SKSM: Could you start with telling me a little bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Akie Kotabe: Absolutely – my name is Akie (like `a key` for a door), and I work as an actor primarily in TV/film and voice actor for animated series and video games. I am a second generation Japanese-American based in London, and enjoy travelling, food, and music in my spare time.
SKSM: When did you know you wanted to become an actor?
Akie Kotabe: I always enjoyed watching films growing up, and often wondered how they made the ‘magic’ – after joining an acting class while in my third year of university, I realized I would love being a part of them as well!
SKSM: How did you become involved in The Boogeyman Dollar Baby film?
Akie Kotabe: I knew the director, Jenny Januszewski, introduced from a mutual friend, and worked with her on her 3d short film, The Shadower. Once she mentioned she was gearing up to make a SK Dollar Baby film, I was on board as I had been a fan of his novels from a young age; the first novel meant for adults I’d read was The Shining, and I read it when I was 9 years old!
SKSM: What do you think it is about the story that attracts people so much?
Akie Kotabe: I like stories where the line between what may be real and what may be psychological is blurred. The Boogeyman for me is a great example of this – has Lester just lost it or is there really the existence of a Boogeyman that is haunting him? The Candyman is another story I like that to me, has similar themes.
SKSM: Did you have to audition for the part or was it written directly for you?
Akie Kotabe: From what I remember, (though it was over a decade ago now) Jenny asked me to play the part of Dr. Harper. I remember being quite excited to try and delve into playing a psychologist – immediately the show In Treatment came to mind.
SKSM: You worked with Jenny Januszewski on this film, how was that?
Akie Kotabe: It was a great experience. I’d worked with her before, and appreciated the amount of rehearsal we had before going to set. I felt I was able to get into some good moments while rehearsing, which we aimed to create while the camera was rolling.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when they made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Akie Kotabe: Getting to have a face mould created for the scene where the Boogeyman reveals himself by peeling off his face was a new experience for me at the time. It really reminded me of the hours of patience some actors (like Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button) had to go through, as well as all the hard work done by the hair and makeup (HMU) team.
SKSM: Do you still have any contact with the crew/cast from that time? If so with who?
Akie Kotabe: I still talk to Jenny and am friends on social media with the cast. I’m happy to see Virignia is starring in a new movie called Union www.union-movie.com that seems to be doing well, and hope to watch it someday soon.
SKSM: What are you working on nowadays?
Akie Kotabe: I consider myself very fortunate to have quite a full plate these days, and in this day and age, with Non-Disclosure-Agreements (NDAs) that’s… pretty much what I can say. I have been working on an upcoming podcast I am the lead character in, and that should be announcing shortly. Otherwise, you can most recently see me in Invasion on Apple TV+, and the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. On the independent film side I am part of the ensemble cast of Decrypted, a crypto-currency comedy which is available to stream online.
SKSM: Are you a fan of Stephen King’s work?
Akie Kotabe: Definitely. Since reading The Shining as a child, I decided I would read all of his works, and at the time of graduating high school and heading to college/university – I had every novel he had written. I once even sent a letter to his fan club when I heard news of The Dark Tower being developed for television; I would have loved at that point to play Jake!
SKSM: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Akie Kotabe: I really am terrible at dancing. I think I have three left feet.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to the fans that read this interview?
Akie Kotabe: Thanks for taking the time to read my answers, and it’s been a pleasure getting featured on StephenKingShortMovies.com! I look forward to the next SK novel releasing!
SKSM: Do you like to add anything else?
Akie Kotabe: You can find more news about me at www.akie-kotabe.com, thanks for reading!