あした映画行こう!想像力を刺激できる女優に土屋太鳳のエール It's movie time!Becoming an actress that strikes the imagination:Tao Tsuchiya’s Yell


Actress Tao Tsuchiya has gained fans young and old for her starring roles in NHK’s morning drama “Mare,” the film “Orange” and a whole lot more. Her latest project has her portraying heroine Tsubasa Ono in the live-action adaptation of Kazune Kawahara’s hit manga “Aozora Yell.” We caught up with her to discuss how she copes with the pressures of acting as well as what she’d like to yell to herself.

Q.演じられた小野つばさをどう分析・留意して役作りをしましたか?How did you approach developing Tsubasa Ono’s character for the big screen?


I started my character study by looking at her passionate trumpet playing and rooting for her team. There’s a love story between her and Ryoma Takeuchi’s character Daisuke Yamada, but I felt that since the whole thing begins with cheering for baseball that’s where I should begin too. My older sister was on her university’s cheer squad, so before filming I talked to people she knew in the brass band about what went through their minds as they played. I learned that instead of playing confident that everyone was listening, they’d wonder if people were actually paying attention or try to channel the crowd as the played. This turned out to be very useful for me while shooting my scenes.

Q.役に共感するところ、ご自身に似ているところはありますか?Are there any ways in which you empathize with the character, or aspects that resemble you in real life?


Well I was also in clubs in middle school and high school so I could put all of that experience into playing Tsubasa. It was surprisingly hard to do, though. We both wanted to be in a club, and to use our place in the club to move people, but I thought that’s where our similarities ended. Tsubasa tends to keep her head down and has trouble expressing herself. That’s not really something I struggled with, or if I did I did my best to overcome it. Probably the biggest difference between us is that she’s an introvert except when it comes to matters of the heart. When I read the script I was shocked at what she could and couldn’t allow herself to say. At first I felt like I was basically playing my exact opposite in this role.
Then during filming I started to feel more and more that she and I were a lot alike. I went from thinking that Tsubasa is a girl with a lot of complexes to realizing that she’s really a girl who is honest about her hang-ups. Sure, she gets depressed and tongue-tied, but so does everyone. She just doesn’t try to hide it by acting cool. Maybe it’s that same honesty that allows her to confess her crush without much reservation. Playing the character taught me a thing or two about dealing with my own complexes.

Q.つばさは挫折しても前向きに一生懸命に突き進んでいきましたが、土屋さんご自身が女優活動で壁にぶつかった時の対処・解決方法は何かありますか?Tsubasa stays positive in the face of setbacks, but how about you? Could you share some stories about hardships as an actress and how you overcame them?


Every new role I take on is like starting a new life, each with its own set of hurdles. The ways I’ve had to get over them are as varied as the projects themselves. Sometimes I’m able to rely on a friend’s advice to get me through. Other times a comment on my blog may be just what I needed to hear. Being able to talk to other actors can be a big help, too.
The one thing that never changes is that I always commit to living as the character. It’s not about how I’d express something or how I’m feeling on set. It’s about living as that character would live. Once I can do that, even if the problem doesn’t vanish immediately, I’ve made progress.

Q.葉山奨之さんとは、NHK連続テレビ小説「まれ」の姉弟役以来の共演でした。葉山さんが俳優を辞めようと考えていた時に土屋さんからのエールで考えが変わったとお話しされていましたが、土屋さんご自身がこれまでで印象に残っているエールは何かありますか?This is the first time you’ve acted with Shono Hayama since he played your brother on “Mare.” We heard that he’d been considering giving up acting until yelled some sense into him. Can you remember a time that someone yelled sense into you?


Hayama-kun and I met on “Mare,” which was a pretty controversial show. Despite what anyone says, I feel that it was a really ambitious story about some serious issues facing modern Japan. I gave that role everything I had and view the whole experience as a personal treasure. But giving something your all can be exhausting. It was a tough period for me as an actress, not to mention how tough it was to take on all of Mare’s problems as my own over the course of filming. Through her I was dealing with stuff ranging from a love triangle between friends to child rearing, taking on the risks of managing a cake shop, reuniting with family…. It all affected me in real life.
Just when we were about to wrap up filming I was approached by Mitsuko Kusabue, the actress playing Mare’s grandmother. That was a yell I’ll never forget. There’s a scene where after deciding to have another go at becoming a patissier Mare enters a contest. Her grandmother, played by Kusabue-san, tells her “The road ahead is going to be rough, but it’s a good road. Walk it.” When we shot it, she told me that she didn’t come to tell Mare those words, she was speaking them directly to me. I took that as her way of telling me to stick with acting. It meant a lot to me, and helped me out when I really needed it.What I told Hayama-kun might have come from what Kusabue-san said that day.

