Ansel Elgort on Michael Mann and “Tokyo Vice”: “Spielberg warned me he would make me work hard”

Set in 1990s Japan, the new HBO Max series delves into the country’s criminal underworld through the eyes of a reporter and detective. Directed by Michael Mann. (HBOMax)

The actor who comes to play Love without barriers Steven Spielberg went from two hours of dance practice a day to four hours of Japanese lessons for his character Tokyo Vicea six-episode series premiered HBO Max This Thursday, April 7th. The series is produced by Michele man (Fire against fire, collateral) who also directs the first episode. From street dance to the American journalist residing in Japan under the orders of one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors, Ansel told Infobae about his experience.

“I didn’t have that in mind Michele man And Steven Spielberg they had produced the film Mann made Jamie Foxx And Tom Cruise [Colateral]. I started asking and Spielberg warned me that he would make me work very hard, but that he believed that as long as I was willing to work as hard as ever, we would get along very well, “Elgort said about moving from one project to another. ‘more and have the opportunity to discuss it directly with Spielberg. But he sought a second opinion and wrote to Jamie Foxx. He replied, “I can’t stand stupid things. Michael Mann is a great director to work with. “

“Tokyo Vice”, the new fiction by HBO Max that marks the return of Michael Mann to television. (HBO)

Ansel Elgortwithout making those huge transformations that the actors like Jared Leto or Christian Bale, composed of different characters as remembered. He was the designated driver for a gang of thieves in Child Driverthen the dancer and gang member of Love without barriers, and participated in the series Divergent like the questioned Caleb. For Tokyo Vice the change and the challenge also required a lot of training, both martial and linguistic: “Michael [Mann] initially he wanted me to take Japanese lessons for 9 hours a day. “That’s how it works,” she told me. But then Alan Poul [productor ejecutivo de la serie], luckily to my rescue, he said that maybe 4 hours a day was enough because he also had other things to do, like aikido and everything related to journalism, among other things. And Michael Mann agreed. “

The challenge, in addition to undergoing the hard work proposed by the director of Miami vicehe had to be involved in a reality-based project. Tokyo Vice It is an adaptation of a book written by Jake Adelstein, a journalist who told firsthand about his closeness to the yakuza, the Japanese mafia that in the 90s was as powerful as it was unattainable. To get a better interpretation of Adelstein, Elgort I had to get to know him and adopt some of his main characteristics: “I showed up at his house and the first thing he said to me was: ‘Today I’m going to investigate this story. We will go to the classroom, we will wait outside, because we have no way to enter, and we will listen to everyone who comes out and talks about what just happened in the classroom ‘”. The actor acknowledged that in one day he learned a few keys on “how to practice journalism”.

Michael Mann on the set of
Michael Mann on the set of “Tokyo Vice”, the HBO Max series. (HBOMax)

It was a little close. Ansel Elgort with journalism. A very brief attempt to capture more of the essence of Jake Adelstein, but during filming and the story, he still had things to say about the profession, especially the police branch: “What I’ve learned about the role of the police reporter is that they work with the police. However, they also work to keep the police honest because they have to take a police report, then double-check its authenticity and try to get the word of anyone who may have been involved. They have to paint the whole picture. And in a way, he’s a civil servant because he makes sure justice is done when sometimes it’s not. “

Tokyo Vice It is not only a series about the Japanese mafia in the 90s and its implications in politics and even in society, but it also dives into the depths of Japanese culture, its most pleasant parts, its wisdom, but also its darker side. . : the position of women, the place occupied by a foreigner in sectors strictly occupied by locals such as the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. All of this packs six-episode fiction with a great first chapter and fairly well-crafted development with a specific recording of that time and investigation. On the experience, the actor was blunt: “I worked very hard, trying to immerse myself and get the skills this character needed and face his challenges. But, in the end, it was wonderful. Being in Tokyo was. very funny”.

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“Tokyo Vice” poster. (HBO Max)

Tokyo Vice will debut on Thursday 7 April HBO Max and every Thursday it will present two new episodes in preview.

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