Andrew Koji (born 1987) is a British actor and martial artist. He had his breakout role as Ah Sahm in the Cinemax series Warrior (2019–2023). Koji went on to play Storm Shadow in Snake Eyes (2021) and Yuichi "The Father" Kimura in Bullet Train (2022).

Andrew Koji
Born1987 (age 36–37)
NationalityBritish
Occupations
  • Actor
  • martial artist
Years active2006–present

Life and career edit

Koji was born in 1987 to an English mother and a Japanese father. His parents separated when he was young, and he was brought up by his mother in Epsom.[1]

Koji started in the industry doing extra work and making short films as a teenager. At 18, he moved to Thailand while still training in martial arts and did some small jobs in the film industry.[2] He subsequently worked in Japan's film industry for a few years, before returning to England to train at the Actors' Temple Studio in London.[2] Eventually, Koji started getting more jobs in theatre and television in the UK. Regarding his opportunities there, he stated: "In the UK I would say my dual heritage has not particularly been advantageous. Opportunities for East Asian actors at the time was [sic] and still is quite limited—although things are changing."[2]

Koji dropped out of university at the age of 19 to focus on acting and martial arts. In his twenties, Koji studied and competed in taekwondo and trained in Shaolin kung fu at the Shaolin Temple UK.[3] He has written and produced his films, and has also worked as a stunt double; most notably on Fast & Furious 6.[3] He has also performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Royal Court, Charing Cross Theatre, and Ovalhouse among others.[4]

By 2017, Koji was discouraged by a recent lack of television roles and considered a career change. His agent and his mother convinced him to submit an audition tape for the lead role of Ah Sahm in the Cinemax series Warrior, which he secured.[5][6]

Based on an original idea by Bruce Lee for the 1972 series Kung Fu, that starred David Carradine, and was produced by filmmaker Justin Lin, Warrior is centered around a martial arts prodigy in the late 1870s who emigrates from China to America in search of his sister, only to be drawn into the Tong Wars of San Francisco.[7] In a nod to Lee's idea for the character's ethnic background, Ah Sahm is of partial European ancestry, which Koji found fitting for the character and relatable due to his own ancestry.[8] The first season premiered in April 2019, and the second season premiered in October 2020.[9]

Koji played Storm Shadow in the 2021 film Snake Eyes,[10] and assassin Yuichi Kimura in David Leitch's 2022 action film Bullet Train. In 2023, he appeared in the action-fantasy film Boy Kills World, directed by Moritz Mohr,[11][12] and joined Netflix series Black Doves.[13]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Project One Soldier Short film
2007 FB: Fighting Beat Kali
2009 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope Thai Gangster
2011 The Missing Day Huan
Mercutio's Dreaming: The Killing of a Chinese Actor Lawrence Yang Short film
Gorjilla (Gojira) Suit Yoshi Short film
2013 Fast & Furious 6 Undercover police, stunt double for Sung Kang Extra role (uncredited)
Scrutiny Stefan Aire
Above the Waist Ken Short film; writer and producer;
Won Best Actor Award, Asian on Film Festival
A Situation Yuji
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei 1st Policeman / 1st Soldier
2014 Way of the Warrior Goro Short film
Hollow Swordman Short film
Chameleon Guard Kuro Short film
2015 Backwater Justin Lau Short film
Luck Rai
Deep Pan Fury Katashi Kimoto
2016 Hall of Mirrors Basil Short film; writer and producer
2017 Trendy Estate Agent 1
2019 Sandwich Michael Short film
2021 Snake Eyes Tomisaburo Arashikage / Storm Shadow
Cake Bomb August Short film
2022 The Como Connection August Short film
Bullet Train Yuichi Kimura
Sandwich 2: Machete to Wasabi Michael Short film
2023 Seneca – On the Creation of Earthquakes Felix
Boy Kills World Basho
Hubris Alfie Short film
TBA Worth the Wait TBA Post-production
TBA Rob & Lucy TBA In production

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
2010, 2015 Casualty Keong Murong / Haro Reid 2 episodes
2012 Narrow Escapes WW2 Soldier
Seconds from Disaster ATC Officer-JAL 123 Episode: "Terrified Over Tokyo"
2013 The Wrong Mans Jason 3 episodes
2014 Film Lab Presents Sam Episode: "Deciding to Live"
2015 Acquitted Chen Liang 2 episodes
2016 Call the Midwife Benny Su Episode: #5.3
2017 Jade Dragon Mikey 2 episodes
Finding Akira James TV film
2018 The Innocents Andrew 3 episodes
2019 American Gods CEO Episode: "The Greatest Story Ever Told"
Peaky Blinders Brilliant Chang 2 episodes
2019–2023 Warrior Ah Sahm Main role; 30 episodes
TBA Gangs of London TBA Main role
TBA Black Doves TBA

Theatre edit

Year Title Role Production Company
Star Wars Stage Show Jedi Weird and Wonderful
Richard III Richard The Actors Temple
A Streetcar Named Desire Stanley Kowalski The Actors Temple
2013 The Fu Manchu Complex Dr. Petrie Moongate Productions/ Mark Cartwright Productions
The Arrest of Ai Weiwei Policeman / Soldier Hampstead Theatre
The Forgotten of the Forgotten Guo Radar Festival
Hidden Jason/ Various other roles Royal Court Theatre
2016 In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel The Barman Charing Cross Theatre
Shangri-La Karma Yellow Earth
2017 Snow in Midsummer Fang RSC
A Tale of Two Cities Jacques Regents Park Open Air Theatre

References edit

  1. ^ Francisco, Eric (7 October 2020). "Warrior's star isn't the next Bruce Lee, he's the first Andrew Koji". Inverse. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Tau, Timothy (2 April 2019). "Andrew Koji Talks Cinemax's New Martial Arts Series Warrior". ScreenAnarchy. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew Koji". Martial Arts & Action Entertainment. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Andrew Koji Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Warrior Star Andrew Koji on Nearly Giving Up on Acting, Larger Than Life Fight Scenes, and More". TV Shows. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 October 2017). "'Warrior': Cinemax Sets Cast & Director For Bruce Lee-Inspired Martial Arts Series". Deadline. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  7. ^ Hale, Mike (2 April 2019). "Review: 'Warrior,' Pitched by Bruce Lee and Made by Cinemax". New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  8. ^ Bundy, Andrew (3 April 2019). "'Warrior' Star Andrew Koji Discusses Shooting Fight Scenes For A TV Series & His Multi-Ethnic Connection To Bruce Lee [Interview]". The Playlist. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (24 April 2019). "'Warrior' Renewed For Season 2 By Cinemax". Deadline. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto (23 August 2019). "'Snake Eyes': Andrew Koji to Play Storm Shadow in 'GI Joe' Movie Spinoff (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  11. ^ "'Snake Eyes's Andrew Koji Joins Brad Pitt in Sony's 'Bullet Train'". 15 September 2020.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (10 January 2022). "Andrew Koji Joins Bill Skarsgard And Samara Weaving In 'Boy Kills World'". Deadline Hollywood.
  13. ^ Hibbs, James (25 October 2023). "Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire joins Keira Knightley in Black Doves". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 October 2023.

External links edit