Haruka Kudo graduated from Morning Musume and Hello! Project in 2017. She graduated from the group at age 18 because of her strong desire to become an actress. Shortly after her graduation, it was announced that she would be appearing as Umika Hayami/Lupin Yellow on Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger.
The show debuted on February 11, 2018 and airs from 9:30-10AM on TV Asahi. This is Kudo’s first step as an actress, using the Super Sentai series as a gateway into future roles. Kudo discussed her role and how she changed from an idol to an actress.
Kudo stated that she felt more nervous about appearing on the show than performing in Nippon Budokan. However, she has admired the Super Sentai series. Before graduating, she thought that she had to find an acting audition or some role, even though she had no acting experience. “I don’t know what will happen, but I just have to try!”
Years had passed since Kudo had to take part in an audition. The last audition she participated in was for Morning Musume. Auditions for acting were completely difference, so she felt extremely nervous. “It was a long time since I was so tense.”
Kudo had performed as an idol for six years. She would be enterting an industry where there were many other actresses active for years before her. Kudo’s desire to become an actress was strong and kept her motiviated to continue on through auditions.
After her final graduation performance, Kudo announced that her next work was decided. Fans were delighted with the news, especially that it was announced so soon after her graduation.
Kudo made a strong debut in Morning Musume, but how will she feel about her years as an idol after becoming an actress? “Someday, my idol days will be forgotten and I’ll only be recognized as an actress.”
Idol work had the potential to help the new actress. “I’m wearing heels with costumes this time.” Kudo stated, “The costume I wear after the transformation also has heels. I heard that Super Sentai characters wearing heels is new, so I thought I would like to try more fashionable acting. Everyone else is worried about injuries, but I’m stubbornly saying ‘I’m OK’.” The staff is used to it by now, even though I have experience from dancing.
Kudo is conscious of her idol appearances while singing and dancing on stage. She’s become used to working for long roles at a time, where doing her best is essential to making viewers happy. She’s going her best at performing while doing multiple tasks, and believes that’s when she’s at her best.
Super Sentai series only run for a year, so what does that mean for Kudo after the end of this role? She hopes to perform in a drama, as well as a movie. Kudo knows she will have to work hard, but is grateful for her experience as an idol.
When asked if she’s sure she wants to be an actress now, she’s positive of her new career path. She’s inspired by Rina Kawaei, who transformed from an idol to an actress.