I liked this interview Ori-Suta put online – Momo.
Q: Kanjani8 have tried a variety of music genres, but to get here the group went through a number of transitions musically. First there was your enka era. Your debut song “浪花いろは節 (Naniwa Iroha Bushi)” stood out with its mix of enka and rap. Were you worried at all at the time?
Murakami: I wasn’t. I was willing to sing anything if it meant we’d make our debut. The only thing I remember was being happy.
Shibutani: Me too. It was enka, but I thought that song could cut it. No one else had made a song like that, and I thought we could use that to our advantage.
Interview with Kis-My-Ft2’s Taisuke Fujigaya in Yomiuri Shimbun, published on July 30.
It must have been a long wait, but the 25-year-old Kis-My-Ft2 group member is in the middle of playing his first lead in a drama series. He was a late bloomer for a Johnny’s talent, but that has not changed his attitude.
“I always wanted to try a lead role. How different is it. There’s so much I want to learn,” Fujigaya said.
Fujigaya’s character in Beginners! wants become a police officer because his father was one. The Johnny’s talent said he brings things about his own relationship with his father into his character.
“My parents have done so much for me. My dad’s a quiet person, but when I was going through a tough time thinking about my future, he was there for me. I was so happy when he came to my concert.”
Q&A with questions sent in by fans:
Q: How do you remember you lines?
A: When I’m at home, usually in the bath. I’ll imagine the scene and take my time going over lines.
Q: What kind of character would you like to try?
A: Something like 10 episodes of the love story from the first episode. I want to try so many characters.
Q: What job would you be doing if you weren’t doing this one?
A: I love kids so I might’ve become a kindergarten teacher or a worker at Disneyland.
Q: What’s the best thing a fan has told you?
A: Things like, “you gave me support”, or, “you gave me motivation”. Knowing that what we do makes someone happy makes me happy too.
Interview with Kanjani8’s Ryuhei Maruyama in Yomiuri Shimbun, published on July 23.
He does not stand out at work, and none of the ladies go for him. He has low self-esteem and gets stomach cramps when he gets too nervous. Tanishi is a typical worthless man character, the complete opposite to a Johnny’s talent. But the pop star who plays Tanishi says there is a bit of the Tanishi inside of him.
He says he cannot get used to being under pressure. There are even times where he has forgotten his lines during stage musical performances and has played the wrong music during concerts. But it is these experiences the Johnny’s talent is channeling into his portrayal of Tanishi.
“Tanishi admits to his mistakes, and moves forward. The way he struggles is something I can relate to. He has more power than you’d expect. When I’m acting him I overdo his expressions, so when he runs, I run with everything I have.”
With one regular Kanjani8 TV series, and his first lead role in a drama series, things seem to be getting better for Maruyama, but according to the talent that is not good enough.
“There’s no point in ‘you’re becoming popular’, it’s more important to keep that popularity constant. You have to work as hard as you can, even if you lose sometimes. It’s about aiming higher.”
Facing harsh reality with his head up high, it almost makes you want to give him an extra push as you watch him confront another wall in life.
Q: If you weren’t in showbiz, what do you think you would be doing right now?
A: My parents are Japanese drum makers so I’d probably be making drums. But I’ve been doing this job since I was 13 and there’s nothing that could substitute for it. I’ll do my best to avoid getting fired.
Q: What is something you always carry with you?
A: This silver ring I bought at the end of last year. Sometimes I’ll look at it and think, “right, let’s do this”. It’s my lucky charm.
Q: What do you want to do this summer?
A: Go on a family vacation. And have a party with this drama’s team. I want to drink and have a good time acting like an idiot.
Q: What’s your favourite manga?
A: Lately I’ve gotten into reading Inio Asano’s “おやすみプンプン (Oyasumi Pun-pun)”. The drawings are funny, but they have a lot of character.
“Boys on the Run” is on every Friday night on TV Asahi.
Johnny’s talent Tomohisa Yamashita will star in a TBS TV company drama for the first time in six years, reports the drama’s website.
In “最高の人生の終わり方〜エンディングプランナー〜 (Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~Ending Planner~)”, Yamashita plays the reluctant owner of a funeral parlor, a family business which he inherits after his father passes away. The local police use the shop to bring in bodies involved in their cases, including murder and suicide. Along with his family, and a newcomer lady detective, the characters face new stories about reality with every body that comes through the shop.
Here’s what Yamashita had to say:
Q: Tell us how you feel about this drama series, which will be a new start for you.
Yamashita: I don’t want to over-think it too much, I want to heighten my morale on set like I always do, and make a good product together with the cast and production staff. It’s my first drama series in a while so I’m looking forward to it a lot.
