Home > Arashi > “Ohoku” star Kazunari Ninomiya on being a flexible human being

“Ohoku” star Kazunari Ninomiya on being a flexible human being

14:22 JST October 1, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Although working as a popular popstar in Arashi, Kazunari Ninomiya (27) has also become a critically-acclaimed actor in his own right, reports Sankei Shinbum.

In the past Ninomiya’s natural acting skills have won over film producers such as Yukio Ninagawa (74), Sou Kuramoto (75), and even director Clint Eastwood (80).  In his latest film “Ohoku”, which opens today, Ninomiya will act in his first Japanese period film.  In it he plays a man who works up the ranks in a society where women have taken over political control of the country.

On television the star shows his comical, upbeat side during his group’s many variety shows, but in person one notices he is a young man who chooses his words one by one with care.

“I want to become a flexible human being,” Ninomiya said.

“It’s not that I’m some kind of invincible actor or that I avoid roles that look dull.  What I think is important is to judge things after giving it a try.

“Like for ‘Letters from Iwojima’, I was so glad I decided to try that,” he said.

Ninomiya may have gained international credibility for his soldier role in Clint Eastwood’s 2006 film “Letters from Iwojima”, but the star’s acting ability had already been noticed by critics in Japan after a string of roles in movies such as “青の炎 (Ao no Honoh)” (2003), stage show “シブヤから遠く離れて (Shibuya kara Tooku Hanarete)” (2004), and TV dramas written by script writer Kuramoto’s “優しい時間 (Yasashii Jikan)” (2005), and “拝啓、父上様 (Haikei, Chichiue-sama)” (2007).

“I think I was just lucky.  It was an amazing experience to be able to work with people like Ninagawa-san and Kuramoto-san,” he said.

“Ohoku” is an adaptation of the popular manga series by Fumi Yoshinaga, and takes place in medieval Japan where political power has shifted from men to women.  The woman Shogun (Ko Shibasaki) has a harem of 3000 handsome men, and the story focuses on one man in harem, Yuunoshin’s (Ninomiya), as he rises through the ranks.

“[The wig] was comfortable, I could’ve fallen asleep still wearing it,” laughed Ninomiya.

Having been rejected from a NHK Taiga drama audition when he was in Johnny’s Jr., the actor said he was happy to have finally been able to clench a period film role.

“(After the audition) I personally thought that there was nothing I could offer to period shows,” he said.

The actor was also frank about his kiss scene with co-star Aoi Nakamura (19).

“I’ve had experience doing it on stage (with a man) at least 60 times, so kissing a guy isn’t a big deal to me now,” he said.

Ohoku director Fuminori Kaneko said, “Ninomiya comes to work in character.  Even from day one he had already gotten his character’s posture sorted out, I was really impressed”.

There’s no shortage of work either.  The popstar has another TV drama, “フリーター、家を買う(Freeter, Ie wo Kau)”, coming out and another movie, “GANTZ”, where he will fight aliens.

“It’s kind of weird to think that soon I’ll be talking about fighting aliens.  I do keep thinking myself that I’ve been given the chance to experience something very unique here,” he said.

  1. Hitori Sa
    11:04 JST October 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Hi Momo, can you tell me who is the one said that “Nino is a young man who chooses his words one by one with care”? Nino said or somebody else?

    thanx for your updating news. I’m translating it into Vietnamese as usual^^

    • 21:14 JST October 2, 2010 at 9:14 PM

      Sorry for the late reply, I was away from the computer for a while today!

      “Nino is a young man who chooses his words one by one with care” was said by the reporter that wrote the story for Sankei Shinbum 🙂
      Can’t find the name sorry 😦

  2. Hitori Sa
    11:27 JST October 2, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    “(After the audition) I personally thought that there was nothing I could offer to period shows,”

    I’m not sure what this means. It means that period shows has no meanings to his job or else?


    • 21:17 JST October 2, 2010 at 9:17 PM

      Hi again 🙂

      I think it means that Nino thought producers of period dramas believed he was too modern, or didn’t have any skills to act a character in medieval Japan.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you’re still confused.

  3. Hitori Sa
    11:45 JST October 2, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    and”It’s kind of weird ” weird in this is destiny or strange thing? I’m not sure whether what I understand is true or not:(

    • 21:25 JST October 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM

      Hi again (^-^)

      “It’s kinda of weird” as in, it’s a strange thing that he’s talking about traditional Japanese clothes and sword fighting now, but soon it’ll change into talking about latex outfits and super guns and aliens.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks for coming by and translating all the time 🙂
      I wish I could read Vietnamese…
      Can I get a link to your site? Even if I can’t read I love looking at people’s fan sites 😀

      Have a good night!

      Momo xoxo

  4. Hitori Sa
    02:26 JST October 3, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    Thanx alot XXX I’m very happy that you could visit our page. This page is all about Japan. People who love Japan and its culture come here and do all things together. We translate Japanese news into Vietnamese, make Vietsub for Japanese films, introduce Japanese culture to other people… We bring Japan world to people<3 and this is the translated topic of this news. Welcome to our world<3 http://japanest.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30478

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