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[InC-terview] Exclusive interview with Takeru Sato

By Edric  /  01 Nov 2017 (Wednesday)

Takeru Satoh is well know for his roles as Ryotaro Nogami in the Kamen Rider Den-O series and as Himura Kenshin in the live-action Rurouni Kenshinfilm and its sequels. He now takes on the role of Nagai Kei, the protaganist of AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN, where he must stop Sato and his extremist ideals from destroying the peace he loves.

InCinemas Speaks to Takeru Sato about his role in AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN.
Q: How do you feel about taking on the role of Nagai Kei?

When I first read the manga, I felt that if it were to be adapted to a live-action film, it would be filled with never-before-seen actions. The theme of “resetting my life” also resonated very strongly with me. The story starts when the character I’m playing, Kei Nagai, first discovers that he is an Ajin but is unable to come to terms with that fact. Therefore, his feelings are still much more of a human, I think. In that sense, it felt like a very human story.

Q: What are the challenges playing a character of Nagai Kei?

The “IBM” is all computer graphics so there was nothing in front of us when we were acting. I had to use my imagination and was never really sure what was happening at any point (laughs). But when I watched the final movie with all the effects, it was really interesting. My character, Kei, is someone who is constantly being chased, falling down and having things happening to him and I finally understood how action scenes can really take their toll. After falling off a high place for more than 30 times in one day, my neck shrank by 2cm. I really thought I was going to die (laughs).

The stunts team was the same from “Rurouni Kenshin” so there was already a level of trust established. So even from the time we were practicing, we all unanimously decided that we didn’t want “even a second of action that has been seen before in other movies.” The theme was to create the kind of action that can be done because it’s “Ajin.”

Q: How was it like to work with Go Ayano?

I had the opportunity to work with him previously in “Rurouni Kenshin,” and I think we’ve reached the stage of being able to depend on each other when it comes to acting. We were able to talk frankly with each other without any reservations, and this helped us to produce even better scenes. This would probably not have been possible if I were acting with someone I had met for the first time. As a result of this, I feel that we were able to film scenes that we were both satisfied by. I’m very glad that Go Ayano was chosen to play the role of Sato.

Q: What is your favorite moment in Ajin: Demi-Human?

It would be the scene of Sato, played by Go Ayano, singing loudly while riding a bicycle. I wouldn’t have expected a scene of someone singing right from the start of the movie.


Q: Movies adaptions have a tendency to stray from the main storyline. How it fit so nicely in Ajin?

Though it’s an adaptation of the manga, we strive to reproduce the worldview of the original work while borrowing the story setting only. So for me, it is important to think about the best approach for my character. For my character in “Rurouni Kenshin,” I try to recreate the animatic action scenes in a real way but for “Bakuman.,” as the script was similar to the original work, I followed the script for my character Moritaka Mashiro closely.
I think it is inevitable for the actors to perform the manga elements in the live-action movie. If you look at the blockbuster movies in Japan, many movies are actually adapted from mangas. This is also one of my favourite mangas, so I was also hoping to make the movie into a successful one.

For all the films that I do, I always make the most of out the story setting and keep in mind the fact that I want fans of the original work to think that the live-action film is interesting.

Q: Do you have any words for your fans in Singapore?

This is an action movie like you’ve never seen before. It’s one of my best works, and I hope that everyone will enjoy watching it.

AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN is now screening in Cinemas across Singapore.

Photos Provided by Encore Films
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