First Asian American ‘James Bond’ director Cary Fukunaga shares his pride in being the ‘other’

Cary Fukunaga directs James Bond film

Cary Joji Fukunaga, the first American director to helm a James Bond film with the upcoming “No Time To Die,” recently shared his pride in having a multiracial background. 

On being the “other”: The Japanese American filmmaker revealed in an interview with Hollywood Reporter that his growing up in a multiracial, working-class family household in Oakland shaped the global perspective in his filmmaking. 

  • He shared that his father, a third-generation Japanese American born in an internment camp, never talked about what it was like during World War II. 
  • “I think it shaped me, that multigenerational struggle,” the 44-year-old filmmaker shared. ”The psychological trauma inherited from [my father’s] childhood defines who I am, and I think that internment process was incredibly destabilizing for the entire Japanese American population.”
  • While having a Swedish American mother left Fukunaga “sort of unidentifiable” as either white or Asian, he pointed out that, “Being an ‘other’ in the checkbox is always something I’ve quietly been proud of.”
  • Fukunaga said that because of his last name, he received insults such as “commie” or “F*ck-anaga,” although they did not bother him much.
  • Bond producer Michael Wilson called Fukunaga “well-traveled and very cosmopolitan,” noting that, “He’s very much a global person.”

On his latest project: While Fukunaga has made his mark in the entertainment scene with 2015’s “Beasts of No Nation” and the first season of “True Detective,” “Bond 25” is considered as Fukunaga’s biggest directorial gig yet.

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  • Wilson said he and fellow producer Barbara Broccoli found what they were looking for in a director after reviewing Fukunaga’s previous work. “I think the films are such a diverse group of achievements and show a great way of dealing with actors and telling stories and the narrative,” he added.
  • According to Fukunaga, he had “a tremendous amount of freedom to reinterpret the character” for Daniel Craig’s final outing as the fictional British spy.
  • “Bond has a lot of [recurring] tropes, but I think what’s great about Daniel Craig’s run is just how much more raw and brutal and brooding he is. I much prefer that Bond than the one-eyebrow-up version,” he pointed out.
  • Craig commended Fukunaga for his work on the film, noting how the director “brought his own unique vision” to the project.  

After multiple world premiere cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film “No Time To Die” will finally be shown at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sept. 28, with a U.K. theatrical release on Sept. 30 and a U.S. release on Oct. 8.

Featured Image via IMAX

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