Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe

Highest Rated: 100% Tampopo (1985)

Lowest Rated: 4% Shanghai (2015)

Birthday: Oct 21, 1959

Birthplace: Koide (now Uonuma), Niigata prefecture

Despite the fact that veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe has been appearing in films since the early '80s (foreign film buffs may remember him from a supporting role in the 1985 art-house "noodle Western" Tampopo), it wasn't until his breakthrough role in the Tom Cruise adventure The Last Samurai that the frequent onscreen samurai eventually came to the attention of stateside audiences. Watanabe has been a mainstay of Japanese cinema beloved by legions of older fans overseas, but his performance as the last in a long line of ancient warriors in The Last Samurai is what finally found the modest actor courting international success. Watanabe was born in Niigata to schoolteacher parents -- his father taught calligraphy and his mother general education. A blissful childhood spent exploring the countryside and skiing with his brother Jun was rounded out by Watanabe's love of the trumpet and his involvement with the school band, and though he studied acting early on, he was hesitant to pursue a career before the cameras. Convinced by a director from England's National Theater Company that he was truly gifted in the art of performing, the then 24-year-old hopeful soon landed his first film role. Initial bliss was followed by harsh uncertainty when Watanabe was diagnosed with leukemia shortly thereafter, but the disease would eventually go into remission and his career would skyrocket. Though Watanabe has portrayed many different types of characters in his long and varied career, it is his skill with a sword that has truly cemented his status as a star in Japan -- he has played more samurai than even he can keep track of. It was this magnetism that attracted the attention of Last Samurai director Edward Zwick, who quickly made the decision to cast him in the popular blockbuster. His impressive performance in the film found him nominated for both a 2003 Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Watanabe's son is an actor and his daughter a model.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
42% Godzilla: King of the Monsters Dr. Ishiro Serizawa 2019
69% Pokémon Detective Pikachu Lieutenant Hide Yoshida 2019
47% Bel Canto Katsumi Hosokawa 2018
No Score Yet The King and I kuningas 2018
15% Transformers: The Last Knight Drift $130.2M 2017
15% The Sea of Trees Takumi Nakamura $20.6K 2016
4% Shanghai Tanaka $45.2K 2015
18% Transformers: Age of Extinction Drift $206.8M 2014
75% Godzilla Dr. Ishiro Serizawa $173M 2014
No Score Yet Hi Wa Mata Noboru Actor 2014
93% Yurusarezaru mono (Unforgiven) Actor 2014
87% Inception Saito $292.6M 2010
38% Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Mr. Tall $13.9M 2009
No Score Yet Hoshi hitotsu no yoru Actor 2007
86% Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no kioku) Masayuki Saeki Producer 2007
91% Letters from Iwo Jima Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi $13.7M 2006
35% Memoirs of a Geisha Chairman $57.1M 2005
84% Batman Begins Ra's Al Ghul $204.2M 2005
66% The Last Samurai Katsumoto $111.1M 2003
No Score Yet Sennen no Koi Genji Monogatari Actor 2001
No Score Yet Space Travelers (Supêsutoraberâzu) Sakamaki 2000
88% Welcome Back Mr. McDonald Truck Driver 1999
No Score Yet Karate Warrior Actor 1988
No Score Yet The Sea and Poison (Umi to dokuyaku) Actor 1987
100% Tampopo Gun $0.3M 1985
No Score Yet Setouchi shonen yakyu dan (MacArthur's Children) Tetsuo Nakai 1984

TV

Credit
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
The King

QUOTES FROM Ken Watanabe CHARACTERS

Saito says: You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.

Eames says: You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: We call him...... ???!

Crosshairs says: We'll let Prime figure this one out.

Drift says: Very wise.

Crosshairs says: There's no fragging way I'm staying down here with them. No way, no way!

Drift says: I was expecting a big car.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: The arrogance of men is thinking that nature is in our control, and not the other way around.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in his control, and not the other way around. Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: Nature has an order, a power to restore balance.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: In 1954, the first time a nuclear submarine ever reached the lower depths, it awakened something ...

Vivienne Graham says: The Americans first thought it was the Russians. The Russians thought it was the Americans. All those nuclear tests in the Pacific? Not tests ...

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: They were trying to kill it.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control, and not the other way around... Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: Godzilla

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: Let them fight

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: A God, an alpha predator, Godzilla.

Admiral William Stenz says: This alpha predator of yours doctor, do you really think he has a chance?

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control, and not the other way around. Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: Let them fight.

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: In 1954, we awakened something.....

Vivienne Graham says: All those nuclear tests in the pacific........weren't tests!

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: They were trying to kill it!

Ford Brody says: Can we kill it?

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: I believe something can.......

Ford Brody says: .......a monster?.........

Vivienne Graham says: No....... A god!

Dr. Ishiro Seriwaza says: "The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control, and not the other way around."

Nathan Algren says: What does it say?

Katsumoto says: I belong to the warrior in whom the old ways have joined the new.

Katsumoto says: Life in every breath. That is the way of the warrior. That is Bushido!

Nathan Algren says: Hai.

Katsumoto says: When I took these, you were, my enemy.

Katsumoto says: When I took these, you were my enemy.

Ra's Al Ghul says: When I found you in that jail, you were lost. But I believed in you. I took away your fear and I showed you a path. You were my greatest student. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: I'll be standing where I belong. Between you and the people of Gotham.

Ra's Al Ghul says: No one can save Gotham.

Henri Ducard says: Tomorrow, you will be released. If you are bored of brawling with thieves and want to achieve something there is a rare blue flower that grows on the eastern slopes. Pick one of these flowers. If you can carry it to the top of the mountain you may find what you were looking for in the first place.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: And what was I looking for?

Ra's Al Ghul says: Only you can know that.

