Sunagawa, who portrays Horobi, his castmates, and the episodes leading up to the finale of Kamen Rider Zero-One. As such, this interview contains spoilers.
Oricon: How do you feel about your role in Kamen Rider Zero-One?
Sungawa: So, my character Horobi and I look completely different, so I’ve only ever been recognized one time in public (laughs). But my family and friends who like the franchise are watching it without being weird about it. But even though Horobi is a villain, there are actually a lot of people who like him.
Oricon: In episode 9, Horobi shoots an Attache Arrow at Izu.
Sunagawa: Izu is a beloved character in Zero-One. I thought if things didn’t go well, the internet would blow up. In comparison, I’m glad that the audience understood Horobi’s inner feelings. I portrayed Horobi in a way where a tiny bit of him would regret doing what he did to Izu. I’m glad that the audience caught that – if Aruto represented the justice of humans, then Horobi represented the justice of Humagears. Horobi will continue to fight without deterring from his beliefs. Maybe it’s strange to say that since I’m the one who’s portraying him but he never strays from his beliefs. Human extinction has been his goal since episode 1.
As for this week’s developments, Horobi killed Izu with more emotion than just evil intention. We actually did a lot of takes to get the filming right. For the longest time he didn’t have any emotions, and just until episode 40 he spoke in a normal tone. As an actor, I looked forward to filming that scene. I finally had a chance to convey emotion.
Oricon: What did you and Tsurushima (who portrays Izu) discuss before filming that scene?
Sunagawa: I trust Tsurushima (laughs). I didn’t think I had to have any speaking lines with her. When I’m with Daisuke Nakagawa (portrays Jin), we talk about how we should act on the bus. But that scene we had was heavy so we didn’t talk at all. I learned a lot about expressing emotions on episode 42 thanks to Director Ryuta Tasaki. He kept yelling at me, “more!” (laughs)
Oricon: The story was interesting. How do you feel about this past year when you look back at it?
Sungawa: It was loads of fun. I grew as a person. And I feel like Horobi has too. I’ve learned confidence as a person. I’ve learned how to read scripts, how to convey emotions in my role, in the time I was a regular I feel like I’ve made one step forward in my career. And I feel like I’ve deepened my relations with my costars. Nakagawa (who portrays Jin) was really easy to talk to on set – he was a warm person to be around, but more so, even when he was silent, I felt at ease with him. We talked about going to my hometown Okinawa, if not for the coronavirus. And in the episodes leading up to the finale, Fumiya (portrays Aruto) and I had a lot more scenes together. He’s very adorable, he shines because of how innocent he is. I feel like everyone likes him. And despite all that, he’s a firm person. He is an adult, after all (laughs). He’s definitely the lead and has developed the sense of responsibility.
Oricon: Can you talk about a time when you were noticed?
So this one time, when I was walking with Fumiya or Nakagawa, I couldn’t remember who, but he tapped me on the shoulder from behind and told me: “Sunagawa-san? I’m always watching you.” I was so happy (laughs), it’s like they were saying “You’re the only one for me”.
Oricon: So Horobi is a Father-Type Humagear. Did you have any fatherly expressions that you tried to keep in mind?
Sunagawa: Personally, I looked at Nakagawa in adorement. I have more photos of Nakagawa than I have of myself. I don’t have any kids so I’m not sure what it means to be a dad, but it just comes naturally (laughs).
Oricon: What kind of roles do you want to do moving forward?
Sunagawa: I want to try a more relaxed role. I’ve had the villain role for a year now. I’d be willing to give an unexpected role a chance too. I wanna try wearing a school uniform and confess under the cherry blossom tree (laughs). I didn’t get to experience that kind of life so it’s on my mind.