Hiroyuki Sanada talks about his part in SPEED RACER

     July 31, 2007

Earlier today I attended the “Rush Hour 3” junket and got to participate in roundtable interviews with the cast and Brett Ratner. Over the coming days I’ll be posting the transcripts, but I decided to post part of the interview with Hiroyuki Sanada right now as he talked about working on “Speed Racer” and no one involved in the filming has spoken since it began.

And while Hiroyuki says all the normal things that one might expect any actor to say, the big surprise came when he talked about the camera that the Wachowski Brothers were using… it’s the new camera that doesn’t use film or video… the one that records straight to a hard drive!

If you remember a few months back, rumors that a camera that didn’t use film or video were talked about with regards to the James Cameron movie “Avatar.” But with Hiroyuki’s confirmation that they’re using the camera, it seems that it’s possibly being used in more than one project.

While the below transcript is just a fragment of the almost twenty minute interview, if you’d like to listen to the audio you can do so by clicking here. The only thing to know is we don’t start talking about “Speed Racer” till about 7 minutes in and then we move to other subjects and come back to it at the end.

One last thing I have to mention. Hiroyuki doesn’t speak English fluently, so rather than fill in words or write what he possibly meant to say, I decided to do a very literal translation. So when it doesn’t read the way a normal interview might… that’s the reason.

Tons of new interviews will be posted in the coming days so make sure to check back.

Question: Have you signed on for anything in the future?

Hiroyuki Sanada: I’m shooting “Speed Racer” now with the Wachowski Brothers.

And how is that going?

Going well. So funny. They are so funny. It’s my first time working with them but both of them have their own view.

So what character do you play?

Evil again.

So another bad guy.

Kind of a bad guy, a serious business man. He wants to manage the whole racing industry…money, money, money. But no action.

You don’t drive a car?

No driving, no action…just talking.

I heard the Wachowski Brothers for “Speed Racer” have some cool camera tricks that they’re doing.

Yeah, they are using the new camera, the first time in the world for the future film. They are using the hard disk directly, no video, no film…shooting to the hard disk. It’s a quite new camera.

So there is a hard disk in the camera?

Yes, I believe. So it’s very easy to do CGI. It’s clear and beautiful.

I was going to ask you how it looks.

It’s amazing. They have these big monitors on the set and they are checking every shot. It’s more than high vision I believe (he probably means high definition), so clear and beautiful.

You were saying that each of the Wachowski Brothers has a different view. So how do they decide what’s going to be the one they do or do they do it both ways?

We going to try a lot of ways, a lot of approaches for each scene. Andy will say something and then Larry will say something and then mixed together ourselves and then shake, shake, shake.. more pepper or little… and then find out the best way. Both of them say “okay, are you happy” then done. Go on. So it’s the same as Brett Ratner, he wants to try a lot of ways to.

How do you like working with Emile Hirsh?

He’s a nice guy, smart and pure, you know charming and very professional. His concentration is amazing. Cause a lot of green screen so imagination is our life line and he’s doing very well.

Have you wrapped yet on Speed Racer?

Not yet.

When do you wrap on the movie and how big is your characters part in the movie?

Smaller than “Rush Hour 3” but it depends on the editing.

Are you filming in Berlin?

Yeah, in Berlin now. I go back to Berlin in the middle of August until the beginning of September.

And what’s the experience like of working for the Wachowski Brothers? Were you a fan of their work like the Matrix movies?

Yeah, I love those films. Every time they create new history in the film industry, so I wanted to be a part of history so that’s why I joined them even if it was a small part.

Did you have to audition or they just gave you the part?

Just gave me the part. They offered and I met them and they talked about the character for the film and then I decided immediately.

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