Ningin has interviewed BoA, the Wonder Girls, Utada, and many other wonderful Asian celebs. This interview with Rain felt bigger than all of those. For me, part of the reason why is because of what we’re interviewing him for, the Ninja Assassin movie – the first big budget Hollywood film with an Asian male lead and a mostly Asian cast. Plus, it’s Rain. There’s no bigger male Asian pop star in the world! I was actually a little nervous but, more excited than anything else.
I don’t know if the Warner reps picked up on my nervousness or not, but they told me not to worry and that Rain is a great and easy guy to talk to, much easier than a lot of other non-Asian celebs they worked with. I said yea, in general, all the Asian celebs I interviewed before are like that. It’s part of the pop-factory education process over there.
The room was a lot larger than the photo shows and that red couch was where Rain and I sat for the interview. My actual time with Rain was about 25-30 mins. 10-15 of those minutes was spent listening to Rain and his friends play around with some 3-D camera from Fuji. He was taking pictures of Time Square with it. One of those pictures is a big Ninja Assassin billboard in the middle of Time Square. I can only imagine how cool it is to see a billboard of your movie, with you in it, at the epic center of New York City.
Hoc: Thank you Rain for taking the time to talk to Ningin.com. We have many fans of yours on our site!
Rain: No problem, anytime.
Hoc: Was shooting Ninja Assassin the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Rain: I trained for 8 months, 6 hours a day. 5 hours were spent on martial arts training and one hour on total body fitness. (looking somewhat sad) The hardest part was the diet where I could only eat chicken and vegetables.
(The press package had a note from the Director saying Rain joked around about eating noodles, drinking beers, and smoking cigars when the shooting was over.)
Hoc: How did you prepare for your role as Raizo? Did you dress up like a ninja for two months and sneak up on people? What was your inspiration?
I think Raizo is a very strong character. He was very fun to play. I watched a lot of ninja movies and cartoons.
Hoc: Like which ones?
Rain: Ninja. That’s the title of the movie and many other samurai shows.
Hoc: Describe how you felt when the Wachowski brothers asked you to play a ninja?
Rain: I love working with the Wachowski brothers; they take good care of me. When they asked me if I wanted to play a ninja, I said, “how could I say no to that.” We have a very good relationship.
Hoc: Do you plan on working with them in the future?
Rain: Yes, I hope so but nothing definite right now.
Hoc: Those weapons in the movie look razor sharp considering they could slice people in half and all. Did you cut yourself or get hurt during the movie?
Rain: Yea I did get hurt a few times.
Hoc: Wait like, broken bones, deep gashes, stuff like that?
Rain: Yes I did get cut a lot; all over my body and even on my nose and my face. But they took good care of me, and I’m fined.
(starring at his face, I don’t see visible scars.)
Hoc: Are you concerned about getting typecast? Or do you only want to do action films. You’ve done two films in the US, Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin. Both are action-oriented movies.
Rain: Speed Racer was fun but very different from Ninja Assassin. The work is much more intense. I did much more training for Ninja Assassin. But I want to do all types of movies — horrors, romance, [and] comedy.
Hoc: Speaking of comedy, and I know Ninja Assassin isn’t technically a comedy, but you had some really funny one-liners in Ninja Assassin, (doing my best Raizo voice) “I don’t mean to be critical, but you need to finish now.” (This was during a scene where Rain was tied up and Mika was trying as fast as she could to unlock all the restraints on Raizo while a ninja was moments away from slashing Raizo and Mika in half.) I’m wondering if there’s a chance we’ll see you working with Ben Stiller or in some comedy movie soon?
Rain: (Rain didn’t know who Ben Stiller was, his translator had to tell him he was a famous comedian. Sorry Ben if you ever read this!) I would love to do comedies with Ben Stiller or anyone. I have no projects lined up but I’m currently looking at three scripts. I want to do all type of movies. You might see a comedy film very soon! That’s all I can say right now.
Hoc: Well, I’m sure you just made a lot of people happy right about now.
(Rain asks me a question.)
Rain: Have you seen the movie? What did you think of it?
Hoc: (about to say badass, but stopped myself.) I thought it was fantastic. The fighting scenes were so intense and unreal. I especially liked the scene in the bathroom where you were given your first assignment to kill. It may not have all the special effects and choreography, but it was so visceral, like a life-or-death brawl.
Rain: What about the rooftop scene? That’s my favorite scene in the movie.
Hoc: Aw man, that was a great scene too. It’s the one most oft repeated scene in the trailers and at this press junket. It was where Raizo finally decided to betray his father and family. Overall, it was a powerful and sad scene because Raizo nearly died and was the turning point of the story. I half-expected Raizo to killed a few people and run away. I didn’t think he would stay and get cut up like he did.
Rain: (nodding his head as I talked) I really enjoyed shooting that. It was a lot of fun.
(Director James McTeigue goes into more detail about that scene in part 3.)
Hoc: What do you on your days off?
Rain: I would love to sleep. A good day for me is if I can sleep in.
Hoc: Ok, besides sleep, what do you do for fun?
Rain: I like to play sports. I love basketball and baseball and anything where I move around a lot.
Hoc: Oh you like baseball (I’m a huge Yankees fan). What’s your favorite team?
Rain: Lakers. Oh baseball team, I like the Yankees.
Hoc: You’re not just saying that because you’re in New York are you?
Rain: No, I like them a lot.
Hoc: Then you must be happy they won the World Series?
Rain: (smiles) Yes I am.
Hoc: By the way, do you play video games?
Rain: No, I hate games, and never play them.
Hoc: Ok thanks for a great interview, I had a lot of fun!
Rain: No problem, thank you. Bye.
I came in with a bunch more questions for Rain, but unfortunately didn’t get around to asking them. Perhaps next time. He was so easy to talk to, I felt like I could talk for hours. Then again, I’m sure a lot of people (especially girls) would say that in Rain’s presence. Everyone talks about how nice and easy going Rain is. I got to experience that firsthand. And I have to say, it felt pretty good.
We talk a lot about Rain too in that part ^_^
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