Ansel Elgort plays an American crime reporter working in Japan in HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice'. Many fans were shocked to hear him speak rather fluent Japanese, so here's some background on how he managed to learn such a difficult language quickly.
Obviously, Elgort was taking his job seriously – casting in 'Tokyo Vice' came as a tremendous opportunity to flex his acting muscles, bidding farewell to his reputation as a heartthrob. Speaking to Japanese outlet Cinema Today, actor detailed his preparation process.
He studied Japanese every single day from the beginning of filming and continues to do so to this day. And we are not talking about some Duolingo exercises, but real 4-hours-a-day sessions with a professional tutor. Eventually Elgort got so good, even professional Japanese reporters were shocked when he started answering their questions in their language. Elgort clearly gave his all to this role while honoring and exploring the complexity of Japanese culture.
He is clearly interested in continuing his acting work in Tokyo, so perhaps HBO executives will give the go-ahead for the second installment of already successful 'Tokyo Vice'.
Fans over at Twitter are really impressed by Elgort's authentic pronunciation, but his acting abilities are still under fire.