“An actor’s body should be full of emotions, whether it is happiness or sorrow, pain or joy, enraged or elated. You have to express yourself with your whole body. Japanese actors don’t normally do this. What I’m doing as an action star is what every actor should be doing. Action is drama. If we cannot make the audience laugh, smile or cry with us, we are not actors. That may be idealistic–but it’s true.”
Sonny Chiba (1939-2021)
Chiba was a prolific actor in Japanese film and TV and was also a noted choreographer. He attracted attention internationally with roles in Takashi Miike’s Deadly Outlaw: Rekka, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift and Battle Royale II, before playing the sushi chef and retired samurai Hattori Hanzo in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2 for which he also served as Samurai sword advisor and fight choreographer.
Chiba starred in more than 125 films for Toei Studios and won numerous awards in Japan for his acting.