Yae the Blind Samurai Woman

Japanese actor Nobuaki Shimamoto continue exploring his acting journey

Interviewer: Marc Furmie

Could you introduce yourself little bit?

My name is Nobuaki Shimamoto. I am an actor. I was born and raised in the city called Ikebukuro which is located in Tokyo, Japan. Then I moved to Sydney, Australia in 2003. I lived there for about 15 years, before resettling in the United States about 4 years ago. 

How did you get into acting industry?

When I moved to Australia, I decided to go traveling a bit. So, I visited Melbourne for a couple weeks. One night, I went to a party and I met some independent filmmakers. We got along well and at the end of the night, one of the director’s said “Let’s make a movie together. “ But making movies or being in a film was unrealistic to me. So I thought they were just joking. About a half year later, I was back in Sydney, they contacted me to say “the script and everything is ready. Come back to Melbourne for the shoot.” I wasn’t sure if I should do it or not. I just didn’t have any confidence and didn’t know what to expect. But I moved to Australia to find new challenges. So, after a lot of consideration, I decided to do it. So I returned to Melbourne for the shoot. And on the first day of filming, I was struck by a kind of inspiration and was immediately obsessed with making movies. To me, it was about creating a point of view and since I was a child, I always interested in people’s unique perspectives. It became kind of my hobby that figuring out people’s opinions and their reactions in my imagination. But as I grew up, I became aware that I am an individual person with my own limited perspective, so I would need to use my imagination to truly understand people and where they were coming from. I would never know the complete truth of their experience. But when I was on the set playing a character, I realized that I was experiencing this character’s point of view. And it felt so real. I realized it was what I had been searching for my entire life. And I haven’t looked back since. Acting has become much more than a job, it’s a way of life.

What is your signature works in Australia?

That would be the Oscar winning movie Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson. It was based on the true story of Desmond Doss, who was the first Conscientious Objector to receive the Medal of Honor, played by Andrew Garfield. I played a Japanese officer, who was a critical character for the story. I am so grateful to be a part of this incredible story.

I played one of the lead characters in a web series called Abandoned, directed by Nathan Colquhoun, about a family surviving in a post-apocalyptic Australia. Abandoned received several web series awards internationally at festivals including Seoul Web Fest, UK Web Fest, Rolda Web Fest and I received the Best Actor award at Miami Web Fest.

Daily Bread was a short film, directed by Ruby Challenger, about a POW in Indonesia during WWⅡ. I played one of the lead characters. The film received several awards internationally and played at St Kilda Film Festival, Sydney Indie Film Festival, Australia Indonesia Short Film Competition and festival.

What about after you moved to The U.S?

I starred in a feature film called Beckman, directed by Gabriel Sabloff, about a contract killer turned reverend, who is called back to action when a cult leader kidnaps his daughter. I played a rival hitman, opposite David A. R. White (God’s Not Dead, Revelation Road) and will feature in the sequel. Beckman was released by Universal and became a hit during the pandemic. It is available on most VOD platforms.

I appeared in feature film Superhot, directed by Taylor King, about a pizza delivery girl who discovers her neighbor is moving into a sorority house filled with vampires. It’s a race against the clock to stop her crush from being sacrificed at midnight. I played a critical character who will also be a lead in the sequel titled “Van Helsing”, set to shoot in 2023. Superhot is available on Amazon Prime worldwide.

I was also in Episode 10 of the 3rd season of “The Food That Built America” a documentary TV series. My episode, entitled “Chain Reaction” was about how Benihana Restaurant and TGI Fridays established and developed their business in the United States. I played Yunosuke Aoki who is a father of Rocky Aoki for the show. The Food That Built America is available on History Channel and multiple streaming sites.

Is there any news you would like to share?

I am also appearing in a new short film, “Yae Blind Samurai Woman”. The story is set in 18th century Japan and follows a blind woman whose accompanies her the young samurai who killed her father on a journey to the nearest village. The film will its world premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theatres for the Dances With Films Festival on June 13th. If you ever happen to be in Hollywood on that day, please come and see us there. The festival information is here at Dance With Films website. YAE: BLIND SAMURAI WOMAN | Dances With Films

I will also be in one of the biggest blockbuster films of the summer, releasing in August and appearing exclusively in theaters. I hope you can guess which movie I am talking about. And I hope to see you at the cinema! 

Where can we find out about you and your future works?

Please follow my Instagram and my website if you found something interesting in my acting journey.

Instagram @nobuaki.shimamoto

Website: Actor | Nobuaki Shimamoto | Los Angeles (nobuaki-shimamoto.com)