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Why David Kim From Stowaway Looks So Familiar

How far would you go to preserve your life's work? 

"Stowaway" tells the story of Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson), a launch engineer on a Mars-bound spacecraft who appears from the trailer to have been knocked unconscious preparing the ship for launch and only discovered after takeoff. When the ship's life support system sustains damage, the crew has to decide whether it's possible to abandon their mission, or whether they'll have to take measures even more drastic.

The trailer hints that as the ship's biologist, David Kim might have the most to lose from any disruption to the mission. His experiments with growing plant life off the Earth's surface are part of what he tells Adams to be, "the first steps to being able to call Mars our second home." The film's logline promises that "the ship's medical researcher (Anna Kendrick) emerges as the only dissenting voice against the group consensus that has already decided in favor of a grim outcome," which seems to hint at which direction Kim's going to come down on.

While this (unlikely) scenario might be more drastic than anything he faces here on Earth, actor Daniel Dae Kim is no stranger to having to fight for what he thinks is right when it comes to his day job, standing up for Asian American representation in entertainment, and pushing back against stereotypes even as he's appeared in major roles on movies and television. 

Daniel Dae Kim played a hostile lawyer on Angel

Kim's acting career started small and slowly accumulated momentum. He landed bit parts on numerous television shows — "Seinfeld," "Beverly Hills, 90210," and "Ally McBeal" – but things really started to pick up speed around the turn of the millennium, when Kim landed a recurring role on "Angel" as Gavin Park, a lawyer with the show's evil law firm Wolfram & Hart.

Gavin served primarily as a work antagonist for Lilah Morgan (Stephanie Romanov) at the firm, seeking to one-up her and earn promotion by throwing the legal book at Team Angel, threatening to stake claim to the Hyperion Hotel by claiming that Angel (David Boreanaz) had violated the terms of its lease. His efforts eventually failed when Lilah was promoted over him to be his new boss, leaving him to suck up to her as he did all his earlier bosses. 

Like just about everyone else at Wolfram & Hart, Gavin was killed by The Beast (Vladimir Kulich) as he rampaged through the offices trying to reach the White Room. The building's security systems reanimated him as a zombie, until he was decapitated and put down once and for all by Charles Gunn (J. August Richards).   

Daniel Dae Kim survived the crash, and much more, on Lost

It was Daniel Day Kim's part as the former hitman Jin-Soo Kwon on ABC's "Lost" that propelled him to stardom. The role was a difficult one for Kim, because it was played primarily in Korean for the first several seasons. Kim was born in Korea but moved to the United States as a young child, and so while he spoke the language with his parents in his youth, he told the Asia Society his language skills were rusty when he got the part, and required a lot of extra preparation.

Kim recently told Vulture that the original plan for was for Jin to be killed off during the first season, which he said would have been "easy" since the character wasn't very sympathetic. The writers ended up keeping Jin and his wife Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) around for all six of the show's seasons, shunting him back and forth through time, on and off the island, and into his own version of the afterlife. All that extra time gave the series plenty of time to flesh Jin out beyond the domineering husband he appeared to be early on, something Kim said he worried about when he took the part.

"My greatest fear was that the pilot of Lost would air but the series would not," Kim said in his Vulture interview, "because if you were to see the pilot as the totality of my character, you would have been left with that stereotype."

Daniel Dae Kim played a cop in paradise on Hawaii Five-0

Kim was up front with Vulture that he took his role on the CBS cop drama "Hawaii Five-0" largely because it would allow him and his family to stay in Hawaii, where he had moved during the production of "Lost."

Kim's Chin Ho Kelly provided the Five-0 team both with local knowledge and technical expertise, and the show with no small amount of family tragedy. Years before the events of the series his father, Kam Tong Kelly, was killed by the man who would become his brother-in-law. In the second season, Kelly's wife, Dr. Malia Waincroft (Reiko Aylesworth), was killed by a syndicate of former police officers trying to secure the freedom of their leader Frank Delano (William Baldwin). 

In 2017, Kim left the series after its seventh season due to a pay dispute, where he and co-star Grace Park asked for pay equality with the other major members of their ensemble, Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. The actor told Vulture he was disappointed with how his time on the show played out, that he had been led to believe that the show would grow into more of an ensemble drama. "In the way that 'Lost' transformed that helped my character, this didn't have the same trajectory," he said.

Daniel Dae Kim battled demons in Hellboy

In 2019, Kim costarred as a classic comic book ally Ben Daimio in the rebooted "Hellboy" film. Daimio is hesitant to trust Hellboy (David Harbour) when the pair first begin working together, going so far as to acquire the means to kill the demon should that become necessary, but their battles against the Blood Queen Vivienne Nimue (Milla Jovovich) and the pig-fairy Gruagach (Stephen Graham) eventually lead the pair to form a close partnership. While Daimio's military training makes him a valuable asset in the fight against any supernatural foes, he also possesses the ability to turn into a monstrous were-jaguar when overly stressed, which can be nice to have in these circumstances.

Kim landed the role after controversy surrounding the casting of Ed Skrein as Daimio, news which was lambasted online as another example of whitewashing a character that was presented as Asian in the source material. Skrein left the project a week after the casting was announced, releasing a statement on the importance of diversity in casting. Kim later met Skrein during the movie's filming, and posted a photo of the pair to Instagram expressing his appreciation for Skrein's decision.