Shu Watanabe previous portrayed Eiji Hino on Kamen Rider OOO. He began a starring role as Hashiguchi Rota on Season 16 on Kasouken no Onna and will continue onto Season 17.
Kasouken no Onna stars Sasaki Mariko (Sawaguchi Yasuko), a talented Forensics Scientist who must battle stereotypes in her profession and solve complex crimes.
WalkerPlus recently interviewed Watanabe about his role on Kasouken no Onna and previous experience on Kamen Rider OOO.
The second season is starting. How do you feel?
I only began my role in the middle of Season 16, so I have a short history in the Research Department. Sawaguchi Yasuko (who portrays the main character Sakaki Mariko) said “It’s like you’ve been doing it for years now.” So I feel a sense of secutity. This is the first time I’ll participate in two seasons, so I feel like I have to work hard and do my best.
Do you feel different now that you’ve moved up into a starring role on the show?
Although there’s not much change, it’s still great to enter from the beginning. This time, I won’t be appearing in the middle of the show. Since I think I can challenge myself to take on new things, I think the script will show you various aspects of Rota.
Do you have anything you want to focus on while portraying Rota again?
I want to take on the intentions of the writers as much as possible. It may not be shown on air, but in the script, some of Rota’s lines have a heart. I think there were intentions there by the writer, so I have to make sure I portray it well.
You’re not taking on an effeminate role, so the heart mark is unusual.
The heart means to be charming. So I think I want to make him a tamed, loved character without hatred.
Are there any similarities between yourself and Rota?
There are some similarities (laughs). I’m a pretty happy guy, so I think that’s similar to Rota. In addition, I don’t care about things that don’t interest me, so I think we’re both curious and take a greater deal of interest in the things that do interest us.
So, you seem to know how to keep your distance with others. Is Rota like that?
Well, I might think it’s the other way around when trying to approach someone. It seems like he kept unexpectedly got closer to someone while touching them normally. If anything, I prefer to be alone, but Ruta becocmes more interested in the things people do. I wonder if Rota has that charm to be approachable, rather than doing the approaching.
Do you feel it’s natural to perform as Rota?
I am not as bright as Rota, but I think if I take on his role, I will personally become more like him (laughs).
Please let me know your favorite scenes so far.
Rota operates a drone in the Kasouken no Onna special, so I’d like you to see that scene. It was my first time to see a drone being flown, so please look forward to the realistic aerial shoots.
Kasouken no Onna has many scenes of scientific investigations, but were there times when you felt self-conscious playing those scenes?
Rota seems to be playful, but is actually being serious. There are skills one must know to be an investigator, so he knows the proper terminology of his work. There is a “Rota and World” balance.
Did you receive special guidance on details like swirling a test tube or using a computer?
There were no lessons on how to use scientific tools. There were times when we did something wrong, so we’re corrected. But for things like shaking a test tube or placing things on a desk, I think that kind of behavior is just naturally done because that’s what you expect to be done in a scientific role.
What about scenes done with the Senior Actors on set?
I don’t really speak while on-set. But I think that people who have the ability to receive more than to emit are better as actors. As for the Senior Actors, I think their abilities are excellent. I am grateful to act in such an environment.
It seems like you and fellow actor Kazuaki Ishii came on-board within the same year.
He is eight years my senior, but we’re on good terms (laughs). I don’t have a sense of being his junior, and we often go home at the same time or have dinner. He is a gentle person who accepts others easily, and also accepts me as a silly person.
In one episode, Taishi Nakagawa will appear as a researcher.
He’s a younger age, so he’ll be exciteable. One story in particular is interesting because of his interactions with Rota.
Nakagawa was previously interviewed, stating he was confused at the diffeerent shooting style in Tokyo. How is it for you?
It’s not big, but there are many places. There are many experienced staff members who have worked in Kyoto for a long time. Some series just aren’t the same if they were shot in Tokyo, so it’s comfortable. I’m half in Tokyo and Kyoto now, so there is excitement in both places. It becomes a positive mood change.
Have you been able to go shopping in Kyoto?
There are not that many shops where we are, but we often go to a restaurant or bar. Ishii and I often go to seafood or yakiniku restaurants.
On Instagram, you were posting photos of Kyoto’s beer.
This is when we had dinner in Gion when we came to Kyoto (laugh). In a splendid private room that was not seen, I got turtle. It was a great experience.
You’ll be at the TTFC Thanksgiving Day 2017. Six years has ended since the end of Kamen Rider OOO. Looking back, what kind of things did you experience?
It was an amazing year, so there were good memories, and lots of difficulties. As I thought, I can’t experience such a year again, so I think I became a better person and actor.
Because it’s been so long since my time as a Rider, I am looking forward to this event. I can talk about everything now.
Your audition for Kasouken no Onna that decided your leading role was famous, where the you discussed Kamen Rider with the Director and Producer.
Right? (laugh) They were discussing Kasouken no Onna, and talking excitedly. But at that time, it seems that everything was already decided, so I was just excitedly talking (laugh).
Shota Matsushima (Brain of Kamen Rider Drive) and Shouma Kai (Parado of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid) were also previously in Kamen Rider series and are juniors at Kasouken no Onna. Have you been interested in any particular Kamen Rider series since?
Every year, I still check in to see the newest Rider. When I saw Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, I was shocked by his unusual appearance.
Please give a message to fans who look forward to seeing you at the event.
I want to encourage fans who have been waiting, and to tell them what I experienced at that time compared to now. I look forward to the event.
Thank you. Can you give us any highlights from the upcoming season of Kasouken no Onna?
Kasouken no Onna is evolving as crimes evolves every year. I feel that the members of the research tea, will improve in working together. I hope you’ll watch the Special and upcoming season.
The 2 Hour Special of Kasouken no Onna will air on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 9PM on TV Asahi. The 17th Season will debut on Thursday, October 19th. It will air every Thursday at 8PM on TV Asahi.
Article Sources: WalkerPlus