Unraveling the Scripted Secrets Behind the Boogie Woogie Gossip in FRIDAY | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Unraveling the Scripted Secrets Behind the Boogie Woogie Gossip in FRIDAY

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In front of Kodansha, Manzai no Musuke was all smiles. In June, he is gearing up for his appearance in the second installment of the Nylon 100°C’s 30th-anniversary performance, “Memories of the Edo Period.”

Wearing his trademark houndstooth cap and sporting a smirk, there’s no stopping the man, Sameshima, from approaching Suzuko without uttering a snide remark. On social media, he gradually became known as the gossip journalist with a keen nose or “Sly Nick Sameshima.”

“In fact, his formal character name is ‘Torio Sameshima.’ The name itself, the sound of it, it all feels rather unpleasant, doesn’t it? Scriptwriters are amazing. I often wonder how they come up with such names, haha.”

Actor Minosuke (58), who portrayed Sameshima, smiled as if it were someone else’s story.

NHK’s serial TV drama “Boogie Woogie” depicted the life of Fukurai Suzuko, played by Yukari (33), based on the model of Kasagi Shizuko, known as the “Queen of Boogie” after the war, and received great acclaim. Minosuke played Sameshima, a magazine reporter targeting Suzuko’s gossip, drawing viewers’ wrath upon himself.

“There isn’t a single character with a bad personality. So in that mix, Sameshima’s character naturally stands out. For me, that was very much appreciated. Moreover, when I received the script and read it for the first time, I immediately understood it. 

I had played quite a few villainous or snarky roles before, so I thought, ‘Is this character written with me in mind?’ Haha. The more I read the script, the more I understood, ‘Ah, I see,’ and surprisingly, it was quite easy to portray.”

In the NHK Taiga Drama “Onna Joushu Naotora” in 2017, he played one of the “Four Heavenly Kings of the Tokugawa,” known for being an adversary to Naotora. In 2020, in “Hanzawa Naoki” (TBS), he portrayed a character who, despite being an elite banker with black-framed glasses, had provided a dubious personal loan of 2 billion yen to a member of parliament. He often plays roles with the aura of a snide petty villain, similar to Sameshima’s image.

“Even though he’s a journalist, it was all like, ‘Why would you say such things?’ It truly felt malicious. Sameshima is a formidable villain, but when reading the script, there was this scent, like, ‘Hmm, maybe he was actually Suzuko’s biggest fan.’ During the portrayal, I only showed his negative side, but the director added a scene where he takes off his hat and smiles at the end of a press conference.

It kind of culminated there. Instead of gradually becoming better, Sameshima, fundamentally, is a bad guy, and it’s more interesting if, even at the end of the press conference, he remains bad. It’s like, ‘Huh? Could it be that he was actually her biggest fan?’ It’s like betraying the audience at the end.”

Wearing a similar houndstooth cap to Sameshima’s, but behind the silver-framed glasses, the eyes are notably serene, unlike Sameshima’s twisted gaze.


It all started when KERA, a high school senior, invited him to join a band.

Born in Tokyo, Minosuke joined the light music club at Nihon University Tsurugaoka High School. It was there, being two years his senior, that he was invited by playwright Keralino Sandorovich (61) to join the band “Uchoten” as a drummer.

“In my second and third years of high school, I practically lived in live houses. But KERA (Keralino’s alias) was also involved in drama clubs and film study groups while being in a band, so we did comedic things on stage during band performances. After that, we started the theater group ‘Gekidan Kenkou,’ and I was invited to join that as well, alongside Inuko Inuyama and Tomoro Taguchi.

We were all amateurs, and we were all terrible. But we had this competitive spirit fueled by the theater scene at the time, like ‘Yumenoyuminsya’ or ‘Daisanbutai,’ so we were really passionate about it, haha. We mainly did nonsense comedy. Honestly, I did both the band and acting because KERA-san invited me; I never thought about becoming a professional in either field back then. But as I kept doing it, I found theater and stage acting becoming more and more intriguing.”

While in the band, he also participated as a drummer in legendary bands from the 1980s to the early 1990s, such as “Suicide Girls” and “Gagarin.” Meanwhile, he built his career as a leading actor in the theater group “Nylon 100°C,” which KERA established in 1993.

“I find acting to be incredibly interesting and enjoyable. Since I’ve been doing theater for so long, I think of myself more as a stage actor. Film shoots are fragmented, with little rehearsal, so initially, I struggled to adapt. I felt like I was just faithfully following the script. So I didn’t have much desire to appear on TV. But now, I’m starting to enjoy it.”

That being said, the desire to appear in a morning drama had gradually grown within him. And finally, his long-awaited dream of appearing in a morning drama came true.

“It wasn’t so much about myself, but more about seeing how much joy my family and relatives had. That was completely different. But surprisingly, I felt the same way. Nothing really changed.”

Minosuke is originally from Tokyo but currently resides in Nagoya with his family.

“Even people in the neighborhood didn’t know I was an actor. But if I appeared in a morning drama, it would be like, ‘Oh?’. When I go to the bookstore, the staff would say things like, ‘We looked it up.’ But I don’t get stopped on the street. There aren’t people like Sameshima around, so I don’t think anyone would realize that someone as ordinary as me was doing it, haha.”

On this day, Minosuke made his way to the editorial office of “FRIDAY” for the interview. I wonder what kind of image he had of the weekly magazine reporters until now…

“Recent entertainment news, it’s heavy, isn’t it?”

“In the past, there were figures like Mr. Namie Motokatsu, so even in scandal reporting, there seemed to be some kind of escape route, or rather, it was a bit brighter or lighter than now… But nowadays, scandals are too close to being incidents. Hmm, it’s heavy, isn’t it? I wonder how ‘FRIDAY’ feels about it.

In my mind, it’s not as heavy as that. I don’t know about the time when Sameshima existed, but I’ve imagined that era and weekly magazine reporters in that way, but I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not.”

As someone widely recognized in living rooms as the villain, what does Minosuke, as an actor, aspire to next?

“I don’t have much of that kind of desire myself. In terms of film, I just feel like if I’m given a role, that’s enough. As long as I can faithfully embody what the character is seeking.

The stance is the same in theater, but after working with KERA-san for over thirty years, we understand each other’s tricks. There might be some adventures to try something I haven’t done before.”

What he wants to do most now, it seems, is farming. Minosuke remains steadfast in his own pace. While Minosuke remains faithful to the script in the film, what kind of adventure will he show on stage? Stay tuned to find out.

During the interview, he had a gentle smile on his face from start to finish.
His demeanor is soft and gentle. He is nothing like Samejima. 
In June, “Memories of the Edo Period” (June 22-July 21 at Shimokitazawa Honda Theater and other venues in Niigata, Hyogo, and Kitakyushu) by Nylon 100°C, written and directed by Keralino Sandorovich, will begin.
Minosuke posing in front of Kodansha
Minosuke smiles fearlessly like Samejima in front of the editorial department of “FRIDAY”
Samejima in “Boogie Woogie,” to be broadcast on NHK General TV on May 6 (photo courtesy of NHK).
  • Text by Hiroyuki Sasaki (entertainment journalist) Hiroyuki Sasaki (entertainment journalist)

    Born in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Sasaki became a reporter for FRIDAY at the age of 31 and has reported numerous scoops. Since then, he has continued to work mainly for weekly magazines. Currently, he also appears on TV and radio as a commentator.

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi

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