Akiyama talks about her time filming two Kamen Rider series.
Just like Marie Kai, Rina Akiyama was recently interviewed about her time on Kamen Rider Agito and Kamen Rider Den-O.
Interviewer: Back then, how did you feel when you learned you won the role of Mana at the audition?
Akiyama: I’ve always held modeling jobs and I didn’t have much acting experience. On top of that, there was a time when I thought about taking a break from work before my entrance exams but really wanted to appear in this show (Kamen Rider Agito). I loved Bishojo Kamen Poitrine, so I always admired those who transformed and fought evil.
Interviewer: You played a bright and cheerful character who lost her father but you hide your sadness. You also have psychic abilities. Can you tell us the difficulties you had when studying up the character?
Akiyama: Actually, it was my first ever acting role, so every episode, I crammed the script into my head… and on the shooting location, let’s just say I was filled with anxiety. But Mana’s personality and mine are very similar, so I was able to portray her very realistically for the ordinary daily life scenes. And on top of that, I also played the piano and tennis like her, and I also wear similar clothes to what Mana did. Especially her white coat and pink scarf; that’s actually how I dressed myself personally back then.
Interviewer: You had to do a lot of action scenes.
Akiyama: Yeah, I had to chase and be chased. It looked like my face was full of fear but really, I had a lot of fun with those scenes (laughs). I was envious of Shoichi (portrayed by Toshiki Kashu) because he got to fight. Deep down I wanted to transform too.
Interviewer: What scenes have left an impression on you?
Akiyama: The one that comes to mind is in episode 34, where I go to see Shoichi, who was defeated by the El of Water and had to flee. I had to tell him: You’ve always fought for the freedom of people, but this time you have to fight for yourself! And to cheer him up, I created a boxed lunch and added vegetables that he grew in his kitchen garden. Filled with the resolve to fight again, Shoichi takes the food and eats it up with so much energy. I thought it a funny thing to do in such a serious scene (laughs).
Interviewer: Then you appeared as part of the regular cast in another Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Den-O.
Akiyama: The producer of Kamen Rider Den-O contacted me and I got the role. The role was for a cabin crewmate who is part of a time-machine train. I had to wear a tight bodysuit this time. When I wore the outfit, the staff and crewmate who knew me from before were all surprised.
Interviewer: Surprised? What for?
Akiyama: I wore a Zentai-Suit like outfit in the movie Kamen Rider Agito: Project G4. I was still a high school student, and I was so embarrassed that you could see the outline of my body so I cried really hard. When Den-O was in production, I was already 21 and had done many gravure photoshoots so I was completely okay with it. Or rather, I was looking forward to working the outfit.
Interviewer: You now have two children. I looked at your SNS and you seem happy.
Akiyama: My older son who will turn 4 is always saying that he wants to be a Kamen Rider. My younger one was still in my stomach when I appeared for filming for Kamen Rider Den-O: Pretty Den-O Appears! He’s now six months old.
Interviewer: So he appeared in a Rider film before he was even born (laughs). Will you appear together with your family in the future?
Akiyama: That would be amazing. I would be okay being the villain. I would want to transform.