Cohan has written for numerous publications including The Huffington Post, Seeking Alpha, Gigwise and Time Out Singapore. It just raises the level of inequality. I never grew up thinking, Why aren’t there any Asians? My mom is half-English, half-Argentinian. It’s a warm late-September morning, … “I grew up in Somerset, in the middle of the English countryside, where most people, who were white, were born and raised in the area. But I don’t think we can deny that it [racial prejudice] is still a problem. I am one of six siblings who all have the same parents and therefore same ethnicity. I had to get really angry and throw chairs around and collapse on the floor. The backgrounds were slightly more diverse, but still there were only three or four of us who were considered ‘ethnic’ in my class.”, “Because my artistic education was in classical dance I mostly looked up to ballet dancers, particularly principal dancers at the Royal Ballet. They first collaborated on 2014’s “Ex Machina” and then 2018’s “Annhilation.” In the former, Mizuno played an android who does a memorable disco dance scene with Oscar Isaac. A former ballet dancer, she said still knows the choreography and guesses that Isaac does, too. Of course, years later, I went to the ballet with my friend in London. People would also say, “You don’t look really Asian but kind of Asian?” So I would be like, Should I dye my hair to be lighter? [Laughs.]. The next day, I went to audition for Alex. We would do karaoke and travel together. We had access to talk to Kevin and one of the things he told me is that these characters live such a life of privilege that they can’t see beyond it. “Never again will there be a woman killed in a clandestine abortion,” the author of the law told reporters through tears after the vote. Really embracing ethnic diversity would help prevent our future generations from feeling this way. Maria Turgeon is all about confidence, sexiness, and playful decadence. [Laughs.]. Visit Pierre Cardin’s South of France ‘Bubble Palace’. There’s no weirdness. Cancel reply. How do you think your race has impacted the way you’re seen in casting? I felt like that was her energy, and lots of sunshine and flowers. I always want to do work that feels honest and that’s harder to find than you imagine. To me, this feels like casting which looks to satisfy a quota with an ‘ethnic’ person: a very surface level attempt to rectify a very complicated problem.”, “A more subtle problem lies in the fact that Asian actors have fewer opportunities to develop their skills in comparison to their peers. Mizuno’s new role as a bubbly heiress is different from the dystopian figure she’s best known for playing: Kyoko, the robot who disco-dances with Oscar Isaac in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. How did you get that big first role in Ex Machina?I did want to be a ballet dancer, but then I found myself at 20, living by myself in Dresden, Germany, and working really hard, starting at the bottom of the ballet company there. For my audition, there wasn’t any dancing — that came later. Then I got the job! The film industry is risk averse and imbalanced towards one race and gender. I started boarding at the Royal Ballet when I was nine. Sonoya Mizuno as Lily in ‘Devs’ (Photo by Kurt Iswarienko/FX) Sonoya Mizuno previously starred in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and Annihilation, and was happy to reunite with Garland for this ambitious miniseries.Discussing her character, Mizuno said she appreciated the fact Lily isn’t a typical protagonist. There are lot of those types in London and New York, who used to do reality shows from back in the day. Joyce de Lemos shares her clinically vetted skin-care routine. Hilaria/Hillary Attempts to Explain Herself, In a wild new interview with the New York, Two More Police Officers to Be Fired in Breonna Taylor Case. Louisville’s interim police chief has issued termination letters to detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes. She worked with Garland again on horror adventure "Annihilation" in 2018, a year that also saw her score with "Crazy Rich Asians" and Netflix limited series "Maniac." One of the flagship series for the new FX on Hulu co-branding effort, Devs is also writer/director Alex Garland's first foray into television. I am one of six siblings who all have the same parents and therefore same ethnicity. I wasn’t completely consciously aware of the deep complex issues to do with race within the entertainment industry. Officials have identified the bomber as Anthony Quinn Warner. They’re not purposefully doing anything wrong. Even more so than the robot in Ex Machina? Thanks for recognizing me. I love those characters so much. Her career path is a testament to her boldness and focus: She danced for many years before burning her ballet bridges in a dramatic switch to acting. Although it is a very sensitive issue we can progress if those affected speak out. Do you get recognized from your sweet dance moves with Oscar Isaac?No. A part that’s half Japanese, a quarter English, and a quarter Argentinian? But when I first started going to auditions, they would be like, You have such an ambiguous look – in terms of casting that is not good. They said they got an email about Ex Machina — it was one of those