Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Sanada: I gave Keanu sword advice

Hiroyuki Sanada was a samurai mentor to Keanu Reeves for their film 47 Ronin

Hiroyuki Sanada has revealed how he became a mentor to Keanu Reeves in the art of samurai for new film 47 Ronin.

The star of The Last Samurai, Rush Hour 3 and Lost worked with t he Hollywood heartthrob on the 3D adaptation of a classic Japanese tale about 47 samurai in 18th century Japan who avenge the murder of their master.

Hiroyuki revealed: "When I first met Keanu, he said he wanted to do authentic samurai style. So I said, OK, let's start from the very basic movement. How to sit, how to bow, how to wear kimono, we started with that part.

"But he learned a lot and quickly. He's a hard worker. So that's why he looked like a complete samurai at the end."

The actor described the Hollywood remake of the classic Japanese story as "a great collaboration of east and west".

He said: "All the other Japanese actors had never done a Hollywood movie before, but Keanu would take care of them and the crew was very welcoming, we were so lucky."

The Japanese star and martial artist is currently working on Despicable Me spin-off The Minions, voicing the role of the Sumo Villain.

He said: "I don't want to keep the same image, every time I want to change my characters, but my stance is always the same."

:: 47 Ronin is in cinemas now.

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