EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Exclusive Interview #20

  • from "the God of risk"
  • Shinichi Tsutsumi

Ms. Shinichi Tsutsumi plays the role of a legendary crisis management expert named Satoshi Saigyouji in a social-entertainment drama series “the God of risk.” With his extraordinary talent and flexibility, Mr. Tsutsumi has won multiple awards for his performance, and today he is one in all the foremost favorite actors of Japan’s entertainment industry. Although he has appeared in many Fuji TV dramas in the past including smash-hit series “YAMATONADESHIKO” and “SP ~Security Police~,” surprisingly this is his first time starring as a main character. In this interview, we asked Mr. Tsutsumi how he feels about his character and impressions of his co-stars.

Q

The main character Saigyouji is portrayed as a man who doesn’t hesitate to do anything to achieve his purpose. Despite such personality, is there any part in him that you feel warm, humane quality?

A

“His purpose” is not only for his own sake, rather it’s actually for a company as a whole or to influence or make an impact on the society. That’s what lies in the heart of all of his actions. Japanese people often try to avoid confrontation and be ambiguous in their speech. But on the other hand, Saigyouji is the type of person who is not afraid to be direct and says things as it is. So I don’t think he’s cold-hearted at all.

Q

There seems to be a lot of mysteries about Saigyouji. What do you find fascinating about him, and how do you intend to play his character?

A

At this point, I myself actually don’t know how this story will end, so this is just what I think at the present: In playing my role, I try not to be too expressive in a change of feelings. Also, all of the topics presented in the story are all quite heavy and intense, so I think if I act too seriously, viewers may start to feel tired after a while, so I’ll keep playing with somewhat laid back and more flexible approach.

Q

What’s your impression of Ms. Erika Toda?

A

She’s very cheerful and fun to be around. I’ve worked with her in the past in this one film, and I remember how wonderful she was then. Now she has gained more experience and has grown greatly. She’s such a dedicated, hard-working actress, so I’ll also do my best to keep up with her and not get left behind. *laugh*

Q

Could you also tell us your impression of Mr. Go Morita who plays the role of Minoru Yuki, the right-hand man of Saigyouji?

A

I’ve worked with Go in a drama series called “The Queen of Lunchtime Cuisine.” It was just this one scene, but back then he seemed very edgy and tense, perhaps because he was very much in his character at the time. But when I saw him again at the first meeting before filming of this drama began, I noticed how he now has this calm and gentle presence. In general, when you start your career at a young age and have been working for a long time, you become too familiar and therefore less committed to your work. But as for Go, he’s changed to being like this sweet, pure-hearted boy, so it made me kind of happy to see that.

Q

In one episode, Saigyouji has a line “a pinch is a chance.” Is there any memorable situation where you felt “a pinch is a chance.”?

A

It may not be exactly “a pinch is a chance” situation, but when I originally started my career as an actor, I wanted to be in action films and TV series, but I had to give up because of injuries. Another situation was that, back then I wasn’t that interested in theaters, but I happened to participate as a stagehand in a stage with Bandô Tamasaburô V. Then I was struck by how beautiful and fascinating the world of theater was. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to continue working in theater for my entire life. I feel there were situations where something didn’t exactly go my way, but they were wonderful encounters, whether it be a person or production that sort of made me change directions in life.