Snake Eyes: Andrew Koji Talks "Humanizing" Storm Shadow

Snake Eyes star Andrew Koji wants his Storm Shadow to be just as meaningful as Henry Golding's title character. In an interview with Collider, the Warrior star talked about his initial hesitation taking the part at first before warming to the character. "I thought about playing that character [Storm Shadow] because I didn't like the first two films," Koji said. "I can say that. I'm allowed to not like a film. So, I was hesitant, at first, to even accept that. That's a big studio film and my first role in a big studio film, so I was very hesitant because I didn't have that trust in Hollywood to do that. What Warrior taught me and the voice that it gave me helped my work on Storm Shadow. I don't wanna play a character with a six-pack. I wanted him to be human and flawed; he's going through stuff. For me, when I saw the first G.I. Joe films, I was like, 'I don't wanna do that. That's not the kind of thing I wanna do.'"

G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes Star Henry Golding Shares Experiences on Set
Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow and Ray Park as Snake Eyes in G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009). Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Koji takes over the role originally played by Byung-hun Lee in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) and Retaliation (2013). As half-Japanese and half-English, the actor wanted to make sure Storm Shadow's depiction would have a positive impact and retained cultural authenticity. "So, when I spoke with the director [Robert Schwentke] about that, I said, 'If I'm gonna play him, I have to do my research into Japanese culture and embrace that,'" Koji said. "There was an opportunity for me to do a performance in that kind of film for the next generation. My time in this business might end in a few years, but a kid growing up might be able to watch that film and see a more realistic, grounded portrayal and feel like they can act, and they can do this. Even if it's in ninja form, they can still bring their own humanity to it. So, it was quite a deep thing for me, just because I had a lot of reservations about it, at first, but then they allowed me to do that. I've gotta give credit to those guys, but that was all because of the skill I got from Warrior."

Snake Eyes: Andrew Koji Talks
Andrew Koji as Ah Sahm in Warrior. Image courtesy of Cinemax/WarnerMedia

Written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Snake Eyes also stars Samara Weaving, Úrsula Corberó, Iko Uwais, Peter Mensah, Takehiro Hira, Haruka Abe, Simon Chin, and Steven Allerick. The Paramount film is expected to hit theatres on October 22, 2021.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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