Hayato Isomura look.1

A jack of all trades:
Closing in on what it is like to be Hayato Isomura

The roles he has played in TV drama and film are wide ranging and include a children’s superhero, a comical two-bit hoodlum in senior high school, and a leader of a loosely organized gang. Last year, he played a number of TV and film roles and made the characters his own. His charm goes beyond acting to include things like drawing and going to the sauna. What lurks beneath this neat exterior that drives him toward self-expression?

For LOOK 1, Isomura-san wears an orange and black tiger striped top and bottom set. He wears this garb well, as though they were his own. “The orange base with black stripes is impactful, and while it has quite an aggressive sensibility, I really like the flamboyance of it. I wanted to casually throw it on and walk idly around town. The pants are half-length so I can put it on well so it looks neat. It is also the year of the tiger so it is appropriate!” His poses are cool or express ennui, and I thought I caught a glimpse of his talent from the gamut of his expressions.

His first motive for wear is comfort. “In the winter I layer clothes. I first decide on what outer to wear, then determine an inner knit and pants to match. As spring approaches, the material gets thinner, so I want garb that is handy that I can easily throw on but is still fashionable; a top and bottom set that I can also go out in. I would like to find a tasteful garb for the spring.” He has a fashion sense that is uniquely his own, tending to select garb with one peculiarity.

Isomura-san is a true sauna devotee. He became a fanatic after appearing in the TV drama “Sado” and has been going to the sauna for three or four years now. So how does the sauna put him in good order? “The sauna once saved me. Sauna has also been called the Japanese chiropractic for the soul. It relieves physical fatigue, but the biggest charm of the sauna is that it helps you from a mental level. When you are tired from work or have worries, going to the sauna will make you feel refreshed and elevate your performance the next day.” When he imagines a place where he would like to go someday, “Rakan-no-Yu” in Saga Prefecture comes to mind. Those who have gone all say good things about it because attention has been paid to the details. He is loquacious when it comes to his love of the sauna.

Recently, he has produced digital art in collaboration with a famous fashion brand. He had his ear to the ground when acting became the impetus for starting his digital art. “An actor has a script and lives the role that is written on the page. Yet drawing also requires creating something from scratch. When you draw, what you are feeling expresses itself strongly on the page, and delivering that feeling is primary.” How he feels now is the impetus for his creative drive. Sauna is for switching gears, resetting his state of mind, and elevating his act. Drawing is something that he does because he likes doing it. Balance is achieved in the end when everyone has a role to play and the space to get there.

He tends to get totally absorbed in anything he undertakes and this shows in his acting. He became interested in acting when he was a high school junior and produced his own short film. He and his friends did everything from writing the script, shooting the film, and acting in it, and when they aired it for all the students at school, he decided this is what he wanted to do for work. Eight years since his debut as an actor, he won the New Actor Award at the Japan Academy Film Prize. “I am very grateful, but I am overwhelmed because I must continue taking steps to improve myself rather than being self-satisfied. I am happy, but I still have far to go. I dedicated this award to everyone who supported me until now – staff and cast members, everybody at my studio, and my beloved parents.”

The two films which won awards “Yakuza and The Family” and “What Did You Eat Yesterday?” were special for him. In particular, the film shoot of “Yakuza and The Family” enabled him to grow as an actor. “If I hadn’t met the director, I would not have taken a hard look at myself. And without Go Ayano, I would not have won this award. It was the first set in which I felt the staff and cast were working toward a common goal like a family. I learned a lot about the importance of creating a set together, about acting, and enjoyed many new encounters. It is the work that I will think of first as I continue my acting career. I am truly grateful for having taken part in this job.” Isomura-san looks at himself dispassionately, and commits himself to playing a part with passion and through trial and error.

For LOOK2, I ask him about the reason for his reputation as a protean actor, and how he sees himself in the future.

Direction : Shinsuke Nozaka
Photo, Movie : Yoshiaki Sekine (SIGNO)
Stylist : Kosei Matsuda (SIGNO)
Make : Marino Asahi (Y’s C)
Hair : Masaki Takada
Text : Mai Okuhara