In a new interview done before the SAG strike, GamesRadar got a chance to sit down with One Piece’s Taz Skylar. The man to bring Sanji to the live-action series had a challenging task. While he highlights the time he spent doing all the kicks himself in the same interview, he also didn’t shy away from how they approached the more controversial aspect of his character.
He goes on to say that “everything’s a translation” and how they knew they couldn’t just adapt it “frame-by-frame,” an important lesson for most live-action adaptations.
I think we had a lot of conversations about how everything’s a translation. Like, I had a lot of images of Sanji on my wall that were from the anime. And everything is a translation, because it can’t be frame-by-frame. But I can interpret everything that he does, everything that I see that he does, and put it into what I deem to be a translation into live action, because essentially, it’s a different language. It’s no longer 2D, it’s 3D, so like innately there is a translation there.Taz Skylar
There was an understanding that the way he shows his affection to girls won’t quit work in a Western setting. He also shows his knowledge of the character given his familial relationship with his sister and mother. It seems they used that as a basis for how they tackle his take.
As in, the background that he has with women in terms of the relationship he had with his mother, the relationship he had with his sister, the way that they interacted with him as opposed to the way that his brothers and his father used to interact with him. That to me, speaks volumes about why he may have a certain relationship with women in general and how we may react to it. In the sense that I don’t have to question at all why he cares so much about women. And that’s what I was hanging on to throughout it.Taz Skylar
He highlights that instead of trying to avoid his behavior being one way, they simply wanted to take the core of his overall interaction as the basis for this “translation” of this version of Sanji.
So as opposed to trying to really meter whether it comes off as creepy or whether it comes off as flirty, I would just imbue it with, “I really care about this person.” And hopefully what came out was a good translation. I won’t judge the result; I’ll just tell you about the process.Taz Skylar
Taz Skylar is definitely showcasing a strong understanding of the character and a passion to bring him to life. It’ll be interesting to see how it comes together once we actually get to watch him in action in the series instead of just snippets during a trailer.