Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%

Will Yun Lee On The Wolverine
He'll admit to playing Kenuichio Harada - but does his character have another name?
Tao Okamoto Talks The Wolverine
As Mariko Yashida, she's bringing the romance
More Interviews

The Wolverine (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Rila Fukushima On The Wolverine
The film's Yukio on working with Jackman and working as a hitman...

submit to reddit

Rila Fukushima was best known as a model and had only appeared in one short film before she was cast in The Wolverine as Yukio. But we can expect to see much more of her in future; she has the acting bug now, and has training as an assassin so casting directors had better watch out. We chatted to her about working with Hugh Jackman's metal-boned mutant and how she approached the part...

Rila Fukushima On The Wolverine

Tell us about your character...
Wolverine travels to Japan to see his old friend, Master Yashida to talk about his immortality. My character, Yukio is working for the powerful Yashida family, for the guy that Wolverine met years ago. So I'm the one sent to find Logan and bring him to Japan.

And she's a fairly tough woman?
Yeah, she's pretty tough. A badass! She's highly trained in martial arts and is a bodyguard for the Yashida family.

How much training did you have to go through to play her?
Once I got the part, I started training for three weeks before we started training. It was challenging, but I had a lot of fun. I learned Japanese swords and Bo staff and to fist fight, plus some knife work. At first, I learned a little bit of everything, mainly katana and Bo staff. My character is the type of girl who can fight with anything. She can fight with a cell phone probably! Anything she finds. For this film, I had swords, staffs and my fists. I learned some gymnastics too. I can't spin in the air, unfortunately, but I learned basic things.

Did you adapt quickly? You must keep in shape to be a model.
I kicked people before, so I was ready for that. But I never killed people before, so they trained me very well.
I was exercising before I got the part because I love it, and I was taking martial arts classes for fitness. So it was definitely helpful because I had a little bit of muscle and some experience, and was okay with kicking people! I kicked people before, so I was ready for that. But I never killed people before, so they trained me very well. Now I can kill people, okay?

That's good to know. It's scary, but it's good to know.
If you need me to kill someone, just let me know. I'll fly there and I'll do it! I have to become Yukio, though, so I have to dye my hair red before I kill them, so it'll take three days' notice.

This is your first big film. How was it stepping onto the set for the first time?
It was, so everything was so new and fresh and amazing. Especially working with Hugh. He's a great performer and he's very nice to everyone on set. You felt like he's a superstar but he's a real person, and he made me want to keep acting in the future. I hope I can become like him in the future. I told him "thank you" a lot, and he said, "you don't have to thank me, when I started acting, a lot of people helped me out." He told me never to feel like I didn't belong. And that if I establish myself as an actress, I can help other people. It was such a lovely thing to hear from someone like Hugh. I'm excited to see the movie, but so nervous too!

How was it working with James Mangold?
He's the greatest director a first-time actor could work with! And he's great for actresses, especially his past film work. I'm very glad I could get to work with him. He gave me a lot of freedom to build my character, and even though he had millions of things to do on set, he gave me feedback and advice. I did a lot of the stunt sequences, so he was always making sure I was okay. Hugh and James worked together 10 years ago, so hopefully I can get to see James again in 10 years after I have some experience!

Was it interesting seeing Japan through Hugh and James and the crew's eyes?
Shooting in Japan is a great feeling because I appreciated that they came down to shoot part of the film there. We went to Yoshino Prefecture, which was so beautiful. I had seen some of it, but it was amazing to see people shooting there. They really picked some great locations. Some of the places they shot I had never seen, and it was awesome I got to go there. James loves a lot of Japanese films and filmmakers and got ideas for where he wanted to shoot.

How does modelling compare to acting?
I had been taking acting classes on and off while I was modelling, so I always had a dream to be in a film. I never thought about acting before I started modelling, but since then I've been in short films and music videos and I got interested. It felt natural to switch over. I tried to get ready slowly.

So how is it playing a Marvel character?
James Mangold told me he thinks next Halloween there will be a little girl with red hair like Yukio and that will be so cool!

Pick up the July 2012 issue of Empire magazine for much more on The Wolverine - including an exclusive interview with Hugh Jackman.

Interview by James White

Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)