In all of the 12 years that I have been working as an interpreter, the most daunting job I had was interpreting for the legendary filmmaker Mr. Martin Scorsese. He was to come to Japan to do press for his then latest film, “Silence.” Filmmakers of his stature usually call for veteran interpreters, so when my client came to me with the proposal , I was stunned and immediately thought, “ Well , the more seasoned interpreters must have been unavailable.” But bythen , I knew from experience that when an opportunity presents itself, it is always better to seize it. Leonardo DaVinci couldn’t have said it better – “When fortune comes, seize her firmly by the forelock , for I tell you, she is bald at the back.” And sowithtrepidation , I said yes. And then I dived into my research.
Now, In this particularcase , I knew I would havetogo the extra mileto be able tomaintain my composure in the company of a giant such as Mr. Scorsese. Never mind the fact that he has more than 40 films to his filmography. More nerve-inducing was the fact that Mr. Scorsese is a walking encyclopedia . He knows anything and everything there is to know about cinema and cinema history. The conversations could go anywhere. I also knew that the journalists, scholars, and film specialists slottedfor the interviews and coming to the press conference would behanging on Mr. Scorsese’s every word when he spoke of the film. “Silence” was a long-anticipated project that took the director approximately three decades toput together .
In preparation , I revisited his films and read voraciously – the screenplay , the originalnovelby Shusaku Endo and its English translation, “Scorsese on Scorsese,” a book that documents the maestro reflecting on his entire career. I looked into the Italian neorealist films , which heavily influenced his work , and the works of the Japanese legends he admires.
I had done the same for this press conference, and while we were waiting just outside the entrance Mr. Scorsese was trying to remember the name of a cast member who played a role in the film – not surprising, given the fact that tens and hundreds of people were cast for the film. I glanced at the list glued to my steno pad and reminded him promptly , at which moment his assistant said of the list , “Can Marty have that?” “God, no , I need this!” I thought. But you never say noto Mr. Scorsese. So I immediately ripped the sheet from my pad and handed it to him. And then the MC called us onto the stage. Smile pasted onto my face, I followed the maestro onto the stage withfeignedcalmness , all the while panicking inside. “My list ! I don’t have my list !”
今回の会見でも同じように「スタッフ＆キャスト」リストを作り、それをメモ取り用のノートに貼り付けていたのですが、会見会場入り口付近で監督と一緒に登壇の呼び込みを待っていたところ、監督が「〇〇役のキャストの名前はなんだっけね？」とボソボソつぶやきながら思い出そうとしていました。何十人何百人というキャストが出演しているのですから無理もない話です。私は手元のキャストリストをさっと確認し、その人物の名前を伝えたところ、そばについているアシスタントが“Can Marty have that?”と言うのです！「いやいや、これは命綱・・・」と思いながらも、巨匠を前に「ノー」は許されないだろう。ビリっと破り取って速やかに差し出し、そのまま引きつった笑顔で冷静を装いながら、監督の後に続き、ステージへ向かいました。「単語リストを、命綱を、奪われた！」。内心パニックだったのを覚えています。