Hollywood might still be a long way from achieving accurate representation of minority performers in its industry, especially for people of color, but in its struggles, a few minorities have made an indelible footprint on the industry and their own careers through their work. Tao Okamoto, a Japanese actress is one of such names who has made significant appearances in some of the industry’s biggest movies.
While many in America might know her just as an actress, Tao Okamoto has also been a professional model with several internationally recognized brands. To say she has lived a robust life in the entertainment industry would be a valid summary of her professional career thus far and you can learn all about it along with five other interesting facts about her below.
Tao Okamoto – Biography
Tao Okamoto was born on the 22nd of May, 1985 in Ichikawa, Chiba in Japan. The actress was born to parents, whose names are currently unavailable but are respected for their support in helping their talented daughter share her talents with the world at an early age. At 14, she became a model in her home country, Japan and soon made enough impression to pursue an international modeling career by moving to the World’s home of fashion, Paris. She relocated to the famed city in 2006 and began to appear on runway shows, setting records and defying the stereotype about Asians and fashion.
While she strutted her stuff in the modeling industry before she switched professions, she modeled for brands like Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Chanel, Michael Kors, and several other major brands. She made the switch to acting in 2013, debuting in the major Hollywood film, The Wolverine, as Mariko. She starred alongside Hollywood heavyweight, Hugh Jackman. Soon, she began to make other appearances in TV shows and films, like Hannibal, The Man in the High Castle and Chi no wadachi.
Tao Okamoto starred in the 2016 film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Mercy Graves and has appeared in other major productions like Westworld and Manhunt.
Her Parents were Actors
While we do not know the names of her parents, we know that they were actors who worked extensively and primarily in Japan, thus, their experience and relationship with the creative industry may have been responsible for their support of Tao Okamoto’s early foray into the creative industry.
She Inspired a New Look in Modeling
In an industry where style is important and setting yourself apart is the goal, Tao Okamoto had no trouble setting the pace for others to follow. While she undoubtedly reached heights very few models from her home country reached as International models, she also had a significant impact on the style of her Western counterparts, specifically in 2009 when a bowl haircut she donned took the modeling industry by storm and inspired recognized designer, Phillip Lim to base his entire Fall/Winter cast on her hairstyle.
She Won Model of the Year in 2010
We have talked about how much of a modeling star Tao Okamoto was during her active years as a model but what is a modeling career without a few plaques to go with it? Tao Okamoto’s success and excellence as a model have been recognized by a number of bodies, home and abroad. At home, she was awarded Model of the Year by the Japan Fashion Editor’s Club. In the same year, she was named in Vogue Nippon’s Women of the Year.
Her other accolades include having an entire magazine, the Vogue Nippon, which is the Japanese Vogue magazine, dedicated to her. The feat was accomplished in the November 2009 issue of the magazine.
She is Married to Tenzin Wild
You will not hear much about her personal life from her, but Tao Okamoto is married to Tenzin Wild. The marriage, which happened in 2015 was the culmination of a long relationship with the Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Last Magazine.
Although they got married in 2015, they did not have a wedding party until almost a year after in May 2016.
Asian women are not particularly known for their height but Tao Okamoto is one of the few exceptions. She has a height of 5 feet 9 inches which is well above the average national height of women in Japan which is 5 feet 2 inches.