Ken Watanabe Takes Hiatus From Hollywood to Help Japan

Ken Watanabe

The Japan-born actor has told his agent that he will not be taking jobs until at least next year.

"Inception" star Ken Watanabe said that he is taking a break from Hollywood to help his country. In a statement to THR, the actor announced that he is coming back to Japan this year to focus on the recovery of the Asian country from the tsunami that devastated the northeast coast region in 2011.

"I was in LA a week ago and I told my agent that I have to be in Japan this year, maybe next year I'll think again about projects in Hollywood," said Watanabe. He was filming an hour-long documentary on the disaster recovery in the port of Kesennuma. The not-yet-titled project is to air at the end of March on Japanese public broadcaster NHK to mark the one-year anniversary of the disaster.

Watanabe said he owed it to the northeast Tohoku region because he played a 17th century warlord from Sendai, the biggest city hit by tsunami in Japanese drama series "Dokuganryu Masamune". "We spent a long time shooting on location around the region and got a lot of help from local people, I feel like it's my second hometown," said Watanabe.


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