Interview with HYDE & Gackt from the Moon Child Photo Book

The following is taken nearly verbatim from:


Thanks to gekka_no_neko for her hard work on the translation. You can find her here: http://gekka-no-neko.livejournal.com.

Interviewer: Q
Gackt: G

Q: When did you first come up with the concept for “Moon Child?”

G: Last year……around September [of 2001]. I started with a vague image of the whole story, which was put into sound on the album “Moon.” Because of that, I was able to reimagine it as images. Then, I talked with HYDE about the movie around last April [of 2002].

Q: So it started to take shape soon after you thought of the concept.

G: Yeah. Before talking to HYDE, I had discussed with most of the staff, “Let’s do it this way, let’s make it like this.” From the beginning, I wanted to perform in the movie itself……Kei’s role. I did include others when thinking about who would be good in the role, but when it came to the story and the need to have a strong on-screen presence, it became apparent that HYDE might be good. But, the film studio people said “HYDE has received many requests to do movies, but he’s brushed them all off.” That has nothing to do with it–is what I thought (laughs).

Q: Was it because you didn’t want to do films up until then, or was it more that nothing really appealed to you?

H: Yeah, nothing really appealed to me, but also, I didn’t know of any good examples among musicians who have appeared in movies. Musicians who act are often looked at coldly, and I couldn’t imagine putting myself in that position. And……because I didn’t have the confidence to get past those hurdles, I thought, “I can’t possibly appear in a movie.”

Q: As if it wasn’t clear what was being asked of you.

H: Yeah, that’s right. Up until then, I felt like, “Do you know what you’re talking about?” But this time, it was a totally different style.

G: At first, the staff were saying, “He really won’t be in it” and “that’s impossible/unnatural.” Because they had this image of HYDE brushing off all talks about doing movies. But I said, “I don’t think it’s impossible.” I figured he wouldn’t necessarily brush off this kind of talk, so I said, “Then I’ll go talk to him directly.” So, I contacted HYDE and we went out to eat together. While talking about many things in addition to the movie, I tempted/invited/enticed him by saying, “We can make something really interesting, let’s give it a try together.” I was thinking, if someone talked to me about a movie or a piece of work, what is it that I would consider first? I thought that ultimately, I would look at not only the work itself, but also the “my own self” of the person who brought forth (the idea of) the work. The world view within the person trying to create the work, and the world created by visual images, are unknown and can’t be expressed through a (film) script, right? So……of course the script was included (in the discussion), but I told him, “If you can face me and say ‘It looks interesting’ ‘I would really like to join you in this’, then let’s go for it together.”

Q: You would never get a favorable response from the person you’re trying to move unless you can, from the heart, endorse (the idea) as if it were similar to that person’s world view.

G: That’s right. In my mind, HYDE’s image had already been developing in that world; and I believed that only HYDE could physically bring out the thoughts within the character in this story. HYDE could definitely express the thoughts of this character, Kei. After getting that across to him, he later responded, “Okay, I understand.”

Q: Before this project evolved, the two of you didn’t interact closely, so at that time, what was your image of HYDE?

G: I guess it wasn’t really an image. I think I sensed that he had a very strong presence. When I face someone, I don’t create an image on my own however I’d like [from a selfish standpoint]; I didn’t know anything (about the person) at that time. I just knew the songs he’s released, and I’d seen him on TV; I’ve had the chance to be touched by those works in which he has expressed himself. At any rate, I guess the best way to say it is that I was attracted to the strong presence that he put into those works.

H: He kindly says such things about me, and yet I don’t understand it myself (laughs).

G: Well, we haven’t talked about that, have we. It’s like, “I want your strong presence!” (laughs).

H: At first, I did have some anxiety. But what I felt the strongest when we went out to eat together was that the creator’s view of human nature and the world, as expressed by Gacchan [i.e. Gackt], was different from conversations about movies I’ve had in the past. I was filled with anxiety, and although I couldn’t say yes, if I was being watched by Dracula then I also couldn’t say no, that’s how it was (laughs). So even though I hadn’t said yes or no, at that time I thought, “Aa, I’m going to be in this film, aren’t I.” It’s just that I was still scared…… I wondered what the staff thought about me being in the film and I really didn’t have any confidence, so with the thought of “Everyone calm down a little!” I did the camera test. I guess after viewing the camera test it was settled, but as for me, I was still thinking, “Is it really going to be alright?”

Q: What did you think when you first learned that the role you would play was not human?

H: When it comes to characters, I like those who have characteristics like Kei, so I was genuinely happy. Though I did also wonder, why me for this role?

Q: Because HYDE has a superhuman charm/appeal?

G: That’s true, I think he does have that superhuman quality. At any rate, I felt that he had an appeal that no one else had even before I met him; I felt it all the more when I actually did meet him. It’s something you can see clearly, and his straightforwardness goes right to his core. And at the same time, he has this cute side of him that makes you overlook that……

Q: Like his appeal is his elusiveness/vagueness (laughs).

