A couple of weeks ago, Film Lincoln Center released the video of the Q&A session. Director Bernard Rose has a pretty good sense of humour and both he and his lead actress tell a few interesting things about filming and directing in Japan.
Nana Komatsu and director Bernard Rose attended the US Premiere of Samurai Marathon at the New York Asian Film Festival on Friday, June 28. It was a memorable evening for the young actress as she received a Rising Asia Star Award. Rockin on has published a short but interesting report with highlights from the Q&A session as well as interviews. Original Post (Japanese) – Pics by Brent N.Clarke.
Selection of translated excerpts
“New York is such an amazing city with power and liveliness (…) here I felt like when I started acting, my heart was beating fast ” (Nana Komatsu, speech)
“What was your favorite scene in Samurai Marathon?” ‘A scene I liked was when my father burned a picture at the beginning of the movie. Originally it was a scene with speech, but I thought of expressing emotion without words, I tried to suggest this to the director’ (Nana Komatsu, Q&A)
“What’s the best thing to do so that Japanese actors appear in more American films?” ‘American films should right way appoint Nana a lot more. Then they should take Godzilla’. (Bernard Rose, Q&A)
From Eiga.com yesterday, a series of photographs by Brent N.Clarke and a report on Nana Komatsu -with bits of interview- at the US Premiere of Samurai Marathon in New York last Friday (June 28). The movie was the opening film of the 2019 edition of the New York Asian Film Festival. That night, the young actress received the Rising Asia Star Award.
The article provides a summary of her career, reminds readers she had already worked with a non-Japanese director (Scorsese for Silence in 2016) and quotes her when she received her trophee: I am really honored and feel very happy. I’ve come to New York for the first time, but as an actor, as a person, I’m very thankful to be praised this way by people from another country. The actress humbly added that to be worthy of this award, she would like to continue and become an actress who could grow up greatly.
Asked a few questions by Nobuhiro Hosoki from Eiga.com, she said working with Bernard Rose was a fresh and valuable experience. He is not much into rehearsals and relies a lot on improvisation from his cast. Though she reckoned it could bring a certain level of tension, she found it was very rewarding for the actors.
Regarding this she mentioned that she had properly prepared and rehearsed a fighting scene with two other actors. Though she thought the resulting sequence was fine, Bernard Rose came and said it did not look realistic at all because fighting with swords wasn’t like choreographed work. He subsequently cut that scene. She was first very disappointed but then it helped her adapt to the director’s leaning towards a less preset way of working.
Bernard Rose on Nana Komatsu: Nana is such an amazing actress and she draws you in during her performance. She is very thoughtful and there is a lot going on behind her eyes. Additionally, she is very witty and funny. You might look at some of her works and think she is a bit flighty, but that is not the case. In fact she is very strong and that is what I wanted for that character.
Nana Komatsu on her role as Yuki Hime: Princess Yuki is a character who lives in a very closed, confined environment. But she has an interest in the Western world and she is really committed to what she likes. And it is not only that, she turns this into action. I was very drawn to that: this woman with this very strong feeling and passion. It was something that I haven’t done in the past, and so it felt really new to me. On top of that, working with a foreign director I thought would help me grow and would challenge me.
Director Bernard Rose and Nana Komatsu, his female lead in Samurai Marathon attended the movie’s US Premiere at the Film Lincoln Center in New York, on the evening of the 28th. The young actress received the Rising Asia Star Award, a special prize for Asian thespians who are deemed to have the potential for a successful international career. She was the first Japanese actress honoured by the festival since Fumi Nikaido in 2014.