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From DaiSport Weekly 5 July 2004:


For the past few months the slopes of Mt Fuji have been resounding to the beat of some pretty big feet. Gojira (known to the West as Godzilla) has been working out, getting himself buffed up for his current role in Godzilla: Final Wars.

"The script calls for a lot more physical action from me than I've been used to," the Monster King told this reporter, who caught up with the venerable film star after a two-hour workout that would have left monsters half his age flat out on the turf. In fact, long-time buddy Angilas was still way in the distance, doing his best to catch up but clearly finding it difficult with those awkward back legs of his. He was definitely looking his age.

"To tell you the truth, I've gotten lazy over the years," the Big G commented.

"Once I was expected to leap around, do jigs and victory dances, leap into volcanoes ... all sorts of crap. But I've been slacking off for decades. Take Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla, for instance. I did a lot of standing around in that one.

"This next film requires me to wrestle with 11 or so kaiju, some of them young and vigorous. There's no way I intend to look like I'm past it.

"The director wants me to keep it fast and sexy, especially in the fight scenes. I haven't had to move like that since Godzilla Raids Again, way back in the '50s.

"There's several high level kung-fu sequences. I've gotta be able to wear the long black leather coat wardrobe has provided (made from several thousand Matrix cast-offs, I heard) and fill it out right, so it doesn't look stupid in slo-mo. You ever tried floating in mid-air when you weigh 22,000 tons?"

And the Monster King is already looking good. His legs have slimmed down to the size of battleships, his hips have tightened up and he's developed what can only be described as a He-man chest.

"I was at my physical nadir in GMK, I reckon," he said. "Did you see that belly? I look like a goddam whale with legs."

He grinned wryly. "Mind you, that was a killer of a role -- nice and evil. My acting was at a peak. I love scaring the crap out of the kids. Hey, you wanna see how many push-ups I can do?"

With that, he flung himself to the ground and it was all we could do to avoid being crushed. As it was, 16 cars and 300 metres of roadway were reduced to rubble. By the time he'd done a dozen one-handers, the sweat was pouring off him, washing away an entire contingent of tow-trucks, 128 bystanders and my photographer, and causing a mutagenic ripple that left three neighbouring townships with enough monsters to supply Van Helsing extras for years to come.

But looking good on screen isn't the only benefit to be derived from this rigorous exercise regime. Rumour has it Godzilla's new buff physique has ended a decade-long romantic drought, with several sightings of the Monster King out and about with a slew of Toho -- and Hollywood -- lovelies.

When I asked him about it, his spines began to glow, the radiation so fierce it turned a nearby grove of trees to ash.

"I'm not saying there's anything between me and Kate Beckinsale," he commented. "But just let me point out that since the informal dinner we had a week or so ago, she's commented that she can't imagine being with anyone as diminutive as Hugh Jackson ever again."

See paparazzi shot of G and Kate out on the town....

For further information on the new buff Godzilla, see the Monster Zero report.

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