Miwako Kakei look.2

Getting close to a role and learning from it:
Confronting her acting roles head-on

Miwako Kakei is broadening her horizons across different fields including acting and modelling. Following Look 1 in which I focused on her personality and lifestyle, in Look 2 I ask her about the turning points in her life, her views on acting, and her out-look for the future.

In a switch from the sporty style of Look 1, in Look 2 Miwako wears an outer
which has been designed as a one-piece with a thick belt to demarcate the waistline, for a mode-like look. Dressed in this silhouette, in addition to the sneakers which are voluminous including the thick shoelaces, she dresses down. This is an adult, casual look of a higher rank that is devoid of any childishness. “While there is a men’s ele-ment to the materials and detailing, it is definitely a one-piece for a girl. This mix is for me definitely key. It is a style which is close to what I normally wear. The sneak-ers are voluminous, but are modern and not oafish. I always wanted to enjoy putting on a style like this.”

While she has been seen more and more in acting parts these days, there was a turn-ing point for her. She drew attention with her appearance in the reality TV show “Ter-race House.” With her appearance, her environment changed drastically and she also met many people. “It was like the biggest wave of my life. It was when I was on ‘Ter-race House’ that my desire was fostered to enjoy the work and learn from it, as op-posed to simply resolving to buckle down to work as I still had trepidation in continu-ing this job.”

She had been working primarily as a model and as the acting gigs gradually in-creased, she took on all her roles with exuberance. In particular, she gained confi-dence in her work on the film “Kenen” playing the role of Mako Ikuno. As the younger sister and a struggling pin-up girl, she drew from personal experience and environ-ment in making her role. “My older sister in the film was played by Keiko Enoue of the stand-up comedy duo ‘Nicche.’ When the older sister and the modeling studio say things to my character, I felt like it was directed at me rather than at my character and it hurt. There was the feeling that my character and I were one and the same person. While I still had little acting experience and was apprehensive, understand-ing and playing a character gave me confidence and made me want to act more.”

In the film “Maku ga Oritara Aimasho” scheduled for release on November 26, she plays the younger sister to the protagonist played by Rena Matsui. She describes her character as someone she could empathize with rather than someone who has simi-larities with herself. “She moves to Tokyo for work, determined to live her life in the big city on her own, but she also has fears and anxieties and is struggling too. While everyone has turning points and moments of resolve in life, I also appreciated how life is suffering from the moment you are born. But this has nothing to do with my character being similar to me or not.”

This was a subtle role in which she showed off her mixed and complicated emotions. It was also her first attempt at dance. “There were physical scenes such as when I am drunk or when I am dancing. This was my first time I have tried to dance. While lying low at home during the pandemic, I watched videos and practiced how to dance every-day. I felt that if I could use my body more capably, I would be able to act with my en-tire body and increase the breadth of my performance, so I learned a lot from dance.”

She divulges receiving a sense of fulfillment from acting, that it is a lot of fun for her right now because with each new gig she can see what she lacks. I asked her about the challenges she wants to take on in the future. “As the acting gigs increase, I am now able to enjoy other work. Henceforth, I want to go out for roles that I want and take on new challenges while enjoying the process, and I hope to become a better ac-tor.” Looking to the future with a fresh face, she describes how she wants to become familiar with the characters that she portrays by confronting them head-on. She hopes to continue making new discoveries of herself and learning something new with each new gig.

Direction : Shinsuke Nozaka
Photo, Movie : Yoshiaki Sekine (SIGNO)
Stylist : Kosei Matsuda (SIGNO)
Hair & Make-up : Masayoshi Okudaira
Text : Mai Okuhara