Distinguished actor Yuki Matsuzaki broke into cinema by specializing almost exclusively in Japanese-American roles. A native of Miyazaki, Japan, Matsuzaki gravitated to acting at the tender age of seven, initially by playing assorted characters in a local children's stage troupe. That set the tone (and scope) for much of what followed, as the ensuing years witnessed Matsuzaki spending his adolescence working almost exclusively in regional theater across Japan. When he reached age 18, his passion for the dramatic arts waxed so strongly that it prompted him to pack his suitcases and formally relocate to New York City -- with the young man's bilingualism an obvious asset. The experience was a bittersweet one; on a sad note, all of Matsuzaki's money was stolen upon arrival and he ended up homeless and penniless -- performing on street corners for what at one point amounted to $.50/hour. But his future quickly turned around (proving that optimism and determination can and do win out) when A-list director Edward Zwick caught a glimpse of him and opted to cast him in a small part in the Tom Cruise vehicle The Last Samurai (2003), and then when Clint Eastwood cast him as Nozaki in the Japanese-language war drama Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). Two years later, Matsuzaki signed on to appear as Kenji in the big-budget comedy The Pink Panther 2 (2009), opposite Steve Martin and John Cleese. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi