The star of David and Nathan Zellner’s “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter” gained U.S. stardom after she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2007 for “Babel.” The Zellner brothers sent her the script for “Kumiko” in 2008, giving Kikuchi ample time to prepare for the role of a lonely Japanese woman who believes that the treasure she sees in a fictional American movie is real.
PROVENANCE: Hadano, Japan
SUNDANCE BUZZ: “The Sundance audience really loves art-house movies and I loved being onstage and getting an ovation from them.” Of the often comic role, she says, “I was trying to find the reality of [Kumiko’s] feelings. I didn’t think about whether the reactions were funny or not.”
UP NEXT: Last year she wrapped the Italian movie “Last Summer” in which she plays the mother of a nine-year-old son, and she’s about to start filming Isabel Coixet’s “Somebody Wants Tonight” costarring Juliette Binoche.