Chiaki Kuriyama

Active - 1999 - 2017  |   Born - Oct 10, 1984   |   Genres - Action, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller, Horror

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Possessing what may perhaps be the most chilling gaze in recent memory, Japanese actress Chiaki Kuriyama burst onto the international film scene with her aggressive yet oddly sympathetic portrayal of a young girl forced to participate in a state-sponsored fight to the death with her classmates in director Kinji Fukasaku's controversial Battle Royale. A native of Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, Japan, who formed a successful career as a model early on, it was around the age of 11 that the classically trained dancer and gymnast began her segue into film and television. Following her feature debut in the 1995 thriller School Mystery, Kuriyama sent chills down audience's spines with her role as a Ringu-inspired ghost in the popular 1999 horror film Shikoku -- her otherworldly eyes peering from the world of the dead into the realm of the living to heart-stopping effect. A strong follow-up in the form of the following year's Ju-on (aka The Grudge -- soon to be remade in America with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi producing) cemented Kuriyama as an actress to watch for, and the subsequent Battle Royale found her propelled to superstardom in her native Japan. In addition to her feature work, a fleeting appearance in the successful television miniseries Multiple Personality Detective Psycho preceded a more hearty role in the supernatural flavored television series Rokubanme no Sayoko - a role which gained her a considerable amount of attention from fans and critics. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Kuriyama's popularity outgrew the boundaries of Japan, and after seeing her impressive performance in Battle Royale, American director Quentin Tarantino immediately cast her as the villainous Go Go Yubari in his grindhouse revenge epic Kill Bill (even going so far as to re-enact a wrenching key moment from Battle Royale in the film). Her "Go Go ball"-wielding baddie made quite an impression on stateside audiences as well, and one could only speculate that international audiences would soon be seeing quite a bit more of the fearsomely attractive young actress.

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