Masala: How ‘Bullet Train’ Cast Keeps Chemistry on Track

For one group of trigger-happy assassins, Japan’s famous bullet train provides chances for both vengeance and testing skills—in addition to the fastest route to Kyoto, of course. 

The action-comedy “Bullet Train,” which premiered on Aug. 5, follows Ladybug (Brad Pitt), an unlucky assassin attempting to do his job peacefully after several gigs go wrong. However, his latest mission puts him at the center of a whirlwind of disaster when a handful of assassins cross paths on a train. Who will make it off the train alive? 

Four actors from the all-star cast, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Tangerine), Brian Tyree Henry (Lemon), Hiroyuki Sanada (The Elder) and Andrew Koji (Yuichi Kimura), recently joined Character Media to discuss on-set chemistry, production for the movie, their eclectic characters and much more. Taylor-Johnson, who plays Tangerine, explains how their dynamic characters translated to the screen. “I didn’t really know Tangerine until Brian stepped into the shoes of Lemon, and then when we first met it was instantaneous, brilliant chemistry,” Taylor-Johnson said. “We just hit it off.”

Henry added that they both wanted to display their actual kinship in the film so audiences would feel their sense of brotherhood. “We wanted there to be this kind of sinew that connected them both together, that people would care about them,” Henry said. “You find yourself rooting for these sociopathic assassins, and that mostly came because Aaron and I cared about each other.”

While Tayor-Johnson and Henry discussed how their friendship resonated on the silver screen, Andrew Koji, who plays gangster muscle Kimura, discussed the production side of shooting the movie amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “Almost everything was shot in the sound studio, except external location flashbacks, but the main part was too surreal because of all the COVID lockdown, the masks, distancing,” Koji explained.

Watch the full interview above to hear more about the actors’ perspectives and don’t forget to catch “Bullet Train,” in theaters now!