Wakana Aoi look.1

Strong-minded and expressive under an earnest demeanor

Wakana Aoi became a nationally-renowned actor playing the heroine in the NHK television serial drama “Warotenka.” She began acting from the age of 10, and she is now 22. She has been broadening the scope of her work, having appeared in a variety of television dramas and is now in a musical. Having been in the business for 12 years, how does she see her work as an actor? In two separate interviews, I ask her about her lifestyle and future outlook.

The moment she stands in front of the lens, her demeanor shifts starkly from a cute air. With a smart look, she moves her body loosely, letting it flow, at times striking a sexy pose. “It was a cool style. Working with the lighting and the space, I moved to show myself off stylishly. Before I thought that Onitsuka Tiger looked a bit pop, so I discovered something new. A look that is different from my usual self was also new. The sock-like shoes fit well to the contours of my feet and were easy to walk in. The design was simple and they made my legs look streamlined and elegant.”

Wakana Aoi gets a read on the ensemble style of the garb and the atmosphere of the photo shoot and shows herself. She never gives up half way through once she starts something. She is strict with herself and likes to get things settled. Her diligent manner is actually her most remarkable trait.
“People most often describe me as being ‘diligent.’ In the past, this may have been a hang up with me because I had it in my head that ‘diligent’ is equivalent to ‘not fun.’ Like I’m too inflexible or I am too serious. But what I lack in fun I try to make up for in responsibility by reliably accomplishing my goals. So describing me as ‘diligent’ suits me just fine. Because this diligence is now a source of confidence for me. I am stern with myself so I cannot give up half way through something or take a break. I may also be somewhat impetuous. People say that I am composed, but this is only because it is difficult for me to externalize my enthusiasm, but inside I am flustered.”

Aoi Wakana began her career at the age of 10. As a child actor, she approached her work as though she was taking classes. She admits that, as a young child, she may not have completely ‘been there’ in the scene sometimes. Among her various roles in TV dramas, I asked her what characters she played which were most unlike herself. “As a student, I was a relatively quiet, straight-A type. So when I played a ‘gal’ in a previous role, it was quite unlike me but was a lot of fun. I wore a shortened school uniform skirt, dyed my hair brown, wore false eyelashes, and cursed my screen father. As I had not done anything like this in my real life, it was difficult for me to get into the right rhythm. I wondered if this was normal for young girls in their teens. But I had fun playing someone completely out of character.”

Manga comics and cooking serve as relief from her diligent routine. She has been an avid manga reader since early childhood, and reading manga on her smartphone in her spare time or while commuting to a gig has become part of her regular routine. “I got into manga from an early age and am now a huge manga aficionado. I can read a manga on my smartphone wherever I go, so I read something when I have spare time. I am also interested in cooking. During the pandemic, I have spent a lot of time at home and cooked many kinds of food. I also like sake and will make a simple snack food to go with the sake. I also like food with mushrooms and will fry them or put them in miso soup. I also want to learn more about sake and cooking, so if I wasn’t working as an actor, I would probably be working in the restaurant business.”

→In LOOK2, I will ask her about who she thinks of as the ideal woman and about her outlook for the future.

DDIRECTION : Shinsuke Nozaka
PHOTO : Yuji Inagaki (W)
MOVIE : Yuji Inagaki (W), nobodcr
STYLIST : Kosei Matsuda (SIGNO)
HAIR & MAKE-UP : Ai Miyamoto (yosine.)
TEXT : Mai Okuhara