Keiko Kitagawa interview article in “Nikkei Woman” June 2014 issue (English translation)

Q – Please write a message for our readers!

“Day after day…the only ‘now’ you can enjoy is the image of yourself, right here, right now.” – Keiko Kitagawa

Work Saved Me, Even When I Hit Rock Bottom

The movie “Miss Nightmare – The Movie” was filmed in the scorching heat of summer. The main character was a girl called “Miss Nightmare” who had prophetic, calamitous dreams that resulted in attacks on people. The character’s home room teacher, who finds out about Miss Nightmare, is played by Keiko Kitagawa.

“Because this was my first time starring in a drama movie, I was really glad. I’ve had fans who watched my drama series tell me that they really liked my role in this film, and I’ve been glad to hear how vocal they’ve been about it.”

Lots of interwoven footage was used from different locations to create the “dream” footage that appears throughout the film. There were a lot of specialized shooting techniques used and many scenes that required green screens, so this was definitely a new experience for you in a lot of ways.

“I’ve always had unexpected experiences throughout my life, so I don’t feel like it’s really hard to deal with. For example, last year was my first time taking on this kind of drama role. I like to roll with the punches. And with this new role – I think I feel lucky to have had this experience. I really think my work has saved me in this regard. And in my private life as well, of course. (laughs)”

When you were 24 years old, there seemed to be a big rush of people who wanted you to get married or were anxious to see that, did it make you uneasy?

“I always say that my fans are my staff. But sometimes I have to do my best not to laugh off some of their concerns about me.”

But in all her honesty, she is never the kind of person to forget her fans or brush them aside, and I think that’s wonderful.

5 Questions to Keiko

Q – What are your thoughts on turning 28 years old?

I want to challenge myself to do new things. I’d like to experience doing a live performance in front of an audience on stage. That’s something I want to try out in the future.

Q – Do you have any rules about how you use your money?

Those of us in the entertainment industry try not to lose their common sense when it comes to money. But at the same time, I don’t spare any expense when it comes to gifts or celebrations. Maybe that’ll come back to haunt me someday? (laughs)

Q – What do you do when you can’t sleep?

The longer you can’t sleep, the harder it becomes to actually fall asleep. So I try to spend those times reading a book, or listening to L’Arc-en-Ciel on my headphones.

Q – How do you feel about co-starring alongside child actors?

It would be a lie if I said that I think it’s good for children. But I know personally I learned a lot about being the teacher Ms. Ayami when I was on set with her.

Q – What’s your secret to not being afraid of failure?

When I first heard the expression “even if you have to pay for it, you should go through a struggle”, I didn’t understand it. I really started to understand that saying recently. If you live in fear of failure, you’ll have a lot of regrets.

(Images from Maegane. Translated by Miss Dream under their “Hire Us!” program. Paid for by this blog to the benefit of all English-speaking and English-learning Keiko fans).

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