Toshio Kakei is playing the leading role in the Live Action adaption of The Next Generation Patlabor, which will be released for the German market in November. We had the opportunity to ask the actor a few questions.
On the second page you can find a japanese version of the interview.
Sumikai: Konnichi wa, we are very happy that you have taken the time to answer our few questions. To start with, could you please introduce yourself?
Toshio Kakei: Hello, everyone. I’m Toshio Kakei. It’s nice to meet you.
Sumikai: On 10th November 2016 The Next Generation Patlabor will be published in Germany. Are you surprised that Dorama and Japanese films are also very popular in Europe and America?
Toshio Kakei: We are also interested in foreign dramas and films, but I really like to know what attracts everyone to Japanese works?
Sumikai: How did you prepare yourself for the role in The Next Generation Patlabor and did you face any challenges? How would you describe your character Koji Gotoda? Can you identify with him?
Toshio Kakei: If I had to describe “Keiji Gotoda” with only a few words, I would say he is the ideal boss for Mamoru Oshii (Note: The director).
He has a sense of justice, careful consideration for his subordinates and a stormy passion that reveals itself even though he doesn’t show it in front of them.
Even though there weren’t any similarities between myself and him, I played the role thoroughly day by day to match the picture of the boss that Oshii hoped for.
In the end I don’t know how well I’ve done, but it was worth it.
Sumikai: Did you know the original work in advance, and what is your general view about Mecha?
Toshio Kakei: Of course I had known the original work and watched the anime.
But I didn’t even dream of actually joining a live-action adaption anytime in the future.
I watched the anime movie once again for my performance this time and was really surprised in how its contents foretold our present civilization.
By the way, I’ve watched a Robot Wrestling match on German TV in the past.
I was so excited. Do German people like Mecha?
Sumikai: How was the mood on the set? Are there funny incidents you would like to tell us?
Toshio Kakei: In any case, there were a lot of staff members. Together with the cast there were over 100 people at the set every day!
At mealtime we were served with handmade food by the catering staff, so it truly felt like coming to a real workplace every day.
Sumikai: You have acted in many series and films over the years. Are there any roles that you have particularly enjoyed and which was most similar to you?
Toshio Kakei: I like all my roles that I played in the past, because they are all precious works of art.
And because these roles are always very different from me, bringing them to life made me very happy.
Sumikai: Which kind of roles would you like to play in the future?
Toshio Kakei: Even though I’m fine with every role, I especially like it if the world the characters live in is different from everyday life. Science Fiction for example.
Sumikai: In addition to some Japanese film releases in Germany there is also the Nippon Connection in Frankfurt. The largest Japanese film festival in Germany. What is your kind of view about the development of the spread of Japanese films in the world?
Toshio Kakei: It’s a great honor.
But I believe many Japanese people don’t know about this, so in my opinion our mass media should report more about it.
Sumikai: During your long career run you met a lot of actors. Who did you enjoy the most and who would you like to act with?
Toshio Kakei: I have already worked with Reiko Takashima a few times, who has also played with me in this movie.
She is a beautiful and intelligent woman and has great potential to be loved by the people in the world.
In the future I want to play together with more foreign actors. I’d like to try to perform in German movies, too!
Sumikai: Have you ever been to Germany or would you like to go there? What kind of picture do you have of Germany?
Toshio Kakei: I’ve visited Germany a few days in the past for my work for a Japanese television program.
I’ve heard that Germans are very strict, so I’m pretty sure we can get along well together.
Sumikai: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. Finally, if you like you can give your German fans and audience a few words.
Toshio Kakei: Everyone, please watch the movie THE NEXT GENERATION PATLABOR which we’ve filmed by investing lots of time and money, be it once or even more often!
And then tell me what you think about it. My mail address is: email@example.com.
Thanks a million!