Daniel Dae Kim grateful Hellboy role was recast

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 April 2019
Daniel Dae Kim

Daniel Dae Kim

Daniel Dae Kim is "grateful" his 'Hellboy' role was recast following a backlash when Ed Skrein was cast to play a Japanese-American character

Daniel Dae Kim is "grateful" his 'Hellboy' role was recast.

The former 'Lost' star signed up to play Japanese-American agent Ben Daimio after producers faced a backlash for 'whitewashing' the comic book character by casting Ed Skrein in the role and the actor eventually vacated the role.

And Daniel – who joined the project a month after Ed stepped down – is pleased director Neil Marshall and producers on the movie listened to the criticism and "did the right thing".

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "It's an important thing to take action, and what Neil and the producers did was take action.

"I am a direct beneficiary of that, but I think all of us benefit by having a role that's intended for an Asian being played by an Asian. So I'm grateful for him and the producers, who did the right thing, ultimately."

The movie sees black actress Sasha Lane play Alice Monaghan, a character depicted as white and red-headed in the comic books, and Daniel believes the 'Hellboy' film is set in a time and place where "anything is possible".

He said: "I think in [this] universe anything is possible -- you can be white, you can be a demon, you could be black, you could be Asian, you could be Latinx, anything.

"And anytime that you have something that broadens our perceptions of what could be, it changes possibilities and the messages of that possibility. "

When Ed quit the film, he issued a statement explaining the issue of representing ethnic diversity was "very important" to him and Daniel admitted he had a lot of respect for the actor for his "passionate" words and sought him out to tell him so.

He said: "I had been aware of the controversy because it had been all over social media for a couple of weeks. This was before I even heard from my agents that the producers were interested in me. It was something that I wasn't going into blindly.

"Even before I had any affiliation with the project, I just remember how much respect I had for what Ed did. His statement was so well-written and so passionate that the cynical part of me thought that it must be his publicist writing it. It was that moving to me.

"So, one of the things I did when I got the job was I sought him out, because we were shooting in London where he was at the time. I wanted to personally thank him for that statement.

"Once I met him, I found out firsthand that it was him who wrote the entire thing and that he meant every word of it. So, I was even more moved by that gesture as a result."


  • 2 stars
  • 2019
  • US
  • 2h
  • 15
  • Directed by: Neil Marshall
  • Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane
  • UK release: 11 April 2019

The Descent director Neil Marshall resurrects the comic book anti-hero, now played by Stranger Things' David Harbour.

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