[INTERVIEW] Nakajima Yuto talks about his role in the movie #Manhole! – Stylediacreativo
member of Johnny’s & Partners since 2004, Yuto Nakajima is a relatable actor who develops a keen sense of acting very quickly, even before his back office debut Hey! Say! JUMP, Group whose reputation is second to none. In Nobuta Wo Produce, Engine, Sensei Wa Erai, Sharehouse no Koibito, Haha ni Naru, SUITS and many other series and films, Yuto Nakajima stands out for his intelligence, his charisma, while showing a virtuosity in the interpretation of the roles assigned to him, the same virtuosity he has when tap dancing or playing his favorite instrument drums. Yuto Nakajima has that duality within him, that of a man in his prime who still retains certain youthful features.
In #manhole, Yuto Nakajima plays the leading role of an ideal employee whose life – including socially – is shattered when he falls into a gully. The outside world goes on without him and the character realizes that the perfect life he led wasn’t as rosy as he thought it would be. Alone in this hole, Yuto Nakajima resists the pressure of carrying a film almost entirely through his character’s plot and slips beautifully into this role, which then earned him an invitation to the international film festival. Berlinale, in Germany. Yuto Nakajima confided in us!
Hi Yuto, you played the role of a music teacher in your latest drama love dissonance. How has your career as an artist enabled you to perfect this role?
Yuto Nakajima: Although I played the role of a music teacher in it, I had never played the piano before. I play drums so I think my sense of rhythm was very useful to me. But because it was my first time, I was very nervous. I might not have fully enjoyed this role, but playing the piano has allowed me to broaden my horizons, at least as far as music is concerned. This role also improved my ability to distinguish the layers of sound I hear when listening to music, so I think it was a very good experience.
Her next #Manhole film is part of the special selection of the Berlinale, an internationally renowned film festival. How does it make you feel when you see your next role promoted at an event like this? What do you expect from it?
Yuto Nakajima: First of all, I never imagined that one day I would be present on such an international stage, so it’s a real honor. When I go to Berlin, I hope to bring the humor and originality of not only this film but also Japanese entertainment to the audience as a representative of Johnny & Associates. It’s also my first time in Europe, so first I want to soak up the air and atmosphere of the world, work hard and bring that back to Japan with me.
In #Manhole you play the role of a man stuck in a hole who discovers a trap and leads the investigation alone through social networks to get out of it. Where did you find inspiration to play this character?
Yuto Nakajima: Before he fell down a well, he had a perfect image, was adored by those around him, looked good and behaved like a model businessman. However, when I think about it, I realize that this role parallels my own life. When I’m on stage I try to be reliable, polite and friendly, just like him. But I think about how all the superficial social relationships people form would crumble if you were in a hopeless situation. From then on, I gradually thought about how I would behave in such a situation in order to embody this role authentically. I looked for something in the character that I could identify with from my own experiences and cultivated it. Especially the way he (and the film) uses social media. I think we’re all affected by the networks, which can be very dark and gritty at times, so I saw it as a form of social satire. Living surrounded by social networks, it was easy for me personally to feel this.
Is there a specific profile you would like to embody in the future, in a future film or drama?
Yuto Nakajima: There’s a moment where the main character is covered in mud in the shaft and that’s where you as a viewer can see him start to implode. When I started talking to the director, he thought I should take inspiration from the Joker; in terms of looks like I wear a suit, tie and even a jacket that degrades over time. In the future I want to play the role of a villain, but a villain for a reason; a villain who isn’t necessarily malevolent, but whose personal circumstances allow him to carve his way into the hearts of the public.
your Hey! Say! JUMP just celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2022. When you look back on your musical career, what is your fondest memory?
Yuto Nakajima: It’s difficult to choose my most treasured memory as there are so many! It was difficult to perform live due to COVID-19. But recently the measures have relaxed and we have been able to meet the public in person again. The setting at the time was incredible. I think that’s how concerts should be! Concerts are one of the few opportunities for us Hey! Say! JUMP to see our fans in person. We were very touched to find her again after such a long time.
Many thanks to Johnny’s and Yuto Nakajima for this interview.