G: Right, right (laughs). That’s why I was sure that appeal would come through in the movie and that he could communicate (the story) as it was intended. And, when the script was finished, the director still didn’t know HYDE very well, so I said, “You won’t really understand until you meet him” and the three of us, along with some other staff, met together. But when we finally met together, sure enough, an extremely unpleasant atmosphere hung in the air. The director himself said that he was an outgoing person, but he was so incredibly quiet! He’s a director and yet he was so shy.

Q: Even though he was the director……

G: That’s right. And, HYDE is a very considerate person, so he did talk, but the conversation just didn’t flow. That was just so strange (laughs). As I watched those two from the side, I thought, how interesting~. Because I like that side of HYDE. Then the next day we did the camera test, and for me, I could see the result ever since the three of us met, and I knew from that point that something great could be created. Maybe HYDE has an aura that can overwhelm people. I don’t know how much he is conscious of that, but it’s probably something that he’s had all along, and at the same time, he carries within himself the simplicity of a human; I can really sense that as being the strength of an artist. So when most people see HYDE with their own eyes……those people get flustered/panicky (laughs). He’s someone who creates such pressure that he affects everyone like that. And for me, I enjoyed it.

Q: He may be the type that surprisingly makes people nervous even though there’s no physical or logical reason.

G: Yeah, those things don’t really matter. I think there’s a part of me like that too; because when the filming started, none of the staff would talk to me. At first I even thought, “Do they hate me?” (laughs). Then, I saw HYDE and realized, “Aa, that’s what it’s like.” Admittedly, I thought that it might be a problem (laughs). Though I was happy as it was. Because I wanted to bring out the aura that HYDE has in this movie, and I knew he could do it.

Q: It’s really rare to meet someone who can let you feel that on the surface, isn’t it.

G: Right, right. On top of that, it’s rare to feel it mutually, so I was really happy. Even though we may have appeared on the same music programs before, singing and watching are different things. But when you think about it, this is like standing on the same stage together, isn’t it? That’s why it’s all the more rare.

H: By the way, I hadn’t had many conversations with people up to now. I don’t have much interest in meeting people, so even when I get acquainted with someone, I don’t usually become good friends with them. And yet when I met with and performed together with him, we suddenly became good friends, and saw things eye-to-eye, and that atmosphere was a breath of fresh air for me. ……Aa, that’s it. I was sort of like a groupie. Like, “Aa, this person has been on TV!” (laughs).

Q: Though you’re on TV yourself (laughs). So there were a lot of things you realized only after you actually started working together.

H: That’s true. The biggest thing I realized was that the process of creating is the same whatever it is you’re making. I don’t only make music, I also design things including concert stages, and I’m always in the state of creating things. Because I like to create things……As for movies, it’s a genre for acting, isn’t it? As you’d expect, there was some resistance to that. It’s the same work as creating something, but I figured there were a lot of other things I wanted to do rather than venture into acting, so a part of me was avoiding it. The things I’ve done outside of music haven’t stood out very much; they are things like designs I wanted to do purely out of my own desire, and accessories that I really wanted (to make), that kind of small level (of activity). But when I took on this project, although the form was different, I got the impression that the end product reflected the stance I’ve always had. I thought, “Aa, it’s just like the designs I’ve been creating all along.” The moment it was over, it felt just like a tour was over, and I had the feeling of “we all did well together!” I thought that everything was all linked together.

Q: But for example, a promotional video is made by expressing yourself through images that match with the song you created, while an acting performance is something that’s pre-arranged to a certain degree and you have to adjust yourself (to the part). A task that requires you to bring out something that was created within yourself is quite different from taking on something that you didn’t have before and then bringing it out on the first try.

H: But I’ve been singing for over ten years now, and even there I’ve shown characters that aren’t me, and really, the characters in the songs normally aren’t myself. In that way, I think songs are similar to movies. Well, this is probably different from a “song”, so in that way…… You know, if the role had been much different then I probably would’ve answered differently. This role was unexpectedly similar to the way I express myself on stage so I somehow felt very close to it. If it was a movie like “Tsuri baka nisshi” [“Diary of a Fishing Fool”] I think it’d be just a little bit different (laughs).

Q: Like “Kita no kuni kara” [“From the Northern Country” 80s drama series].

H: Right, right. If it was something like that, I might’ve also seriously felt “Aa, I get to perform this role” (laughs), but even though it was of course a first for me, I felt an affinity for this role because it included many of the world views that I like; it was like an extension of what I had been doing up to then. There were so many common denominators. And conversely, what was really refreshing was that for the first time I could have a meeting of the minds with someone who wasn’t a band member; I could talk to him in a way that seemed like I knew him for years. It was fun but I also had a strange feeling of “Huh, this is what it’s like.”

Q: And you had only met Gackt once or twice before then.

H: I didn’t have the chance to meet him before we went out to eat. After the first time I met him, I only saw him briefly once in those two years, though I think I saw him at some radio station last November. Aa, I remember that well. Because it was a really narrow passageway.

G: I’m an idiot for not realizing that (laughs).

