Filmmaker & Actor "Beat" Takeshi Kitano
Q. Besides directing movies, what else do you do?
A. I am an actor, producer, writer, and a television star.
Q. What makes your movies distinct and unique?
A. My movies usually involve understated tales of amoral loners fighting the system. This is punctuated by bursts of jarring violence, the sort that deglamourizes bloodletting to the extreme. My movies also usually involve Japanese Mafia, rogue cops, or both as leading characters. Samurai Job will be different in this respect because it will be starring samurai and ninja.
Q. What movies have you directed?
A. Kikujiro, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, A Scene at the Scene, and Kid’s Return are some of my favorites.
Q. Who have been some of your biggest influences as a filmmaker?
A. I was never even a film buff. For that matter, I didn't really start watching films seriously until I became a director myself. After my first film festival in Europe, all these journalists started asking me if I'd been influenced by people like Jean-Luc Goddard, Kurosawa, and others, and I'd never even heard of these guys! So when I got back to Japan, I asked my assistant to get video copies of films by these guys, and I studied up.
Q. Why does Samurai Job only use a reverse-blade katana for a weapon?
A. I wanted this movie to uphold Christian morals and values. Samurai Job is based off the biblical book of Job, and this certain sword cannot kill another person. This weapon is used to defend people and uphold the laws of the Lord.
Q. What advice would you have for first time directors?
A. My advice is: trust nobody. Don't listen to what anybody has to say, just stick to your guns and trust your instincts. If you start to listen to people and put their ideas in your first movie, then you'll have to compromise more on your second, and it will just get worse and worse from there. You can always listen to advice on your third or fourth film, but on your first, stick to your guns. Just be prepared to be labeled a "box office unfriendly" director, like I used to be, if you do this.
Ken Watanabe (Job-san)
Q. What makes Job-san different from all other samurai?
Job-san only serves the Lord God with absolute loyalty. Job-san is devoted to the Lord.
Q. Describe Job-san’s character?
A. Job-san is a wealthy man. He is one of only few samurai who does not have to serve a feudal leader. He lives in the mountainous countryside in a traditional-style Japanese home. Every day he comes to his pond filled with koi fish to reflect and pray.
Q. What other movies have you starred in?
A. I have starred in Inception, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, and Memories of a Geisha to name a few.
Q. Why did you choose to take on the role of Job-san?
A. I chose this role because it is very different from all the other roles I have played. Job-san isn’t the ordinary samurai. He doesn’t fight to kill. I wanted to do something that was out of the ordinary to show that I can be a diverse actor.