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Haruka Shimazaki finds women scarier than ghosts! ‘In a lot of different ways, they’re really frightening’


©2015 TIFF

Horror film Ghost Theater, starring AKB48’s Haruka Shimazaki in her first independent role, had its Japan Premier on October 28 as part of the special event “Masters of J-Horror” at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. Actress Shimazaki was joined by co-stars Rika Adachi and Keita Machida as well as the director Hideo Nakata to present the film at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Piccadilly.
Shimazaki who had taken time out in August and September to recuperate from asthma, smiled as she said “As this is the Japan premiere, I hope everyone has a good time and spreads word about the film. I spent the morning soaking in the tub with (purifying) bath salts.” She reflected back “I took up the challenge from a position of not knowing anything and throughout the filming I was learning how to be an actress.” She said of her reaction to the filming “I did find some parts that I regretted afterwards and thought I could have done better but at the time I think I gave it my best.”
For the premier, a movie theater based haunted house was created for one night only and those on stage had reportedly already given it a try. Not a fan of haunted houses, Machida’s face fell as he admitted “I screamed a lot.” Shimazaki sympathized “It was so scary, I think I screamed even more.” Director Nakata was exposed by Adachi as “looking spooked” and he grumbled “I’m not very good at these kinds of things, really. I’ve been working as a horror film director for 20 years but I’m not good with scary things.”
As an aside to the film, the question was asked “What is scarier than ghosts?” Shimazaki immediately replied “Women are. In a lot of different ways, they’re really frightening.” She continued “Even in films, you think you’re good friends (with a fellow actress) but you’re actually not.” Adachi added rushingly “We’re talking about movies! It’s not about the real world!” The realistic answers from others on stage threw the audience into fits of laughter: “Getting my credit card statement every month. Sometimes I receive some terrifying totals.” (Adachi); “My older sister got married and now my younger sister is talking about it too. Being left behind is scary.” (Machida); “All living animals. Among them, even herbivorous animals are scary to me.” (Director Nakata)
In Ghost Theater, terrified actresses are haunted by a mysterious phenomenon in a closed space: playhouse. The film will be released nationwide from November 21.

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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)