Best-known for her role voicing Noodle in Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band Gorillaz, Haruka Kuroda has been working in the British entertainment industry for nearly two decades. The Kyoto native, who has also appeared in popular dramas such as "Killing Eve," "Jonathan Creek" and "The Bill," decided to leave Japan for the U.K. at 16 because she felt it was the best place to study acting.
"From the age of 5, I had my heart set on becoming an actress," recalls Kuroda, 41. "Studying domestically was an option but college courses in Japan tended to be more theory-based and from what I hear that's still the case today. I was told by a director that England was the country for proper practical training. I wasn't particularly enjoying high school, so I thought why not go out there and see if I could immerse myself in a different culture?"
Too young to start auditioning on her own, Kuroda began her life in Britain at a boarding school. "My first few months were tough," she says. "Being an only child, I was used to my own space and was suddenly sharing this tiny dormitory with two other girls. I couldn't understand what they were saying and culturally it felt like a different world. Things got easier after I moved schools. My English improved and I joined a drama club, which was great."