Tadanobu Asano was born on November 27, 1973 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. He grew up with parents engaged in a bohemian lifestyle - his mother often drove Asano around while listening to Led Zeppelin and his father was a painter. At school, Asano often felt like an outcast, sometimes being taunted as a "gaijun" (foreigner), because of his unique physical features (his grandfather, on his mother's side, was American). As a teen Tadanobu Asano made his acting debut in the 1988 drama "Kanpachi Sensei," thanks in large part to his father's urging.
Two years later, he made his big-screen acting debut in Joji Matusuoka’s teen comedy Swimming Upstream (1990). On the set of the Shunji Iwai's 1995 film Picnic, Tadanobu Asano met his wife, pop singer & actress Chara.
Since that time, Tadanobu Asano has worked steadily in the film world and has become one of the most sought after film actors of his generation. Tadanobu Asano made his directorial debut with the short film Tori in 2004 and then directed a segment in the 2008 omnibus film R246 Story. While gaining professional recognition and popularity as an actor, the multi-talented Asano is also a musician, playing in the band Peace Pill, Mach 1.67 with film director Shogo Ishii, and using the stage name "Bunodata" for his solo music career ("Bunodata" being a reverse scramble of the syllables in his name). Asano has often expressed his fondness for the British punk the Sex Pistols. Beyond music, Asano is also an avid painter, poet, and calligrapher (even drawing the calligraphy for the intertitles in Electric Dragon 80000V).
In 2008, The Smithsonian’s Freer-Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. held a five film restrospective of Asano's work titled "Rebel, Artist, Superstar: The Films of Tadanobu Asano." The films presented were Vital, Last Life in the Universe, Sad Vacation, Tori, and Bright Future, with Tadanobu Asano attending the screenings for the first three films.
On July 18th 2009 Tadanobu Asano and Chara announced their divorce.