“In it, [I’m] riding a motorcyle in a leather catsuit, so that’s always fun — and I have five guns that spin all around,” said Rossum of her role as Bulma, the sometimes-partner to the film’s hero, Goku (played by Justin Chatwin). “I had never ridden a motorcycle before. I think I was more concerned about the safety of the people in the crew because sometimes I would lose control and veer randomly off into people.”
As for her character’s fondness for gunplay, Rossum said she’d never fired — or even held — a gun before “Dragonball,” but feels more than confident about pulling off her character’s trigger-happy habits thanks to some training with local Marines.
That calm-under-fire training will probably come in handy for the “Phantom of the Opera” actress, considering the level of scrutiny an adaptation of one of the anime and manga worlds’ most popular properties brings with it. According to Rossum, fans should be pleasantly surprised with the way the property has been translated to a live-action project.
“When I signed on to the project, I was a big fan of the anime and knew [Bulma] as the iconic blue, bobbed character and wanted to stay true to that — but we also wanted to make it realistic,” explained Rossum. “So in keeping with the director and what the studio really wanted, we adapted her look to be a little more realistic and human, and little bit more believable for contemporary day. She’s pretty bad-ass, but still quirky and fun, and kind of ridiculous in the way she is in the anime.”
That doesn’t mean the legions of “Dragonball” faithful aren’t far from her mind, though. Rossum said her first encounter with “Dragonball” was the Saturday morning cartoon, only to realize that “it’s really so much more than that — from the comic to [the cartoon] to the whole franchise and brand, so many people feel such a closeness to these characters.”
“So, it’s a little bit stressful to play a character that so many people hold close to their hearts,” she admitted, “but you just hope you do it justice and they like it.”
Rossum also hinted at a few aspects of the film that should have fans guessing, telling MTV News that she’s “seen some wax molds” for potential action figures, and cautiously acknowledged that a video game based on the film was “a possibility.”
Possibly the most interesting tease she offered up was her anticipation of not only seeing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum James Marsters appear on screen in his role as Lord Piccolo, but also “an incredible monster that I can’t talk about that is very, very tall.”
“It’s actually a very tall man — an 8-foot man,” she added. “It’s based on something else from the… You know, I can’t really say anything else.”
Motorcycle incidents and catsuits aside, Rossum said she’d be up for a return to the role in a “Dragonball” sequel, and vehemently denied rumors that the project was in danger of being cancelled or otherwise shut down.
“Oh, no. I really doubt that’s possible,” said Rossum. “That’s not going to happen.”
Are you looking forward to “Dragonball”? How do you think the series will translate to live-action film?