At the top of 5500 people in an audition program! The true face of actress Sara Kosawa
I had always dreamed of becoming an actress, but I was beginning to think that it might not be possible for me. When I auditioned for this role, I was going to give up on my dream if I failed. I wasn’t confident in my acting, but when director Hirokazu Koreeda said that my acting and facial expressions were good even when I didn’t have any lines, I was able to make it through to the end.
This is how I was able to make it through to the end,” said Sara Kozawa, 17, a high school sophomore who won the grand prix in season 2 of TBS’s audition program “The Day I Become an Actress. The program is a star development project of the station, and proceeds mainly based on viewer votes. The winner of the grand prix is promised the lead role in a drama. Director Kore-eda supervised some of the auditions and provided acting instruction.
After winning the Grand Prix, I received a video letter of encouragement from the director, which really made me happy.
Director Kore-eda was not the only one who praised the film. Yasushi Akimoto, the overall producer of the project, also praised her, saying, “There was something in her natural acting that is not seen in today’s actresses. She has an honest absorption ability,” he praised her highly.
The drama in which she will make her debut as an actress is “Who is the sender? (TBS, October 10, start), which was planned and conceived by Akimoto. The homeroom Japanese teacher suddenly proposes a “letter game. In the story, students send out letters to an unknown sender, revealing secrets and problems in the class one after another. Kozawa plays the role of Mitsuki, a high school girl who hates to stand out and is a quiet person.
She talks about the difficulties she faced during the filming.
Mizuki is an ordinary high school girl. The biggest challenge for me right now is to express ‘normal’ in my acting. I think the closest I can get to ‘normal’ is to cherish the feelings I have on the spot, rather than thinking about them in my head.
Filming a feature-length drama is the first experience in her life.
When we started cranking, I didn’t know what was right or left, and I was very tense and stiff (laughs). (Laughs) I was just starting to get used to the scene, thanks to the encouragement of Mr. Tokio Emoto, who plays the teacher, and all the other co-stars. Everyone’s ad-libs are amazing, and I’m learning every day.
There is a surprising side to this fresh-faced actress.
Her hobby is watching horror movies. I turn off all the lights in my room, make it like a movie theater, and watch them alone. On weekends and holidays, I sometimes spend the whole day watching horror movies. People say to me, “What’s bothering you?” But it’s not like that. I just love the thrill of it (laughs).
Finally, we asked her about her future goals.
I want to become an actress who can give courage to people like Suzu Hirose. I want to be an actress who can give courage to others like Suzu Hirose did in the drama “Gakko no Kaidan” (NTV series, broadcast in 2003). Hirose’s impassioned speech in the drama “Gakko no Kaidan” (Nippon Television Network Corporation, broadcast in 2003) was one of the reasons for me to aspire to be an actress. Also, in the vein of my hobbies, I would like to act in horror films. I am confident in my ability to make startling facial expressions, which I have been training for on a regular basis (laughs).”
Sara Kozawa’s Cinderella story has just begun.
PHOTO： Shinji Hamasaki