We talk to the protagonist about his leading role!
Erich Hau: When performing this role, was there any prep work involved in trying to capture a character from a show that was on-air 40 years ago?
Wayne Grayson: Not so much prep work, but I remember playing with the Shogun Warriors in the seventies and Great Mazinger was among those warriors. I didn’t have that toy, though, a neighbor did and he also had Godzilla, but I had Draguun, so we had giant mecha/kaiju wars in our backyards all the time. I never saw the show back then, but I guess on some level, I was trying to channel the excitement and wonder of those battles when recording this film.
Were there any scenes while recording that was challenging for you to do? Any notable production stories?
On both sides of the spectrum, there were challenges. Since this film is so action-heavy, there was an awful lot of shouting, which takes its toll on the ol’ pipes. On the other hand, there was also a great deal of emotional content, particularly when dealing with the more spiritual aspects of the story. Michael Sinterniklaas is very much an actor’s director and we work well together. While we were recording MAZINGER Z: INFINITY, I was also rehearsing a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, so my availability was fairly limited, as was Michael’s since he had to direct the other members of the cast. Time was a factor, so we really had to bear down and get to business. Michael and I also have a history as friends, so we often pal around and reminisce while we’re working, which makes for more pleasant and fun working experience. However, we really had a tight window to record this time and on our last day, with precious few minutes remaining, we still had a substantial amount of cues to get through. This was our only chance to finish by the deadline. Since we wanted to do justice to the humanity of the story, we really worked on making the drama as legit as possible and time started slipping away. It looked like we wouldn’t finish. With the mere turn of a script page, though, the story was all about battle. The small number of words I had to say did not have to match lip-flap and were charged with action. So, with all that energy invigorating us, Michael and I got our fourth wind and zoomed through an ungodly amount of cues in a small amount of time. The time crunch and the action in the story gave us the energy needed, so it became almost a symbiotic thing, wherein the story was giving us the power to tell it powerfully.
On that same note, were there any emotional moments in the story that stuck with you?
All of the afterlife stuff was challenging and very impactful on many levels. Reconciling the fatherly emotions with the strangeness of the situation was definitely an experience that lingered. Having Dan Green play my brother was also memorable, as he and I are close in real life, and we rarely get to play this dynamic off each other in a realistic manner.
Between Dr. Hell and Koji, whose hairstyle is the wildest?
Anybody who calls themselves “Dr. Hell” better have a hairstyle befitting that moniker. He gets my vote. Koji is a better groomer overall, I would say. Mike Pollock and I are, unfortunately, each balding at an equally alarming rate.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Questions By: Erich Hau
Article By: John Schwarz