A spitfire with Minae Noji, Karai in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie!

You read that correctly, it’s Throwback Thursday, so it’s a walk down memory lane for some of us at Azn Modern for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Minae Noji is Karai (second in command to Shredder!) in the new movie that’s coming out on August 8th. Get ready for some action pack, thrilling, cowabunga memories that will bring you back to the late 80’s. Minae is sassy and fun and here are a round of spitfire Q&A’s to get to know this lovely woman.

1. It’s so exciting that you are going to be playing Karai in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Did you have to train for this role?

The action sequences in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are out of this world!  It reminds me of that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster at the very top of the tracks, just about to fall over the edge and then BOOM, your stomach drops and you scream.  It’s the best feeling.  I worked with the amazing fight choreography team 87 Eleven and also had gun training.  I had the time of my life and I felt like I was living in a video game!  The Turtles better watch out!

2. How did you get into character? Was it fun playing a villain?

I’ve been a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since I was a kid, so I was already familiar with Karai from back in the 90’s. And without giving away too much, I will say she is a very complex character that was a blast to play.  Since Karai is with the Foot Clan, many would say she’s mean or evil…but I like to think of her as just…..misunderstood. 😉  Being a part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a dream come true.  I used to fantasize about the turtle’s lair and what it would be like to live in that world as a kid.  So to actually walk onto set and live and breathe in the turtle universe….it was like walking through the gates of heaven. 🙂

3. What has been the most challenging task you have had to do in a role?

I played a gynecologist on General Hospital for years, which meant my character encountered a lot emergency C-Sections and bloody babies.  Unfortunately, I am terrible with blood and get woozy at the sight of it.  This made filming these scenes challenging and I often had to keep reminding myself that the blood was actually strawberry jelly. Yummy.

4. Do you have any charities you support?

I have been working closely with Childhelp for years.  It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect.  They focus their efforts on advocacy, prevention, treatment, and community outreach.  Childhelp is an incredible organization that helps thousands and thousands of children every year. I also have a Tumblr blog called Words of Wisdom. It’s a site I created to spread more love, laughter and empowerment to the world. The world is changing rapidly and I think we all need to focus on kindness and connection more.  Please check out mydailywow.tumblr.com  And of course I must add, I have another Tumblr blog called Rats Have Feelings Too.  What can I say….I love Splinter.  ratshavefeelingstoo.tumblr.com

5. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hacienda Heights, California.  Home of the mall parking lot in the movie ‘Back to the Future’.  Also 2 famous singers come from my home town, the fabulous Fergie and the singer Martika….for those old schoolers.

6. Tell me, and this is a question I do ask because we are AznModern, how Asian are you?

I would say I’m 88% Asian, 10% Sassy Pants and 2% Skim milk.

7. Which leads me to ask, do you have any funny Asian superstitions?

I never put the bed directly in front of the door.  I never stab my rice with chopsticks and leave it standing in the bowl. And I never ever say NO to my mother.  Wait…that’s not an Asian superstition…that’s Asian guilt.  😉


Minae is also starring in a new web series called Love Midori. Check out the trailer HERE!

Follow Minae on Twitter and blog to keep up with her quirks and humour! Thank you for being so gracious and delightfully funny!



Ace is a freelance graphic designer who was born in Toronto, grew up in Hong Kong, and lived in Ottawa and Vancouver. She is attracted and addicted to adventures like rock climbing, scuba-diving and anything culturally and visually interesting. Ace is still looking for the perfect cup of coffee in the city to satiate her.


  • Reply July 26, 2014

    Matthew Coury

    Heck yeah man..this is so cool! you’re a hottie Minae!

  • Reply July 26, 2014

    Night Runner

    She’s my new favorite Female Fighter. I might hire her for a music video. 🙂

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