We meet Swedish-Japanese actor Kristofer Kamiyasu – star of Box 21 and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Next week sees the release of a new Nordic show to hit our screens in the UK on the excellent Walter Presents – Swedish and Romanian crime series Box 21.

Box 21 follows the story of Lidia as she gets herself entangled in sex trafficking with dangerous repercussions – but who exactly for? Kristofer plays one of the good guys in the series and we caught up with the actor who is also featured in the upcoming summer action comedy blockbuster The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

Photo Credits for Krisofter Kamiyasu by Gabriel Liljevall / www.gliljevall.se / @fotograf_gliljevall

Box 21 is finally coming to our screens in the UK this month – what can you tell us about your role in the series?

My role is as Sven Sundqvist who is a Detective Sergeant, working alongside Detective Sergeant Mariana Hermansson under his colleague and friend Detective Inspector Ewert Grens.

He is a scrupulous and thorough policeman and a loyal colleague. When they investigate a trafficking crime, he is forced to confront both his professional loyalty and his personal morality.

Is the truth what it seems to be?

You have a couple of movies on the way also, appearing in Frida Kempff’s Knocking – we are really intrigued about this movie – what can you tell us about it?

Knocking is a Swedish film about a woman, Molly, who just got out of a stay in a psychiatric hospital. She hears someone knocking from a floor above, and is convinced a woman is in danger, but no-one believes her.

It’s a psychological thriller with a stunning performance by Cecilia Milocco in the role as Molly. I play a small part as her doctor, Kristoffer.

Photo Credits for Krisofter Kamiyasu by Gabriel Liljevall / www.gliljevall.se / @fotograf_gliljevall

You are also involved in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – how much fun was it to be involved in filming?

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard was shot between May and November 2019, and was supposed to premiere in August 2020, but had to be postponed to June 16th 2021 due to the pandemic.

I am stoked to be part of this amazing cast- and I had such a blast filming in London, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria. I play a Japanese AAA Hitman, Zento, who is an old rival of Samuel L Jackson’s character. I did a lot of action scenes, and also did my own stunts.

I’m so grateful that I was given this opportunity by the director Patrick Hughes, and the producers at Millennium Films, and I hope a lot of people will see this film. The script is so funny, and the chemistry between Samuel Jackson, Salma Hayek and Ryan Reynolds is pure gold. 

What have you got planned next?

I just finished playing ”Gaslight”, the theatre play that became an Oscar awarded feature film with Ingrid Bergman in the lead. We played in front of 8 people in a theatre with 300 seats, due to the Swedish Covid restrictions. That was… A new experience! 

I have some projects planned, but nothing I can talk about yet.

You grew up in Emmaboda, where do you reside now and what are some of your favourite places to visit?

Yes, I grew up in southern Sweden, in a small village on the countryside. Now I reside in Stockholm since 2004, and I love this city. However, if I would go for vacation in Sweden, I’d go straight back to the forest where I grew up. Nothing makes me more balanced and calm than the forest. Trees…

Of course, I also have a lifelong love for the Japanese nature. My father is from Japan, and I try to go there as often as I can. The green forested mountains, the waterfalls, and the smell of earth, and sound of cicadas. 

Finally what have you been watching, reading, or listening to recently which you would recommend?

I recently saw both seasons of Ricky Gervais ‘After Life‘. It takes genius to make a series about a middle-aged man in grief and depression, so comic and compassionate that you just can’t stop watching, and I can’t wait for the third season!

Afterlife’s third season is currently wrapping filming now – if you haven’t seen it yet head to Netflix now!

Interview by Alex Minnis

Photo Credits for Krisofter Kamiyasu by Gabriel Liljevall / www.gliljevall.se / @fotograf_gliljevall 

Box 21 comes to Walter Presents on the 7th June from 11pm

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard opens in cinemas from the 14th June

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