Yusaku Matsuda Opens Up About Gun Obsession on “The Goldilocks Reborn” Set | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yusaku Matsuda Opens Up About Gun Obsession on “The Goldilocks Reborn” Set

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Yusaku Matsuda, who will be featured in a special screening for his 75th birthday celebration. His untimely death at the age of 40 has made him a legend.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Yusaku Matsuda’s birth, Toei and KADOKAWA will present a special screening of his films.

At Marunouchi TOEI in Ginza, Tokyo, “TOEI Classics: Yusaku Matsuda” will be held from March 15th to April 11th, featuring 11 films including “The Most Dangerous Game” (1978) and “Ah, Harimanada” (1986).


At Kadokawa Cinema Yurakucho, “Kadokawa Cinema Collection: Madness of Yusaku Matsuda” will be held from March 22nd to April 4th, featuring six films including “The Resurrection of Golden Wolf 4K Digital Restoration Edition” (1979) and “Beast to Die” (1980).

Additionally, in South Korea, the “Japan Foundation Movie Festival 2024: Yusaku Matsuda – Beast to Die -” featured 20 films in February in the cities of Seoul and Busan.

“When we think of Yusaku Matsuda, he gained popularity in 1973 as Detective Genda in ‘Taiyo ni Hoero!’ (NTV), and went on to display a strong individuality in numerous films such as ‘Proof of the Man’ (1977), ‘Resurrected Golden Wolf’ (1979), and ‘The Family Game’ (1983), becoming a sensation in the industry.

Despite battling bladder cancer, he delivered a compelling performance in the Hollywood film ‘Black Rain’ (1989), and tragically passed away at the young age of 40 on November 16 of the same year due to metastasis of bladder cancer, becoming a legendary star,” says a journalist from a women’s magazine.

“When Yusaku Matsuda starred in ‘The Resurrection of Golden Wolf,’ I had the opportunity to cover the location shoot held in May 1979 on the artificial island in the middle of Tokyo Bay,” the journalist added.

Based on the hard-boiled novel of the same name by Haruhiko Oyabu, directed by Toru Murakawa, the film adaptation featured Yusaku Matsuda as the protagonist Tetsuya Asakura. While portraying a diligent salaryman working in the accounting department of an oil and fat company, Asakura was skilled in handling guns and had a hidden side where he trained his body at a boxing gym. He plotted to take over the company by ensnaring his superior, the accounting department manager (played by Mikio Narita), with whom he had an affair, using drugs and physical intimacy.

At the Second Sea Fort, scenes were shot with Matsuda running through ruins and engaging in intense gun battles with assassins set up by his enemies.

Toby Kadoi, who was active in Hollywood and devised a mechanism where red fake blood would splatter when shot, served as the technical advisor for firearms. He brought in 100 model guns and 1000 blanks for the shooting, ensuring authentic gunfight scenes. Matsuda underwent a week of firearms training in Hawaii and fired 5000 live rounds to prepare for the role thoroughly.

When interviewed between takes, Yusaku said

“Ultimately, it’s just acting, and it’s all make-believe, isn’t it? We’re not actually shooting real guns at each other. But when I actually fired (live rounds) in Hawaii, I realized how casually I had been shooting in movies and TV shows until now.” 

He said in his distinctive deep voice, expressing his dedication to the gunfight scenes.

“I think there’s a lot of difference in the subtle acting details, such as the stoic posture when holding a gun and the use of hands and arms, which aren’t visible to the audience.”

He continued. 

“And you know, you have to handle guns with care and affection, or else it’s scary.”


The impression was striking when the protagonist, Asakura, wore a cynical smile that seemed to possess him. The intense bed scenes with Kazuki Hayabusa also garnered attention, becoming one of Yusaku’s representative works.

As we celebrate his 75th birthday and commemorate the 35th anniversary of his passing, Yusaku remains immensely popular. With his unparalleled strong personality and dazzlingly realistic action, actor Yusaku Matsuda returns to the screen in this special feature, reminding us of his unique presence.

  • Text Ryo Sakamoto (Writer, former head of the Culture and Society Department of Tokyo Sports Newspaper)

    Currently writes articles on entertainment, movies, Hollywood information, etc. for the web magazine "PlusαToday" and other publications. Member of the Japan Film Pen Club.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News Agency

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