Date of Birth : Jan 6th 1981
Academy Award-nominated Japanese actress. She has worked in film, television and theater, as well as 25 TV commercials and music videos.
She debuted, in 1999, under her birth name, Yuriko Kikuchi, with the Kaneto Shindo-directed film Ikitai (????, Ikitai?). Soon after, in 2001, she starred in the acclaimed Kazuyoshi Komuri-directed film Sora no Ana (???, Sora no Ana?), which was featured across several international film festivals, including the Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2004, she also appeared in the critically acclaimed Katsuhito Ishii-directed film Cha no Aji (???, Cha no Aji?), which was selected for the renowned Cannes Film Festival.
In 2006, she appeared in the critically-acclaimed Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed film Babel, where she played Chieko Wataya, a deaf teenage girl, in a role for which she was critically acclaimed, and nominated for numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and winning several, such as the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Female Performance (tying with Jennifer Hudson) and the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough. Having received an Academy Award nomination, she has become the first Japanese actress to be nominated in 49 years, since Miyoshi Umeki. Kikuchi is also the second actor in Academy Award history to be nominated for an award for a role in which they do not speak a word. (The first was Holly Hunter for The Piano.) Her hypnotic, emotionally intense role in Babel has led to her being noticed by many international directors, such as Rian Johnson, auteur director of Brick. She will star in his next film, The Brothers Bloom, which will be her first fully English-language feature.