Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Asano Tadanobu doesn't work in television

From a recent interview with Nagata Tetsuya for Nikkei Trendy Net:

Nagata: You stopped acting on television about ten years ago. Why?

Asano: At first I worked in television quite a bit, but I fought with my manager a lot and at one point I considered giving up acting. And this is just the way I feel, but with television it's as though you're bound by a system when you're making it, and that cycle of shooting then going on air, then shooting again and going on air not long after just wasn't for me. Visually speaking as well, it's a bit mechanical.

On the other hand, with films you get a strong impression that they're made with passion. The shoots are really tough, working through the night then getting up early the next morning. Even so, you have people who are old enough to know better sometimes fighting with each other while working hard towards the same goal, and within myself I realised that's the way it should be. Of the films I was involved in when I was young, there were quite a few where I had no idea whether they'd be released or not, but despite that it was clear to me that everyone kept working their arses off to make them, and so I came to the conclusion that this was the only place I wanted to work.  

When I actually began working exclusively in film, some of the crew members would say to me affectionately "From now on you've got to stick to films!" They really take care of you, and when I hear things like that, I think by now there's probably no point in me working in television [laughs].

Nagata: So are you happier to be called a film actor, rather than just an actor?

Asano: Yes, I'm grateful for that. I got where I am today thanks to the many veteran actors I worked with in my twenties who'd say "Asano, make a go of being a film actor". When someone's kind enough to call me a film actor, it shows that I can get by just sticking to films.


  1. Its hard to even imagine Asano on TV. Thank god he stuck to movies. Belated welcome back also.

  2. Thanks Pelle. It was a shock when he starting appearing regularly in TV commercials about 10 years ago, but I wouldn't be surprised if he takes a role in some drama series somewhere down the line.

  3. Great interview - I gathered from the TIME article that he was avoiding television work, but this is much more candid. I don't know how he is viewed by Japanese, but from the outside he certainly seems to be an outsider - albeit a beloved one. Japanese television wouldn't really mesh with the international appeal the rest of his work has. (I don't know if any of that makes sense)

  4. you can find good and awful things in japanese tv... it's the same thing in Japanese cinema
    it makes me feel strange to read that kind of interview and to see, every month, a new STUPID commercial starring Asano Tadanobu at japanese television