strange coincidences. It’s the adrenaline and sweating things out. © 2020 Vox Media, LLC. This Is the Only Way I Want to Experience Nature. Yeah! I was just going to the cinema by myself because everyone else was sewing their toe shoes. Now I just don’t do any of that. Have you met any real-life crazy rich Asians?I didn’t, but one of the girls — I don’t want to say who — went on a date with one. Alex [Garland] said he liked me, but the director of the Scottish Ballet wouldn’t let me take time off to do it. I still had a modeling agency in London and asked them for acting advice. What made it so magical? I didn’t know anything. The fact that white people almost always take the lead in films and TV shows is a clear illustration of this prejudice. The Ex Machina actress's latest film La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, is being shown as part of BFI. Again, I was living in fucking Glasgow and bored as hell. The actress/dancer was also featured in promotional material by Alexander McQueen and Calvin Klein. And the director of the Scottish ballet was sitting in the next row — for fuck’s sake. I can’t remember having any Asian idols; they were definitely sparse. I couldn’t get anything. Maybe if we saw her on a bad day, everything would be a disaster. In person, Mizuno holds steady, inquisitive eye contact and speaks with a posh British accent punctured by curse words and laughs. The same bravado seems to apply to her sense of style: She showed up to our interview with a pixie cut, explaining that she “just went into a London barber shop” and asked for the chop because she “figured they know how to do short hair.”. Sonoya Mizuno was born on July 1, 1986 in Tokyo, Japan. ... Ex-Machina was a sleeper hit, ... Then it was pointed out to me, in fact, it was pointed out to me by Sonoya Mizuno while we were making Ex-Machina, that if I was asked, in fact, I was asked by … If a character is just there to be a token Asian, I’m not interested. For Araminta, one of the things I added was cheerleaders – those cheesy ones with huge smiles and bouncy ponytails. Nearly everyone at the school is there on some kind of grant or scholarship. Mizuno’s repertoire of films includes Ex Machina, Alleycats and La La Land – which is currently being shown as part of BFI. Sonoya Mizuno, Actress: Ex Machina. An interview with Ex Machina, Alex Garland favorite, Crazy Rich Asians actress, and former ballet dancer Sonoya Mizuno. They first collaborated on 2014’s “Ex Machina” and then 2018’s “Annhilation.” In the former, Mizuno played an android who does a memorable disco dance scene with Oscar Isaac. Speaking to Resonate, Mizuno discusses her upbringing as a half-Japanese girl in the UK and her journey into the film and media industry. 30 Incredible Fashion Moments From Pierre Cardin, A Woman Falsely Accused a Black Teenager of Stealing Her Phone. At Last, Argentina Has Legalized Abortion. You can take it or leave it. Sonoya Mizuno talks about the "Devs" series finale, says she still knows the disco dance sequence she did with Oscar Isaac in "Ex Machina." I want to support people and feel like they’re supporting me as well. My feeling is that I don’t fit easily into casting moulds because I am considered different.”, “There is definitely a growing level of awareness, which is very positive. Sonoya Mizuno played Kyoko in 'Ex Machina' Sonoya plays Kyoko in the Alex Garland directed ‘Ex Machina’. It is hinting for a sequel. Cardi B, Stanley Tucci, Australia — who’s next? I wasn’t performing much, but when I was, I was doing it for old pensioners who wanted to see Swan Lake and not the interesting contemporary work I wanted to do. I make physical character boards for roles and add images and words. Someone in the equity department of the ballet told me how I would be able to [leave the company] — but understand that there would no going back. But a lot of people told me I was too old and that it was too late to start acting. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. (A former ballerina, she had a similarly silent-but-physical role in Garland’s Annihilation.) I took time off and went to Japan and did modeling. A 1970s VIP space odyssey on the Mediterranean. I thought, That’s a person I could play. There was some initial controversy about the casting of Crazy Rich Asians. I was nothing like her but I just loved her because she was the only Asian I saw. A former ballet dancer, she said still knows the choreography and guesses that Isaac does, too. It’s a celebration of Asian culture. There has to be a really good reason she has an accent or has a samurai sword. Some leaky sparrow shit, now on her navy trousers, has interrupted the Brit mid-sentence. Sonoya Mizuno remembers her reaction when a friend mentioned the novel: I want no part of that. I look as I am, I am who I am. It doesn’t match up. She’s also one of the first to embrace Rachel, the outsider. Everyone in the cast and the crew are treated as equal collaborators, and everyone’s opinions are valid, and everyone is supported. I had to get on a flight with a resignation email ready to send, send it, and then turn my phone off [and just be gone with no possibility of coming back]. In September, Mizuno will appear in the Netflix series Maniac, directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga and co-starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and she’s working with Alex Garland a third time on his new FX tech thriller. Then on the weekend, it was like summer camp. Obviously, I’m not a robot. FEATURE: 13 Chinese actresses we would love to see play Mulan in the live-action Disney film, Netflix falls short of global target after failing to secure Chinese market, WATCH: The First Trailer For Crazy Rich Asians Has Arrived, Sonoya Mizuno cast as regular in Emma Stone-Jonah Hill Netflix series Maniac, INTERVIEW: Sports Illustrated model Mia Kang – “Embrace being a minority, being different is what makes you special”, Ex Machina’s Sonoya Mizuno joins Crazy Rich Asians, FILM REVIEW: La La Land – another day in the sun for Emma Stone. Apparently, Constance Wu had a baby girl — over the summer. But on a great day, everything would be amazing. Based on the New York Times bestselling book from Kevin Kwan, it tells the story of a Chinese-American woman (Constance Wu) who discovers her boyfriend (Henry Golding in his first acting role) is the scion of an insanely wealthy, secretive Singaporean family, complete with a disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) and one-percent hijinks (plastic surgery for fish). There are just fewer parts. We were definitely an unusual family in the area but there was a sense of alliance among us.”, “I was the only mixed race girl in my primary school class and I do remember being called names such as ‘Chinese take away’ and ‘chocolate brownie,’ as well as classmates imitating Japanese gestures and language. Ex Machina is a movie so good it has seeped into my dreams.I understand I’m a weird guy and my dreams can subsequently skew strange, but this time my subconscious disturbed awake me. “Devs” marks Mizuno’s third time working with Garland. Is Body Acne Really So Different Than What’s on Your Face? MIZUNO: T he thing about Alex is he treats everyone on his set as equals. Mizuno also got to show off one of her dancing skills — that of shadowing another dancer’s moves — in the unforgettable synchronized dance sequence with Oscar Isaac . Everything. I didn’t have that bunhead mentality any more. She is an actress, known for Ex Machina (2014), La La Land (2016) and Maniac (2018). But Araminta’s privilege is so far away from what I am. I felt like that when I auditioned for Ex Machina and I felt that on the last day of Devs. The entertainment industry has an effect on social consciousness. The frothy romantic comedy is the first major movie since The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago to have an all-Asian cast. I was constantly feeling like I was not right. Well before your pixie, you played the role of Araminta – the supermodel heiress with the wedding of the year. She is an actress known for ex machina 2014 la la land 2016 and maniac 2018. I really liked Araminta. Let’s be real — it is basically going to happen. Asian characters are often written as stereotypes and have their ethnicity used as a qualifier for their existence.”, “There are some obvious steps that could be taken. Ex Machina is a 2014 sci-fi thriller about a young programmer selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I. “Andrew Whitehurst is the visual effects supervisor and was the visual effects supervisor on ‘Annihilation’ and Ex Machina ... or lovers or ex ... , Sonoya Mizuno. The cast has described the making of Crazy Rich Asians as an incredible experience. All rights reserved. Crazy rich Asians? The biggest star at the time was British ballerina Darcey Bussell, who I deeply admired. Although the role of Araminta isn’t huge, Mizuno has a scene so over-the-top that it elicited gasps at screenings, and early previews are already calling her out for her deft, comedic exuberance. The reason it bothers me is because people don’t have an issue with Australian actors playing American parts and English actors playing Polish parts. If the part in Ex Machina wasn’t for a Japanese girl, I couldn’t have gotten it — same thing with Maniac. I did feel like I was too old. People are trying to cast in a particular way and if you are ambiguous, they can’t put you in a box. Therefore their career progression is stunted, and from that a cycle of sorts is created.”, “Speaking out is a choice that bears a lot of responsibility so I am grateful for Constance Wu’s voice. Well then, I had a struggle after that just like anyone else. I had no place to live. You gave Araminta a madcap quality which I thought made her endearing. You’re in these foreign countries (we shot a lot in Malaysia and Singapore). It is inherently difficult for me not to resent the part of me that prevents me from getting certain opportunities or for the way it is portrayed in media/society. