The Dangers of Suit Acting

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Llante
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The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Llante » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:06 pm

The suit actors from Toho studios have been a brave lot of men and women and have gone through the tortures of acting in a heavy suit while trying not to pass out from heat exhaustion, accidentally destroy the wrong buildings, and choreograph their moves properly.

And luckily, things weren't disastrous most of the time. However, there were those couple of times when disasters or other large mishaps happened on set.
Now, I want you to share some of the stories you have heard or errors you may have even noticed while watching the movies about those times when things go disastrously wrong with the suits.


For example, last night, when I was watching Godzilla vs Megalon I noticed that the Godzilla suit's eyebrow accidentally caught on fire during an explosion scene where previously, the pyrotechnics were a safe distance away from the suit actors.

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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:20 pm

Haruo Nakajima had all kinds of dangerous experiences while suit-acting. Off the top of my head:

- While playing Godzilla, he was accidentally (I think; it might've been intentional) set on fire during MvsG's military attack sequence.

- While playing the title monster in Rodan's fighter jet battle scene, the wires holding him aloft snapped and dumped him into the river.

- He was injured by pyrotechnics while playing Varan.

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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Julia Bristow » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:04 pm

According to what I heard in the art of suit acting feature in the GRA DVD that Haruo Nakajima had explosive charges go off around his head & his shoulders in War of The Gargantuas
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:27 pm

Living Corpse wrote:For accidents (fires in MvsG, Megalon, TOMG) they are pretty cool and thankfully no one got hurt.


What scene was the TOMG fire from? I haven't seen it in a while.

And yeah, accidents made for a lot of cool scenes in these movies. Things like that add to the appeal of the effects, too. It's easy to dismiss the monsters as 'guys in fake-looking rubber dinosaur suits', but these actors put a lot of hard and painful work into making their characters look as good as they did.

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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:39 pm

^ Ah. Yeah, I remember that now.

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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby edgaguirus » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:27 pm

Pyrotechnics are dangerous no matter what the distance. I remember the head catching fire in M vs G, and the barrage of explosions all around Godzilla in ToMG. It's dangerous work to wear a monster suit.

I don't remember which film it was, but I've heard that the suit actor had to deal with an exposed wire. The wire that lights up the spines had an exposed spot, which resulted in the actor getting a slight shock whenever the spines lit up.
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby JVM » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:15 am

Wasn't there an incident during the filming of the original movie?
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:09 am

^ That was during the filming of Ebirah: Horror of the Deep, if I remember correctly.

And of course, the Burning Godzilla Suit was perhaps one of the worst. The actor repeatedly got electrocuted by the suit during water scenes and the smoke generated by the suit sometimes caused him to pass out on set.
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Space Hunter M » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:17 am

There are plenty more instances of near death experiences in the big pool. When Nakajima and Hirose fell into the pool as Godzilla and King Kong, the staff couldn't react in time and they could've drowned then as well. Ken Satsuma also told a frightening tale of his experience as the 1989 Godzilla during the shooting of one of the water scenes.
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Breakdown » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:13 pm

Living Corpse wrote:I don't know which film it was but one suit actor almost drowned.

I remember in Bringing Godzilla Down to Size, the guy who portrayed the Millennium Godzilla almost drowened because of a machine that would pull the suit underwater for scenes where Godzilla dove. His oxygen mask fell off and he almost drowned.
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Re: The Dangers of Suit Acting

Postby Dr. Nishiyama » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:49 pm

in Godzilla VS Biollante, Kenpachiro Satsuma commented how difficult it was walking out of the Mt. Mihara crater miniature, not being able to see very well and having trouble walking up the incline

Also, Satsuma said each time he was hit with a projectile missile (ie, a firework) it felt like he was being pelted by rocks, and when they used those "light up" fins (instead of animating the rubber ones on the suit for when Godzilla fires his atomic ray) it would sometimes give him a jolt or shock.

In The Return of Godzilla, a wire in the suit's leg came lose and cut a nasty gash into Satsuma's leg. Also, during Godzilla's fight with the fighter jets he worried he would tip over and drown since the suit was so heavy and didn't have much faith in the FX crew to come rescue him in time

In Destoroyah, Satsuma said he almost died a few times breathing in the smoke from the Burning Godzilla suit when his oxygen mask slipped or fell off during takes.


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