A brand new Godzilla movie is reportedly in pre-production in Atlanta, Georgia. But, what about the actors that first starred in the original Godzilla movie?
According to a Hollywood Reporter report, the actors inside the Godzilla costumes didn’t have it that easy. This is before all of the monster CGI graphics we have today, this actually took bringing the character to live, which is an enormous challenge for any actor inside a rubber suit.
Haruo Nakajima, the original suit actor to portray Godzilla in 1954’s Gojira, explained in a recent interview how he got into character.
“My biggest influence came from bears,” Nakajima explained. “The way bears move is very interesting.”
Nakajima also explained what it was like destroying a set that cost 500,000 yen, which was twice his salary for the film. “The set took the crew 23 hours to build [and] I ruined it in 10 minutes.”
But, the hardest part of playing Godzilla is wearing the suit.
“You can’t breathe well inside the suit, so an oxygen tube is attached,” Kitigawa explained. “But it’s removed during takes. Sometimes I started suffocating and had to stop filming.”
“The original suit weighed 100 kilos (220 lbs.),” said Nakajima. “With all that weight, I couldn’t move much.”
Nakajima also explained he had to work in freezing temperatures and he explained it was like taking an “ice bath” all day long. Or, the time he was forced underwater by a crane.
“I was standing by. The oxygen tube was attached, the crane started to move. As I went down the tube came off,” Kitigawa said. “I screamed, ‘Stop! I can’t breathe!’ But they kept pushing me into the water. Because of the danger, those shots were stopped. I never want to do that again.”
Well, if you’re as excited as I am about in working in the new Godzilla movie stay tuned.