Published On: Sun, Jun 2nd, 2013

Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima talk ‘The Wolverine’ and how Mariko, Yukio differ from comic books

Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima recently spoke about their roles in The Wolverine, including what it was like to work with director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman. Okamoto and Fukushima play Mariko and Yukio respectively, and also spoke to Collider on how the onscreen version differs from the versions created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.

Rila Fukushima as Yukio in 'The Wolverine'

Rila Fukushima as Yukio in ‘The Wolverine’

“Well, I was very worried because I never took any acting lessons, ever. So, I asked him, “What should I do?” He said, “Don’t take any lessons or any advice from others.” Because he thought I had some good sense and instincts,” Okamoto said, describing her relationship with Mangold.

“I just trusted him and I just listened to only him. He just gave me everything I needed. I was freaking out before but now I’m very confident working with him. It’s just great.”

Fukushima describes a similar approach after meeting Mangold and Jackman, “…I’m trying not to think too much about how to become a character and I’m still really new to acting.  This is the first time to join filming, so I’m trying – Yukio is very physical so a lot of things took long but it’s a lot of fun.  It has been a very amazing and challenging experience.  I’m having a lot of fun.”

Okamoto then describes her connection with her character, Mariko, Logan’s love interest.

“I think that the similarity I have with her is that she doesn’t have a normal life and I used to have a very difficult childhood when I was little because I was always like the tallest girl in the school and everybody was staring at me like, “You’re very different.”  You know?  I was struggling at the time and it’s a very different subject but still, she’s trying to find her place in her life.  Meeting Logan later on, finding herself, what she wants to have in her life – I think I have a lot of similarity in my life.  ”

Discussing the similarities to the popular comic book story arc, Fukushima says “I’m pretty sure there is a similarity from the graphic novels, at the same time there’s a completely different side of Yukio too.  I don’t know how much I can talk about the character but that’s something – the story is definitely different from the original comic.  Hopefully people can enjoy the different version.”

Check out the full interview with Okamoto here, and Fukushima here

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- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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