bangkok Post, Asano plays a chef who flees Macau to Phuket on a cruise ship after killing his mafia boss's wife. On board he's stalked by a hitman (Eric Tsang from Infernal Affairs) and hooks up with a Korean-Thai woman (Gang Hye Yang from Old Boy).
Invisible Waves is co-financed by Dutch, Thai, Korean, Hong Kong and Italian investors and has already been pre-sold to many countries including the US, France and Russia as well as the Scandinavian nations. In Thailand, the film's distribution rights will go to Five Star Entertainment. Locations also include Macau and Bangkok. The film is expected to premiere in early 2006.
In the AP article, the 31-year-old Asano was quoted as saying he just wants to play "ordinary people who have peaceful and uncomplicated lives.''
He is perhaps better known for his role in Ichii the Killer as a sadistic killer with a pain and disfigurement fetish. More recently, he portrayed an assassin for hire in Takeshi Kitano's historical martial arts comedy-drama Zatoichi.
He also stars in the 2003 romantic drama, Cafe Lumiere. The homage to Ozu is playing soon at Bangkok's Lido cinema. Not sure if he kills anyone in that movie, though from the previews he does appear slightly unhinged.
(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)