Japan has a different relationship with nuclear devices/power than the rest of the world. It was in post-WWII Japan, post-atomic bomb Japan, that Godzilla was created, in no small part as a response to fears about radiation. More recently, in 2011, a tsunami caused a nuclear accident at the Fukushima power plant in the country.
The new Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla" was already being written at the time of this more recent disaster, and it is impossible to watch the movie—part of which does take place at a nuclear plant—and not instantly draw anew that original association. Because of that, when I sat down with Ken Watanabe from the new film, the monster's origins and Japan's relationship with him and nuclear power was a part of the discussion.
In fact, my first question to Watanabe was whether, as someone from Japan, he approached things a little differently than his co-stars, who are not Japanese. Watanabe's response to that question starts out on a lighthearted note as he reminded me that "Godzilla was born in the Pacific Ocean, he doesn't know the border," but quickly he turned more serious and brought up the monster's nuclear origins and the more recent tsunami-caused devastation.
If you watch the above interview, you can see Watanabe's thoughts in full on the issue, and do not worry, we don't stay dark and distressing for the entirety of the time. We also talk about how you research Godzilla and MUTOs, which is the job of Watanabe's character and a little about responsibility towards the character and fans.
Opening this Friday, May 16th, "Godzilla" also stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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