INTERVIEW 1: Katori Shingo-san (acting the role as Shiomi Eiji)
translated by Yanie
Q. What was your impression the first time you read Nojima Shinji-san's "Bara no nai Hanaya" script?
I've loved Nojima-san's works since a long time ago. I've once starred "Miseinen" drama written by Nojima-san, but has not been playing in a drama written by him, since then. I've been playing the roles, like in "NINxNIN~Ninja Hattori-kun THE MOVIE" and "SAIYUUKI", instead, which feels 'kinda' apart from Nojima-san's pieces.
Now, I'm finally going to star a drama written by him again, and I've read "Bara no nai Hanaya" script, then I've realized all over again that I do like Nojima-san's story. His stories really captures people's hearts. Unusually, he writes many "dialogues" which are not expressed by words. Things that are usually not really often, or not good to be said, are said in his scripts. Actually, there are lines in the scripts that I don't really want to recite, however I have no choice but to recite it. Each line is really capturing. I've only read the beginning, yet I feel really moved already.
Q. How about the first time you had an introduction meeting with the other casts and staffs? When you read the script together with them?
The introduction meeting's atmosphere was sullen (laughs). Actually, introduction meeting in any kind of productions would have this sullen kind of air. It's the first time for staffs and casts to meet, so everyone's nervous. It always started by the producers, who gives stutter greetings, thus it becomes contagious for the others (laughs). Of course, I was also nervous, it gave a feeling of "I hope this meeting finishes soon".
Q. What do you think of your co-stars on that moment?
Even from the script-reading time, everyone fits their role's images perfectly. It felt like the images I had of the characters when I read the script has appeared before my eyes. In previous productions, I slowly started to feel "This person fits the image, da naa..." as the filming progressed. But this time, the moment I met them, I immediately knew "This person must be playing this role!". I never really experienced that before.
Q. What kind of character is Eiji?
I really think "There are parts of him that resembles me". Although I have sides like Son Gokuu, but actually I also have sides of myself that I don't really want people to know. Though I don't want people to know, or don't want to show it in front of others, coincidentally there are not many people who can pull off that side of me. Eiji has many of that side of me, so I guess this time everyone might be able to see my other side that I've been hiding all this time.
Q. Has it been a long time since you play a human role?
First of all, I'm very happy about it (laughs). But at the same time, it's also difficult. Now, there are times when I thought that a "not human" role was easier to act. Well, I guess each role has it's own difficulties. For instance, Gokuu always shows this high tension acts, but on the contrary, it is difficult to hold it back now.
It's the kind of difficulties that "Is it okay if I act this in a natural way?", and to express it in a natural way, is exactly the difficult part. Of course, Eiji is totally different than Gokuu. And what I've been doing in the filming this time, is to empty my mind when I'm acting the role. Not thinking of anything, and just emptied my head. Then I tried to recite each of my lines...
I really didn't think of "on this moment, I should say it in this intonation", not at all. Though there's a possibility it'll become a bad result, but it is also actually a "straight-reading", so if the result's good, it might be better that way.
Q. This is the first time you're playing the role as a father, ne. Is there any strange feeling about it?
Not at all. When I read the paper's articles headlines, "Shingo Papa!", I just realized "Aa~, so I've never played the role as a father before?" (laughs). I really don't think of any special way to act the role just because it's the first time I'm playing the role as a father.
Q. What is your impression of your co-star, Takeuchi Yuko?
I feel really happy to be able to star a drama with her. Because she's the kind of actress that will make actors thinks "it'll be great if I can act a drama together with her someday". Not only as her co-star, but I feel excited of what kind of acting she will show this time, as a common person too. The more we discuss about it, the more we feel excited about it.
Q. This drama's genre is "human love story", right?
That expression is very appropriate. This is a human drama, and also, not just a man and woman's type of love, but it also has many types of human relationship's love. This drama also shows the type of hate that is caused by a love.
Q. It seems like the story's development is the kind that's hard to imagine, ne.
Yes. In each episode, there will be unthinkable, sudden and extreme developments, and that applies for Episode 2, 3 and 4 too... that's what I love the most from this story. And the staffs who has read more than Ep.4 told me, "The development will get more extreme later,". Wow, I cannot imagine, since even from the first and second episode are quite extreme already (laughs). So, I guess for those who doesn't know the contents of the script are lucky. If you read alot of it already, then you watch the previous scenes, you'll think "Aa... because it's gonna be like that later, so it's like this on this moment...", and you'll think many more things.
So, minna-san, please look forward to those developments and watch the show.
The themesong of the drama is "Zutto Issho sa" (Always Together) by Yamashita Tatsuro, that will be released in March 2008. Shingo was asked about the themesong.
"This song really fits the drama, and lately I've been humming to this song. There's this "shijima" word in the lyrics and I look it up in the dictionary, and apparently it means "silence". I really love how Yamashita-san sings."
source: Bara no nai Hanaya Official Website
I recommend Nojima Shinji's MISEINEN (Underage) drama^^ Shingo was only 18 in the drama, and he played the role as a retarded boy
It got 20.0% average rating when it was aired back in 1995. About a group of 5 youngsters, starring Ishida Issei and Sorimachi Takashi, too. Also Hamasaki Ayumi^^ The story is good, especially the last 2 episodes which were perfect!! Light-hearted friendship moments, yet it gets darker and darker near the end... and really unexpected developments happened. It's unexpected, coz the first half showed such pure and fun friendship. I wonder if "Bara no nai Hanaya" will also be like that xD It might have the same pattern, afterall.