I’m not a huge fan of action films, but one of the few that I absolutely adore is Kill Bill Volume 1 (Volume 2 is also another of my favorites). The Bride is, understandably, a cult icon in the making, but the one character who briefly steals the spotlight from her is O-Ren Ishii’s personal bodyguard Gogo played by Chiaki Kuriyama. Although Gogo is merely a speed bump on The Bride’s road to revenge, Kuriyama’s take on the role is amazingly entertaining and divariffic on so many levels. She’s not a diva in the ordinary Bette Davis/Joan Crawford vein (instead of a verbal insult or a slap to the face, her weapon of choice is a ball and chain) instead, she provides a new take on a old favorite. So, without further ado, here are four reasons why I find Gogo to be such a role model for divas everywhere:
1. She takes pleasure in other people’s pain- The only time we see Gogo give a genuine smile is when O-Ren Ishii decapitated Tanaka for insulting her Chinese-Japanese-American heritage. Like Gogo, real divas find this sort of thing uproariously funny.
3. She knows how to make an entrance- Just watch her ascension on the staircase before her and The Bride battle- it’s almost as if she’s Margo Channing incarnate. That sarcastic smile and "Hi" she greets The Bride with, her schoolgirl giggle when The Bride suggests she give up and not defend O-Ren, the dramatic way she lets her ball and chain fall on the floor to divert our attention to it.
2. She’ll cut you and not give a shit (like Dame Judi Dench)- Just ask that guy in the bar she penetrates with her sword. I’m sure she wasn’t crying her eyes out or regretting what she had done afterwards.
4. She effectively steals the spotlight from The Bride- For those couple of minutes during the battle scene between her and Gogo, my attention is diverted almost exclusively to what she is doing. I don’t know what it is about her that grabs my attention like that (maybe it’s the way she manhandles The Bride, the main diva of the film, and almost suffocates her to death), but it is definitely a must for any diva.