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Kai Bradbury is an exciting new face in Hollywood who’s quickly making a name for himself. His credits include hit TV programs like Altered Carbon, The Terror, Supernatural, The Boys, and The Man in the High Castle.
He’ll next be seen starring in his first role as a series regular in the action-packed Warigami. Pop-Culturalist caught up with Kai to chat about Warigami and what fans can expect.
- P-C: How did you discover your passion for acting?
- Kai: My first performances were as a kid in my grandparents’ living room; we performed our improvised family Christmas pantomimes. They were very fun and frantic. In high school, my best friends were part of the improv team and did all the school shows. I attribute my love for acting to them and my first teacher, Julie Bond.
- P-C: Who or what has had the biggest influence on your career?
- Kai: It would be impossible to choose one. Every person I’ve met—teachers, friends, actors, directors, dentists—along with my incredible team and family have shaped my journey. I love art and storytelling. Thanks to their inspiration and guidance, I hope to continue to reflect different slices of life on screen and on stage.
- P-C: You’ve had a lot of success already in your career. When you look back is there a particular moment that sticks out to you?
- Kai: My first job out of theatre school was an international Hot Pockets ad campaign shot in Mexico City. That was my first plunge into what the industry had in store. Also, in my four short years doing film, nothing tops working with George Takei on The Terror: Infamy. What a legend.
- P-C: Tell us about Warigami, your character, and what drew you to this project.
- Kai: Warigami is an action-fantasy-comedy conceived by Eddie Kim and directed by Jason Lapeyre. I play Vincent Ohata, who is a street smart, quick-thinking orphan that squats in a warehouse with his best friend, Mark (Akiel Julien). Together, they steal to keep afloat until they meet Wendy (Emily Piggford), who drags them into an adventure and changes Vincent’s life forever.
I was drawn to this project for its action, humor, and unique story. Though it follows a classic hero journey, everything about this cast and script felt new and exciting.
- P-C: What similarities and differences do you share with Vincent? What can you tease about his arc in season 1?
- Kai: Vincent and I aren’t very similar. He is a lot louder and faster than I am. However, we both love and value our friends and family more than anything and rely heavily on those who stand in our corner. Vincent always thinks he’s got it under control…because he does. Little does he know how much trust he will put into strangers. He also has lots of growing to do.
- P-C: This is your first role as a series regular. Did that add any pressure heading into the project? What’s been the biggest takeaway?
- Kai: I learned so much working on Warigami. We shot on a very tight schedule with lots of physically demanding work and with some cold Toronto weather. I placed some pressure on myself, but our cast and creative team worked tirelessly to bring this story to life. Learning from them inspired me to forget the size of the role and just play.
- P-C: What are you the most excited for your fans to see?
- Kai: I’m most excited for them to see Emily Piggford and Miho Suzuki, two incredibly talented and strong women who rock some of the best scenes in the show. I hope they get a kick out of Vincent’s less dignified moments as well.
- P-C: There’s been a lot of conversation about diversity and representation in Hollywood. As an Asian actor, what has your experience been like? Have you felt or seen the slow progress that’s being made?
- Kai: Conversation is key and so is opportunity. Representation has the power to unite us and share stories we haven’t seen before. I am an Asian actor, but I am also a mixed-race actor, and both have brought me great opportunities. A diverse actor needs the opportunity to rise to the occasion so that the pool of strong performers may continue to grow. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, bringing together both the result of progress and lots of hard work. I hope to inspire aspiring diverse actors, but also any aspiring actor. We are all unique, yet we are all one in the same.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
- P-C: Guilty pleasure TV show?
- Kai: Any competition cooking show. Mostly, Nailed It on Netflix.
- P-C: Guilty pleasure movie?
- Kai: All the Ocean‘s movies. I love a heist.
- P-C: Favorite book?
- Kai: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- P-C: Favorite play or musical?
- Kai: In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- P-C: A band or artist that fans would be surprised to learn is on your playlist?
- Kai: Joni Mitchell, maybe? I also really love Bhangra music.
- P-C: Last show you binge-watched?
- Kai: Stranger Things season 3! I was late on it.
- P-C: Hidden talent?
- Kai: Drawing and I can do a decent didgeridoo impression.