Takashi Sorimachi reveals his “beliefs as an actor and father” in “GTO,” which is back after a 26-year absence. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Takashi Sorimachi reveals his “beliefs as an actor and father” in “GTO,” which is back after a 26-year absence.

The legendary drama "GTO," which became a big hit in the summer of 1998, is being revived after 26 years!  Sorimachi, who turned 50 at the end of last year and is now in his mature age as an actor - on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his debut, spoke

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In a world like this, where you can’t even say what you want to say, it’s always important to show it through your actions.

The hit drama “GTO,” which aired in 1998 and became a social phenomenon, was revived for one night only on April 1 as the special drama “GTO Revival” (Kantele and Fuji TV).

It was the first time in 26 years. With a catchy opening phrase, Takashi Sorimachi (50), the lead actor, revealed how he decided to appear in the drama.

This July marks the 30th anniversary of his entertainment career. Despite the unconventional image of Onizuka, his masculine true face and friendly atmosphere were impressive.

Onizuka said, “I have received several offers to do GTO again. But it takes a lot of courage for an actor to look back on a past work because it is natural to be compared to the previous work. Besides, when I first heard about the sequel, I was still in my 30s. I felt that I had to move forward rather than look back.

The world has changed dramatically since 26 years ago, and I wanted to see how the message from the main character would resonate with today’s younger generation.

Based on the comic of the same title by Toru Fujisawa. Sorimachi’s character Eikichi Onizuka, a teacher of a former motorcycle gang, is assigned to a high school full of problems, and his unconventional “hot-blooded” teaching style opens doors in the hearts of students and teachers alike.

Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (47), Yuta Yamazaki (43), Yosuke Kubozuka (44), Hidenori Tokuyama (42), and Shun Oguri (41), who all played former students, and Naoto Fujiki (51), who played his best friend Saeshima, will also appear in “GTO Revival.

I was really happy to be able to co-star with them. The reason we were able to co-star was because everyone was working hard on a daily basis to make sure we were in a condition to be able to shoot the film. I am filled with gratitude. Although we have worked together individually, it had been a long time since we were all together, so it was a strange feeling like stepping back in time when we were filming.

GTO” is also famous as the drama that led to his relationship with his wife Nanako Matsushima (50).

We usually don’t talk about work at home,” he said. But this time, I talked to my wife from the planning stage about the idea of playing Onizuka again. I heard that some of the cast members from the past were going to be in the film. My wife was happy and said, ‘That’s great. For me, this is a memorable work that marked a turning point in my life.

Sorimachi, who was only 24 at the time, is now 50. He used to be close in age to the actors who played his students, and he used to be like a big brother to them, but that distance has changed this time around.

In the previous film, he was a teacher like a friend, but this time he is as old as a parent and child. It’s like watching your own child, and no matter what you do, I think it’s so cute!

The “80 points is fine” style of child-rearing

Sorimachi raised two daughters as a father. While he is acutely aware of the changes that come with age, he also tells us that some things have not changed.

My policy on education has not changed. I have always told my two daughters, “Don’t try too hard,” and that they don’t need to try to score 120 points, that it is important to keep doing what is best for them, even if it is 70 or 80 points. I believe that by continuing to do so, they will acquire essential skills and naturally become able to score 90 or 100 points.

Now that he has almost reached the end of his child-rearing years, he looks back on the past and reveals his feelings.

Now that she has almost reached the end of her child-rearing career, she looks back on her life and expresses her feelings. Parents tend to want to teach their children everything from 1 to 10 so that they don’t stumble, but they will only learn if they think about it and come up with an answer on their own. It was a continuous …… battle of patience between myself, who wanted to keep quiet and watch over them, and myself, who wanted to get ahead of them. In that respect, Onizuka never wavers at any point in time, showing his back rather than his words and telling me what to do, so maybe I am lacking in training (laughs).

As he entered his 50s last December, Onizuka is now in the mature stage of his career as an actor, so what kind of roles will he take on in the future?

I don’t have the desire to say, ‘I definitely want to play this kind of role! I don’t have a desire to play this kind of role. I am more concerned about working with a director and staff I can trust. There are always things that can be built up through good relationships. I believe that the accumulation of these relationships will lead to more experience as an actor.

Onizuka and Sorimachi share the same attitude of taking the initiative.

Unpublished material: Takashi Sorimachi talks about “work and family” and how “Onizuka” resonates in an age when it is difficult to say what one wants to say.
Unpublished Cut from the magazine Takashi Sorimachi talks about “Work and Family” and how “Onizuka” resonates in an era when it is difficult to say what one wants to say.

From theApril5 and 12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Miho Otobe PHOTO Takayuki Ogawauchi

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