On November 28, Erika Toda announced from her agency that she is pregnant with her first child. It has been two years since her marriage to Momori Matsuzaka. However, the road has not been smooth.
In October of last year, she withdrew from a series of movies released this year and a drama series in the April season, citing poor health as the reason. What happened to Toda, who had always been at the forefront as an actress without a break?
There was a wave of concern. In fact, it is said that the cause of her dropping out of the film may have been “Motherhood,” starring Toda.
The original story of the movie “Motherhood” is a popular work of the same title by Kanae Minato, which has sold more than 1.2 million copies in total. Rumiko (Toda) grew up with a mother who gave her love without compensation, Hanae (Daichi Mao), and felt happier than anything else about being her daughter, while Kiyoka (Mei Nagano), born the daughter of Hanae and suffering from distorted motherhood, continues to earnestly seek her mother’s love while trying to be a good daughter.
In this work, a shocking human mystery unfolds in which their destinies are drastically changed after Hanae’s tragic death. Moreover, the best-selling author
“If I can write this, I can quit being a writer.
The original story was written by a best-selling author who decided to quit writing if he could write this story. Toda wondered whether she would accept the offer to appear in the film.
When I received the offer, I felt uncomfortable because Toda had never had a child and was clearly inexperienced. However, since I had accepted the offer, I wanted to live up to the expectations. I might be able to find something in it.
With this in mind, I accepted the role of Rumiko. Toda broke new ground with the drama “Great Love” (TBS), but this time, instead of playing a role based on emotion, she had to use logic to create the role. She was inspired by the fact that the role was a test of her current abilities, and took on the difficult role.
Toda tried hard to reason with Rumiko to find out what was in her mind. She first notices that Rumiko has a completely different facial expression when she is spending time with her mother Hanae and when she is interacting with her daughter Kiyoka.
She also carefully worked on her role, consciously trying to show “another face” that even Rumiko herself was unaware of. The difficulty of playing a wide range of ages, from college students to people in their 40s and 50s, was also added to the challenge.
“This was by far the most difficult role I have ever played,” she recalls.
“This role was by far the most difficult of all the roles I’ve played,” she recalls.
Moreover, Rumiko, who plays the role this time, tries to raise her daughter to be the kind of daughter that would please her mother out of love for her own mother, but she becomes frustrated between ideals and reality and develops an aura of fanaticism. As she pursued such a role, Toda became thinner and thinner, and I think she was mentally driven into a corner.
The problem of “motherhood” also loomed over Toda.
When I think of “motherhood,” two films by Hirokazu Kore-eda, “Shoplifters” and “Baby Broker,” come to mind. In “Shoplifter Family,” Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) tries to become a mother even though she will never have children. On the other hand, “Baby Broker” portrays Moon So-young (Lee Ji-eun), who has given up on becoming a mother for various reasons.
Both films depict the theme that “just because you have a child does not mean you are ready for motherhood. In “Baby Broker,” the female detectives who are trying to catch a human trafficker red-handed are also becoming motherly as they travel with the baby. Motherhood is a very difficult and difficult thing to understand,” said the producer.
Toda had previously played the role of a mother in NHK’s 2007 morning drama “Scarlett.
In this drama, which depicted the life of Kimiko Kawahara, a potter, Toda repeatedly made viewers’ eyes light up with excitement when she was shown to be blunt with her son Takeshi (Kentaro Ito), who was suffering from leukemia, suppressing her emotions despite her trembling with anxiety.
In the final week of the show, when she bursts into tears with emotion and says, “I want to live,” the way she accepts Takeshi’s feelings and hugs his head is just like a mother’s. The scene is still talked about today. It is a scene that is still talked about today.
In this film, too, there is a famous scene between a mother and daughter that is no less famous than the one in “Scarlett.
In the climactic scene, Rumiko embraces Seika. Kanae Minato, the author of the original story, cited this scene as the scene that left the greatest impression on her, saying, “When I was writing the story, I had the image of her firmly strangling Seika, but when I saw the movie, I felt that ‘even though she was strangling her, Ms. Toda’s acting made her look as if she was hugging her. “I was so shaken by the feeling,” he commented. He praised Toda’s deep acting” (production company director).
Coincidentally, Toda Erika announced the pregnancy of her first child at the time of the release of the movie “Motherhood. Although it is forbidden to say so, one wonders what kind of “motherhood” Toda would have shown us if she had played Rumiko after she became a mother. One has to wonder, even if she is not a fan.
Text： Ukon Shima (Broadcaster, Video Producer)
He is involved in program production in a wide range of genres, including variety, news, and sports programs. He has also planned and published many books on female TV announcers, idols, and the TV industry. While working on documentary programs, he became interested in history and recently published "Ieyasu was dead in Sekigahara" (Takeshobo Shinsho). She is also publishing the e-book series "Ibun Chakurezuregusa.
PHOTO： Kazuhiko Nakamura