Shu Watanabe and Ryosuke Miura: Fate Brought Us Together Again
The latest multi-Kamen Rider work is coming this Winter as Kamen Rider Heisei Generations FINAL Build & Ex-Aid with Legend Rider. it will be released in theaters on December 9, 2017. This work combines the currently airing star Kamen Rider Build with the previous Rider Ex-Aid. With the legend Riders, they will all fight to defend peace and freedom.
Fans were thrilled to hear that multiple legendary Riders would make a comeback, including Sota Fukushi who portrayed Gentaro Kisaragi/Kamen Rider Fourze and Gaku Sano as Kouta Kazuraba/Kamen Rider Gaim.
Partners Eiji Hino and Anhk from Kamen Rider OOO will also return in the upcoming film. For the first time in six years, they will appear together on screen.
First, please tell us your impressions when it was announced you would be working together again.
Watanabe: I haven’t appeared together again with Ryo-kun (Miura’s nickname) since Fourze and OOO Movie Battle Mega Mix in 2011. I was happy. Because in the following year Wizard & Fourze MOVIE Taisen Ultimatum in 2012, it was just me, alone.
Miura: I played Ankh for the first time in six or seven years. I worked with the staff who had been waiting for me since then, including staff who were still working since OOO. I was happy.
Please tell us what led to you two appearing in this film together.
Watanabe: Actually, I was the one who offered it to Ryu-kun.
Miura: That’s right.
Watanabe: There were a lot of fateful events that led to this. Teruaki Sugihara, who was Assistant Director at that time, got married. His wife was a big fan of OOO. I was going to take a video of me and Ryu-kun to the celebration. We decided to take a photo together during dinner. At this point, we didn’t get to see each other for 1 or 2 years. I stayed in touch, but it was hard to meet in person. By chance, that day I was offered a role by Toei to appear in Heisei Generations FINAL and I thought this was so timely. I was talking about that story to Teruaki. I thought that this wasn’t just going to be a revival for Eiji (laughs).
Miura: I was just eating grilled meat (laughs)
Watanabe: At that time, I called not expecting much. I thought it was not possible to do this. That night, I thought about it a lot “I want to think positively…” I emailed Takahashi at midnight and asked “Didn’t you talk about the appearance once?” It was proposed. After that, I met up with Takahashi, exchanged emails, and gradually increased my story.
Miura: I didn’t expect anything at the beginning, like an “Ankh Revival”. Although there was a story like “I want to make an episode where Ankh reappears” at an early stage ever since OOO ended, I was thinking I wanted to leave Ankh and refused every role because I wanted to be serious. Because the character of Ankh I played for one year was so strong, I couldn’t get any other work. But six or seven years have passed since then and I turned 30 years old this year. So, there are things to think about, and I got a good opportunity. So, I felt like, “I should go all out.”
Watanabe: It was destiny.
Miura: Speaking of fate, Kazuya Kamihoriuchi was the Assistant Director of OOO with Teruaki Sugihara, is now the Director of this film.
Watanabe: They’re all connected. Kamihoriuchi was the second Assistant Director of OOO at that time, and so I thought we were all friends coming together after such a long time. Then I heard he was actually going to be the Director and I was deeply embarrassed.
Miura: I think so (laugh). He entered the scene earlier than anyone else and was waiting for us.
Watanabe: Sometimes I got upset (laughs)
Miura: Even if we fail, I always felt protected since we were all the same age.
How did you feel entering the Toei studio shooting center?
Watanabe: The atmosphere at the entrace was different. After all, it’s been a few years, and the Riders have changed. I thought there was a new atmosphere. However, as I had to repeat scenes, I felt “Oh, the familiar feelings have returned.” About half of the staff is still from that time, and our relationship has not changed since then.
Miura: There was an impressive world to shoot. One of the staff said “You’re still going to settle down.” Also, shooting went smoothly. I was happy. At the time, OOO was fighting as well, and I felt that we all overcame the difficult schedule.
Watanabe: There was a desire to make content that show how Eiji and Ankh were revived after so long. I want to be able to convince fans about the part how Ankh can be revived, and I wanted to make the best of the atmosphere around both people. Since the completed script contained all of these elements, I was enthusiastic about performing with all my power.
What was the most moving scene for you in the movie?
Miura: All the scenes were the best. Shooting started in early morning and lasted until the next morning for about 24 hours. In the last scene, there’s a moment when Eiji and Anhk meet again. I turn in the harness and became suspended upside-down, which isn’t really done in my usual dramas and movies. The action staff helped me, and it was all timed perfectly when I reached out my hand. This scene was very good.
Watanabe: The encounter scene was the last scene to shoot. There was a great typhoon on the last day of shooting.
