You’ll have to wait until most of the other movie theatergoers have filed out of their seats—through the early closing credits—to see Scott Takeda’s name flash across the big screen. But Takeda doesn’t mind: Before you get to him, you’ll have recognized Matthew McConaughey or Will Ferrell or Robert De Niro, or any number of other stars with whom the 46-year-old actor has worked. “I’m resumé-building,” says the Fort Collins native. “It doesn’t really matter if you’re on set for one day or five; it’s work.”

This month, Takeda adds Dallas Buyers Club to his CV. The based-on-true-life film, which is already generating serious Oscar buzz, follows HIV-infected Texas electrician Ron Woodroof (played by McConaughey) and his fight with the FDA and search for alternative treatments. Takeda plays a small role as Mr. Yamata, a Japanese medical researcher. The part isn’t a stretch; although Takeda’s grandmother was born in Colorado in the 1920s, his family is originally from Japan. “I’m OK with being the token Asian guy. I’m not playing an Asian person. I am an Asian person,” Takeda says. “But I do believe we need to see greater diversity on screen.”

One role he doesn’t want to play is the Hollywood cliché. Although the town’s bright lights typically beckon wannabe actors to the Left Coast, the former TV news reporter made a conscious decision to stay in Colorado even after he “made it” with small roles in Everything Must Go and Little Fockers. “I choose to live in Denver because it’s a fabulous city, the weather is amazing, and my family is here,” Takeda says. “As an actor, I’m supposed to bring some aspect of me to the role. I have this Colorado vibe; it’s what makes me unique.” And perhaps it’s what will help bump him up in the credits someday soon, too.

This article was originally published in 5280 November 2013.
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at