The Wolverine Exclusive Interview: Tao Okamoto On Mariko And Working With Hugh Jackman

The Wolverine The Wolverine claws its way into cinemas this week in what will be the character€™s sixth appearance on the big screen. Loosely based on the Chris Claremont and Frank Miller€™s beloved 1982 comic book miniseries, the James Mangold directed flick will see Logan journey to Japan to say his goodbye€™s to an old acquaintance, only to become embroiled in a power struggle. Tao Okamoto plays Logan€™s love interest Mariko, the daughter of the powerful Yashida clan, and recently What Culture got the opportunity to chat to the newcomer. Here, she discusses what it was like working with Hugh Jackman, as well as what the future holds for her acting-wise. Check out the highlights below. On what research she did for the film and how her character differs from her comic book counterpart:
€œI didn€™t know about the comics beforehand, but when I heard the news that I got the role of course I bought the comic books and read everything through. I think she€™s darker and very twisted and stronger . I really loved that Jim brought that into her because I think she was less interesting in the comic books but I could make her a little more interesting to the audience.€
On the advice which director James Mangold gave her:
€œWhat Jim told me is that Mariko didn€™t make any sense to him before he met me. He found her very boring, a very needy girl that needs to be protected and not doing much with herself. He said I made her something else and I really was grateful to hear that.€
On working with Hugh Jackman:
€œI just wonder what it€™s like playing the same character over 10 years, but he is truly Wolverine on set. He€™s such a different person in real life, very generous, very down to earth, whilst I was pretty much Mariko all the time (laughs). But he portrays the anger and darkness of his character so well. I think Mariko has darkness within herself as well, so there was some good chemistry between them.€
On future acting roles:
€œI had never imagined acting before, but my Japanese modelling agent called me about this audition. I sent in an audition tape of myself because I was a huge fan of Hugh Jackman. I€™ve been auditioning for some other films. Some of them I€™m still waiting to hear back, so we€™ll see. I loved working with Svetlana , who plays Viper in the film, and she made me think that I€™d like to try playing a supervillain next time.€
The Wolverine hits UK cinemas on 25 July, 2013. You can read our review here.
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