The Japanese government would permit on-location filming of You Only Live Twice only if Japanese actresses played the main female roles in the movie — but one of the actresses chosen to do so almost died before filming began. Mie Hama was selected to play Kissy Suzuki and given just a few months to go abroad and learn English. Although the other actress, Akiko Wakabayashi (who played the character Aki), mastered the language, Hama struggled. The producers decided that she ought to go back to Japan and that the producers would select another actress to play the part.
However, when they broke the news to her, Hama threatened to jump from a window at the Dorchester Hotel and kill herself. The producers decided not to test her resolve — they let her continue with filming.