Through the miracles of the internet, fortunate translations by my wife and GACKT, and I was able to pose the international superstar a few questions about his acting experiences in Bunraku, and he’s gotten back to us just in time for his big North American premiere:
Hello GACKT! Thanks very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
How did you prepare for your role, and what were your unique inspirations in bringing the character of Yoshi to the screen?
I wanted do all the stunts myself so I trained 6 hours everyday before principle of photography. I mainly trained doing acrobatics, martial arts and weight training.
Since Yoshi was a character from Kyoto, I proposed the Japanese casts to speak in Kyoto dialect and advised to change the dialogue.
In doing this blog I discovered just how strong your international fans are. They are extremely excited that you are coming. What do you think of your worldwide fan base out of Japan, and do you have anything to say to them?
I am blessed to have fans outside of Japan, and wish to show my appreciation someday by doing more shows overseas.
As for my recent tour in Europe, I was informed the tickets sold out within 10 minutes. As much as I am honored, I feel bad there were many fans who couldn’t come see me.
But I hope to perform in the US, South America and Canada next year. I am really happy this movie is coming out since it will help me make the tour happen.
Clayton Barber (stunt coordinator) said the cast of Bunraku did 95% of their own stunts, did you have fun doing these stunts, and if so, what was your favorite memory?
I was astonished by the high level performances of the stunt actors who I had the opportunity to work with.
But I didn’t want to ask another actor to perform the action scenes on my behalf so I insisted from the very beginning to do all the actions myself.
The training was quite hard, but everyday was exciting and inspiring. Everything that happened during the shoot is all great memories.
When Josh and I did a fighting scene together, he hurled me to the ground and I landed on my head. I had fainted and was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. I can’t forget Josh’s smile when we reunited afterwards.
During the shoot, Josh happened to really punch me 3 times. I was counting how many times I was going to get beaten by the man until the movie wrapped, but this didn’t bother me at all since we were working very hard and wanted to make the best out of performance.
As an accomplished Writer, Singer, Musician, Actor - how do you decide which form of artistic expression you are going to pursue at a given time?
As you mention, I like to express myself in any artistic form possible. I started my career as an musician, but now I aim to pursue expressing myself as an actor. BUNRAKU inspired me to want to act more and is my focus right now.
What attracted you to this role, and what other types of characters are you interested in playing?
I wish to play roles that allow me to represent not only Japan, but Asia as well. I am grateful to connect with fans all over the world by starring in movies and would love to continue doing so.
It was great pleasure meeting new people in a place I have never been before. I love meeting new people since it inspires me and opens up new possibilities in life.
I hope this movie allows people to sense what Japanese culture and samurai spirit is. I believe the spirit of samurai is an important element being Japanese. It is losing value in today’s world, but I feel it's a big part our identity and should not be forgotten. I tried to do my best and show that spirit in the movie.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such wonderful cast and crew. Thank you and please look forward to the movie!
Bunraku Screening times:
Saturday, Sept. 11. 11:59pm Ryerson
Tuesday, Sept 14. 10:15pm Scotiabank Theatre 2
Friday, Sept 17. 5:00pm Scotiabank Theatre 2