The Japan Guy Featured in the Hayabusa Movie (はやぶさ)

By Donnie | Articles

Hayabusa 2012, starring Ken Watanabe

Hey guys, this is just a quick post to let you know that I just saw myself on the silver screen for the first time. I got to see myself for a whopping 5 seconds (or somewhere thereabouts) 🙂 .

Last summer I was an extra in the latest Hayabusa movie, starring Ken Watanabe (playing the role of Junichiro Kawaguchi, Haybusa Project Manager). This film showed the struggles it took for JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agencey) to get the unmanned, Hayabusa spacecraft to launch and successfully retrieve asteroid samples. There were quite a few extras in the film, and I haven’t been very lucky when it comes to gigs like this. I did two promotion videos (Ayumi Hamsaki and Exile) but I don’t talk about them very much because in the final production, my scenes were cut. I got lucky this time. There is a scene where Ken Watanabe is talking to an African-American representative from NASA, in Nasa’s main hall. There is a big NASA sign with a rocket on it. I am standing next to that sign talking to a Russian lady. I am wearing glasses, a black suit, and a white shirt. If you blink, you’ll probably miss it.

I won’t blow this out of proportion (not at all) because the scene was so small. It’s kind of like a Where’s Donaldo game, rather than a real role, but I have to admit it was kind of cool to see my unmistakably big, bald head on a movie screen.

I can’t say it was the most exciting movie I’ve ever seen, but some of it was interesting. For some reason, Hayabusa seemed REALLY long to me. Perhaps it could have been because I went to see it after work. Or it could have been because most of it was in Japanese with no subtitles. Or it could have just been because the movie was long. But I had fun doing it. Who knows, maybe next time, I might actually get to say something!

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  • mcv says:

    おめでとうございます。^^ 面白そう、その映画。
    If it’s hard science fiction, I’ll need to see it.

    • Donald Ash says:

      ありがとうございます. It’s based on a true story, not a whole lot of fiction behind it (might be why the movie seemed so long to me).

  • Kumiko Inoue says:

    Cool! Was it filmed in jaxa Tsukuba??

    • Donald Ash says:

      No, it was filmed in Tokyo, actually. I thought JAXA Tsukuba would be perfect, but they wanted something bigger, I think.

  • Lazzaris says:

    Congratulations man!
    I’ve got to watch you on this film!
    I have a friend that is on the big screen, cool!

  • Petaris says:

    Congratulations Donald! Even though it wasn’t a talking part its still very cool that you get to see yourself on the silver screen!

  • Anthony says:

    Congrats on the movie gig Donald! Hope many more come your way.

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