Tadanobu Asano

Though he wouldn't become well known to American audiences until 2011, actor Tadanobu Asano had already been acting in his native Japan for more than two decades when he made his English-language debut in "Thor" (2011). Born Tadanobu Satō, Asano came from a creative household. He and his brother Kujun both enjoyed performing music, and their father Yukihisa was an artist. Asano was also interested in acting, a pursuit that began solidifying when he made his on-screen debut at age 16 on an episode of the TV series "Kinpachi Sensei" (TBS, 1979-). By 1993, Asano was capturing the attention of critics for his moving performance as a suicidal husband and father in the drama "Fried Dragon Fish" (1993). Asano also continued his interest in music, playing with the rock band MACH-1.67. In 1995, he married pop star Chara, and the two gave birth to two children, though they would later divorce in 2009. Additionally, Asano joined his brother and father in founding a talent agency, Anore Inc., which would sign on major names like actor Rinko Kikuchi. Asano continued to appear in prominent films throughout the early 2000s, like the Thai movie "Last Life in the Universe" (2003), which earned him the Upstream Prize for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, and the sleeper hit "The Taste of Tea" (2004). Asano even spoke Mongolian for his role in "Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan" (2007) before trying his first English-speaking part as the supporting character Hogun in the superhero movie "Thor" (2011). More American movies followed, including "Battleship" (2012) and the "Thor" sequel, "Thor: The Dark World" (2013). In 2015, Asano was cast in Martin Scorsese's historical drama "Silence" (2016).