Eijiro Ozaki

At the age of 20, Ozaki spent a year at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln as an exchange student. That was when he had his first acting experience in front of the cameras for an American televised educational program and gave him hint of his potential as an actor.

He made his professional stage debut in 1994 playing “Jim Stark”, the lead role in Rebel Without A Cause, performed entirely in English, and dived into his full-time acting career.

He started learning acting under Yoko Narahashi at the United Performers’ Studio, Tokyo in 1994. In 1995, he was coached by Frank Corsaro, a former Actors Studio, NY artistic director, in his drama training.

His breakthrough came as “Lt. Yamamoto”, a Kamikaze pilot, in the Elle Company production The Winds Of God, one of Japan’s most popular war plays. In 1998, the play was performed for a month at the Judith Anderson Theater, on Off-Off-Broadway in NY. In 1999, the troop went on the National Tour in Japan and gave a 2 month run in NY again at the American Place Theater on Off Broadway. With its total estimated viewing audience of nearly 40,000, The Winds Of God became an excellent opportunity for Ozaki to gain maximum exposure to theater fans. Playing the 3rd lead role, Yamamoto, a Kamikaze pilot, he showed his potential in both comedy and tragedy. Then he won acclaim by NY critics in 5 reviews of papers and magazines such as The New Yorker, Daily News, Newsday and more.

In 2003, he appeared in Warner Bros.’ period epic The Last Samurai (2003). Ozaki was marked by the film’s stunt coordinator Nick Powell and selected as one of the Battle Corps (Battle Core) actors. Battle Core was composed of the best 100 Japanese actors possessing accurate sword-play technique, for the key battle sequences set in the mountains of Japanese war fields. Ozaki performed as a High Ranking Samurai of Katsumoto’s (Ken Watanabe’s) troop in the last great sword-wielding charge against forces armed with the first Western weapons of mass destruction. After this production, he earned his membership in Taurus World Stunt Awards Academy.

The film project, in which he literally devoted his life, was the most prominent one to date in his filmography. It is Warner Bros.’ Iwo Jima battle epic Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), directed by Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg (DreamWorks) starring Ken Watanabe. Besides Watanabe, only 7 actors were selected from the mainland of Japan as his supporting roles. Ozaki received the honor to be one of the 7 actors. He played as Lieutenant Okubo, Baron Nishi’s deputy, who takes the lead of the men, when Nishi dies in a battle. Okubo’s courage sacrifices his life to save his troop in the crossfire against the US Marines. The film won numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, Golden Globe Award for Best Picture in Foreign Language and National Board of Review’s Best Film of The Year.

After Ozaki moved his base to the US in 2007, he landed the guest star role in NBC drama series Heroes (2006): Season 2, Young Kaito Nakamura, father of Hiro Nakamura, in 1977. Young Kaito stops Adam Monroe who tries to unleash a virus that could kill billions of innocent people.

He has appeared as Masao Kume, a samurai defeating Mongols in a battle in Metanoia Films’ “Little Boy” (2015) which won Best Picture at 2016 Premios Luminus Film Festival in Mexico, as Hydra prisoner in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) (ABC). Other film/TV credits include “Masterless” (2015) (Endurance Productions) , “Extant” (2014) (CBS) Touch (2012) (FOX) How I Met Your Mother (2005) (CBS), Flashforward (2009) (ABC), The Game (2006) (CW), Gaijin – Ama-me Como Sou (2005) [Love me as I am] (Brazil), Sheng zhe wei wang (2000) (Hong Kong), Haru to Natsu (2005) (NHK), Genroku Ryoran (NHK), Aguri (1997) (NHK), The 8th Samurai (2009) (AFI), The Hirosaki Players (2010) (TK Digital, NY), etc.

Ozaki most recently portrayed Ishiro Honda, a legendary Japanese director who gave a birth to Godzilla, in episode 405 “Tagumo attacks!!!” of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2018) (CW). Also playing as Admiral Inokuchi, a recurring guest role, in The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Studios) in Season 3 (2018) and Season4.

Best of Fest Award for The 8th Samurai at LA Shorts Fest 2009 scoring Academy Award qualifier. Best Actor Winner for The 8th Samurai at Show Off Your Shorts Film Festival 2009. Best Supporting Actor Winner for Lil Tokyo Reporter (2012) at Asians On Film Festival Awards – Winter 2013.

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