H: Well you had just come out of the studio, so that’s probably why (laughs). You know, from a while ago……he has that unique/special aura that everyone knows, right? I had thought that was really interesting. Then he started appearing on TV more often, and I began thinking even more “This person is interesting! How cute~” and I had really wanted to meet him. Then I did meet him on some music program and finally got to talk with him a little, and because I had wanted to meet him, I was really happy. And you know, this relates exactly to “image” that we were talking about, but I conversely didn’t want to break the image of him that I had created for myself. Then when I actually met him, I found he was much deeper than that image, and there was a lot about him that impressed me; I thought he was an accomplished person and I really had interest in him. Because of that, I listened carefully when he talked about the movie, and you know, I enjoy just talking with him above all else (laughs).

Q: It’s really great when you can enjoy everything that comes from the other person.

H: That’s true. At any rate, the idea was amazing. And I felt that way during the filming as well.

G: In order to get the most out of HYDE’s good-naturedness (laughs).

H: To me, musicians and actors do have things in common but…… in a sense it was like a play. I was seen from many angles and I felt embarrassed (laughs). But Gacchan took me in a direction that made it easier to act, and everyone would say things like “Aa, if you say it that way then it’d be easier.” The director also told me “You don’t have to push yourself to follow the script, just act it naturally.” Actually I was being rescued a lot.

Q: So in essence, there were a lot of things beyond acting that were needed from you?

H: That’s why there were things I thought about unnecessarily. Because I myself can’t tell if I have presence, right? Because I don’t know how I’m being perceived by others, I think to myself “Then this is my natural limit”, but when it came to smoking a cigarette, I couldn’t think of which hand to hold it in. When drinking milk, I’d wonder, “what is my left hand ordinarily doing?” (laughs) and then when filming starts, I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s something I should be doing naturally but the thoughts keep swirling in my mind, “where should I put this hand?”

Q: It’s like you can’t distinguish the boundary between natural and unnatural (laughs).

H: Right, right. When I’m singing during a concert, I can hold the mic stand, and when I feel something is missing from my hands, I can solve that by holding my guitar; but I can’t exactly walk around carrying a guitar when I’m acting. So, I was nervous about that from the beginning. When filming a PV, there were so many times where I also thought, “What does this hand normally do?” Those are the times when I thought “I’m not cut out for acting!”

Q: So, while being told “please act as usual”, what kind of person is Kei as you portrayed him in your own way?

H: I wonder? I may be the one who doesn’t know that the most. The acting wasn’t uncomfortable, but I thought……I wouldn’t like it if this guy really existed. After all, it’s pretty gross to suck an old man’s blood (laughs).

Q: Well that’s probably what Kei felt very strongly too (laughs). And you probably weren’t uncomfortable because there are a lot of parts of Kei that match up with yourself.

H: Aa, that would be true. I approached the performance by looking at the script and thinking “If it were me, I’d act this way, if the circumstances were not the same then I wouldn’t do it that way.” And I also put myself in Kei’s place, imagining what kind of person I would be if I had his fateful circumstances. So there isn’t really a difference, but it’s just that……I’m basically a human being so in that way there were many difficulties. I have always liked this kind of character, so that alone grabbed my heart. If you disregard the setting and think of him as some other character, I think Kei is a really simple person. Or rather than simple, he’s a cool person.

Q: Being cool is one thing, but he could never become a cold-hearted person.

H: I think that’s what is appealing about him. He’s extremely lonely……all the characters hate being alone, but he wishes for love from somewhere while still remaining cool. I think that may be his charm.

Q: And what about the character Sho played by Gackt?

G: He’s extremely human, and he shows his emotions in an eccentric way. He’s not interested in things that don’t concern him; he’s a unique and dangerous person who gets angry when he’s touched. His dual nature makes him fascinating, because he also has an extremely gentle side. There’s a part of him that has not fully grown into an adult, and it’s as if he defends this precious part of himself. The essential point is that he has a pure heart, and that kind of person is extremely fascinating to me. Of course, he has that way of life due to various things in his background, and you can’t say that he’s been fortunate.

Q: Are there any parts of Sho that you think are similar to yourself?

G: As far as eccentricities, it seems like I included an excess of characteristics of myself from when I was in my late teens. I wasn’t quite as eccentric as him, because I am straightforward. I don’t think I’m as violent/intense as that, but the way he expresses his anger and sadness is really quite similar to myself. So even during the filming, I freely got into my part. Even if it was just a rehearsal, I’d be crying on my own while HYDE was saying his lines (laughs). My eyes were all red even before we started the actual shooting.

Q: So you were crying from the very beginning.

G: Right, right, I was told “Your eyes are red but……” and I did my best to cool down. That is similar to a part of myself, so that’s why I got so into it.

Q: Sho’s extremes are wide-ranging, aren’t they.

G: I think his meter doesn’t stop in the center. He quickly takes off and plunges into the red zone for everything. Eventually the state of being in the red diminishes and he nicely moves to a state just before zero. It may look as though he is extremely stable at that point, but he can be a person who will plunge right back into the red zone at the smallest opportunity. Yup, Sho’s a lovable guy.

Interview with HYDE and Gackt

(subtitled by gekka no neko)

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