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“The Actor” director Satoko Yokohama applauds Ken Yasuda’s fart: “let it go at a really impressive moment”

The Actor

©2015 TIFF

The Actor, starring Ken Yasuda from the popular drama unit “TEAM NACS”, was screened as part of the Asian Future section at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival on October 25, and the event was attended by director Satoko Yokohama at the TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills for a Q&A.

The film is based on a novel by author Akito Inui. It portrays the life Takuji Kameoka, used by directors as a “strong supporting actor” for whatever he can get his hands on, from major works to independent films, who falls in love with Azumi (Kumiko Aso) who owns a bar while on shooting location, when suddenly his life begins to change, including being asked to audition for some of the biggest directors in the world.

Director Yokohama said of her impressions of Yasuda, “at any rate he is a very strong person, and your eyes just can’t help be drawn to him on screen. His facial features and his voice makes me think he has played a lot of distinctive roles.” As his role was a “supporting actor”, Yokohama revealed that she put a lot of energy into balancing his individuality with the film. “Just this time, I didn’t really want him to stand out that much (laughs)”.

The Kameoka in the original work has a bald head and a neck like a tortoise, but Yokohama said that “Yasuda has a head full of hair, so a wig have had them laughing from the moment he appeared.” She reflects that she decided not to approach the problem in a visual way, but reflected that rather “I started shooting with the thought that I would see what sort of Kameoka Yasuda would create. Yasuda augmented the Takuji Kameoka that I was imagining with some of the showiness, and the commanding aura that is part of his own personality. He plays the part of a supporting actor, yet I think he has become a lead character that will carry the movie until the end”, she added, showing confidence in him.

When asked about ad lib and stories from the shooting, she confessed that “there are 2 scenes in which Kameoka farts. I didn’t tell him to do, and they were not in the script.” Still, she applauded him with “I had seen some footage which showed he could control his farts as he likes, and I wondered whether one might appear somewhere, and indeed, he let ones go at really impressive moments. I’ve deleted anything that sound unnatural, but you can see it happen really subtly, so I left in the real fart noise.”

The Actor will be released at Theatre Shinjuku, Tokyo, and other theaters nationwide beginning January 30, 2016.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)