Kim reached out to Skrein after taking over his role in the film amid the whitewashing controversy: "When I found out he was in town, I asked if I could meet him and buy him lunch," Kim tells THR.
Who could have predicted that Hellboy’s whitewashing saga would be the beginning of a beautiful — if not unexpected — friendship?
Daniel Dae Kim, in London to shoot the Lionsgate reboot, recently met Ed Skrein, the British actor he replaced in the film. Skrein had initially been cast Aug. 21 as Ben Daimio, an ex-Marine who is Japanese-American in the comics. A week later, the Deadpool actor withdrew from the role, citing his commitment to culturally accurate casting and representation of ethnic diversity. “When I found out he was in town, I reached out to ask if I could meet him and buy him lunch,” Kim told The Hollywood Reporter at a reception for Asian members of the film academy, held Sept. 19 at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. “He was as elegant and classy in person as he came across in his statement.”
In addition to their Ben Daimio connection, the pair bonded over the shared experience of writing much-publicized recent statements: Skrein about leaving Hellboy, Kim about exiting CBS' Hawaii Five-0 over an equal-pay dispute.
“I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, but I’m sure glad this did,” Kim wrote in the caption accompanying a photo of the pair that he posted on social media. “Thanks for the opportunity to get to know one another in person, @edskrein. Grateful to now call you #friend.” He ended the caption with the hashtag #TaleofTwoDaimios.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.