Leonardo DiCaprio hopes his mind-warp thriller “Inception” will be a hit in Japan, which has long shown a taste for anime fantasies and surreal works by its own master-director Akira Kurosawa.
The Hollywood star was in Tokyo for the premiere of the sci-fi summer blockbuster by British director Christopher Nolan about a group of thieves who infiltrate their victims’ dreams to steal their thoughts.
“This is a very surreal, multi-dimensional plot structure (which) needs ideas that don’t come about from Hollywood very often,” DiCaprio said.
“I’m truly excited to see how the audiences here would react to this idea,” he said, crediting Japanese movie-goers with embracing new concepts such as works by animation director Hayao Miyazaki and cinema legend Kurosawa.
“I’m a huge fan of Japanese cinema, Japanese anime,” DiCaprio said at a Tokyo press conference. “The Miyazaki film ‘Spirited Away’ has very surreal landscapes that audiences here seem to embrace and seem to love.”
DiCaprio, a three-time Academy Award nominee, said his latest work stood out from what he admitted can be unimaginative Hollywood fare.
“Films that come out, especially during the summer time… seem to be a recycle from other plot structures, and this is truly unique,” he said.
His co-star Ken Watanabe meanwhile lavished praise on Nolan, with whom he tied up for a second time after the 2005 film “Batman Begins”, even likening him to the Italian Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci.
“I really wonder what’s happening in Chris Nolan’s head,” Watanabe said. “He has all sorts of elements, not only literary but also scientific and architectural, with a full drive to prepare them and carry them out.
“It even makes me think he is a comeback of da Vinci.”
But the Japanese actor also had a complaint to share: “The director first told me to play the role just like James Bond,” he said with a stern look.
“Unfortunately he didn’t have a Bond girl for me in the script.”