Q.本作は夢を追いかけ、好きな人にエールをおくる役でしたが、ご自身にエールをおくりたいことは具体的に何かありますか?This film is about chasing your dreams and yelling your feelings out to your crush. Tell us about something you’d like to yell to yourself.


I feel like I’m going to jinx it by saying this, but my goal is to just live every moment to the fullest. For some reason I’ve acted in a lot of stories revolving around life, whether it be letting go of your own or taking someone else’s. It’s given me plenty of time to think about the meaning of life. Then last year I was in a film called “Orange” which really showed me the importance of the here and now. I’ve been trying to live for the moment ever since, but it’s easier said than done. To use an analogy from soccer, it’s like every single second you’re making a penalty kick. Which way do I go? Am I really making the right choice here? The pressure builds up fast.
Still, the future starts now, so as a budding actress I need to make the most of it. I guess that means living as free, uninhibited and artistically as I possibly can. Also maintaining a healthy balance between work and private life, gaining new experiences… I want to be the kind of actress that strikes people’s imagination and has them thinking to themselves “I wonder what Tao Tsuchiya would do if she played this character.”

Q.本作のつばさと大介のように、片思いをしている人にエールをおくるなら何とアドバイスしますか?In the movie Tsubasa is in unrequited love with Daisuke. If you were going to yell to someone in that situation what might you say?


I’ve been in my share of love stories over the years. Those parts got me thinking that the important thing to consider at this point in life is if I can remain faithful, not worrying about if I should ask someone out or whether they’ll dump me. A lot happens in life. You change, your environment changes. It’s not easy to stick with one person through all of that, which makes commitment all the more romantic in my opinion.
The reason I said “at this point in life” is that I know that love is complex and that I’ll likely change my views as life goes on. Love at first sight might change everything, or I could fall in love with two people at the same time, and that’s fine. If something like that does happen, I still think that being true to one person is the ideal. Even if the other person doesn’t like you back, I say be true to your feelings and cherish your love for them.

Q.「Z TOKYO」は日本のカルチャーをグローバルに配信しているメディアですが、本作品を通して、Z世代(若者世代)に向けたメッセージをお願いします。Z TOKYO introduces Japanese culture to a global audience. Do you have any message you’d like to give to Generation Z?


Well, seeing how they are right in the middle of their youth, I’m sure there’s a lot of things they’re worried or confused about. It’s a tough time. Do you stay on your current path? Should you join a school club? Every day brings new challenges. Plus they’re kind of living in a bubble and see the same people all the time. They have to keep going no matter how they feel about it.
But like I said each one of those choices you struggle with now is going to shape the rest of your life, so don’t give up. I know I won’t. “Aozora Yell” is fiction but the director, the staff, the cast and all the extras did our best to make it as realistic as possible. I hope you feel that when you watch the film!

土屋太鳳Tao Tsuchiya

女優。1995年生まれ。東京都出身。2005年、スーパー・ヒロイン・オーディション MISS PHOENIX審査員特別賞を受賞して芸能界デビュー。

Actress. Born in Tokyo in 1995. Became an actress after winning the judge’s award at Super Heroine Audition MISS PHOENIX in 2005. In 2011 her first recurring role on TV Tokyo’s “Suzuki Sensei” garnered her a lot of attention. She went on to become a national sensation after being selected to star in NHK’s morning drama “Mare.”
Her performance in the movie Orange (15) won the 39th annual Japan Academy Award for Newcomer of the Year.


平 祐奈、山田裕貴、志田未来、上野樹里

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“Aozora Yell” now playing at Toho Cinemas

Takahiro Miki

Based on Kazune Kawahara’s “Aozora Yell” (Shueisha Margaret Comics Magazine)

Tao Tsuchiya, Ryoma Takeuchi, Shono Hayama, Arata Horii, Fujiko Kojima, Airi Matsui, Yuna Taira, Yuki Yamada, Mirai Shida, Juri Ueno