Miura: Yes. I actually wanted to go to the shooting location anyway, but I couldn’t go outside.
Watanabe: I think of the scenes when Anhk says “Today’s ice popsicle is good” to Eiji at the decisive battle. In short interactions, the relationship between Eiji and Anhk is outstanding. I requested that ice popsicle exchange, which is Anhk’s weakness. He doesn’t want to cooperate, but has a sort of hateful cuteness. It’s often Anhk’s personality.
Compared to the tv series, have many things changed?
Miura: He was reluctant to eat Popeye’s onigiri in the morning. I used to say “Popeye, Popeye”.
Watanabe: You said that (laughs)
Miura: I have breakfast onigiri when I leave for the shooting location.
Watanabe: That’s right. Two onigiri with karage.
Miura: I was wondering if you’d like some of that.
Watanabe: It’s delicious!
Miura: Since I didn’t make much of it this time, I thought “Oh, I’ve grown up.” (laugh)
Watanabe: At that time, Popeye’s onigiri were the best feast…
Miura: I told you “Give me a piece of Popeye.” (laugh)
Watanabe: Oh yeah, it was “Today’s Popeye!” (laugh). After playing for so long with Ryo-kun, if anything changed…
Miura: I may not have changed.
Watanabe: Both of us were wearing costumes this time, but Ryo-kun asked “Are you going to fit in properly”, and you were concerned about your figure.
Miura: At that time I was already too thin, so I was worried if I could fit in the costumes now.
Watanabe: But, I guess I entered it properly. That won’t change. I was calm at that time and acted like an adult. Now I’m the age Ryu-kun was then. Having said that, I may not have changed much. I think Ryo-kun became less troublesome than that time (laugh), everyone might think so.
Miura: I was very careful at that time since I was an adult anyway. In that sense, after a year, I felt more comfortable on the set of OOO. But I’m not the same. I was very careful at that time.
Watanabe: Everything was painful (laugh) like it was covered in thorns. But, as the final moments came closer, there were no thorns, and the ball was smooth.
Miura: The thorns are completely gone (laughs).
When shooting the TV series, were there any opportunities to be friendly?
Miura: When it was time to travel around the region for the movie campaign. I’ve never been to a local event before, so I didn’t know what to say there or on the radio. Shu was always there to help me, and he helped me. It hasn’t changed now. If I get stuck in my words, he helped me. After filming with Shu-kun, I was very friendly. I thought if I let him do everything, I’d get spoiled.
Watanabe: What I was thinking was that I want to do any kind of work and have fun. But I want to have the feeling that I can do everything happily for a long time. I didn’t think deeply into it (laughs).
Miura: Even in this movie, there are several opportunities for two people to talk somewhere. I’m glad we have help again!
Watanabe: Hopefully you won’t be neglectful this time (laughs).
Miura: Well, then I’ll try hard to talk (laughs). I didn’t really talk then, but recently I’ve talked live as a MC for 30 to 40 minutes.
Watanabe: Great! You could a have a talk show.
Miura: I guess (laughs).
Although it was Eiji and Anhk who reunited in this movie, what if you could make a movie about the two around 2020, which would mark the 10th anniversary of broadcasting. Do you have any big dreams or goals?
Miura: There are things that can come true if you hope they will. If you said you wanted to make a live performance with the OOO team and it happened. But I can’t say such a thing (laugh)
Watanabe: Yes, if you say such flashy things, you’ll have to do it (laugh). However, if you wanted to do it, I would like to gather all the performers like Riho Takada (Hina). It would be fun if everyone got together to talk or have a drinking party at least once.
Miura: Then next year at Halloween, everyone can make their own cosplay and gather.
Watanabe: Everyone will wear a costume on that day, right? (laughs). If I did that kind of thing, there would definitely be cameras (laughs). To watch eleven people in costumes is something you’d do, Ryu-kun. Your talking skills are improving.
Miura: No, no, thank you (laughs).
So, in the end, can you please give a message to fans who loved OOO?
Watanabe: Seven years ago, people who were children or students watching the show are now becoming members of society. It’s not more common to say they were watching older series. Even when I went to Kamen Rider events, I heard staff say “I watched when I was a Junior High School student.” I heard that it happened in the past few years. This time, as a Legend Rider, I can be revived with Ankh. I’m very happy and proud. If you’re a fan of OOO, please go to the theater to watch.
Miura: We appreciate the help of the staff and the performers. Of course, I am grateful to the fans who have always supported me and waited for ths. Although the world is unclear, I thought it was always a good idea to have a new dream, and to have the opportunity to proceed without giving up hope, and worked on this movie. Everyone, please look forward to the day the movie is released to the public.
Article Sources: MyNavi