Brown Clubs in Asia Speaker Series #4

Brown Club of Japan


May 20 2023, 10:00 AM Tokyo Standard Time

Brown Clubs in Asia Speaker Series #4
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Brown Clubs in Asia Speaker Series

Masi Oka '97
Actor, Producer, and Digital Effects Artist

About the Brown Speaker Series
The Brown Clubs in Asia have organized a virtual Brown Speaker Series with Brown Faculty and staff, featuring events throughout the year.  The series kicked off in November with a talk by associate professor of East Asian Studies Dr. Zhuqing Li, who discussed her book "Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden."  Another event featured Dr. Adam Levine, Director for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, who spoke about "Saving Humanitarian Aid."  In March, Jennifer Nuzzo, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of Brown University's Pandemic Center, gave a talk on "Pandemic-Proofing the Future."

May Event
For this month's event, we are welcoming alumnus Masi Oka from the Class of '97.  Masi was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Los Angeles, California at a young age. 

The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor burst onto the scene starring in NBC's drama series "Heroes," a role for which he received his nominations.  Oka currently stars in the blockbuster action film "Bullet Train" from director David Leitch opposite Brad Pitt for Sony Pictures.  Recent feature film appearances include the animated "Spies in Disguise" opposite Will Smith and the worldwide smash thriller "Meg" opposite Jason Statham.

Behind the camera, Oka has served as a producer on the feature film adaption of the worldwide phenomenon Japanese Anime series "Death Note" which he produces with Dan Lin and Roy Lee for Netflix. The team joins forces again for the upcoming sequel.  He's also teamed with Chernin Entertainment, the producer bringing the classic Capcom "Mega Man" to life in the motion picture form.  Additional producing credits for Oka include the upcoming films "Attack on Titan" which is set to be directed by Andy Muschietti, and "Akira" from Taika Waititi, both for Warner Bros.

As an actor, Oka also appeared in "Heroes Reborn" for NBC and his portrayal of coroner Max Bergman on the international hit series "Hawaii 5-0" quickly became a fan favorite on the long-running CBS network drama.  He appeared in the critically acclaimed Amazon Studios drama "Mozart in the Jungle". He starred in the feature film remake of a television classic "Get Smart" and its companion DVD release, "Get Smarter," both released in 2008.  His additional feature film credits include roles in "Jobs," "Along Came Polly," "Austin Powers in Goldmember," and "Friends with Benefits."

With a background in improvisational, Oka has appeared at The Groundlings, ImprovOlympics, Second City, and TheatreSports.  His improvisational expertise has been showcased with guest appearances as various characters on "Punk'd," "Reno 911" and "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment."  In 2014 Oka partnered with Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto to bring the famed Second City to Japan, thereby introducing American-style improv to that market.

In addition to his very public roles, Oka works behind the scenes as an advisor to multiple major Japanese corporations, including the government entity JETRO, and was a cultural envoy to the US Embassy, bridging the gaps between Japan and Hollywood in the arts and business.

After graduating from Brown University with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Theatre Arts minor, Oka pursued an acting career while taking his first job at George Lucas' Oscar-winning special effects house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), providing technology for groundbreaking effects for more than 30 films.  Oka's strong background in computer science laid the groundwork for his starting Mobius Digital, an independent gaming studio that created the critically acclaimed Outer Wilds in 2019.  Outer Wilds, published by Annapurna Interactive, was awarded the BAFTA Game of the Year Awards and has owned and been nominated for several indie Game of the Year awards.

Event Time by Time Zone

  • Thailand/Vietnam:  Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.

  • Philippines/Singapore/Hong Kong/Taiwan:  Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

  • Korea/Japan:  Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

See Who's Coming

  • There is no current public registrant list available.