Recently, I had the honor of speaking with Andrew Koji, Haruka Abe, and Ursula Corbero who are three of the standouts in the recently released SNAKE EYES: G.I. Joe Origins. While Henry Golding leads the show as the titular character, he is capably supported by these three performers who certainly make an impression when they’re on screen.
Andrew Koji plays Thomas “Tommy” Arashikage, also known as Storm Shadow. The character is a skilled member and heir of Clan Arashikage, an ancient Japanese ninja clan. He begins as Snake Eyes’ friend and brother in arms but those who know G.I. Joe lore know that Storm Shadow will eventually become his archenemy. This is Andrew Koji’s first big studio film but he will certainly be recognizable to fans of the series Warrior, where he plays the lead role of Ah Sahm. Koji is a skilled martial artist and stuntman and he certainly brings those assets to the role while also giving his character one of the best arcs of the film. I touched on that aspect with Koji and got into if that was a driving force in him taking the part. It’s clear talking to him that he wanted this role to be more than someone who looks cool fighting on screen. He really cared about his character’s background and wanted to get into what drove his motivations.
Haruka Abe plays Akiko, a member of Arashikage, who has deep ties to both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Haruka may not be well-known to mainstream audiences just yet but she’s a force to be reckoned with in this film and she more than holds her own with her male co-stars. I talked with Haruka about what it was like being on the same equal footing in the film as the male leads, her fight training, and how she developed her chemistry with both Henry Golding and Andrew Koji in the film since her character is tied to them both in significant ways. Haruka Abe is really going to be one to watch in the future.
Lastly, Ursula Corbero plays the Baroness, an elite operative at Cobra, a terrorist organization, who is second in command only to Cobra Commander. Ursula Corbero makes the most of her screen time and honestly makes you want more of her, a subject I began my chat with her about. She fully embodies the character and is clearly having a lot of fun, something she touches on during her talk with me. I also talked a bit with her about her fight training and she revealed that she thought it would be easier than it was but she quickly realized that it would be some serious work. Ursula Corbero is known by most audiences for her portrayal of Tokyo on the heist television series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). Corbero even touched on why playing the Baroness was a bit more fun than tapping into Tokyo, although she admits she still loves playing that character. Corbero clearly has a lot of energy and brings that to her roles in a big way and I just hope to see more of what she brings to the Baroness in future installments.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is currently playing at a theater near you!