Katsumoto says: You believe a man can change his destiny?

Nathan Algren says: l think a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed to him.

Saito says: I bought the airline. It seemed neater!

Ra's Al Ghul says: You're stronger than your father.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You didn't know my father.

Ra's Al Ghul says: But I know the rage that drives you. That impossible anger strangling the grief, until the memory of your loved one is just... poison in your veins. And one day, you catch yourself wishing the person you loved had never existed so you'd be spared your pain.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You're not Ra's Al Ghul. I watched him die.

Ra's Al Ghul says: But... is Ra's Al Ghul immortal? Or are his metods supernatural?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, Ra's.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Surely a man who spends his nights scrambling over the rooftops of Gotham... wouldn't begrudge me dual identities.

Ra's Al Ghul says: You have travelled the world to understand the criminal mind and master its secrets. But... a criminal is not complicated. What you really fear is inside yourself. You fear your own power. You fear your anger, the drive to do great or terrible things.

Ra's Al Ghul says: You have learned to bury your guilt with anger. I will teach you to confront it and to face the truth. You already know how to fight six men. We can teach you how to engage six hundred. You already know how to disappear, we can teach you to become truly invisible.

Ra's Al Ghul says: If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Gotham's time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of the League of Shadows. It is one we've performed for centuries. Gotham... must be destroyed.

Ra's Al Ghul says: When a forest grows too wild a purging fire is inevitable and natural. Tomorrow, the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable this time.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You've attacked Gotham before?

Ra's Al Ghul says: Of course. Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gothan we tried a new one: economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens... such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them... and stab them in the heart.

Ra's Al Ghul says: You will never learn.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Gentlemen, time to spread the word. And the word is panic.

Ra's Al Ghul says: You were my greatest student. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: I'll be standing where I belong. Between you and the people of Gotham.

Ra's Al Ghul says: No one can save Gotham.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Well, well. You took my advice about theatricality a bit... literally.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You're not Ra's al Ghul. I watched him die.

Ra's Al Ghul says: But is Ra's al Ghul immortal? Are his methods supernatural?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, "Ra's"?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, 'Ra's '?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, 'Ra's'?

Ra's Al Ghul says: Surely, a man who spends his nights scrambling over the rooftops of Gotham wouldn't begrudge me dual identities?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: I saved your life.

Ra's Al Ghul says: I warned you about compassion, Bruce

Ra's Al Ghul says: I warned you about compassion, Bruce.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Familiar. Don't you have anything new?

Lucius Fox says: How about *this*?

Ra's Al Ghul says: Only a cynical man would call what these people have "lives," Wayne. Crime, despair... this is not how man was supposed to live. The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Only a cynical man would call what these people have 'lives,' Wayne. Crime, despair... this is not how man was supposed to live. The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome, loaded trade ships with plague rats, burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence, we return to restore the balance.

Ra's Al Ghul says: When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You never learned to mind your surroundings.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Have you finally learned to do what is necessary?

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: I won't kill you. But I don't have to save you.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Tomorrow the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable this time.

Batman/Bruce Wayne says: You attacked Gotham before?

Ra's Al Ghul says: Of course. Over the ages, our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham, we tried a new one: Economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens...such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself...and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice...you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart.

Saito says: Do you want to take a leap of faith or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone !!!

Saito says: Do you want to take a leap of faith or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone!

Saito says: Are you here to kill me?

General Kuribayashi says: Everything Happens in Three's

General Kuribayashi says: Everything happens in three's.

Ra's Al Ghul says: "Death does not wait for you to be ready! Death is not considerate, or fair! And make no mistake: here, you face Death. "

Ra's Al Ghul says: Death does not wait for you to be ready! Death is not considerate, or fair! And make no mistake: here, you face Death.

Arthur says: If I say to you, don't think about elephants what do you think about?

Saito says: Elephants.

Katsumoto says: You believe a man can change his destiny?

Nathan Algren says: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

Katsumoto says: What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?

Nathan Algren says: Dead to the last man.

Katsumoto says: Well, they won't surrender.

Katsumoto says: Katsumoto: The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life. [With his dying breath] Perfect... They are all... perfect...

Katsumoto says: The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life. [With his dying breath] Perfect... They are all... perfect...

Saito says: I'm gonna buy the airlines, it's neater

Saito says: I'm gonna buy the airlines, it's neater.

Eames says: No place for tourist in this job

Saito says: No room for a tourist on this job.

Arthur says: If I say to you don't think about elephants, what's the first thing you think about?

Saito says: Elephants.

Ra's Al Ghul says: If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart.

Ra's Al Ghul says: Justice is balance. You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even.

Saito says: "Are you willing to take a leap of faith, or become an old man filled with regret, waiting to die alone?"

Saito says: Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!

General Kuribayashi says: "The United States is the last country in the world that Japan should fight!"

General Kuribayashi says: The United States is the last country in the world that Japan should fight.

Saito says: Do you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, and die alone?

Saito says: I'm asking you to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, destined to die alone?

Saito says: I'm asking you to take a leap of faith. Or do you want to become an old man, filled with regret, destined to die alone?

Nathan Algren says: There is Life in every breath...

Katsumoto says: That is, Bushido.

General Kuribayashi says: A day will come when they will weep and pray for your souls.

General Kuribayashi says: I am determined to serve and give my life for my country.

Arthur says: Don't think about Elephants. What are you thinking about?

Saito says: Elephants.

Arthur says: It would have to be a 747.

Cobb says: Why is that?

Arthur says: Because in a 747, the pilot?s up top, and the first class cabin?s in the nose, so no one would walk through. But you?d have to buy out the entire cabin. And the first class flight attendant?

Saito says: I bought the airline. It seemed neater.

Saito says: Don't you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!