In the world of Netflix’s Altered Body Change, the character Takeshi Kovac has so far been played by six different actors.
The science fiction series Netflix Altered Carbon has so far recorded six different actors in the role of protagonist Takeshi Kovac. This series takes place in the future where people can change their bodies by digitizing their minds and implanting them in cortical stacks.
Takeshi is a former soldier who was a key member in a failed attempt to revolutionize the governing bodies of many planets – protectorates.
Known as the last messenger, Takeshi was one of the loyal followers of the rebel leader, Quellcrist Falconer.
The envoys were trained to be masters unmatched in military tactics, combat, deception, manipulation, and intuition.
Season 1 shows that after several centuries of imprisonment after a failed uprising, Kovac “transformed” back into a body known as a “sleeve”. The Altered Carbon 2 season occurred 30 years after the events of the first season and Takeshi finally reunited with Quell.
Altered Carbon was adapted from writer Richard K. Morgan of the Takeshi Kovacs series, and in the source material, Takeshi gets a new body at the beginning of each book.
So far, television shows have followed, and Anthony McKee has replaced Joel Kinnaman for the second season of Altered Carbon. However, we also see several other actors in the role of Takeshi Kovac.
After surviving a battle of armed forces in which another envoy was killed, Takeshi worked as a mercenary for four years.
After a brief scene, he and his colleague Sarah lay in a hotel in Bay City. They were attacked and killed by CTAC protective soldiers – led by former mentor and chief Yeager Takeshi.
Takeshi electricity was restored and then closed for 250 years. Mann also appeared later in season 1 when criminally Dimi the Twin used Mann’s arm to gain an emotional advantage over Takeshi and forced him to fight one of his previous bodies.
Morgan Gao plays Kovac as a child, growing up on a colonial planet far away in the Harlan world.
He was born to a friendly Japanese mother and a rapist, an alcoholic Slavic father, who eventually killed Kovac as a child while protecting his sister, Rezulin.
The young Takeshi was captured by the patron and allowed to register at CTAC instead of going to prison because Yeager was impressed with the instinct to kill the child.
The 12-year-old Takeshi was removed from his original arm and placed in an adult’s body to train as a soldier, even though he finally got his old body.
Will Yun Lee:
Will Yun Lee played Takeshi’s adult-born outfit during his career at CTAC and his subsequent win to join Falconer and his courier team. Lee plays an important role in both Altered Carbon seasons.
He can be seen in many flashbacks to Season 1, where he and Falconer fell in love and finally witnessed the death of the rebels in the battle for the fortress.
Then, in season 2 of Altered Carbon, Lee played the illegal “double-arm” Takeshi: a copy of his thoughts before AWOL came out, cloned in the arms of his birth.
In season 1 of Altered Carbon, Takeshi was in the body of Bay City police officer Elias Ryker, whose pile was moved and thrown into prison after being put in a murder frame.
Takeshi was brought into this body by the Mets to punish Riker’s girlfriend, Officer Christine Ortega, for being upset with Matt’s criminal activities.
Takeshi helped clarify Ryker’s name at the end of the first season and returned his sleeve so he and Ortega could be together again.
Kinnaman said it made sense for other actors to play Takeshi in season 2 because the characters returned after Ryker’s body returned, but he didn’t mind acting as a Ryker in the future.
The first version of Kovacs that we met in season 2 after Kinnaman left was South Korean singer and actress Jihae Kim, better known as Jihae.
Kim’s version of Takeshi dressed as a cocktail singer while waiting at a bar to be paid by a man who owed him something. However, Major Hunting Trepp shot this version of Takeshi and took out his pile when he refused to come quietly.
Season 2 Takeshi is played by Anthony Mackie, who is known for playing Falcon in the Marvel Avengers film, as well as his roles in Black Mirror and The Hurt Locker.
The Mackie case is a special Protective military case designed for world-class combat – and that shows. Takeshi’s new body can take a heavy blow thanks to his fast healing, and he also has the coolest trick to return his weapon to his hand.
Maki may not repeat his role as Takeshi Kovacs in the third season of Altered Carbon (if the series is updated) because books and TV shows have Kovacs on their sleeves at the start of each new story.
The three Takeshi Kovac actors who have the most screen time (Lee, Kinnaman, and McKee) have different strengths and characters.
Kinnaman made a major contribution to providing Takeshi’s famous dark, dark humor. It also shows a wider range of emotions than the other two actors.
Lee also has a sense of humor similar to Kinnaman, but a little more optimistic. He is trained in martial arts and offers some very powerful battle scenes. McKee also showed battle scene skills but presented the Kovac character in a more conventional and more closed way.
His feelings are far more controlled than Kinnaman’s, but the character’s witty humor lacks in Mackie’s version which feels much more like a soldier than the sarcastic mercenaries we saw in season 1.
The difference in acting styles is one of the most unique aspects of Altered Carbon, thanks to the face of the ever-changing main character.
It will be interesting to see other actors take the role of Takeshi Kovac – if Netflix decides to return the show for the third season.