People We Love
Making Moves: The Sudarso Brothers
Yoshi and Peter Sudarso, Los Angeles-based, Indonesian-born brothers, didn’t set out to become the most famous actors-dancers-stuntmen-models in Hollywood. Yoshi first pursed mathematics. For Peter, it was architecture. A twist of fate and a heavy dose of hard work landed them leading roles on iconic shows—they were both Power Rangers—loads of modeling and stunt work, a dedicated fanbase (nearly 400,000 Instagram followers and counting), and international recognition in film and television. And all of this in the span of about five years.
“We kinda just fell into it,” says Peter, the younger of the two. “It’s been a wild ride.” He’s slightly leaner than Yoshi, with a noticeable spring in his step and sparkle in his eye. That youthful charm is the perfect counterpart to his older brother’s more stoic, yet no-less charismatic intensity.
They both have an infectious, palpable energy and optimistic outlook that’s refreshing, inspiring even, in the cut-throat world of Hollywood. Throughout the course of our shoot with the brothers, you’d either catch one spontaneously breaking out some impressive dance moves while the other lets out a burst of lightning-fast martial arts moves. Together, these veritable renaissance men are a formidable duo determined to lead a new wave of art and talent beyond the prevailing winds of Hollywood. The catalyst for it all: blue spandex.
“Everything we did merged together when I booked Power Rangers,” says Yoshi, who played Koda, the Blue Ranger, in the series back in 2015. “The next year, Peter ended up on the show, which is crazy because we were huge fans of the show. It shaped our childhood.” Of course, the Sudarso brothers fit right in. “The fraternity of ‘Power Rangers’ is like a family. Once you’re in, you’re in with everyone that you’ve seen on TV. As kids being fans of the show, we were like, ‘Are these guys really talking to me?”’ Peter recalls. But they were talking to him, and offering him wisdom that he used off set, too. The best advice Peter got when he first joined the cast was simple: “Be open for growth,” he says. “Be open to the magic and the opportunities that may come your way. Sometimes you forget that after working 14 hour days. Outside of just being a Power Ranger, that’s helped me immensely in life.”
Needless to say, those were pretty big, mighty-morphin shoes to fill for relatively green actors. Their early success didn’t just ignite their on-screen careers, it spawned hundreds of thousands of fans who keep up with the brothers on social media. It also sparked a new outlook on their professions.
“A lot of what I’ve learned is that you really need a community that’s all about bringing people together,” says Yoshi. “When I first started out, everybody I saw at auditions was my competition. I was very stuck in that mindset, and I had to pull myself away from that because it was so toxic.” Now auditions are a chance to get to know other actors and share our backgrounds. “That way if I don’t get the job, I’m still going to be happy for whoever did.” This revelation inspired Yoshi to start a group where he teaches other actors the art of action moves. “I think it’s important to think of this profession as a community of people coming together and just growing and learning from each other,” Peter adds.
Beyond fostering a squad of up-and-coming actors, the Sudarso brothers are determined to take on an even bigger challenge: breaking down the perception of Asian men in Hollywood. This is something that’s close to their hearts and, at this point, the fuel that’s driving them at supersonic speeds. Yoshi and Peter acknowledge that they haven’t seen themselves reflected in Hollywood’s textbook definition of a leading man. But as long as they’re working, hustling, succeeding, they know that everything little thing adds up to one substantial shift. “We’re really trying to get into the door so other people can see that Asian men can obviously be in that position,” says Peter. “And we’re also trying to be the ones who are actively holding the door open so that others can come through.” And not just the door on screen.
“It doesn’t change much if there aren’t people behind the scenes,” Yoshi admits. “So we’re trying to get a little bit more into producing and writing, going to Southeast Asia and doing projects that highlight talent out there. There are a lot of us that are ready for change. We want to push that as much as possible.”
Fashion is an essential part of the Sudarso success equation. “Style is very important to our careers,” says Peter. “Having an understanding of style gives actors a huge edge. When I go to auditions, I like to dress the part. Whether it’s a casting director or someone on the street or social media. What we’re wearing is the first thing people notice about us. Fashion and style are how people communicate before words even happen. That first impression is a way of connecting.”
That’s part of the reason why the EXPRESS streetwear collection Brand That Unites resonated. “I love the idea behind Brand That Unites,” says Peter. “The thing that’s most important to me is community, and that’s the thesis of what we want to do.”
The eclectic mix of experiences, strengths, and adversity the Sudarso brothers are able to seamlessly intertwine reflects who they are at their core and where they’ve come from. For Yoshi, the journey has led to personal growth and a better sense of who he is. “I’ve always felt like I don’t belong in Asia, I don’t belong in America, I didn’t belong on either side,” he says. “But instead of saying ‘neither,’ I’m starting to embrace being part of both and bridging the gap between the two places.”
At the end of the day, the underlying message the Sudarso brothers strive to convey is simple, according to Peter: “Passion unites us. Passion is something that everyone can share, even if you don’t share the same views or speak the same language.”