In the movie, The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise speaks Japanese fluently to the surprise of many of his fans. This has left people wondering if Tom Cruise actually speaks Japanese or if he learnt a few lines for the movie. We know Tom Cruise is a multi-talented actor that is willing to learn something new for his movies but is speaking Japanese one of such things?
Yes, Tom Cruise speaks Japanese. Tom learnt how to speak Japanese for the movie The Last Samurai. Thus, he was not lip-syncing in the movie as he actually understood the language. He spent months learning how to speak Japanese. Keep reading to know how Tom Cruise became a Japanese speaker.
How Tom Cruise Learnt How To Speak Japanese
Before his role in The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise spoke just as much Japanese as someone that had never learnt the language. He was so green to the language and could probably not translate any Japanese words, phrases or sentences. However, this did not deter him from learning the language when it became important that he did so for his role in the movie. He got to work as soon as possible and studied the language. He mastered the pronunciation so that the words were natural like a native speaker. His performance in The Last Samurai was legendary for his sword fighting and speaking Japanese. Tom had to master sword fighting, including the difficult daisho blade work. He also had to learn how to speak Japanese and a study on the history of Japan.
He put in so much effort to get the character right and his effort obviously paid off. The movie was a major hit worldwide. It grossed $456 million in the box office and completely stole the heart of the Japanese. Captain Nathan Algren was a favourite amongst the Japanese, and this was the beginning of a great relationship between Tom Cruise and Japan.
To show their love and appreciation, the Japanese have made October 6 as official Tom Cruise day in Japan. The love between the Japanese and Tom Cruise seems to be mutual as Tom Cruise has visited Japan severally. Tom definitely enjoyed travelling to Japan and enjoyed learning about Japanese culture. Expressing his love for travelling and learning other cultures, Tom Cruise said, “One of the great things about being an actor is that I get to travel “I get to learn about the people and that is the most enjoyable thing to me, to learn the history of other people and how people live in their daily lives, and even though the language is different, you find that common ground of joy, happiness, pain. It’s the humanity, and it really gives you a sense of we’re all in this thing together here, that’s why we gotta help each other out, and I really enjoy that.”
Working With A Japanese Cast
Tom gushed about working with a Japanese cast. According to him, they gave him so much support. They worked as a team, and he loved the team spirit. He said that when he was practising his language, Hiroyuki Sanada, his co-star, would come and help him with his accent. He also consulted Japanese offset about their culture and things he had researched, and they confirmed most of the things. The movie producer, Marshall Herskovits, had this to say about Tom.
“Tom threw himself wholeheartedly into the preparation. I’ve never seen an actor do as much research for a film. He had a library of information and was amazingly helpful.
Generally, Tom Cruise is a team player who likes to get most of his cast involved on set. He is not a one-man show, and this is one of the reasons he got his role in The last samurai perfectly. He goes the extra mile to get things done, and for this movie, it took learning sword fighting, learning how to speak Japanese and learning the Japanese culture to do so. He did all three, and the movie was successful in Japan and all over the world.