EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Exclusive Interview #17

  • from "Doctors’ Affairs"
  • Takumi Saitoh

It’s safe to say that actor Takumi Saitoh is first in the minds of the female audiences as today’s hottest star in Japan. His popularity has skyrocketed since 2014 when he starred in the drama “Hirugao -Love Affairs in the Afternoon-” as a young Biology teacher who falls in love with an older married woman. This time in “Doctors’ Affairs,” Takumi Saitoh takes the leading role as a passionate, devoted surgeon at a university hospital. In this interview, Mr. Saitoh shares with us his experience and thoughts on playing the role of Haruki Morita in this gripping medical/romantic drama.

Q

What is your view on the main character Dr. Haruki Morita whom you play as?

A

Haruki is the type of person that impulsively blurts out things that should be left unspoken. I think it can be both his strength and also weakness as he can easily shorten the distance between himself and others, for better or worse. For any patients, he’s the type of doctor whom they can fully trust as a dependable doctor with a genuine heart and positive energy.

Q

On the drama’s promotional material, it was mentioned that you would play the role of a passionate surgeon with your charm and sex appeal. How exactly do you intend to play your character of Haruki?

A

Well, I’m not going to overly emphasize my sex appeal or anything. When I first read the script, it seemed to me that the story was told more from the females’ point view or Chizuru’s standpoint, rather than males. But the monologue parts are written in a way that it starts with Chizuru’s voice then ends with Haruki’s. So it’s not that the story is written solely from the females’ perspective. The drama features a group of male doctors who are representative of certain social types, and I think Haruki is the most relatable out of all of the guys and someone who is like a puppy dog that grew up with lots of love and care. Some people may not think favorably of this personality traits in him or may somehow feel bothered by it, because of the fact that Haruki doesn’t come off that way deliberately, but rather it just comes out naturally as he’s just being himself. So I try to be as natural as possible in playing my role of Haruki.

Q

The story follows Haruki as he falls in love with Chizuru who’s older than him. Have you ever had any hopes for being in such kind of relationship yourself?

A

It’s still hard for me to foresee how the entire story is going to unfold. Back in 1980’s and 1990’s, most romantic dramas set their stories’ main focus on couples falling in love and tying the knot in the end. But I think the real drama actually starts after getting married. Today, the drama trends has changed and it puts more focus on portraying what people face after marriage, which involves things that may not necessarily be just happy or straightforward, but rather it’s more complicated and situations vary for each individual couple. I think the drama would be more interesting if that there were developments that even us cast members can’t fully predict or prepare for what may be in store. We’ll just see how things will turn out as if we are playing rugby.

Q

What do you look forward to the most in the development of the relationship between Haruki and Chizuru, who is played by Yuriko Ishida?

A

Well, it’s obvious where the two are headed just by looking at the drama’s poster. I mean, they are to fall in love with each other in the end, but it’s not going to go that easily because their personalities are completely different as cats and dogs. But as surgeons and career-wise, they are similar in their aspirations and passion deep down in the core of their hearts, which is what draws them closer. But if they get together right away, it’s no fun, right? So this is just some random ideas in my head, but maybe it’d be kind of thrilling to see if, for example, all the love interests in the story get shuffled up or all couples break up once. I mean, I do think it’s important for the storyline to develop in accordance with the audience tastes and what they expect. In a way, it’s my ideal is to make a romantic drama with a classic storyline. But even then, I still want to go beyond what’s expected and create a drama that will capture the hearts of audience and keep them engaged.