Sunday, March 14, 2010

Japanese Americans!

It's official: I'm typecast as a walk-on WWII era American MP, at least according to Japanese cinema.

If anybody actually bothers to read this hack blog you may've stumbled across a story about a previous outing I had in the movie I Want To Be A Shellfish (私は貝になりたい Watashi wa Kai ni Naritai, 2008), starring Yukie Nakama (Shinobi, Trick) and Masahiro Nakai (SMAP), directed by Katsuo Fukuzawa.

I did another film role yesterday, for 16 hours at the stunning, historic Tamioka silk mill in Gunma - just over 2 hours from Tokyo - for an upcoming TBS TV series called Japanese Americans (橋田壽賀子ドラマ) also directed by former rugby player Fukuzawa.

This time the stars were Nakama alongside SMAP's Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Death Note actor Kenichi Matsuyama, and veteran actress Pinko Izumi - who kindly offered donuts to me and Jon, the only other gaijin on the set.

Apparently this blog's ol' fave Kiichi Nakai is also starring in the show, but sadly he wasn't in the scenes they shot with the other actors (above) yesterday.

Yep, I'm an MP again - this time at the beginning of WWII, shepherding Japanese Americans into a detention camp. When will they figure out that my accent is all wrong for these rolls?

And, in the grand scheme of things, what's it all about anyway?

Well, this autumn TBS plans to broadcast the five-episode drama series, written by screenwriter Sugako Hashida, to coincide with their 60th anniversary. It apparently is set to focus on a Japanese family who emigrated to the United States around a century back and their tribulations with the advent of the Pacific War. You can read more about the plot HERE.

Crazy time as usual, particularly six MPs (none of whom were really American; think instead one Aussie, one Brit, and four fill-in Japanese crew members) lining up in formation and marching around a compound for a couple of hours on end - in the late evening in what felt like sub-zero temperatures, but probably wasn't... quite.

Ahhh, the things we do for art - and a fistful of yen. Go figure.


AstroNerdBoy said...

Heh! I remember a few folks at Yokota getting to do commercials or some bit role in a TV series or movie. I wanted to do one so bad, but the commercial I was actually going to be in fell through when the company decided to go another route (I would have been a caddy). Oh well.

As to the accents, the Japanese don't often bother about that. It is rare that they even get a native English speaker to speak parts in anime (as an example). In Samurai Champloo, they did get one who sounded American but they used Japanese folks for the rest of the American's. In the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha franchise, they do get a couple of native English speakers, but the main one for Nanoha's device is made to say the Engrish sentences (but said in clear English). *lol*

Still, sounds like you had fun and it is always good to get paid. ^_^


That's so true in all respects, and it's definitely fun every time - just looooooong!! ;)