June 16, 2023
Living the Dream
Sota Fukushi on his breakout international role in "THE HEAD" Season 2
Born on May 30, 1993, in Tokyo, Sota Fukushi played his first starring role in the TV drama “Kamen Rider Fourze” in 2011. Since then, he has become a familiar presence in the Japanese film industry with roles in movies such as Laughing Under the Clouds, BLEACH, and The Traveling Cat Chronicles, all of which were released in the same year. Now, Fukushi is living out his dream of breaking into the international scene with a role in season two of the Hulu Original “THE HEAD.” Metropolis spoke with Fukushi about his first experience working on an international production and his growth as a young Japanese actor.
Metropolis: How did you feel when you were offered the chance to work on the second season of “THE HEAD”?
Sota Fukushi: When I first got the offer, I was so happy that I was going to be able to achieve the goal I had in my 20s of challenging myself overseas. I got the offer while I was doing a stage production. I thought “This is going to keep me busy” and “I really need to prepare.” At the end of my performances, I had an acting coach help me practice not only my English pronunciation but also how I should approach the role. I tackled each line one by one and focused on where to put the inflection and, after I was ready, I went to Spain.
M: Yuto is a character with a lot of hidden depth. How did you express this?
SF: One of Yuto’s characteristics is that he loves video games. We established that he likes horror and action-shooting games. I wondered how Yuto would feel if the events in the game actually took place on a ship with no escape route and with a killer nearby. I wondered whether he would be terrified or if he would strangely enjoy the experience.
I also noticed some things while performing; Yuto is a very clear-headed person who judges things calmly when problems arise. He often thinks, “Let’s get out of here as soon as the problem is solved.”
M: Working on an international production, what are some things you learned from this?
SF: I feel that acting in English is very different from acting in Japanese, but I also feel that it suited me. In Japan, I don’t think body language is used very often, but I’m the type of person whose body language comes out naturally even when I’m talking in everyday life. In other countries, it’s natural to express yourself with bold body language, so in that sense, I think I was just being myself.
In Japan, people sometimes demand a slightly exaggerated performance rather than realism, but overseas productions demand more realism. This time, I was often asked to express myself based on my actual feelings, which was a bit challenging, but I think it felt good, or rather, natural.
M: Is there anything that audiences should look forward to seeing?
SF: Season 2 of “THE HEAD” takes place on a ship floating far out in the ocean. The relationship between Maggie and Arthur, which came to light in Season 1 is also fleshed out in greater depth and intensity. I hope you’ll enjoy the story as you try to identify the murderer.
Hulu Original “THE HEAD” Season 2 will be released exclusively on Hulu on Saturday, June 17.
Images: (C) Hulu Japan