──Performances in Tokyo finished and Madame seems to be pretty popular.
Really!? I’m happy. This time I’m the oldest among the cast, so I thought that even normally I have kind of “Madame feeling”, but role-wise, I’m even older than in reality. I especially noticed something like a peculiar strength because of that (age differences).
──Madame is both comical and has an adult atmosphere, she has big presence.
Thank you. Kizetsu’s director, Ooikawa Michiko, really helped me out last year during Kobushi Factory’s WEEKEND SURVIVOR. There, too, I was the oldest and had kind of older sister’s role, but this time I consulted Ooiwa about changing both my voice and my countenance. Since the practices I’ve been trying out different Madames and finally I finished off with Madame with a bit of highness in her voice.
──What is the highlight of Madame?
In this play I think Madame is the one who plays around the most. Her sympathy towards Billy Hoshino and Galapagos King is deep, but when she needs to be strict, she’s strict. I want people to enjoy that gap. I will be happy if people laugh sincerely during the funny parts.
──How was the co-staring with Country Girls during their first play?
I think the pressure was big and there were difficult parts because it was their first play and their first leading roles. But because they were together with Tsubaki Factory, something like a friendly rivalry was born. It looks like both groups were aware of each other and that resulted in a synergy.
──Last year you produced Tsubaki Factory’s Thank You Very Berry. Did your way of thinking about acting change because of that experience?
I myself haven’t noticed it that strongly but Ooiwa-san told me the way I perceive things changed. Staff members also told me I look more mature now. Even during practices I mainly sat next to Oiiwa-san and watched everyone’s acting from the front. With that I could objectively enjoy that part of the play that you can’t experience while standing on the stage. Certainly the number of moments when I think “Stages are surely fun!” has increased.
──Lately you’ve been appearing not only in Engeki Joshibu’s plays, but in other works, too.
It is a really good experience and above all, it’s fun. If it’s Engeki Joshibu, there’s a lot of people from my generation and a lot of my Hello!Project juniors, the staff members are also people who had helped me through the years so you get that kind of “at home” feeling. But in other works, it’s natural that I jump into environment where I don’t know anyone. I’m shy so I end up being super nervous.
Besides, everyone really loves acting and oozes “I want to stand on the stage!” kind of feeling. That’s really severe, but even if you’re shy or nervous when it comes to acting, it doesn’t matter, there’s no other way than to tackle it. I’m really happy I could experience “colliding” with others in the cast, it’s really something worth of doing and thus really fun.
──You mean you feel how you grow while being surrounded by raging waves?
Exactly that. I played together with experienced actors, there’s a lot of unexpected acting. I learn a lot of from watching practices, too.