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but there’s a scene at the end of Crazy Rich Asians which teases that there could be another movie. We tried his $50 cannabis cigars to find out. It’s really given me a way in. I have auditioned for characters which were described as African American. We have the chance to tell stories of those with voices that might not be as loud as the ones we are used to hearing but equally as relevant and interesting.”, “I am constantly reminding myself to take pride in my Japanese heritage. I did that. One to watch. “Devs” marks Mizuno’s third time working with Garland. Sonoya Mizuno has been shat upon. The Justice Department has officially declined to prosecute Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. When I moved to London to study at the Royal Ballet School from age 11, that changed to some degree. How many parts are there for that? It’s great for representation — that this amazing person also just happens to be Asian but it’s also not the only thing that defines her. However I started to take ballet lessons first, under his instruction, and then was accepted in to the Royal Ballet School. A conversation with the ballerina-turned–Crazy Rich Asians star about representation and following your gut. So I initially trained and worked as a professional dancer. I was like, Oh fuck, and really scared. I wanted it to feel like, She feels everything 110%. The Future Is in Sonoya Mizuno’s Hands How did the actor go from a dancing android in Ex Machina to the star of Devs, TV’s TRIPPIEST NEW SCI-FI SHOW? I was so lucky. Interview: Alex Garland on his ... Sonoya Mizuno and Alicia Vikander in ‘Ex Machina’ Share on Twitter ... ‘Ex Machina’ is released in the UK on January 21 and in the US on April 10. “I grew up in Somerset, in the middle of the English countryside, where most people, who were white, were born and raised in the area. April … So why can’t an Asian person play an Asian part? Then Alex’s team told me they wanted me to come back to audition for a bigger part. You started out in ballet. I have the accent and I kind of look like the part. She’s also the new global face of Shiseido. On Christmas morning, an explosive detonated inside an RV parked in downtown Nashville. Born to a Japanese father and half Argentinian half English mother in Japan, Mizuno was raised in the UK. Before scoring a scene-stealing role as a dancing robot in 2015’s “Ex Machina,” Tokyo-born, U.K.-raised Sonoya Mizuno had a career as a ballet dancer. MIZUNO: T he thing about Alex is he treats everyone on his set as equals. I eventually went back to dancing and was offered a job with the Scottish Ballet. My Maniac character is so interesting, complex, and well-rounded; I was so glad she was Asian. We were definitely an unusual family in the area but there was a sense of alliance among us.” “I was the only mixed race girl in my primary school class and I do remember being called names such as ‘Chinese take away… Modeling came as an incidental side job when I was 17 and I started to work as an actress three years ago.”, “I feel predominantly English so I think I assumed I would have as much chance as any other English girl. They met in Japan in the ’70s. I definitely admire and support her for doing so.”, “There is a serious crisis of racial inequality permeating our current social and political climate and a need for change. Should I curl my hair to look more European? If I can’t play that part, what can I play? Both the NYPD and the Manhattan DA are investigating the incident, which was captured on video and widely shared across social media. It just felt different. Below, she talks to the Cut about following her gut, meeting crazy rich Asians in real life, and the importance of Asian representation. I feel disheartened when I see stereotypes because it’s untrue and unfair. Also, self-generating work is very empowering!”. Sonoya Mizuno (born c. 1986/1987) is an English actress, model, and ballet dancer who has collaborated with director Alex Garland in works such as Ex Machina, Annihilation, and Devs.She had minor roles in the films La La Land, Beauty and the Beast, and Crazy Rich Asians.Mizuno also played a lead character in the Netflix miniseries Maniac We felt like we were making something rare and special. They each brought some of their experience to the graceful, programmed movements of Ava and Kyoko. Well, after the film came out, someone wrote on my Instagram, “Were you the girl eating the testers [samples] at Morrison’s [a supermarket]?” Yeah. It was good to see Asian women break into the mainstream although I didn’t idolize them.”, “Before the age of 10 I thought I wanted to become an actress because my uncle, who I adored, was an actor. It’s just harder if you’re not white. 1187k followers 674 following 98 posts see instagram photos and videos from sonoya mizuno at sonoya. It’s definitely getting better. One holiday, I thought, I’m going to try and see what happens. “Ex Machina” and “Maniac” actress Sonoya Mizuno on feeling the effect of “Crazy Rich Asians.” Advertisement “Crazy Rich Asians” is the first movie of its kind in 25 years. Sonoya Mizuno has been a scene-stealer since her big-screen breakout in "Ex Machina," from Alex Garland, in 2015. