What exciting stories would you like to tell?
Yoshi Sudarso is an actor based out of Los Angeles who moved to Southern California from Indonesia when he was young. He and his brother, Peter Adrian Sudarso, developed a fanbase on social media through various means, including both becoming the Blue Power Ranger on the long-running TV series, Power Rangers, on different seasons. Sudarso has worked on multiple well-known films and TV shows, including Project Power, The Maze Runner, Agents of Shield, etc. He debuted his film career in Indonesia as Suwo, the lead of Buffalo Boys, a spaghetti western set in the East, Singapore’s 2018 entry to the Oscars. Yoshi Sudarso sat down with Forbes to talk about his career journey through acting and entertainment.
Goldie Chan: Yoshi – thank you for talking with us, what has your career journey been so far?
Yoshi Sudarso: I’ve been through a lot of different levels in the entertainment industry. I was in college with a math major when a friend asked me to do background/extra work for film and TV. I had done a little theatre, but I had no interest/drive to become an actor. Rather, it was never even in my peripherals, but when I stepped onto set that first day, the fire in me grew. I knew then, what I wanted was to act, to be on set and create. I worked in theme parks and did live shows, so that even for my day job, I’d still be honing in my acting skills.
My brother, Peter Sudarso, and I took to social media to create content and grew a following that way. I did everything, whatever I could land, just to get experience on set and learn from the experts. I quickly learned that there was so much more to acting, and that at that time, I wasn’t what they were looking for. I got into stunts because I had these tumbling skills from my cheerleading days. I learned so much from doing that for many years, but I knew my true passion was acting, so I kept pursuing that on the side. Until finally I was able to step away from stunts completely. It wasn’t easy, leaving it behind, because it was comfortable, and I knew how to navigate it, had so many friends in that community, etc. But in the end, it wasn’t what I truly wanted, fortunately I have been rewarded, to have booked so many amazing roles since then. I’ve even been able to go back to my home country, Indonesia, to star in movies there, broadening my skills and knowledge even more. This is just the beginning.
Chan: What would you say has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
Sudarso: Every project is special to me in different ways, I try to learn at least one thing from each one. For the sake of time, I’ll just speak about three of those projects. Power Rangers: Dino Charge was the first big acting role I landed, a series regular, and being a huge fan of the original series, this was a massive deal to me. I learned so many things on this job and made lifelong friends, it’s also the job that has catapulted my acting career. Buffalo Boys was the first movie I did in Indonesia and my first leading role in a film.
It took me back to a home country that was foreign to me, had me relearn a language and culture that I thought I knew but knew nothing about. Escape From Love is my first leading role in an American film and the first time in an American production that I got to play an Indonesian American character. The beauty of this project is that my character, David, just happens to be Indonesian American in the story, it’s not integral to the story. As much as I love Asian American stories, we also need stories that don’t over explain WHY a character is Asian, they just are.
Chan: And even though we’re not trying to narrowly categorize you, how would you describe your personal brand?
Sudarso: Jack of all trades. Cheerleader. Martial artist. Fitness. Geek culture. Content creator. Circus performer. Husband. Father. Actor.
Chan: What are you currently working on?
Sudarso: I’ve just finished up a role on a Netflix show, a movie we filmed in Budapest last year will be dropping on Netflix on Oct 25th, Blade of the 47 Ronin, and my romance movie, Escape From Love, should be premiering later this year. But honestly, right now, I’m working on being the best father for my son, Sylas. I want him to be happy, and to know that he can always count on me.
Chan: What is a dream project you’d love to work on?
Sudarso: This one is a tough one because it’s a constantly ever changing answer, so my answer to that has always been, “the next one,” the next project is my dream one. But after having so many different types of projects, one thing seems clear to me. I want to work with good people, because you spend LONG hours with these people, you have to be able to call them family.
Chan: What is a story that has resonated with you?
Sudarso: Bryan Cranston’s story on auditions has been getting me through a lot of auditions as of late. The way he views it has helped me gain a new perspective on something that I absolutely obsess over. It’s helped to alleviate some of that mental burden. Hopefully it’ll do the same thing for my career as it did his!
Chan: Any last branding or career advice?
Sudarso: Find what you love to do and keep doing that, a career in the entertainment industry is so fickle, if you don’t love it deep down in your core, it won’t be worth it and you’ll burn out. Take care of yourself, and prioritize your health, both physical and mental.