It was Ko Iwagami's love for American cinema, and "Indiana Jones" in particular, that took him to the United States. Now a successful casting director, he understands that Hollywood isn't always so kind.

"After watching 'The Last Samurai,' I thought I could be like Ken Watanabe," Iwagami says with a wry smile. "I spoke better English, and as part of my filmmaking course at college I did a lot of acting that always got positive feedback."

The Tokyo native bagged an appearance in an opera called "The Letter" and believed this was the springboard to stardom. He was wrong.