Q: What was your first impression when you heard the drama would be set in a funeral parlor? Is there anything you’re thinking about doing in preparation for your role as lead character Masato Ihara?
Yamashita: When I heard about the funeral parlor, I thought it would be gloomy, but I hope it’ll become a drama where people can see what ties families together, the how Masato grows in a positive way. In terms of getting ready, I want to read the script over and over again, and just get as much information as I can to create an image of him.
Q: This is your first drama with TBS in six years, is there anything you’re looking forward to at the shoots?
Yamashita: I always look forward to how things never go as planned, in a good way though, and actually discussing things with the staff as we make the drama.
Q: What does it mean to you to work on a drama?
Yamashita: It’s a place which makes me grow as a person, a special living place that I love.
08:00 May 17 2011
Kazuya Kamenashi has been known to publicly talk about how he loves his family and how he looks up to his parents with how they raised him. Even though he was signed to the Johnny’s agency when he was 12, the talent had shown he was mature beyond his years, and has become more-or-less a leader type figure in KAT-TUN despite being the youngest. It’s no doubt he got these qualities from his family. On the May 13 show of his radio program “亀梨和也のKス バイ Kス (Kazuya Kamenashi’s K-s by K-s)” Kamenashi gave fans another look into his private life.
The catalyst was a letter from a fan during the “こんな女の子って亀あり？亀なし？ (Konna Onnanoko tte Kame-ari? Kame-nashi?, Is this girl acceptable or unacceptable?)” section.
“(reading the letter) I’ve been saving my money consistently since I was in high school, but the other day 750,00 yen had been taken out and I found a note in my bank account book from my mother saying, ‘sorry, just borrowing’. Do you think this is acceptable or unacceptable?”
Kamenashi didn’t hesitate as he said, “亀なしです!!!!! (Unacceptable)” and used his own experience to elaborate why.
“I don’t know about other people’s families, but I really hate it when someone uses 10,000 yen or even 1000 yen of my money and tells me afterwards. Once someone in my family told me, ‘sorry, I just borrowed 10,000 yen,’ and I just went, ‘wait a sec, tell me before you borrow it alright. Don’t take it without asking, don’t you think that’s wrong?'”
Kamenashi went on to say that ever since, his family calls him before they borrow even a few thousand yen.
“When we get pay-upon-delivery packages I’ll get a call saying, ‘using so-and-so-yen to pay for the mail’.”
“There are four siblings in Kamenashi’s family and he’s the third child. His family hasn’t exactly been blessed financially and he seems to have had a tough time as a kid. After getting into Johnny’s he’s been steadily climbing up the career ladder and he started helping out with his family’s bills during junior high. There were rumours going around that he had bought his family a house before he turned 20. But there was also talk that he didn’t like living like that, and at one point distanced himself from his family for a short time…but he seems to have made amends with them and gets along with them now,” said one source familiar with Johnny’s talents.
Until now the talent has revealed a number of other family stories, like how he had taken his dad out to golf and dinner. Another story was during primary school, when he bought his mum a pearl necklace worth 2000 to 3000 yen for Mother’s Day. Kamenashi had said even though the pearls were fake, he remembers his mum putting it on all the time, and how he felt really happy to be able to give her a real pearl necklace when he was 20. It has been reported Kamenashi also used his Johnny’s Baseball Tournament MVP prize money to buy his three brothers all matching watches. So perhaps the bottom line is that Kamenashi just wants to maintain a good relationship with his family.
“When I start my own family, you gotta have some boundaries right? Think about how to put things into order,” Kamenashi said on his radio show.
So, is this acceptable or unacceptable?
Q: So this is your first TV drama in three years since “有閑倶楽部 (Yukan Club)”.
T(aguchi): I was just talking to the producers about how fun it is to be here. I feels great to be involved with the process of making this story from scratch, and it gives you so much motivation.
Q: Actually Taguchi-san, in an interview two years ago one fan had asked you what costume-play you would want to do, and you said, “a cool doctor”.
T: Did I say that!? (laughs) Wow, it came true!
Q: We’ve had letters from fans coming in saying they’re happy your wish came true.
T: Oh, that’s so nice. Thank you Ori-suta!
Q: (laughs) So how does it feel to wear the white uniform?
T: It’s like to be THE doctor, I need THE white uniform (laughs). It gets me into character.
Q: Is there anything in particular that you do to become Hotta?
T: I keep telling myself that as a doctor, I need to keep my back straight. The other thing is that my character has a bright personality so I try keep looking clean. There are little things I do to try and keep that image.
Q: That’s true, like when Hotta opens the car door for people, he seems like the real gentleman.
T: Oh, right. I’ve never done that before in real life (laughs).
Q: What would Taguchi-san do then?
