To prepare for the role of a boxer in Raging Bull, the Hollywood star Robert De Niro not only trained like a boxer but also fought three professional bouts. For Rocky III, Sylvestor Stallone would begin the day with a two-mile jog, then go straight into 18 rounds of sparring, two hours of weightlifting and jumping rope. After all this, he would take a nap in the afternoon, then go running again! He would finish the day with a swim.
Similarly for the lead character of cyborg policewoman Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in Shell, for petite Scarlett Johansson the challenge was physical. Her cyber-enhanced character of Major spends a good portion of the film in a figure-hugging skin-coloured silicone suit.
“I used to have to dislocate some limbs (to put it on), but it gets easier,” she says of her signature one-piece outfit, which grants her super-policewoman character the power of invisibility.
Her pre-shoot regimen, which included a lot of paramilitary training, helped whip her body into shape for the suit.
“I was training a lot to be as effective as possible in all my stunt work, so that thing just slipped right on.
“Like a second skin,” she adds. Directed by Rupert Sanders, Ghost in Shell is remake of Japanese manga (a style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels ) series by Masamune Shirow which led to 1995 anime adaptation.