Actor Renn Kiryama, first starred in Kamen Rider W (2009) as Shotaro Hidari. After the show ended, he went on to perform in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e 2011 and then Shinjuku Swan II, which was directed by Sion Sono. Kiriyama has gained popularity as a skilled actor.
Kiriyama was cast as Shirasu Kinjo in Laughing Under the Clouds, which will be released on March 21, 2018. His character is a freeloader, but pays for his stay by doing chores and attending to guests. AmebaTimes’ interview discusses this upcoming role.
How did you feel about the character when you got the offer?
Kiriyama: Shirasu Kinjo is a key character of the story. Though the story primarily focuses on the three brothers, Kinjo has a dark past. I was allowed to read the original of the play, because it’s a work that has a lot of fans. I want to meet the expectations of the fans. When I play this character, I want to connect to his heart.
Did you face any difficulties or pressure when playing Shirasu Kinjo?
Kiriyama: Rather than pressure, it was a great feeling I was looking forward to. There were action scenes, too, and I had to lose weight for the role. In terms of hardship, I was worried about being mysterious and I wondered how far you can portray being dark. It is said “I tried to suppress myself because I was too dark.” and “I changed my methods because they were hard to understand” and it’s pointed out that it changes along the way.
There are many male cast members around the same age.
Kiriyama: Yes, it was fun. I don’t have to worry about anything. In the story, there is an organization called the Yamainu, who cooperated with the Cloud brothers. They were in a local area, too, and I get to shoot with the Yamainu often. I got to talk and play around them them.
In a previous interview, Yuuki Furukawa said you were “very gentle and cool”.
Kiriyama: I will return those words to him (laugh). In the acting field, he is referred to by the nickname “Pon-chan” and he is really nice and cool. We became friends due to this film. Sometimes we go for a drink together.
Kirato Wakayama seems to make the mood on set. Looking back, how were you?
Kiriyama: During filming, I tried to help by being subtile “How about doing it like this?” I tried to consult with actors and give advice. On-site, it was friendly and warm.
Wakayama was especially cute. He’s 15 years younger than I am. He wanted to go with me to the hotel’s public bath and waited for me to finish at the location. He knocked on my door and asked “Why don’t we take a bath together?”
It’s cute! What a scene!
Kiriyama: At that time, I wondered if he was a seventh grader. When I met him recently, he was taller than when we were on-set. I thought “You got a lot bigger!” His image on the movie poster is small, but not so much after seeing him again. I wonder how he’ll change in a year. I felt like a big brother.
There is also a mysterious side of your character, but he does housework like a substitute mother for the three brothers. Do you see yourself in Shirasu Kinjo?
Kiriyama: The three brothers deeply care for Kinjo. I could relate from some common moments when I was younger in my private life.
Were you good at caring for those younger than you?
Kiriyama: I have never thought I was good or weak at it. I don’t know much about it, but I feel tired when I notice it now. I don’t know why (laugh).
Do you have anything you want to tell viewers who watch Laughing Under the Clouds?
Kiriyama: I would be happy if you could see me in this new world, whether it takes place in the past, or if the days changed. Not only the character that I play, but also in this movie where you can see the bonds between people. Kinjo cherishes his time with the three brothers, while also shouldering his own fate. I thought it would be nicer if his thoughts could be transmitted.
The movie is focued on Kinjo’s thoughts
Kiriyama: I want viewers to understand after they’ve seen the movie twice “Oh, that’s what it was.” When I watched a part I didn’t understand at the time, I thought “What was his expression at that time?” I want them to enjoy seeing what Kinjo sees.
Do you have any roles you would like to challenge yourself to in the future?
Kiriyama: In this movie there’s an action scene, but I like to be active. I would like to continue doing action scenes. I would like to perform a variety of roles, from serious to comedy. I would be happy to have some non-human roles, such as Edward Scissorhands.
Laughing Under the Clouds is a live-action adaptation of the original manga series by Karakara-Kemuri. The film tells the story of life after the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Criminals are taking over the land and samurai are rebelling. Those placed in jail are escaping, only to cause more havoc. The government tried to toughen up the prison system by building a giant prison in the middle of Lake Biwa. To reach the prison, criminals must be escorted. It is the responsibility of the Cloud Brothers to escort these dangerous criminals to meet their fate.
The film not only stars Renn Kiriyama, but also Sota Fukushi (Gentaro Kisaragi/Kamen Rider Fourze) as Tenka Kumo, Yuma Nakayama as Soramaru Kumo, and Kirato Wakayama as Chutaro Kumo.
Check out the trailer here: