By: Izumi Hasegawa March 8, 2013
In the film Emperor, Matthew Fox played a real person, General Bonner Fellers, who worked for GHQ right after World War II ended at Japan. Is Feller’s love story true? What did he learn about Fellers?
“My character is based on a historical figure, Bonner Fellers, a Brigadier General. He was, in fact, MacArthur’s sort of right hand man during the South Pacific campaign. Then he was one of the key figures that MacArthur brought to Tokyo when he set up the occupation after the surrender in August of ’45. I didn’t feel like it was – number one, not a lot is known about Bonner Fellers, but I read all of his reports. I did research to the extent that I thought it would help me. You know, ultimately we were making a movie, and making a movie that has a narrative thrust and hopefully is moving, and eye opening and interesting to the audience, and my focus needed to be there, and I didn’t want to get too sort of mired in the minutia of what may or may not be known about Bonner Fellers. I just didn’t think it was going to serve me that well. I wanted to stay focused on, for me personally as an actor telling Fellers his story in our film version the very best that I could. “