Keiko Kitagawa interview article in “Steady” August 2015 issue (English translation)

Keiko Kitagawa meets summer denim

White Denim ON
The cleanliness of the denim
Reflects Kansai’s light and airy atmosphere

This summer has had an unprecedented boom in the popularity of denim. The designs made from the fabric are overflowing, and actress Keiko Kitagawa, who is also a seasoned style model, told us about the trend. We’ll be interviewing her about her summer blockbuster part in the movie “HERO”, as well as about her role in the drama series “Detective vs. Detectives”.

Denim pants: This season’s fashion is about wearing bangs and denim coordinates.

“Even when I’m wearing a one tone coordinate with denim, the style looks great. The pants look especially nice with my bangs and some cute sneakers. The outfit has a boyish feel to it, but I love it. And also, the top is super cute!”

Long skirt: The denim looks even more dramatic when your blouse is swaying in the wind

Even a simple combination of a blouse with a long skirt, when paired with denim material, can look dramatic. “I love wearing blue coordinates. The denim plays off the color of the rest of the outfit and really emphasizes its best features,” said Ms. Kitagawa.

Gaucho pants: A minimalist color scheme of white and navy can take a wardrobe from adult to girlie and back.

Gaucho pants are trendy again, and they incorporate really well with denim pieces. They also look great with short boots. “I think it’s so cute when women dress like this. Especially during mid-summer, paired with short boots, it looks very natural.”

Denim shirt: A flexible denim shirt arranges the accent of the dress

A denim shirt with a fringe haircut looks great, especially if you need to take it off and wrap it around your waist due to the weather. “You can dress down items like a fancy dress using a denim shirt, so it’s a very versatile piece.”

Special Interview – The movie “HERO” and the drama series “Detective vs. Detectives”

The super-popular and ever-so-busy actress Keiko Kitagawa took some time out of her schedule to talk with us about her upcoming feature films and recent works. We had a heart-to-heart conversation about her work and the characters she’s been portraying.

There’s a part of me that feels like I’m portraying two roles at once.

This July, she’ll be appearing in the theatrical release of “HERO”, as well as starring in the TV drama series “Detective vs. Detectives” – our star, Keiko Kitagawa. “In the movie ‘HERO’, I portray the role of Chika Asagi who is an associate officer at the public prosecutor’s office. But the character is in her early 20’s, and so when I got the role I thought to myself, ‘Really? Can I pull this off?’ It was a point of anxiety for me. But I decided to give it my best shot. After all, it’s probably the last year I can get away with it, is what I was thinking. (laughs) So anyway, while portraying the role of Chika during filming, it felt like I was living out my final dream of portraying a character in her 20’s with my performance still being plausible, so I really enjoyed my work.”

How has your life changed since you turned 30 years old, Ms. Kitagawa?

“The thing I’ve learned with age is that things won’t change unless I do. I’ve only gotten as far as I am now because I’ve learned to change when I needed to. While I’m always planning for the future, I also believe it’s important to appreciate the present and so I make a lot of effort to stay present in my day-to-day life.”

Even Ms. Kitagawa, with her reputation as a cool beauty, still faces issues in her life, but she shares with us what helps to keep her going.

“The first time I ever heard anyone say that about me, I said to myself: ‘They can’t be saying that I’m cool’. I mean, it really blew my mind. The first time someone introduced me like – ‘Here she is, the cool beauty, Keiko Kitagawa!’ I was shocked. (laughs) But you know, it’s kind of lonely too being described that way. People treat you differently once you get that reputation. Anyway, I don’t think about myself that way much.”

As for how she does think about herself, Ms. Kitagawa said that she closely identifies with the character she portrays in “Detective vs. Detectives”, Rena Sasaki.

“A while ago, I was just an average girl, and I wasn’t particularly talented with anything. But Rena is a character who is very sympathetic and she’s good at connecting with people, and I think I share those strengths too. It was a stretch playing this character though, because there are so many action shots and so I had to learn to use batons and weapons, and do action scenes with jumps and kicks and things. I did get injured a couple of times making the shots, but the cuts look very authentic because I did many of my own stunts. Finishing up every day of shooting was so satisfying because I felt like – I really did this myself! You know, it’s been a great new experience for me.”

The main thing that never changes is that I always want to help other people

Even after a hard day of shooting, she’s always got a stoic attitude and can continue working. It’s been ten years since her debut, so we asked her how she keeps her stamina strong.

“My purpose in life is my work. I haven’t changed much in that regard since I was 17 years old. For example, sometimes I would take a 3-day long weekend, and I would get a lot of anxiety about doing that. I would think, well, I’m not established yet as an actress and so I have no business resting on my laurels. So I decided to start using my days off to do maintenance items, like going to the doctor or the dentist instead of just spending time with my friends. So I was really on top of always being at work, because I liked to imagine that my fans were right there when I was standing in front of the camera and I wanted to do my best for them. When I was a kid my dream was to be a doctor when I grew up, but I ended up becoming an actress instead. I didn’t originally intend this path for myself, but I’m really happy that it’s what I’m doing with my life.”

Ms. Kitagawa describes how she keeps in touch with her fans via social network sites like her blog, Facebook, and LINE.

“There aren’t many borders between my personal life and my work life, so I’ve worked hard to just integrate the two as best as I can. I owe everything I have to my fans, so I want to include them in my life as much as possible. So, I can reach out to my fans online and have authentic dialogues with them, which is very meaningful to me because then I have a path to thank them for supporting me. Some of my fans have been with me for over ten years and so it’s thanks to their support that I’ve gotten as far as I have, and I always want to be available for them whenever I can.”

(Translated by Fandom Services. Paid for by this blog to the benefit of all English-speaking and English-learning Keiko fans).

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