The actors for Horobi and Jin, from Kamen Rider Zero-One, were interviewed by M-ON! Entertainment.
Syuya Sunagawa (Horobi) and Daisuke Nakagawa (Jin) talk about their characters and their time on Kamen Rider Zero-One.
The movie is referred to as the “True Finale” of the series. Were there any moments you experienced where you realize that this is the end?
Nakagawa: Jin this time around has taken up a much more brighter role, so it didn’t feel like the end. He’s also different from the TV series and I had a lot of fun portraying the character.
Sunagawa: Maybe it was when the five of us (Fuwa Isamu, Yua Yaiba, Jin, Horobi, and Gai Amatsu) transformed together. I was told “This is Jin’s final transformation, so do your best!” And I really did put in a lot of effort. Then it dawned on me that this is in fact the end.
Nakagawa: Sunagawa cried when we wrapped up (laughs).
Sunagawa: Yeah, I cried (laughs). I cried because I thought that this was the last time Seiji Takaiwa and I would be playing Horobi. I thought this would be the last time we’d be working together with the Staff and Director Teruaki Sugihara. So of course I’d cry.
Nakagawa: Not for me. I had a lot of happy scenes so I wrapped up happily. (laughs)
Jin has become more trustworthy as a character since the TV series, is there anything you realized about the character on top of portraying his growth?
Nakagawa: What I noticed after the TV series when Jin was revived… I was told to portray Jin as the leader of a revolution army. At first I couldn’t grasp it well, but because I acted in the scenes I was able to work hard on the character. Then the Assistant Producer told me “Jin doesn’t seem like he has much confidence.” That’s when I realized “I see. If I don’t add more self-confidence, I’ll never be able to fulfill the role of his character.” It was in episode 32… or 33, when I understood the role that the show desired, that’s when I realized his trustworthiness and portrayed that in my acting.
In the finale of the TV series, Horobi confronts the issue of the “heart” and begins to oversee the evil of the world. In the film, Horobi’s character is more gentle, what’s something you became aware of when you played his character?
Sunagawa: There’s a scene in the TV series finale where Horobi seemingly smiled. I didn’t want to destroy Horobi’s image in the film. When I made a big smile, it just ended up being a smile of my own and not his (laughs). It was hard to find the right soft expression (laughs). During the TV series, when the wrinkles between his brows closed in, his facial expression looked like it didn’t change. Maybe it did seem strange, but I did my best to capture a soft expression for Horobi. I especially had to be careful when I was conversating with the other characters I fight alongside with.
Did you feel that contrast of Horobi when you were on set?
Nakagawa: I feel that Horobi really has become kinder. I was amazed when I saw his expression and the kind of presence he (Sunagawa) expresses. He didn’t seem closed off at all like he did in the TV series. The composed Horobi seen in the movie has the power of cogency.
Sunagawa: Thanks! (laughs). The Jin we see after he comes back to life is very mature but the one we see in the film is very cutesy.
Nakagawa: Yeah I realized that too.
Sunagawa: It felt like you were back to who you were at the beginning of the TV series. I thought “oh he sure is having fun” (laughs).
One of the highlights of the movie is seeing a five-person transformation scene.
Sunagawa: We were really happy about that.
Sunagawa: It would have been nice if Aruto was there too but I was happy.
Nakagawa: Sunagawa stood front and center. That must’ve been an awesome feeling (laughs).
Sunagawa: As far as simultaneous transformations goes, I really only transformed with Jin. Transforming alongside the two AIMS members and Thouser was a fresh idea. I remember seeing Nachi (who portrays Gai) transforming and I was like, “wow, Gai is transforming. We’re all on the same side now.” Especially since he was such an antagonist to the other characters.
Nakagawa: Jin on the other hand has transformed with the other characters as well. Seeing Horobi in the mix-up seemed out of place. Especially since he was front and center (laughs). I thought to myself, “wow Horobi’s a hero now. He sure has changed.”
Tell us some highlights about Jin and Horobi in this film.
Nakagawa: So Jin has a lot more cheerful scenes this time around. Even during fight scenes he has fun fighting and that’s just very Jin-like to me.
Sunagawa: How Horobi becomes a helping hand to Aruto and everyone.
So it’s because there’s a mutual bond between the two that Jin and Horobi are able to separate and be on their own. Can you tell us your impression of each other when you first met?
Sunagawa: He’s so tall! (laughs)
Nakagawa: You’re always saying that (laughs). As for me, I thought he was a bad boy. He had black hair and a necklace.
Sunagawa: Don’t forget the earrings (laughs).
