Haruo Nakajima, Man Inside Godzilla Suit, Dies at 88

Nakajima tries on the suit one last time for

Harau Nakajima, who was the man inside the monster suit for every "Godzilla" film from the 1954 original to 1972's "Godzilla vs. Gigan", died Monday (Aug. 7), according to Variety, citing "Godzilla" studio Toho.

Japanese movie major Toho confirmed Nakajima's death. Besides his resume of monster flicks, Nakajima had small parts in Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress.

While the gig paid well, Nakajima said he didn't initially get the respect he deserved donning the 100 kilogram Godzilla suit. In the interview, the actor opens up about his research for the role and how the Godzilla costume weighed as much as 100kg.

Nakajima went on to play Godzilla a dozen times.

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Speaking with Great Big Story in March, he revealed that the reason the heavy concrete was used instead of rubber was because of a shortage of the latter stemming from World War II. He didn't have any direction to play Godzilla, so he based his performance on animals at the Tokyo zoo. "Godzilla is a creature of the Americans", Nakajima said.

Godzilla, a walking, radiation-breathing analogy for nuclear disaster resonated in Japan. "It remains in people's memory, and for that I feel really grateful". "He showed our audiences that atomic bombs are frightening".

With both 2014's Godzilla and this year's Kong: Skull Island managing to outperform expectations, the MonsterVerse from Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers is off to a good start.

"My biggest influence came from bears, the way bears move is very interesting", said Nakajima in a 2008 documentary about playing the monster. After several roles in samurai and WWII films, Haruo Nakajima would make an impression on director Ishirō Honda, earning him a spot in Honda's upcoming, untitled monster movie.

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