Hiroyuki Sanada is the extremely talented Japanese actor that few American have had a chance to see on the silver screen. He stared in the original 'Ring' horror film 'Ringu' and has been in big budgeted movies lately like The Last Samurai and Sunshine which opens this summer.
When asked by Hoga Central about his portrayal of the stereotypical Japanese villain in a mostly American cast, Sanada replied :
A Japanese villain is a bit delicate position for Japanese people, but if I say I don't do this role, after all it will be played by non-Japanese actor in a stereotype way like in the past. I have a desire to change such stereotype, so I dared to accept the role and want to express it in a proper way. In that sense, my position is the same as in "The White Countess" (where he played a Japanese spy who causes the fall of Shanghai).
Sanada goes on to talk about the Speed Racer adaptation from anime to live action movie:
"I am playing a Japanese owner of race teams, an ambitious businessman. There is a main villain, and my role is in a position to support this guy, or to sway to either side for the sake of money.
It is great that this Japanese anime classic gets remade and introduced to the world, now that animation has been established as a leading form of Japanese pop culture. I hear the original anime is popular only in Japan and the U.S., but it has a universal theme and I believe it will be accepted in other countries.
The essence of the original is all there, but the visuals will be quite new and different. Wachowski Brothers are trying to load it with various new things that you have never seen. Although it is a live action, it probably will be even more anime-like than the real anime, with colorful and futuristic circuits. So in that sense, it will be more a reborn rather than a remake. I hope it will make people interested in the original anime in new territories as well, so even if a Japanese man is a bad guy in this Japanese-originated story, I believe still the benefit exceeds the negative. [ ...continued ]
Sunshine movie clip