Takaya Honda could have chosen a very different vocation if it had not been for an inspiring high school drama teacher at Barker College on Sydney’s North Shore who ignited his passion for performing.
As a talented baseball player in his teens, Takaya looked towards playing at an American college but was ultimately drawn to acting on stage, TV and film. He completed a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, majoring in Media Arts and Production and was a founding member of the Sport For Jove Theatre Company, starring in many of their critically acclaimed productions including Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet.
The 33-year-olds’s extensive film and television credentials include roles in A Gurls World, The Code, My Great Big Adventure, Naked Strangers, and more recently SBS’s three time Equity ‘Best Comedy Ensemble’ winning series The Family Law. His singing and improvisation skills scored him a role on Play School and for the iconic program’s 50th Anniversary; he starred alongside renowned SBS news reader Lee Lin Chin.
He joined Neighbours’s regular cast in July of 2016 in the role of Dr. David Tanaka. He said at the time:
“I feel so privileged at this time in my career, to not only be a part of one staple of Australian television in Play School, but to also have the opportunity to join the regular cast of another in Neighbours and learn from such prominent and longstanding Australian talent is truly seeing my dreams fulfilled. I can’t wait for the audience to see what I bring to the screen and I hope they like watching David and his struggles as much as I am loving performing them.”
Since Takaya’s well received beginnings on Neighbours of trying to find David’s father (Paul Robinson played by Stefan Dennis) and coming to terms with his sexuality. Takaya has been one half of the much celebrated #Daaron – the relationship of David and Aaron. Where Takaya, alongside actor Matt Wilson played out the first same sex wedding on Australian Television since it was legalised receiving much worldwide celebration.
Takaya’s other storylines have helped bring attention to issues surrounding organ transplant after his character David was hit by a car and left needing a kidney transplant. Takaya also delved into the important issue of foster care in a storyline directed by Deborra-lee Furness where #Daaron was put through the rigorous process to become foster parents and the challenges faced when taking care of a teenager stuck in the system. Conveying important stories like this is why Takaya thinks that Neighbours is still so relevant and important to the Australian televisual landscape.
Born in Canberra, Takaya grew up in Sydney with his brother Koji Honda, a sports scientist with the Australian Olympic swimming team; and parents, Japanese born father Kazuya, a former head coach at the Australian Institute of Sport for Women’s Artisitic Gymnastics and his mother Rhonda, a retired physical education teacher, Gymnastics coach and FIG judge.
Rhonda was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s over a decade ago when she was just 53 and Takaya hopes to raise awareness of the debilitating disease and the impact it has on families through his ambassadorship with Alzheimer’s Australia, often hosting and MC’ing their events Australia wide.