T: I think I’d say something like, “be careful”. But saying, “oh, wait a sec”, then running around the car, and then opening the door. No, that’d take so much time! (laughs)
Q: And then there was the time when Hotta bought Asami Mizukawa’s character Sachiko a 50,000 yen toy present.
T: I know. At the time I felt really uncomfortable with spending 50,000 yen. I remember asking the director and producer, “wouldn’t 30,000 yen be enough?”, but they said, “no, it’d be better if you could go with 50,000 yen”. It just didn’t seem normal, but then it made me realise that Hotta isn’t normal.
Q: So a lot of talk goes into every detail (of your character).
T: Not a whole lot, but up to a certain point, yes. I want to be convinced with things. I feel really good being able to go into a shoot after getting these things cleared up.
Q: This is your second time working with Nishikido-san since “がんばっていきまっしょい (Gannbatte-ikimasshoi)” in 2005.
T: I’ve only met him once on set so far, but it was a lot of fun being able to act out a scene in a completely different way compared to last time.
Q: Will you have any more scenes with him in the future?
T: You know, I do. I was just flipping through the script for episode 6 and it looks like the story’s moving towards that.
Q: You mean there’s going to be some change between Yuji and Hotta!?
T: I haven’t read that far, but something seems to be coming up…Yeah, something like that might happen.
Q: I’m really curious! (laughs) I’ll be looking forward to your second scene together.
T: Well, I think it’ll go normally. But Nishikido-san is such a shy guy! (laughs) But I want to do a good job too so I hope I can learn from him!
Q: The story is also going into the final stages now but is there anything you can tell us about what to expect?
T: There’s no complicated drama (laughs). I mean, a lot of the dramas these days are either crime dramas or dramas about really technical and specific jobs. But I feel like people want to see a drama about your average family too. Well, at least I do. So I hope that we can get a warm message across to all of the kids and mothers and fathers who watch this heart-warming story. That and I hope people like seeing me in my white uniform.
Q: That’s what you want people to look out for (laughs).
T: Yes. Feel free to look at me!! Really! In the white uniform!!
Q: (laughs) At the Marching J event in Tokyo last month, what really stuck out in my mind was how you were able to keep a smile on your face and wave at fans the entire time. I think you made a lot of people happy because of that.
T: Well, they’d been waiting in line for hours. For the fans, they only had that one moment. So I wanted to make it a special moment.
Q: Surrounded by your senpai like SMAP and TOKIO.
T: That’s right (laughs). And being able to sing our new song, “PERFECT”. We haven’t had many chances to sing a cappella in front of people, but when we did it, we sounded pretty good. I felt like we were now a solid team.
Q: Speaking of which, have the other members said anything about your drama?
T: Yup, they told me to “get in the spotlight!” (laughs). So I told them, “I’m going into the spotlight now”.
Q: And that’s why you’re pushing the white uniform image.
T: Yes it is (laughs). Besides, our upcoming single is called “WHITE”.
Q: So it is all connected! (laughs)
T: Yes. It is all connected isn’t it! (laughs)
MAQUIA 2011 June edition (went on sale April 23 2011)
As the special baseball supporter, KAT-TUN’s Kazuya Kamenashi gives a fan’s point-of-view of baseball during Nihon TV’s Tokyo Giants matches, “Dramatic Game 1844”. But the man at the centre of attention laughs it off.
“After I started this job (in the entertainment industry), now I can’t go outside without wearing sunglasses. I wonder why, it’s not like people have caught me and I’ve been in danger many times,” he said.
He explained things to us a bit more.
“I think it’s probably because at work I want to be seen as much as anyone else, but I don’t want people to see what I look like from day to day. I hardly go to places like parties and clubs where there are lots of people and I try to avoid meeting people who can’t be honest with me. These days so many celebrities have blogs or they’re on twitter. They use words and photos to talk about what they’re doing every day in detail, but I don’t get it.
“I think that if someone working in the entertainment industry talks too much about what they do in their private life, isn’t that like a magician telling people how their trick works before they do it? (laughs) Having said that, I don’t think anyone’s lying. I don’t think they’re deliberately trying to keep a secret or creating their own character.
“To put it simply, I’m happy to talk about my views on relationships, but I wouldn’t talk about the relationships I’ve been in up to now. I don’t think I need to talk about it. But I don’t have any clear lines drawn between what I can and can’t talk about because sometimes I think it’s important to talk about your own experience when you want to get a real message across.”
Kamenashi-san went on to talk about the time he thought, “what’s my secret?”. He said during a run at night to Tokyo Tower, he had looked up to see the moon covered up by clouds.
“There’s something beautiful about how it’s hidden. Maybe people and clouds are beautiful because you can’t see everything,” he said.