Mackenyu Maeda or Mackenyu Arata, or simply Mackenyu, is a Japanese actor who plays the role of Roronoa Zoro in Netflix’s One Piece Live Action. The live-action was a massive hit among the One Piece fandom and a way to spread it in the Western countries. Till now, it has been quite successful in its task, receiving a lot of praise from critics and fans.
The show was number one on Netflix’s top ten list for a few days after its release. Even though Eiichiro Oda was present behind the camera, it was not an easy task to pick the right candidates for the roles of the Strawhats. The role of Roronoa Zoro was especially tough, and Mackenyu had a hard time getting accustomed to it.
Mackenyu Trained Hard For Live Action Roronoa Zoro
Roronoa Zoro is the right hand of Monkey D. Luffy and the vice-captain of the Strawhat Pirates. The weightage of this character shows that it was going to be tough from the beginning. Zoro has three swords. While fighting, he holds one in each hand and holds the third one with his teeth. So Mackenyu had to undergo jaw training to be the perfect Zoro.
Mackenyu did several other anime live adaptions, including Rurouni Kenshin: The Final. Over there, too, he played the role of a swordsman. But he said that all of his characters are special in their own ways. During an interview with Collider, Mackenyu was asked whether he was feeling pressurized with such a big title since he has already acted in other live actions.
Mackenyu replied,” They are all different in their own special ways. But this one was definitely the biggest, long-going manga ever. So, there was definitely pressure but I’ve kept my focus on the roles and how to bring Zoro to life.” He added, “The training I did for One Piece was specific for Zoro and the skills needed to really be him. My jaw had on-the-job training.”
One Piece Showrunner On Mackenyu’s Training
Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, looked at every audition and then chose Mackenyu to be Roronoa Zoro. One Piece showrunner Matt Owens is a huge fan of the anime. There was no way that both of them would just let Mackenyu make a loose impression. Mackenyu had to train like hell to portray Zoro on the live screen.
Matt Owens said in with Bopping, “Casting Zoro was as difficult as Luffy. We had a very specific checklist that we needed. Mackenyu checked all of those boxes & then some. He works really hard, especially with his stunt work. He took it very seriously, and it shows.”
Mackenyu’s training did not just include his sword training. He rejected prosthetics and dyed his hair green to maintain the authenticity of the character. There is hardly anyone who would go to the lengths that he went to just to be perfect. The show became a hit, and people loved Mackenyu as live-action Zoro. Even though he went through hell, his hard work paid off. Truly, Roronoa Zoro is the king of hell.
Source: Bopping (YouTube)