TOKYO – Takeshi Kitano was in an only mildly confrontational mood Tuesday for the Tokyo premiere of “Mozu,” the feature iteration of a popular cop thriller TV series co-produced by the Wowow entertainment channel and the TBS network.

Among those appearing on stage with Kitano at the Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills theater were star Hidetoshi Nishijima, who plays the much-put-upon cop hero. “(Kitano) is the one who discovered me and someone I consider a spiritual teacher, said Nishijima, who previously worked with Kitano on the 2002 drama “Dolls.”

“I went into the dressing room not knowing a thing. They had me wear a bald wig and made me up to look badly scarred. I was thinking they could have gotten anyone to do that,” said Kitano, who plays a 90 year old gang boss.

He still stuck the needle in a bit: “[Nishijima] is an ungrateful guy who’s never given me a yen,” he said.

Compared to Kitano’s contentious appearance at last year’s Tokyo festival, when he lambasted the Japan Academy Awards for cronyism and the Japanese entertainment media for sycophancy, his remarks at the “Mozu” event were on the mild side.

The film opens nationwide on Nov. 7, with Toho distributing.