When searching for an actor to play the daunting role of the Bird, Angelina Jolie made a bold choice: Japanese rock star Miyavi, who had never acted before. His performance is brilliant and haunting, but for the devoted, gentle-hearted Buddhist, portraying the violence of the subject was so difficult that during one particularly harrowing scene, he had to leave the set to vomit. Taking on a role that will surely be controversial in Japan was a brave decision, but for Miyavi, it was a way of paying tribute to Louie. "Louis Zamperini is not an American hero," he says, "he's an international hero." When Louie died, Miyavi flew in to honor him at his funeral.