The Hollywood actor eats natto, puts soy sauce in the wrong spot, and tries a hack for avoiding wasabi “burn”.

Hollywood actor Will Smith was in Japan recently to promote his new movie Gemini Man, and in between walking the red carpet for the Tokyo premiere and spending some time at TeamLab Borderless, the 50-year-old actor took some time out to make sushi with Japanese YouTuber Bilingirl Chika.

Fluent in both English and Japanese, Chika is one of the country’s most popular YouTubers, and though she’s interviewed some of Hollywood’s most famous actors in the past, meeting Smith was a big deal that had her feeling nervous before filming, especially when he arrived with an entourage of more than a dozen people.

The nerves didn’t show on-screen, though, as she met up with Smith to chat about his new film while showing him how to make a home-style rolled sushi known as “makizushi”.

Take a look at the video below:

In the video, Smith says that although he’s been to Japan and eaten sushi many times before, this would be his first time making sushi and seeing it in its “unprepared state”. For this home-style version, Chika presents him with a plate of ingredients that include: beef, avocado, cream cheese, egg, cucumber, salmon, okra, and natto.

After following Chika’s instructions on where to put the rice on his nori seaweed sheet, Smith adds some ingredients, going straight for the natto. He asks Chika what it is, and she explains that it’s fermented soybeans, which Smith seems keen for, but when he sees the sticky strands coming off it, he makes the face that many natto newbies make, and says this sushi will be for her instead.

Then Chika gives him a tip on how to avoid the heat of a wasabi “burn” by breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. Smith tries it, but it doesn’t work for him.

The two then roll up their creations into the distinctive makizushi cone shape, and Smith eats the sushi he made, despite previously saying he wouldn’t because of the fact that it contains natto. While Chika seems surprised at his ability to eat the fermented soybeans, Smith reckons it’s not bad, saying: “It doesn’t resemble anything I’ve ever eaten before, but it’s very tasty.”

Smith says he’s more adventurous with his food now that he’s older, mentioning he’s eaten alligator and fried crickets, and when he goes to make his second makizushi roll, he repeats a taboo that went unmentioned when he created his first roll, by pouring soy sauce on the inside of the sushi.

At this point, Chika adds a message across the screen for her Japanese viewers that says: “I was going to tell him that you add soy sauce afterwards.”

The small dish of soy sauce is for dipping, not pouring, as Japanese people wouldn’t usually pour the sauce on ingredients inside the sushi roll while making it, but Chika lets it slide, given that she’s told him nobody is judging when you make home-style sushi.

The conversation then goes from his love of Japanese restaurant Nobu in the U.S., which he lives ten minutes away from, to his thoughts about ageing and the perception he has about the older generation in Japan being healthy and wise. After the deep discussion, the mood lightens again when Chika presents Smith with “Will Sushi” created by sushi artist Tama-chan.

▼ The sushi depicts the two Smiths in Gemini Man…although Smith says the one on the left looks a little like Jamie Foxx.

And with that, the video wraps up, and now that Gemini Man has had its premiere in Japan on 25 October, we’ll have to wait a while for the star to return to our shores again to promote his next movie.

However, seeing as he’s taking Japanese lessons from his pal, Japanese heartthrob Yamapi, and his son Jaden has a soft spot for Dragon Ball, hopefully it won’t be too long between visits.

Source, images: YouTube/バイリンガール英会話 | Bilingirl Chika
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