Updated on September 28, 3:13 p.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

Ever since the announcement of the One Piece live action cast, fans have been extremely excited about how well-suited the actors for the Straw Hat Pirates appear to be.

The Netflix adaptation stars up-and-coming actors Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu Arata as Zoro, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, and Taz Skylar as Sanji.

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Showrunners Steve Maeda and Matt Owens, along with One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, have discussed the cast’s audition process and the efforts they undertook to truly capture the essence of their respective characters.

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Meet the One Piece live action cast on Netflix: How the actors of the Straw Hat Pirates auditioned and prepared for their roles

  • Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy
  • Emily Rudd as Nami
  • Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro
  • Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp
  • Taz Skylar as Sanji

Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy

First look at Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy in the Netflix One Piece live-action series
Credit: Netflix

Inaki Godoy plays Monkey D. Luffy, the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates.

Selecting the right actor for the protagonist, Luffy, proved to be a massive challenge for the producers. Eiichiro Oda, in particular, was worried that he wouldn’t find someone that could translate Luffy’s energy into live action.

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“I watched a lot of various auditions, and when I found Inaki, I laughed,” Eiichiro said in a press release. “He was just like the person I drew in my manga. I intuitively thought, ‘That’s Luffy.'”

Steve told Netflix that the team lucked out in finding Inaki to play Luffy.

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“There was no second choice to him,” he said.

Inaki is a Mexican actor that has made appearances in other Netflix series like The Imperfects and Who Killed Sara?

Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro

First look at Mackenyu Arata as Zoro in the Netflix One Piece live-action series
Credit: Netflix

Mackenyu Arata is the deadly “Pirate Hunter,” Roronoa Zoro, who dreams of becoming the world’s greatest swordsman wielding his signature trio of swords. 

Mackenyu has been dedicated to practicing Kyokushin Karate, a Japanese martial art, since the age of eight. Beyond that, he has engaged in gymnastics, and water polo, and honed his swordplay abilities, all of which positioned him as an exceptionally well-suited choice for the character.

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Additionally, he had his left ear pierced to accurately don Zoro’s distinctive trio of gold earrings, a testament to his dedication to the role’s authenticity.

Mackenyu is a Japanese actor who has notably portrayed Enishi Yukishiro, the antagonist in Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, and gained prominence as Wataya Arata in the live-action adaptation of Chihayafuru.

Emily Rudd as Nami

First look at Emily Rudd as Nami in the Netflix One Piece live-action series
Credit: Netflix

Emily Rudd is Nami, an expert navigator and cartographer.

Emily stands out as perhaps the most passionate One Piece fan within the cast of the live action adaptation. Her dedication to the role shines through in her actions even before the audition phase — she went to the lengths of dyeing her hair red and styling it akin to Nami’s iconic look.

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“When I heard they were making a live action series, I started not-so-secretly playing the long game in lobbying for this role for three years,” she said. “I was just trying my hardest to get anyone who might notice to really see me as Nami.”

Emily is an American actress who appeared in Netflix’s “Fear Street” film series. 

Jacob Gibson as Usopp

First look at Jacob Romero as Usopp in the Netflix One Piece live-action series
Credit: Netflix

Jacob Gibson plays Usopp, a born storyteller, as well as a sharpshooter.

Given Usopp’s unique weapon of choice, the traditional slingshot, Jacob dedicated his free time to honing his skills. Through practice, he attained proficiency with the slingshot, even reaching a level of accuracy where he could dislodge a cup from a table placed 30 yards away.

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“Jacob is a wonderful, genuine guy,” said Steve. “It was a really nice marriage of actor and character.”

Jacob is an American actor, featured in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, the longest-running series of its kind.

Taz Skylar as Sanji

First look at Taz Skylar as Sanji in the Netflix One Piece live-action series
Credit: Netflix

Taz Skylar is Sanji, a fashionable and talented chef who fuels his charm and flirtatious ways in his table service.

To fully embody the role of Sanji, Taz channeled his efforts into sharpening his knife-handling abilities, investing three months into working at restaurants to master tasks like chopping onions.

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He also went on a four-month-long training process just to master the art of kicking to portray the Black Leg Style, which stands as an iconic kick technique in the series.

Taz is a British actor, appearing in crime and war movies such as “Villain” and “The Kill Team”.

One Piece live action trailer featuring the Straw Hat Pirates Taz Skylar as Sanji, Mackenyu Arata as Zoro, Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, and Jacob Romero as Usopp.
Credit: Netflix, Eiichiro Oda
View the complete One Piece live action cast here

The One Piece live action Netflix series follows the events that transpired during the East Blue Saga, the very first arc in the Sea of Survival: Super Rookies Saga.

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READ MORE: Full list of One Piece live action episodes: Titles, names, synopses, and more