Friday, June 3, 2011
TOHO Cinemas Magazine 47 RONIN Akanishi Jin Interview
With Keanu Reeves as the main lead and Chushingura ('tale of the loyal retainers') as the blueprint, a luxurious cast (Japan+America) would be showing us the spectacular action movie “47 RONIN”. Production fees of 20billion yen and using the newest 3D technology just like “Avatar”. It’s clear that this piece of work is not just a normal project. We met Akanishi Jin who is debuting in Hollywood with this movie at Hungary, in his very natural state.
He went to the auditions with the mindset of“Because I have never passed (the auditions)” to getting surprised when told that “he had passed”. Beyond the big surprise, it seems like he was hesitant about it.
“I used to think of acting in a Hollywood movie. Because I like western movies and when I watch movies like “Matrix”, I always wondered “how do they actually film this?” Though I was really happy when it was decided, but the feeling of “what should I do now?” was more overpowering. I still have to break the news to the agency, and the release of the album would also have to be pushed back….I never thought that I would definitely be accepted”
The theme of Chushingura has been filmed into movies many times before and it’s a theme that tugs at the heartstrings of Japanese. To act in a Hollywood movie with the topic that combines the spirit and interest of Japanese, there must be a certain amount of pressure.
“Actually I have never watched those Japanese period films. For people who are familiar with this, it’s definitely a theme that they would like to discuss, but for me it’s kinda like “So what is Chushingura?” He, who is laughing while answering, gave his absolute best while filming. This is also something that has to do with the uniqueness of the movie. “I did not know about Chushingura, but I did not find the need to go read the books and watch the TV dramas on it. Though this work is about Chushingura but it’s more like a fantasy. It’s better if the audience don’t carry the image of this movie being a period film. The script has been changed many times; the movie goes off the track of Chushingura and then comes back again… I have been trying not to read too much (laughs). But for now, the end product totally can’t be foreseen.”
The director of this huge production that is masked with a mysterious veil is Carl Rinsch who has filmed and taken part in many famous CMs around the world. Well known for having an excellent filming sense, this talent was also felt at the location itself. “The director is a very ambitious person. If he’s asked whether the filming is going on smoothly, there is totally no such thing as filming smoothly to him (laugh) Though we get stuck on one scene a lot, the product is really very beautiful. Even at the location, we check our scenes using 3D and everyone would go “Whoa!!” while watching."
Akanishi is acting as Oishi Chikara, the son of Hiroyuki Sanada’s role Oishi Kuranosuke, and the good friend of Keanu’s English/Japanese mixed blood role, Kai. The location that is filled with veterans all around the world, how is Akanishi doing so far?
“It’s completely a filming ground with no scary tensions or anything (Laughs). Keanu’s role is a loner who is hated by everyone, and the setting is that my role Chikara is the only one who gets along with him. And so, I have many scenes with him. He often asks “How do you say this in Japanese?” Sanada san takes on the role as a translator for the Japanese who do not understand English, while I focus on my combat and horse riding training. I don’t want to lag behind and be a burden in the action scenes. Though I have experience in combat but it’s totally not enough to survive here (laughs). It’s difficult”
For Akanishi ,who has recently announced his debut in America for his music activities. Using this movie as an opportunity, would he officially go international in the movie world?
“I hope to have fun completing this production first. But if the timing and chance is right, I would like to do it.”