The more “iconic” characters in Suicide Squad (a.k.a. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and The Joker (Jared Leto) have clearly been the main focus of the marketing. And while each member of the criminal team has been featured at some point, many of them still haven’t really had their due time in the spotlight. One of the most mysterious members of Task Force X is surely Katana (Karen Fukuhara). She’s not a frequent character in the comic books, but that doesn’t mean she’s not important to the outcome of her team.
It’s an interesting character to have in Suicide Squad, considering that the superhero genre mostly consists of Cacausian males. Because along with being the only other woman of the team, Katana is also Japanese. And in an age of controversial Hollywood whitewashing, Katana’s truthful depiction comes as a refreshing change of pace. In an interview with Playboy, Fukuhara recently discussed what it was like to play Katana. She described how her native Japanese heritage and familiar cultural upbringing was very helpful in bringing the character to life.
As a first-generation Japanese American, I’ve always wanted to play a samurai warrior like my Suicide Squad character, Katana. Samurai are almost always male, so growing up in America I had a hard time figuring out role models. Katana and I may not have the same personality, but coming from the same cultural upbringing, we share core values. In Japanese culture there’s this idea of putting others before yourself, but I’ve also never wanted to let myself down. Someone recently told me how refreshing it is to see an Asian woman as a superhero. That stuck with me. Stand up for yourself and what you love.
Once Suicide Squad hits theaters later this summer, we hopefully will be able to get some more backstory on the character. There’s plenty of interesting ways Katana could be mixed into the storyline, not to mention how she interacts with her wild team members. And going off of Fukuhara’s excitement for playing Katana, who knows just how dedicated the other actors have been in making sure their characters are portrayed on screen.
Suicide Squad opens on August 5, 2016.