The ice machine is starting to get to Andrew Koji in his new apartment in South Africa. It's hard to hear it over Zoom; the noise comes through as a succession of light taps in the background, like a fingernail rapidly prodding a computer screen. But Koji, 34, says it's way more intrusive than that: “It's just annoying to me because it's like…” He shakes his hands around his ears. But Koji is willing to suffer for his art.
The actor has a nice spot in Cape Town — he calls it “this fancy place” — for the next few months while he makes the third season of Warrior, a show once axed at Cinemax and later saved by HBO Max. (Although these days with the Discovery merger, who knows what will happen.) It's been about three years since Koji last worked on the Bruce Lee-inspired action drama, and he says it feels strange to be back. He's not the same actor anymore. He's not the same person, either.
In season 1, Koji felt the pressure of being “an untested commodity” as a fresh-faced leading man of a prominent series. “I very much had eyes on me and directions telling me, 'Do this, do that,'” he remembers. The Japanese-English actor has since starred opposite Henry Golding in a franchise film, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (he admits the script was “awful”), and he now has a breakthrough role in Bullet Train as Kimura, a mysterious gentleman on a mission who boards a high-speed locomotive filled with multiple assassins.