Cast Interview of Ken Tanaka


Ken Tanaka


The tension at the special effects shooting site was amazing

あの大きなフナムシとの戦いは、自分で動かないといけないんです。 初めての芝居でしたね。あそこはミイラとか気持ち悪いのがいっぱいいて、美術さんがうれしそうに出してくるんですよ(笑)。撮影は1日では終わらなくて3日ぐらいやったと思います。

I had to move yourself to fight that big sea urchin. It was my first play. There are a lot of disgusting things like mummies there, and the art-san happily brings them out (laughs). I think the shooting didn’t end in one day, it took about three days.


If I had time, I visited the special effects scene

Could you tell us about any other scenes that left an impression on you?

ラストシーンの火山の中にゴジラが入っていくところは、撮影を見ていて涙が出ました。ゴジラは悪者では なく、たまたまこういう立場になってしまった。だけど、人間はそれをイジメてバンバン撃って追いやった。ゴジラが帰巣本能で三原山に行くというのはいいなと思いましたね。やっぱり生き物で、親しみを感じやすいというか、僕はゴジラにものすごく感情移入で きました。

When Godzilla enters the volcano in the last scene, I cried while watching the filming. Godzilla isn’t a bad guy, he’s not, he happened to be in this position. However, humans bullied him and shot him away. I thought it would be nice for Godzilla to go to Mt. Mihara with his homing instinct. After all, he is a living thing, and he is easy to feel familiarity.


Since you saw the filming of Godzilla at Mt. Mihara, did you also visit the special effects filming site?

暇さえあれば特撮のところに行ってました。サイボットゴジラも 「今回のゴジラはこんなのがあるんです」ってみんな自信を持っていまし たね。ゴジラが東京湾で暴れるところの撮影も見ました よ。やっぱりすごかったですね。ミニチュアもよくできてるなあって思いながら見てました。 ひとつ間違えたらやりなおしだから、撮影の時の緊張感もすごかったですよ。ゴジラに入っていた中山(剣吾・ 薩摩剣八郎氏の旧芸名)さんもたいへんだったろうと思いますね。興味があったから中山さんとよく話したんですけ ど、命をかけてやっておられましたね。重いスーツで、引っくり返ってミニチュアを壊したら撮影がやり直しになる。そういうたいへんさがあったと思います。

If I had free time, I would go to special effects site. Even Cybot Godzilla, everyone was confident that “Godzilla this time has such a thing.” I also saw the filming of Godzilla rampaging in Tokyo Bay. After all, it was amazing. I was watching while thinking that the miniatures were well made. If you make a mistake, you have to start over, so the tension during the shoot was amazing. I think Mr. Nakayama (Kengo, former stage name of Mr. Kenhachiro Satsuma), who was in Godzilla, must have had a hard time. I was interested in it, so I talked to Mr. Nakayama a lot. With a heavy suit, if you flip over and break the miniature, you will have to start over. I think there was a lot of difficulty.

There was probably pressure, too.

プレッシャーもすごかったと思いますよ。ゴジラが主役ですから。中山さんはストイックにトレーニングさ れてましたね。「そうじゃなきゃゴジラの中には入れない」とおっしゃってました。

I think the pressure was amazing too. Godzilla is the main character. Mr. Nakayama was stoically trained. He said, ‘Otherwise you won’t be able to enter Godzilla.’

ヘリコプターに乗った田中さんと 沢口さんが噴火する三原山を見下ろし て、映画は終わります。

The movie ends with Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Sawaguchi looking down on the erupting Mt. Mihara from a helicopter.


I got on a helicopter. Thanks to the cooperation of the Self-Defense Forces, I also boarded a twin-engine helicopter. That made me happy, so I’m proud of myself recently. It had strong propulsion and wass completely different from other helicopters. I had a great experience.


Godzilla movies are made with an eye to the future


What was your impression when you saw the finished work?


I was embarrassed because I thought my acting was bad (laughs). What I remember most is when Godzilla fell into the crater at the end, I wondered why I was crying.


What do you think about being in a Godzilla movie?

