SEATTLE Taho Kakutani has never aspired to be a professional actor. He achieved his career dream nine years ago after getting a job throwing fish at Pike Place Fish Market.

Yet he has suddenly, unintentionally become a commercial spokesman for a couple major companies.

It s not anything I ever dreamed I would ever do, Kakutani said.

He currently appears in a 30-second TV ad for Advil, which shows Kakutani walking around a fish market, hauling boxes and discussing how the pain reliever helps ease soreness in his back and shoulders.

He was selected after answering questions for what he initially thought was a pain study. After honestly answering that he used Advil to relieve pain, he eventually learned it was all part of casting for a commercial.

Kakutani flew to Los Angeles around Thanksgiving to shoot the spot on a set strikingly similar to his Seattle market. The commercial started airing a few weeks ago, and many visitors to Pike Place immediately recognized Kakutani from the ad.

Still, he will not let it go to his head.

When I do my taxes, I m a fish monger, not an actor, Kakutani said.

But it did not take long for another company to come calling.

Kakutani was recently hand-picked by Nordstrom for an online ad campaign for designer jeans that features real-life working guys.

It s just so exciting to talk to somebody who s passionate about what they do, and these guys are so passionate, said Christina Libertini, a video art director for Nordstrom.

The online denim campaign will launch in March.

Through it all, Kakutani remains humble, saying Hollywood could never replace the fish market.

I love working here and the opportunities that come here are plenty, he said.

While aspiring actors might scratch their heads at Kakutani s fortunes, perhaps they could take some notes: to become a star, it might be best to swim with the fish.

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