For those headed to the movie theater this weekend, do note that actor Kenneth Choi is in the big screen movie adaptation of Marvel Comics' star-spangled shield slinger, Captain America: The First Avenger. He plays Nisei soldier Jim Morita, one of the members of the elite American fighting squad, the Howling Commandos.
We first noted that he had briefly made it into the trailer earlier this year. It doesn't look like a very big part, but I've heard he does get a couple of great lines. I'm just glad a big budget comic book movie like this saw fit to include a tip of the hat to World War II's Japanese American heroes, even with just one character.
Here's a good Pacific Citizen profile on Kenneth and his career, along with some comments from the Captain America screenwriters with some of the background behind the character of Jim Morita: Kenneth Choi Brings Nisei Soldiers to the Big Screen in "Captain America."
"We thought it valuable to include [Jim Morita] as an important member of Cap's team," said "Captain America: The First Avenger" screenplay writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, emailing from Comic Con in San Diego. "Few moviegoers are probably aware that a good many Japanese Americans fought during the war, so we felt there was value in showing that. Also, we really wanted the squad to be multicultural, emphasizing the inclusiveness of what Cap, and America, itself, represents."This actually isn't the first time Kenneth has played a Nisei soldier -- he also previously played Private Dave 'Bullseye' Fukushima of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the indie World War II film on the Only the Brave. Kenneth also does a pretty mean William Shatner impression in this Priceline commercial.
And as the Nisei soldier, "Ken was great, a scene stealer. He brings a humor to each of his scenes that we desperately needed," they added.