Kenpachiro Satsuma Interview II

by David Milner

Translation by Yoshihiko Shibata

Kenpachiro Satsuma

(Conducted in July 1994)

Kenpachiro Satsuma plays Godzilla in GODZILLA 1985 (1984), GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE (1989), GODZILLA VS. GHIDRAH (1991), GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA (1992), GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (1993), and GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA (1994). He also plays Hedorah in GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER (1971) and Gigan in both GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (1972) and GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (1973).

David Milner: When did filming on GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA begin?

Kenpachiro Satsuma: June 27th.

DM: Which scenes have been shot so far?

KS: We have finished shooting only the battle between Godzilla and the Japanese Self-Defense Force in Kyushu. (Godzilla is attacked by a number of naval ships during the battle.)

DM: Was a new Godzilla costume made for GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA?

KS: We are using the Godzilla costume that was constructed for GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA to shoot the footage of Godzilla in the ocean. This is because the costume that we use for it has to be expendable. We are using a new costume for all of the other footage of Godzilla.

DM: Is the new Godzilla costume very different from the one that was made for GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA?

KS: It's bulkier and taller. In addition, the tail is much longer.

The new costume has a mechanism in it that no other Godzilla costume had. It allows the head to move not only up and down, but also from side to side. The new costume also is the first one equipped with an air duct. It runs from the tail to the neck. (When Mr. Satsuma is inside the costume, his head is located in the costume's neck.)

DM: Does the duct allow you to stay in the costume for a much longer period of time?

KS: Yes. It does. (It makes it easier for Mr. Satsuma to breath.)

Unfortunately, the new costume, like all of the other Godzilla costumes that have been made, is very heavy. In fact, it's ten kilograms heavier than the Godzilla costume that was constructed for GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA.

DM: Who is playing Space Godzilla?

KS: The man's name is Ryo Hariya.

DM: Who is playing MOGERA? (In THE MYSTERIANS (1957), two giant robots, both of which are called Mogera, are used by aliens from outer space in their attempt to conquer Earth. In GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA, Mobile Operation Godzilla Expert Robot Aero-Type (MOGERA) is used by the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC) to fend off Space Godzilla.)

KS: Wataru Fukuda is playing MOGERA. (He plays MechaGodzilla in GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA.)

DM: Who is playing Little Godzilla? (Baby Godzilla, a member of the same species as Godzilla, is introduced in GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA. He grows into Little Godzilla in GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA.)

KS: A professional midget wrestler is playing him. (Little Godzilla is played by Little Frankie.)

DM: Space Godzilla has a large crystal on each of his shoulders. Does he have crystals running down his back as well?

KS: Yes.

DM: How does Space Godzilla travel through space?

KS: He travels through space the same way Gigan does. (Gigan encloses himself in a diamond-shaped crystal before traveling through space.)

DM: I've seen a pre-production sketch of Space Godzilla in which he is red instead of blue. Was he originally going to be red?

KS: He was going to be red at one point.

DM: I have heard that the final battle between Godzilla, Space Godzilla, and MOGERA takes place in Fukuoka. Is this true?

KS: Yes. That's right. (Fukuoka residents signed petitions requesting that a Godzilla film be set in their city.)

DM: What role does Little Godzilla play in GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA?

KS: Baby Godzilla goes to live on Birth Island after the events in GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA take place. Godzilla doesn't live with him, but he stays nearby. When Space Godzilla comes to Earth, he confines Little Godzilla with crystals. So, Godzilla fights Space Godzilla to save Little Godzilla.

DM: What is Mothra's role in the movie?

KS: Mothra acts as a messenger. He can be seen only by Miki Saegusa. (Miki Saegusa, a psychic woman with a telepathic link to Godzilla, is introduced in GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE. The character, which is played by Megumi Odaka, appears in all of the Godzilla films that since have been produced.)

DM: What message does Mothra send?

KS: Mothra warns that Space Godzilla is going to attack Earth. (At the end of GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA, Mothra is seen flying in outer space on his way to divert an asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth.)

DM: I've heard that Mothra originally was going to be turned into a cyborg. Is this true?

KS: Mothra originally was going to be killed at the end of GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA. So, Koichi Kawakita thought of turning him into a cyborg called MechaMothra. It was going to look more like a dragonfly than like Mothra. (Mr. Kawakita directed the special effects for GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE, GODZILLA VS. GHIDRAH, and all of the subsequent Godzilla movies. He also directed the special effects for SAYONARA JUPITER (1984), YAMATO TAKERU (1994), and a number of other films.)

DM: Of how many pieces is the MOGERA costume made up?

KS: It's made up of three pieces - body, skirt, and legs.

DM: Was the MechaGodzilla costume also made up of three pieces?

KS: It was made up of two pieces.

DM: When will filming on GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA be completed?

KS: In the middle of September.

DM: When will post-production work on the movie be completed? (This includes editing, scoring, and so on.)

KS: Probably in early November.

DM: When is GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA going to be released?

KS: It is going to be released on December 10th.

Kenpachiro Satsuma Interview II © 1998 David Milner