One Piece actress Emily Rudd revealed the hilarious reason why she was "scared" in her meeting with series creator Eiichiro Oda.
Rudd portrays Nami in Netflix's live-action adaptation of the hit anime and manga, the navigator of Luffy's Straw Hat crew and former member of the Arlong Pirates.
One Piece director Marc Jobst previously praised Rudd's take on Nami, noting that the actress portrayed "so much depth" in her portrayal of the character.
Emily Rudd Reflects on Meeting One Piece Creator Eiichiro Oda
In an interview with Collider (recorded prior to the actors' strike), One Piece stars Emily Rudd and Iñaki Godoy talked about their meeting with franchise creator Eiichiro Oda.
Godoy confirmed that he had an "opportunity to interact" with Oda, but he didn't divulge any specific details about their encounter:
"I had an opportunity to meet Mr. Oda. I cannot get too into detail about it but I did have an opportunity to interact with him."
Rudd, meanwhile, admitted that meeting Oda was "easily the most scared" she'd ever been because she thinks of him as "kind of like a god:"
"I also was able to meet Oda Sensei and it was easily the most scared I’ve ever been in my whole life. He’s a lovely dude, but, he’s kind of like a god, you know? So, I was like, ‘Oh man, I can’t. Hello, it’s so nice to meet you,’ I’m like just shaking."
When Collider pointed out that Oda is "a god," Rudd agreed:
Collider: "I wouldn’t say ‘kind of,’ he is a god."
Rudd: "No, okay, alright, alright, I was softening that, but you’re right, you’re right."
Speaking with GamesRadar+, Rudd reflected on what makes the One Piece manga and anime so enduring.
The actress offered high praise to Oda by describing him as an "absolute genius" since he was able to create "something that people can universally connect to:"
"Absolutely. First of all, Oda-sensei is an absolute genius and, you know, it’s kind of hard to argue against genius. He did such an incredible, masterful job at creating a story that is not only wacky, crazy, playful, and adventurous, but also so grounded and real. It has a lot of heart. It’s a story about found family. It’s a story about freedom, and pursuing your dreams. And I think that that is something that people can universally connect to."
Emily Rudd's Perfect Nami Portrayal Cements Her Passion
Considering Eiichiro Oda's incredible contributions as One Piece's creator, it is not surprising that Emily Rudd was initially scared to meet him.
An encounter with one of the most respected figures in the manga landscape is not to be taken lightly, and it appears that the One Piece actress made the most out of that experience.
After watching the series, though, one could argue that Rudd shouldn't have been terrified in her meeting with Oda, especially after her stellar performance as Nami.
The actress has been vocal about her love not just for One Piece, but also for anime in general. In fact, Rudd previously revealed that her favorite anime is Made in Abyss and not the Eiichiro Oda-created pirating epic.
Despite that, Rudd's passion for the source material easily translates to her performance in Netflix's live-action adaptation, and there's a good chance that it will continue if the streaming service decides to renew the series for more seasons.
One Piece is streaming on Netflix.