Kai Bradbury is an up and coming actor who can be seen in the new Freeform series “Motherland: Fort Salem” (March 18, 2020). He portrays ‘Gerrit,’ a male witch who comes to Fort Salem and strikes up a whirlwind relationship with one of the lead witches (Jessica Sutton) in the hour-long drama series. The show reimagines history where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with a burgeoning U.S. government to fight for their country as powerful soldiers. “Motherland: Fort Salem” is also available for streaming on Hulu.
Kai kicked off his career in Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”, where he portrays a Kempeitai officer (Japanese police during WWII). He went on to play ‘Glenn Stevens,’ the college best friend of the Menendez brothers in Lifetime’s “Menendez: Blood Brothers” and also can be seen in TLC’s “Untold Stories of the ER.”
Then came Netflix’s “Altered Carbon” with Joel Kinnaman (“Suicide Squad”) where he plays ‘Tadao,’ a 300-year-old businessman inside of a younger man’s body.
Kai is also seen in The CW’s “Supernatural” as well as Amazon’s “The Boys” playing the little brother of Karen Fukuhara’s (“Suicide Squad”) character. He takes pride in being half Japanese and was honored to be a part of AMC’s “The Terror: Infamy” which follows the story of the Japanese-American internment during WWII with a supernatural horror twist on real-life events. Being able to work with Japanese actors from all over the world along with Japanese directors, designers, and camera operators, he portrays ‘Nick Okada,’ an internee in a prisoner-of-war camp in North Dakota. Throughout the show, he becomes the target of ‘Yamato-san’ (George Takei) when he suspects something is not quite right with ‘Nick.’ Most recently Kai starred in the CBC Gem Canada mini-series “Warigami” alongside iconic Canadian actor Hiro Kanagawa (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”). The show aired stateside on The CW.
Kai Bradbury is the proud son of a Japanese mother and Scottish father, combined with the Venezuelan family as well, resulting in a real-life “Modern Family” upbringing. Kai (meaning Ocean in Japanese) grew up surrounded by the arts (painters, architects, jewelers, floral designers, you name it) so naturally dove into art classes, photography, and sculpting as a kid. He discovered acting at 14 in high school, where he was enrolled in a French immersion program. He has done the Vancouver and Edinburgh (Scotland) International Fringe Festivals and has been in over a dozen plays and musicals in Vancouver- including Rent, Oliver! and West Side Story. He attended Capilano University’s Musical Theater Program in Vancouver, BC. It was there where he met his acting agent, and the rest is history.
Outside of acting, Kai loves to paint and draw, culture and language, food and cooking, photography, singing, dancing, and wants to one day be in a musical on Broadway or at the Hollywood Bowl. He speaks Japanese, French, and English. Dedicated to anything he takes on, Kai has also speed skated competitively and took music and violin lessons for 10 years. He now plays the guitar and ukulele.
Welcome to TV Series Hub, this could go down as a funny experience or a repeat of experience, whenever I read your name, I read it as Cadbury first. First time? 😀
Wouldn’t be the first and I also get the endearing “Blueberry” nickname now and again…
What is something interesting about you that people don’t know yet?
Probably the long list of hair colors I had when I was a tween… Who wasn’t self-expressing with hair dye in the mid-2000s? May those photos never resurface!
How did it all start for you? Was acting always in the cards?
My family is full of creatives, encouraged artistic expression since childhood. Though none are actors, I would call them all incredibly witty and innately theatrical.
As soon as I found acting at 16, I found it all-consuming and knew I would pursue it pretty early on.
Currently, you play on “Motherland: Fort Salem”. A lot of people confuse it as a spin-off of “Salem”. How would you describe the show?
Our show is set in present-day America, but in a completely alternate time-line where the witches have militarized their power to fight wars on behalf of the government. It’s a brand new concept with powerful messages of female empowerment and friendship. It’s also got action, sex, and magic – what more do you need?
To you, what makes the show unique is having a very diverse cast. What kind of experiences did you have with everyone on set? What is the most memorable memory you have?
There is so much knowledge that gets passed around when you assemble an international cast. With actors from every corner of the globe, we swapped stories and shared in the beauty of each other’s rich lives. Won’t forget my first day on set, running through rain and mud then drying off in the sun eating lunch with the cast.
Another aspect is having an all female-led cast, how important is that in the industry?
Just like seeing a representation of race and sexuality, this is another reason why Motherland: Fort Salem is such a leader in empowering underrepresented groups. Not only is the cast largely female but many of the writers and directors are too and this is something I hope to see more of in the future!
What should we be expecting in the next episodes?
A lot more action is coming up this season so buckle up!
Any ideas on a second season?
Nothing has been announced yet but I would really love to see the world of this show expand further.
Elsewhere, you also starred in a special feature film “Warigami” as a lead. How would you describe the film? How did you land the role?
It’s an action-packed fantasy with lots of comedy as well. Warigami has a lot of strong female characters and is packed with diversity! I was flying home to Vancouver from the set of Amazon’s The Boys and with very little time, had to head from the airport to shoot this audition tape. It all happened very quickly and I was soon headed back to Toronto to shoot.
What kind of roles do you enjoy playing?
I have a love for very naturalistic and emotional characters. I haven’t had many opportunities on-screen to really transform physicality, appearance, or voice yet so I think that’s in order!
Which shows do you hope to be a part of in the future?
I love working on gritty adventure and Sci-Fi, much of my resume is that. So much on HBO is calling to me… His Dark Materials, Westworld, and Euphoria stand out.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I hope to be continuing on this path that challenges me and brings me fantastic new adventures. I would love to work on more films; they are quite a bit different than the world and the pace of TV.
With COVID-19 bringing everything to a standstill, how have you been coping?
It’s been an overwhelming gift of time, the challenge is what to do with it. I’ve been connecting with friends and family and taking it easy in my day-to-day life. I like to live fast and pack my days full. Sometimes, it can get stressful so this has been a reminder to slow down and take care of myself.
What do you do for fun?
I like to cook a lot and listen to music. I’m a social person so playing games on-line with friends and family keeps me very entertained!
Thank you for joining us, any final words for our readers?
Thank you for all the support! Tune in to Motherland: Fort Salem on Freeform and Hulu and you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @kaibury.