18th August 2023
Kindly note: This cover was conducted prior to the active SAG Strike.
The story is simple.
Monkey D. Luffy holds an aspiration like no other; to be crowned as the King of all pirates. Along his quest, he meets some apt yet odd souls who further become a prominent aspect of his story as they are introduced as a part of Luffy’s own crew: a skilled swordsman named Roronoa Zoro; Nami, a greedy thief with a gift of navigation; Usopp, a deceiver who possesses an ardour for inventing; Chopper, a sentient deer who is surprisingly also a skilled physician; Robin, a former member of Baroque Works and Sanji; a passionate chef from the floating restaurant Baratie.
The gang sets sail to unknown seas in Grand Line embarking upon hopes of finding the treasure of One Piece.
Playing the role of Sanji; a savant warrior cook with an impeccable sense of fashion and a personality exhuming sarcastic undertones and an insurmountable love for rustling up distinct delicacies, Taz Skylar is all set to encapsulate the charming character in the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of "One Piece", based on the worldwide best-selling mangas written and created by Eiichiro Oda.
Vest – Manaaki / Chinos – Dickies / Trainers – Vans / Jewellery – Taz’s own
Every narrative within the project has been framed and inspired by the original source of the beloved mangas.
Adopting the most desirable and charismatic of entities—Taz sits across me on the video call; extremely eager to indulge in his experience working on this highly anticipated project.
Intricately crafting a performance right from the pages of the mangas onto our screens, I began our delightful conversation by asking Skylar his initial introduction to the One Piece World.
“I’m from Tenerife and we used to get a lot of anime on Television and One Piece was one of those shows we used to watch when we were little.
I kind of lost track of it going into my teenage years.
I initially didn’t know it was One Piece going into the audition process but once I did, I knew what it was. I was a little out of date but I knew what it was." (Laughs)
Joining the crew as one of the beleaguered souls that further showcases an altruistic approach to maintaining his behaviour with his fellow crew mates, Skylar acknowledges and reminiscences his cherished moments walking into the set of the project and meeting the cast for the first time,
“It was actually really cool. On our first day, I didn’t really know what to expect. When I did get there, there was a person on-set ready with a GoPro to film our reactions as we walked through different parts of the sets.
When we walked in, we even had our pictures placed throughout the office where we were filming. As they announced our characters, everyone applauded even though there wasn’t anything to applaud about since we hadn’t started shooting yet.
You could tell how everyone had been working on this project for so long that it felt like a cathartic thing for them to finally get to see the characters walk in and to finally watch us getting started since the project had been on the edge for so long and people didn’t know until then whether the project will be running or not.
It was a lot to take in within the duration of five minutes. It was a surreal experience.”
T-shirt – Acne Studios / Jeans – Dime / Trainers – Vans / Jewellery – Taz’s own
First impressions are everything. The calm and collected character has successfully stolen the hearts of millions of people from across the globe. Some people adore this character because of his composed, witty and enigmatic demeanour throughout the mangas meanwhile some love his unexpectedly amorous behaviour when around beautiful women.
Everyone has a different trait that they admire about Sanji; branching from his fashion sense to his instant outbursts and his iconic Black Leg Style kick. Since there have been so many traits that emerged from Sanji, I was very curious to know what was Skylar’s own first impressions about his character when he first read the script.
“That’s a good question. When I first read the script, it was only a portion of it since it wasn’t revealed who or what I was going to play.
I just remember reading the extract and going like, 'Oh, this is cool. This fits into my mouth and I know how to do this.
I get what this person wants and how he operates and I believe I can do a good job with these words; this cadence and the way that this person speaks.’
It was only when I read the larger portion of the script that my initial impressions and thoughts about him (Sanji) were further confirmed.”
Bomber – Vintage Burberry / T-shirt - Arket / Jeans – Dime / Jewellery – Taz’s own
When asked about the similarities Skylar resonated with his character now that he had successfully portrayed Sanji over the course of the entirety of the first installment, he projects back a response radiating extreme warmth.
“That’s a good question, there’s actually a lot. (Laughs)
In terms of similarities, I’m very particular about the things that I’m focusing on. I want to do them very well and I don’t like it when people get in my way.
What I like to take away from him is that he’s not petty. He sits on a higher plane of consciousness.”
Jacket – Labelrail x Notion / Trousers – Labelrail x Notion / Trainers – Vans /
Jewellery – Taz’s own
The process behind getting to know the mindset of the character and accumulating his first impression is quite significant but so is food. Especially for Sanji’s characterization. Food has been one of the most pivotal aspects of Sanji’s personality throughout his character arc.
Being one of the crew’s most eminent and passionate foodie, constantly finding ways to garner opportunities to cook for his mates; some of the instances within the manga as extreme as him considering one of his own crew members, a hybrid-reindeer named Chopper as emergency food supply that he can cook for his mates on the ship in case they run out, I had to ask the wonderful Skylar how he perceived his personal relationship with food and whether he himself possessed the same passion for food as Sanji and if so, what cuisine did he consider top tier?
“I’m a huge Sushi fan. I’m not necessarily a foodie. However, I do enjoy the process of making food for people. But when it comes to me; I prefer to eat something quick and get going with my day.
It feels kind of pointless to put so much effort into something that you’re going to eat within five minutes. But when it is for someone else like my parents, I enjoy that process thoroughly.
Also, if you see in the anime, most of the time he (Sanji) actually has a glass of wine while everyone else eats.”
Suit – Reclaimed Vintage / Trainers – Vans / Jewellery – Taz’s own
Sanji is introduced as a soul with a zany mindset. The arc that this character has gone through over the entirety of the mangas can be written on the pages of history. The mangas have completely fleshed out these characters making them interact and immerse themselves in every possible scenario further developing them as people possessing their own individualistic and unique qualities.
The popularity of the mangas have further set a high expectation on the live-action adaptation. When inquired about whether Taz himself felt the pressures of getting into the shoes of one of the most beloved characters within the mangas, Skylar reflects upon an answer; profound and deeply impactful.
“Yes but no at the same time. You feel the pressure if you allow yourself to feel the pressure. Feeling the pressures of many people, all thinking many different things is just not useful.
All you can do is focus on what’s in front of you and try to give in your best; acting with pure intentions trying to do what you believe will work for you and hope that you enjoy the process of it.”
Sanji is one of the most beloved characters within the Straw Hats crew but I wondered now that Taz himself had adopted the role of Sanji, if he ever had the opportunity, what other character or pirate crew besides the Straw Hats would he like Sanji and himself to be a part of.
“I’d like to dream team it with Shanks since me and Peter (Gadiot) are really good friends. Pirate us will have a lot of fun.” (Laughs)
When asked about what the ‘One Piece’ fans can expect from his character and the overall project, Skylar ends the interview with a short yet extremely impactful answer.
Speaking with Taz, his entire persona projected eagerness to indulge in the conversation about his character; his experience interacting with the studded ensemble of the live-action adaptation and many more significant insights.
You can watch our video interview with the ‘One Piece' star below:-