Shieri Ohata, who portrayed Tsukuyomi in Kamen Rider Zi-O, looks back on her past in an interview with Yahoo!
Yahoo!: I heard you were scouted for the show business when you were a third year in high school, did you have no interest up until that point?
Ohata: Good question. I did look up to models but never considered a career in acting.
Yahoo!: Did you have any dreams??
Ohata: When I was still a student, I actually didn’t think about what kind of job I wanted to do with my future. I did want to get into a good college so I attended an open house at universities. That’s when I got scouted. It was a completely unfamiliar world to me but I made the decision to try it out.
Yahoo!: Have you never been scouted before that?
Ohata: I actually was, but I couldn’t take the steps forward into that path.
Yahoo!: What did your family think?
Ohata: They actually told me “if you want to do it, then go for it”. They didn’t express any opposition to my decision and even respected my decision.
Yahoo!: Did you enjoy movies and dramas back then?
Ohata: I enjoyed watching films. I really liked manga-based romance films like Orange, Heroine Shikkaku, and Ao Haru Ride.
Yahoo!: How long were your lessons after becoming affiliated with an agency?
Ohata: About two months.
Yahoo!: That’s not that long. And you didn’t have any acting experience prior, right?
Ohata: Yes. Which is why I didn’t know what to do on location. While being lost on set, I felt like things wrapped up so quickly. Then from there on, I got a lot of jobs and got to take part in various roles which I’m thankful for.
Yahoo!: Did you have any on-stage composure?
Ohata: Not at all. I’m shy around people, and I’m shy around others. Whenever I had to present in class, I always mumbled my words and looked down. People told me that after I began working (as an actress), I got over my fear of strangers.
Yahoo!: Two years after debuting, you were selected as the heroine for Kamen Rider Zi-O.
Ohata: I was surprised that I got the heroine role. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. I was so nervous because I had long lines and plenty of action scenes. But when I was given the role, I knew I had to do it.
Yahoo!: So Zi-O was the 20th Anniversary Series of the Heisei Kamen Riders. Past Kamen Riders made cameos in the episodes. Was it tough having to pick up on their story, conflict, and setting?
Ohata: It was tough. Not to mention that we often traveled between the past and future. Our relationship with a person would change so there were times where I just completely forgot things (laughs). The order of story filming was also not in chronological order, so I had to discuss things with the children of staff.
Yahoo!: Tsukuyomi is a calm and collected character. Did you have any trouble portraying her?
Ohata: It was hard because she’s the exact opposite of me. Even other cast members told me that (laugh). Her lines were long, and the way she pronounces words is completely different from how I would pronounce them.
Yahoo!: How were the action scenes?
Ohata: Doing action scenes by themselves is hard enough, but I had to say lines on top of having to perform action scenes. Even on days where I didn’t have to appear, I was practicing for my action scenes. I had to learn how to portray the firing of a gun in order to make it look realistic. The Director was kind of enough to show me.
Yahoo!: Then CGI was added into your scenes right after. So you had no idea how it would look, right?
Ohata: That’s right! I was told that “okay, make pretend dodgeballs are flying to you at this speed. Make pretend you’re shooting at that”. It did not help at all (laughs).
Yahoo!: Kamen Rider Zi-O aired between September 2018 to August 2019. You had a good year of experience.
Ohata: I portrayed the same character for a year, I like to think that myself and Tsukuyomi have grown. A girl from the future who only thinks about fighting, went to the past, befriended someone in that age, and learned of human kindness. During her journey, she found herself smiling and expressing herself more. Being able to express that development has helped me grow.
Yahoo!: Moving forward, what kind of role do you want to take on in the future?
Ohata: First, I want to concentrate on portraying Fuyumi Tachibana on Detective Novice. So far I’ve portrayed many characters who are different from me so I want to try portraying someone who is overly ecstatic without a care in the world.
Source: Yahoo! News
All English translations are accredited to The Tokusatsu Network staff members. Please do not repost without crediting and directly linking back to the original Tokusatsu Network article.