'Babel' Star Talks of Playing Mute

That was the most important aspect that I paid attention to, in that scene she basically has nothing to lose, nothing more to lose, so she is throwing herself at this man just so she can have an emotional connection. So to me that feels like a very basic human need.

Variety, the leading entertainment trade magazine in the United States, has termed you one of the "10 Actors to Watch." How do you respond to this?

Me being named in this list, or the film-winning prizes, those are great things. But if more audiences are taking notice, however it is that their attention is drawn to it, that is the most important thing. The more audiences take notice of this film, and go see this film, the better. That is ultimately the most important thing. I am certainly happy about it

What did the film mean to you when you saw all the parts together, the final version? What is it about the story in the film that particularly struck you, that meant something to you, that makes you think that people should go see this film?

What struck me in the film was the whole notion of communication within a miscommunication. Miscommunication has certain negative connotations that suggest there is no communication but actually miscommunicating can reveal the possibility for more deeper understanding.

What you think might be wasted effort or wasted time caused by this miscommunication can enable you to think about other things or consider things from another perspective so I think there's a lot of meaning that can be discovered from that.

Though the film is ultimately about miscommunication, I think the film is also representing miscommunication in a positive way, showing all the consequences but ultimately also having all the characters develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the world that surrounds them precisely through these miscommunications.

You have worked only in Japanese cinema before this. How was the production of "Babel" different from the other films you have worked on in the past? Would you like to do more international productions now?

Since I have only worked on one Hollywood production, I can't really compare, but I actually think that it's really more up to the director rather than where the film is being produced, whether it's Japanese or Hollywood or anything else.

It's up to the director, and Alejandro was a very passionate man and the way he did things was very much his own way. The way you cast and the way things work on the set really depends on the director, so that's probably the most crucial aspect of a film.

As for international productions, I'm not necessarily interested in so-called "international productions," that's not so relevant for me, as long as there's a role that I can be passionate about, that I can be serious about and that I feel is worth investing myself in, I would take on any role from any country.

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