Riko Fukumoto (22) and eight others received the Best New Actor Award at the 46th Japan Academy Awards ceremony on March 10.
Fukumoto is a legitimate actress who won the grand prix at the “Toho Cinderella” audition that produced Masami Nagasawa (35) and sisters Mone Kamishiraishi (25) and Moka (23). She has also been used as a heroine in Johnny’s films, such as in the drama “Vanished First Love” (TV Asahi) and the film “Tonight, When This Love Vanishes from the World” in which she co-stars with Shunsuke Michieda (20) of “Naniwa Danshi” (Naniwa Boys).
A producer at a key station points out that “it is a shortcut to a breakthrough for young actresses” if they can play opposite Johnny’s. “The core ratings (13-49) are very high,” he says.
The core ratings (ratings among men and women aged 13-49) are now firmly established. Johnny’s s actors, who have a strong following among young female viewers, are often in demand, even in the late-night slot. However, not a few Johnny’s actors are of medium height, so a purist actress like Fukumoto is better than a stylish actress with a model’s background.”
Kyohei Takahashi, 23, of “Naniwa Danshi” fame, stars in the movie “Dani, Chigira-kun ga Amaida” (Even though Chigira-kun is too sweet), in which Meiku Hata is the heroine. Meiiku Hata (20), who is the heroine in the movie “Anda Chigira-kun ga Amaida” starring Kyohei Takahashi (23) of “Naniwa Dango” is also reputed as a “heroine who can play with Johnny’s.” “I have been playing as a child actor since I was one year old,” says Hata.
Hata has been active as a child actor since she was one year old, but in a good way, she doesn’t give the impression of being a child actor. She also has a high level of professionalism. This professionalism is the key to performing with Johnny’s actors. There is little worry that a romantic relationship will develop as a result of co-starring, so they can be used with peace of mind,” said an advertising agency official.
Meanwhile, following Mugi Kadowaki (30) and Sairi Ito (28), Kotone Furukawa (26), who plays the role of Chiyo in the historical drama “Dousuru Ieyasu,” is about to be promoted from a by-product to a leading role.
She is a member of the entertainment agency “Humanite,” which includes Kadowaki, Sakura Ando (37), and Yukino Kishii (31), who won the “Japan Academy Prize” for best leading actress. In the drama “Idol” (NHK), she proved that in addition to her singing and dancing abilities, she also has idol-like qualities; although she is in her mid-20s, she is into NHK, and I think there is a good chance that she will be cast as the heroine in the morning drama” (entertainment industry executive).
With the popularity of “missed viewing,” “influence on social networking services is one of the deciding factors in casting,” revealed the ad agency official mentioned above.
This is especially true for late-night productions, which attract many young viewers. Tsurushima Noa (21), who starred in the drama “Kimi wa me ni otosasai” (Mainichi Broadcasting System, etc.), based on a work of the same title serialized in the manga distribution service “Saikomi,” has approximately 380,000 followers on her Instagram account. She has more followers than the earlier Fukumoto and starring class members Nao (28) and Yuna Kuroshima (26), and is a heroine in “Masked Rider Zero One,” which has become a gateway to success for young actors.
Perhaps because of her influence as an influencer, such as producing fashion brands, the role of the heroine in “You~” was decided by the station’s offer, not an audition. Neck was reported to have a love affair with Ryuga Sato (Ryuga), 20, of “Bishonen” in ’20. Johnny’s has not given any nods, but it seems that the station has made a discovery and has eliminated him as a casting candidate for a Johnny’s film.
Who will be the next to climb the ladder!
From theMarch31and April 7, 2023 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kazuhiko Nakamura