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. It’s very tongue-in-cheek and it’s not cruel. Also, it’s great in the film that there are so many different types of Asians. ORTVED: Has fitness always been a big part of your life? I was definitely an outsider. To get into character, I watched videos of socialite girls from East London on YouTube to get a sense of how they talked and did their hair — Chelsea girls. But with Devs, ... Sonoya Mizuno: Oh, thank you. The Ex Machina actress's latest film La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, is being shown as part of BFI Sonoya Mizuno is an actress and dancer of mixed heritage. But even last night, we had a screening of the movie with Ronny Chieng and people were like, Congratulations. It’s hard enough as it is. SONOYA MIZUNO: My dad is Japanese; he was an art director there. The original audition was to be one of those girls in the closet. It’s damaging to all of us. I had read a recent profile of Writer-Director Alex Garland, responsible for Ex Machina.He seemed an interesting guy to interview. They first collaborated on 2014’s “Ex Machina” and then 2018’s “Annhilation.” In the former, Mizuno played an android who does a memorable disco dance scene with Oscar Isaac. But then Lucy Liu came on and I was like, Oh my god, she is my favorite. She’s the most far away from myself I’ve ever played. DEADLINE: You had worked with Alex twice before, on Ex Machina and Annihilation. I remember Lucy Liu and when I saw Rinko Kikuchi in Babel I admired her. My bridges would be burned. If there was more diversity behind and in front of the camera, film would be a better and truer representation of our society.”, “But in redressing the imbalance, I think it is important not to be reflexive and tokenistic. A few years after graduating from the Royal Ballet School in London, Sonoya Mizuno had a choice to make. Some people questioned whether the casting was “Asian” enough, as some of the actors are multiracial, and others objected to the casting of non-Chinese actors playing Chinese parts.That kind of pissed me off. Interview with Crazy Rich Asians' Sonoya Mizuno. MIZUNO: Dancing has, but it’s not fitness. It would support them in feeling good about their place in this world and it would ultimately affect the rhythms of inequality moving through our society.”, “Don’t let it [whitewashing] stop you, but be prepared to work extra hard and keep reminding yourself that is good to be different. I don’t devalue my ethnicity. What character did you play? I was 26, which sounds like nothing. When she read the book, she said, she finally understood the appeal: “It was so funny and satirical, but in a loving way.”. But also, personality-wise, I am so not like her. French Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin Has Died, We Have Yet Another Surprise Celebrity Baby. I felt like that when I auditioned for Ex Machina and I felt that on the last day of Devs. Click to expand the Mega Menu Click to … The corsets may loosen, but the hair spray never does. Her parents were diplomats posted there. I had a deep understanding that I had to do it, which is something I don’t have very often. The tone of the film, it was very progressive — not every film is like that. Born to a Japanese father and half Argentinian half English mother in Japan, Mizuno was raised in the UK. Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno, who play A.I.s in Ex Machina, both have backgrounds in ballet. Sonoya Mizuno is an actress and dancer of mixed heritage. The jobs I’ve loved the most have been Ex Machina, Crazy Rich Asians, and Maniac, and they are all specifically Asian characters. Now, she and Garland are teaming up for a third […] Mizuno is no stranger to working with Garland, previously playing Kyoko in Ex Machina, and portraying The Humanoid in Annihilation. ... Sonoya Mizuno is officially on our radar. That was me. His aspirations include providing the East Asian community with a voice as well as being the proud owner of a Nando's Black Card. It became more and more meaningless. The Officer Who Killed Tamir Rice Won’t Face Federal Charges. You said in an interview that Devs is a perfect companion piece for Ex-Machina. Everyone in the cast and the crew are treated as equal collaborators, and everyone’s opinions are valid, and everyone is supported. Seeing someone like you is something you can grab onto. Representation and diversity are buzzwords, but why do you think it transcends being buzzy?Just because it’s true to the world we live in. There was one Japanese principal in the Royal Ballet. I loved the book and the way that Kevin satirizes the whole culture [of wealthy Singapore families]. The Japanese-Argentinian-English actress, who plays Araminta in the groundbreaking film, thought it just sounded so far removed from her own world. Mizuno will also feature in the upcoming live-action film interpretation of Beauty And The Beast and has recently appeared in the music video to Frank Ocean’s ‘Nikes’ and The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Wide Open’. I don’t have an issue with Margot Robbie playing those parts because she’s terrific and she’s the right person. But then director Jon M. Chu, who she first met at a K-pop concert, sent her the script. Kyoko is an android who lives with Nathan, an intelligent and manipulative CEO and Ava, a … The Designer Who Loves ’70s New York City. I just knew I had to. For me, that’s such a different way to be going through the world, living in a bubble. Sonoya mizuno is beautiful these sonoya mizuno pictures are some of the hottest ever. I wanted her to be madder but they pulled me back. Everything We Know About the Nashville Explosion. Meghan and Harry’s flight from the family, cheating rumors, and a whole lot of lawsuits. It’s beautiful and everything is delicious. 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