Back in 2012, 16-year-old Nana Komatsu was a young model and still at school. She used to travel to Tokyo on week-ends for her photoshoots and did not consider an acting career then. In 2014, much to her surprise, she was asked to audition for The World of Kanako, the next opus from famous director Tetsuya Nakashima.
She was reluctant but encouraged by relatives and friends she went to the audition. She was hired right away after a brief interview and the rest is history now. She has starred in many films since then and worked with very different directors: Takahiro Miki, Bernard Rose, Akihiko Shiota, Martin Scorsese, Hideyuki Hirayama or Akira Nagai to name just a few.
A much sought after actress and known for being extremely versatile Nana Komatsu is most certainly one of the best representatives of the ‘Old School’ approach to acting in the Japanese film industry (and beyond). When nuance and subtle body language prevail over wordiness, when emotion is conveyed through the eyes, you’re ‘old school’ but there’s more to it, Nana Komatsu does have a few add-ons: a surprising ability to suddenly embrace rage and also a playful side which comes close to eccentricity.
Some films are available on NetFlix, Amazon Prime Video, Mubi, Outbuster and other online services on a regular basis, you can get a few DVDs with English subs from Amazon USA and all the original Japanese DVDs and Blurays can be purchased from CD Japan.
The following ‘guide’ is not based on movie genres, alphabetical order or date of release but rather on her performance in each and every film. Going to the movies is like going to the restaurant somehow, also the actress has a solid reputation as a food loving person, so this presentation makes sense in many ways. Here’s the Menu right below: you’ll get appetizers only, i.e. trailers and short scenes.
Sayonara Kuchibiru aka Farewell Song is the one and only Japanese film at the 16th edition of the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival in South Korea (August 13-17), hence the opportunity to post and display some Korean Posters and promo cards for the films Komatsu Nana starred in.
[Updated] A live promo event was held today (Tuesday 11) in Tokyo at the Ebisu Garden Hall (south of the Shibuya area). Separated by panes of plexiglass, Director Takahisa Zeze and his two leads talked about Ito bound for a nationwide theatrical release on August 21, Japan.
Director Zeze said he observed Komatsu Nana and Masaki Suda interact and found they got along well in between takes but when it came to playing the scenes they got into something new and he was very pleased they were able to bring that. He added that no special request came from singer songwriter Miyuki Nakajima yet she asked him not to make a sad ending. 🙂
Nana Komatsu helped a lot on the set, trying to get food for the extras especially on one cold day in Hokkaido. Masaki Suda said he and Komatsu had been working together several times and was glad they could work together again. Watching Masaki Suda play and interact with the kid actors, she said he would be a good father.
Referring to the period of emergency and restraint Nana Komatsu said she missed the connection between people, the communication, adding that though things aren’t back to normal she’s happy to open up again.
The two added that things they did on screen in the past were rather intense (spitting, choking each other…) whereas Ito was more like a classic love story.
The Award Ceremony for the 41rst Yokohama Film Festival was held on Sunday February 2, at the Kannai Hall in the Naka district, a few hundred meters from the Marine Walk in Yokohama. A cheerful Nana Komatsu attended to receive her ‘Best Actress‘ prize for her role as Leo in Sayonara Kuchibiru/Farewell Song. Director Akihiko Shiota and co-star Ryo Narita -who won ‘Best actor in a supporting role’- attended. For some unstated reason, Mugi Kadowaki could not come, she was also chosen as Best Actress, as Haru in the same movie.
Nana Komatsu told the audience she was utterly pleased as she had dreamed of being awarded as a leading actress. She also recalled how difficult it was for her to play the guitar and perform songs and how hard she tried to do her best to make things work, adding words of gratitude for her co-star Mugi Kadowaki who offered guidance and support throughout.
Three movies (Samurai Marathon, Farewell Song aka Sayonara Kuchibiru and Closed Ward aka Family of strangers) with a decent harvest of awards and nominations, plus interviews, photoshoots and featured articles in more than sixty different magazines in Japan but also in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mainland China and the USA, 2019 has been a good year for actress and model Komatsu Nana.
Here’s two galleries with selected moments, totally non exhaustive of course and absolutely subjective, to share and celebrate. Enjoy !
Nana Komatsu is Makoto Higa in Tetsuya Nakashima‘s Kuru. The younger sister of Japan’s most powerful spiritualist (Kotoko) and the girl friend of Nozaki, a freelance journalist who has specialized in the occult. Makoto is a psychic and can communicate with the ‘other world’. Out of some maternal instinct she will try to protect a child from a demonic and powerful force.