AHS Alum Starring in Major Studio Release

AHS Alum Starring in Major Studio Release

A former Alameda High School basketball standout is starring as the lead character in the recently released major studio motion picture. Taylor Takahashi plays the title character in the Focus Features film Boogie, which was released on March 5. Takahashi attended Alameda High School (AHS) from 2006 to 2010.

Takahashi, 28, stars as Alfred “Boogie” Chin, a Chinese-American high school basketball phenom living in Queens, N.Y. (Takahashi is Japanese American). Chin dreams of one day playing in the NBA. He faces pressure from his immigrant parents to earn a scholarship to an elite college, while also facing pressure from on-court rivals and the stigma of playing a sport with few successful Asian-American. The film also explores Asian culture and customs.

This is Takahashi’s first acting role. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Alameda native said he never thought his career path would lead him toward acting. Takahashi moved to Orange County from Alameda about five years ago. While playing a pickup basketball game he met “Boogie” director Eddie Huang.

Huang, a world-renowned chef, and Takahashi started a friendship over their love of basketball and food. Takahashi had been working part time as a yakitori chef at a Japanese restaurant. Huang, who had his own food show on the Vice television network, Huang’s World, hired Takahashi as his personal assistant.

Huang was set to film his directorial debut when he decided to recast the lead character a few weeks before filming was to begin, according to The Hollywood Reporter. About three weeks before production was to begin, Huang decided to cast Takahashi as Boogie. Takahashi was initially hired to be a basketball trainer for the original actor.

Production for the film began in the fall of 2019. The film also stars Taylour Paige as Eleanor, Chin’s love interest, and Pop Smoke, who died in February of last year, as Monk, Chin’s basketball rival.

Takahashi was a prominent basketball player for the Hornets before graduating in 2010. Takahashi, at just 5’ 9”, is still the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. He led AHS to a 19-11 overall record and a spot in the North Coast Section Div. II men’s tournament as a senior. They lost to tournament champion Redwood High of Larkspur, 55-45, in the semifinal round.

Alameda residents will not be able to watch the film at Alameda Theatre & Cineplex because the business is still closed due to COVID-19 protocols. However, select theaters in San Jose, San Francisco, Daly City and Milpitas are open and showcasing the film, according to Fandango.