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interview with actress kyoko fukada

“Despite her fairy tale look, she is very realistic and cool at heart. Momoko is frilly on the outside, but not that sweet on the inside—that's what I like about her.”  Kyoko Fukada


 

Q: Momoko, the character that you play in Kamikaze Girls, is cute and noble, but very cool at the same time. What do you think about this character?

 

You might think she looks silly judging from her fairy tale look, but actually she is very realistic and cool at heart. Momoko is frilly on the outside, but not that sweet on the inside—that's what I like about her.

 

Q: Momoko has unique fairy tale desires, wishing she could have born in the 18-century Rococo aristocracy. Do you yourself identify with her in any way?

 

I think I do—I like frilly stuff and the world of fairy tales too.

 

Q: Did you discuss characterization of Momoko when you first met with Director Tetsuya Nakashima?

 

Not really. When I first met him, he asked me if there was anything I didn't get in the script, and I said no. That's it. (Laugh) We just said hi to each other at the first meeting. I had no difficulty imagining the world of this movie and character.

 

Q: How did you feel when you were fitting Lolita costumes?

 

I thought it would be so cute… and it was almost like arming myself with those outfits!

 


Q: It's like doing cos-play?

 

Yes, it is. And I was already interested in Lolita. I wore a Lolita headdress just for fun in the photo shoot for my calendar last year. This time, in Kamikaze Girls, I was able to try out totally coordinated Lolita outfits, which was so much fun.

 

Q: You fitted 40 to 50 Lolita costumes and wore 20-30 of them in the movie. Did you suggest anything when choosing the outfits?

 

Yes I did.

 

Q: What did you suggest?

 

I wanted to wear Lolita in my own style, not just wearing outfits to look like a Lolita.

 

Q: Please let me ask you about the locations and other casts. What impression did you get from Shimotsuma? What if you were a high school student in this place?

 

I am from Tokyo, but if I had been born in Shimotsuma, I think I could have enjoyed what I had there. It has the beautiful sky, greenery, and stars.



Q: How did you feel about the distance from Shimotsuma to Daikanyama, Tokyo? What do you think about a girl like Momoko who rides trains for hours just to shop in Tokyo?

 

Yes, it must be tiresome, but I am sure anyone would do that to get something she really liked.

 

Q: How about working with Anna Tsuchiya?

 

I thought she had interesting forms of expression. She is very expressive, straightforward and innocent. I think it was very hard for her to keep up the high tension that her character required throughout the movie.

 

Q: What about Kirin Kiki, who played Momoko's grandmother? She is an actress who always delivers mysterious mood onto the screen.

 

Her acting choices made me realize that there were so many different ways to play the character other than what I had been expecting from the script. It was amazing to work with all those cast members who made such unique acting choices for their roles.



Q: According to the director, the shooting schedule was behind most of the time. Is that so?

 

Yes. We never got an exact wrap-time for each day, but our crew devoted their time and effort to the shoot, creating a really good film. I think they did a brilliant job.

 

Q: Did you find any scene that was visualized beyond your expectations?

 

They were many scenes where the special effects worked very well, so well that most audience members might not notice them at all. The music was very effective too. I think all the small shots succeeded in creating an enjoyable rhythm for the movie.

 

Q: Most of the crew, as well as the director, have backgrounds working in the television commercial industry. Did you find any differences from working with an ordinary film crew?

 

They spend more time on each shot—like shooting a TV commercial—so what they got looks so authentic.

 

Q: How about doing the battle scenes? Scared or Excited?

 

The battle scenes in which I am not fighting look so scary...I don't think I could do that if I was in the battle! I don't like fighting so...(Laugh)

 

Q: Do you have any message for the fans of Kamikaze Girls?

 

I think this movie is able to entertain everyone with beautiful pictures, nice music, and a very good story, so please go see it. I have already watched it 4 times, and I totally enjoyed every time. This movie is a kind of slapstick that cheers you up every time you see it. You find something new, as well as different feelings in yourself, every time you see it. Sometimes it might remind you of your teenage years, or make you wanna go shopping or whatever...You can feel different each time, any time.

 

People often say, “You will never get tired of watching this movie!” or something, but it’s not always true. But I would say, “You will never get tired of watching this movie, ever, so go see it as many times as you want!” (Laugh).

 

Just for fun:

Read same interview on official Japanese Kamikaze Girls site!
(translated by Google)


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interviews

Director Tetsuya Nakashima

Actress Kyoko Fukada

Actress Anna Tsuchiya

Composer Yoko Kanno

BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT Designer Akinori Isobe


reviews

“...a pastel-hued, pop-cultural potpourri that comes at you fists flying like a self-conscious riposte to the fanboy idolatry of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill...”
— Jasper Sharp,
Midnight Eye
read review

“The director and script writer Tetsuya Nakajima do a fine job to visualize the essence of the novel. His strength is to create the visual of the shojo power in manga-tic movie.”
— Jay Tack,
Japattack.com

read review

“Stylistically 'Kamikaze' outdoes Tarantino at his own flamboyant game…a touching tale of friendship that is too cool to let its street-wise facade drop for even one sentimental minute…” —Andrew Sun,
Hollywood Reporter

read review

“Instead of vengeful spirits in videotapes (a la “The Ring”), maybe the next big thing from Japan to assault the world will be quirky loner girls with devastating punches—and a thing for pink.”
— Mark Schiling,
Japan Times

read review

“Through the use of titles, flashbacks, and rococo blues and pinks, Kamikaze Girls playfully brings out the feelings and desires of being alone despite being part of a subculture.”
— Brian Hu,
Asia Pacific Arts
read review

“Utterly silly but still thoroughly original, it has more spunk than a half-dozen studio teen flicks.”
— Chris Barsanti, Filmcritic.com
read review

rotten tomatoes


awards

The 26th Yokohama Film Festival (2005)

Best Picture
Best Director:
Nakajima Tetsuya
Best Actress:
Kyoko Fukada
Best Supporting Actress: Kirin Kiki
Best New Actress:
Anna Tsuchiya

The 28th Japan Academy Prize (2005)

Best New Actress:
Anna Tsuchiya
Best Actress Nominee: Kyoko Fukada
Best Supporting Actress Nominee: Anna Tsuchiya

Mainichi Film Awards (2004)

Best Actress:
Kyoko Fukada
Best New Actress:
Anna Tsuchiya

Kinema Junpo Awards (2004)

Best New Actress:
Anna Tsuchiya

Houchi Film Award (Dec 22, 2004)

Best New Actress:
Anna Tsuchiya

 

 

 

 

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