ある旅番組のロケでロサンゼルスに行ったんです。ロスに着いてテレビをつけたらいきなり僕のアップが 映ったんですよ。「何だ、これ?」と思ってたら、画面の中の僕が「ヘルプ! へ ルプ!」と英語の吹き替えで言ってるんです。そしたら靖子ちゃんも出てきて英語でしゃべっていて、「うわー、『ゴジラ』だ!」と思いました(笑)。

I went to Los Angeles on location for a certain travel program. When I arrived in Los Angeles and turned on the TV, I suddenly showed up. When I was thinking, “What is this?” I was dubbed in English and said, “Help! Help!” Then Yasuko came out and was speaking in English, and I thought, “Wow, it’s ‘Godzilla’!”


It aired on American cable TV.


After all Godzilla is the Godzilla of the world

▼ ゴジラの襲来によって破壊されてしまった新宿の街で寄り添う、牧吾郎と奥村尚子。橋本幸治監督は、ふたりの心情の変化を特に重視して演出したという

Goro Maki and Naoko Okumura snuggle up in the city of Shinjuku, which has been destroyed by Godzilla’s invasion. It is said that director Koji Hashimoto put particular emphasis on the change in the feelings of the two.

なんだと思いましたね。海外のミュージシャンともよく会うんですけど、僕が役者だって紹介されて「「ゴジラ」 に出てた」って言ったら一発でわかってもらえる。「ゴジラか! ゴジラの 中に入ってたのか?!?!?」って言われます (笑)。やっぱりすごいです。ゴジラを 知らない人はいないですね。 ゴジラは ゆるぎない主演ですけど、人間側の主役をやらせていただいて、これはそう簡単にはやれないことだから、やっぱ誇りですよ。

What did you think? I often meet with musicians overseas, and when they introduce me to the fact that I’m an actor and say, “I was in ‘Godzilla,'” they immediately understand. People say, “Godzilla! Was he inside Godzilla?!?!?” (laughs). After all it is amazing. There is no one who does not know Godzilla. Godzilla is an unwavering lead, but I’m proud to play the leading role on the human side, because it’s not easy to do.


Have you seen any Godzilla movies since 1984’s “Godzilla”?


I’ve only seen “Shin Godzilla” (2016).


Goro Maki also appears in Shin Godzilla.


I did not know that.

『怪獣島の決戦 ゴジラの息子』(67年)でも真城伍郎という人物が出てく るんですよ。『シン・ゴジラ』はいかがでしたか?

A character named Goro Maki also appears in “The Battle of Monster Island: Son of Godzilla” (1967). How was “Shin Godzilla”?

ゴジラの周りの人間の芝居がすごく変わったじゃないですか。 会議のシーンではバンバンしゃべって……。 84年版『ゴジラ』はそこはじっくり見せる感じでしたね。

The human play around Godzilla has changed a lot, hasn’t it? In the scene of the meeting, talk was at a made pace…. The 1984 version of “Godzilla” felt like showing it carefully.


Then there’s love. I felt that kind of difference.


I think Godzilla movies, including this 1984 version of “Godzilla,” will continue to be loved.

ゴジラ映画は100年先を見ながら作ってるような気がするんです。原子爆弾や原発のことも含めて先見の 明がすごくあると思います。人間の生き方も教えてくれる。だから、僕も見ていて涙が出たんだと思います。

I feel like I’m making a Godzilla movie looking 100 years into the future. I think you have a great foresight, including the atomic bomb and nuclear power plants. It also teaches us how to live. That’s why I think I cried when I saw it.

(November 27, 2018 in Tokyo)

1951年、福岡県生まれ。72年に”あおい”として歌手デビュー。その後、俳優に転身して、主演映画『青春の門』 (75年)で注目される。以降、数多くのドラマ、映画、舞台に出演し、「望郷」(93年)では日本映画批評家大賞の最優秀主演男優賞などを受賞。また、日本有数のケーナ奏者としてアルバムをリリースするなど、幅広いジャンルで活躍している。

Ken Tanaka
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1951. He made his singing debut in 1972 as “Aoi.” After that, he turned to acting and gained attention with the starring movie “The “Gate of Youth” (1975). Since then, he has appeared in many dramas, movies and stage plays, and “Nostalgia” (1993) won the Japan Film Critics Award. Received an award for Best Actor. He is also active in a wide range of genres, such as releasing albums as one of Japan’s leading quena [traditional flute] players.

Hair and make-up: Allure