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Posts Tagged ‘Learning to stomp: The man inside Godzilla – Kenji Nakano – TokyoReporter.com

Where does Godzilla get an honorary residency? Anywhere he wants to

September 9, 2015

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The man inside Godzilla: Haruo Nakajima

September 29, 2014

Over two decades, Haruo Nakajima stomped his way into history.
With the Toho film “Godzilla” in 1954, Nakajima became the first man to don the rubber suit of Japan’s most famous kaiju monster.

It all started with hime being presented the first script, which had “G Film” written on the cover.

“I figured I didn’t know exactly what to do,” the 85-year-old retired actor tells Josei Seven (Oct. 9), “but because my belief was to not be picky about work I was appreciative.”

Before shooting began, he visited Tokyo’s Ueno Park.

“At that time, there was an elephant from India called there called Indira and I observed how it walked,” Nakajima says.

Nakajima, who had already appeared in a number of Toho productions, including Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai,” observed that Indira lumbered around slowly by pressing the entire sole of its foot on the ground at once.

“So Godzilla’s style of walking came from an elephant,” he says.

For a week, he visited the zoo, paying attention to the arm movements of bears and how birds shifted their heads.

Filming began at the Toho studios in Tokyo over the summer. It took three months, and Nakajima was forced to cart around a suit that weighed roughly 100 kilograms.

“I put one foot in (the suit) at a time,” he says, “and then the staff zipped it up from behind.”