According to a former Studio Ghibli official, Hayao Miyazaki had no interest in meeting director Martin Scorsese when given the opportunity.
Hayao Miyazaki and Martin Scorsese are two people who are deeply revered in their respective fields, Miyazaki in the world of Japanese animation and Scorsese in the world of American films. As it turns out, however, Miyazaki had no interest in meeting Scorsese when given the opportunity.
This anecdote comes courtesy of Steve Alpert, who was in charge of the international division of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli from 1996 to 2011. During an interview with Cartoon Brew, Alpert explained that Scorsese actually once invited Miyazaki to his apartment, hoping “to discuss filmmaking” with the respected animator.
Miyazaki was apparently less than thrilled at the prospect, and decided against taking the King of Comedy helmer up on his offer. Alpert then had to relay this message to a distressed press agent, who pleaded, “Can’t you get him to please do this? I don’t want to lose my job.” Alpert, seemingly attempting to give a polite reason for Miyazaki’s refusal, simply replied, “I think he might just be tired.”
With its entire catalog recently being made available on the new HBO Max streaming service, Studio Ghibli has definitely been on some people’s minds as of late. Interestingly enough, Alpert is getting ready to release his new book, which recounts his years working for Miyazaki, during which time he led efforts to grow Ghibli’s audience outside of Japan. The memoir, titled Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man: 15 Years at Studio Ghibli, arrives on June 16.