Nakagawa: I’m not the confrontational type so I was worried that we wouldn’t see eye-to-eye on things (laughs).
Has your impression of each other changed?
Sunagawa: I thought he was one of those cool types, but it was the opposite. He was the friendliest… and the loudest (laughs).
Nakagawa: Yep (laughs)
Sunagawa: I had a feeling you’d break something on set but you didn’t. Or did you? (laughs)
Nakagawa: I broke the belt a lot… (laughs)
Sunagawa: I knew it (laughs). But it’s not like you were having so much fun that you broke it right? (laughs)
Nakagawa: Yeah. It broke when I leaned forward. (laughs)
Sunagawa: So my impression of him didn’t change. He’s more open than he was at the beginning.
Nakagawa: My impression of Sunagawa changed. He’s actually super super nice (laughs).
Sunagawa: Did you really think that highly of me? (laughs) You usually only commend me at these kinds of places.
Nakagawa: You’re someone with a really kind heart. Your lifestyle on the other hand is very careless though (laughs).
Nakagawa: He really is kinder than anyone, and he’s the most human as the days go by. And I realize that he’s someone that everyone loves. I thought he was scary at first, but it turns out he was super nice (laughs).
Sunagawa: (laughs) You don’t have to say it twice.
Nakagawa: It’s a lie! All a lie!
Looking back at the year, what do you feel is the strongest bond between Jin and Horobi?
Sunagawa: That’s actually something that can be felt in this movie. Jin and Horobi both act differently, but their relationship with each other is strong which is why they’re able to do things on their own.
Nakagawa: There was a scene in episode 43 where Jin was destroyed and Horobi began shedding tears. We weren’t sure if our performance would go well, but we were able to express ourselves better than we had expected. And after we finished shooting that day, we exchanged a silent handshake. So when our bonds became stronger, so did Jin and Horobi’s, which is reflected in our performance.
Regarding your performances, did you two have to exchange notes?
Sunagawa: Not that much.
Nakagawa: Yeah not really.
Sunagawa: Nakagawa understands Jin the most so I trusted him.
Nakagawa: Me too. Sunagawa’s face is pretty straight forward, so I can feel the amount of information coming out of him.
Sunagawa: (laughs) “information”.
Nakagawa: I was really thankful for that. Even if we didn’t talk about anything ahead of time, he was able to naturally bring out expressions when we met face to face.
Sunagawa: We did plan some things out once or twice. Director Tasaki told us to chat things out. It was in episode 42, when Horobi walked away trembling after having destroyed Izu. And Jin was trying to hold him back.
Nakagawa: I was told that whatever I did to try and restrain you, you couldn’t be stopped. I was told that I have to act like I was really trying to stop him. And Sunagawa and I talked about how it would play out. According to the script, I call out Horobi’s name, and he would turn around with a look on his face like he was going somewhere far away.
Sunagawa: That scene was tear-jerking. There was so much meaning (laughs).
Nakagawa: It was a scene that required a lot of emotion on top of pushing ourselves to our limits. It really was tear-jerking.
Were there any moments where you two felt the other was suffering?
Nakagawa: The final scene that Director Tasaki directed, the focus was on Horobi. And I felt that in that episode.
Sunagawa: It was when Horobi finally began to develop feelings. The work was intense.
Nakagawa: Director Tasaki helped him get into it, and Sunagawa responded with his acting.
Have you two ever felt that it’s because you were your characters that you could understand each other?
Nakagawa: Sunagawa’s endurance is strong. I can’t fathom having a role where I don’t express anything until episode 43.
Sunagawa: I see (laughs).
Nakagawa: It’s because I played Jin that my character had more expression. For Horobi, I don’t think he got any degree of range until the final episodes.
Sunagawa: Thank you! When it comes to human emotion, I believe that Nakagawa has a lot of range so he and Jin are very alike. Unlike Horobi, Jin has a lot of emotions and Nakagawa himself is very cute. Because Nakagawa has such a wide range that he was able to expand Jin’s character. You made such a cute character… wait how old are you again?
Sunagawa: It must be cringey for a 22 year old man playing a cute character (laughs).
Nakagawa: Maybe (laughs).
Sunagawa: Usually that’s not cute (laughs). But the role was well suited for him. I have a lot of respect for your range. Being cutesy at first, then becoming mature, and then quiet… I can’t do that.
Nakagawa: Same (laughs). The casting directors are amazing (laughs).
How have you grown most in the past year?
Sunagawa: I’m able to wake up early in the morning now (laughs).
Nakagawa: What? That’s how you’ve grown? (laughs)
Sunagawa: I’m more dependable now (laughs).
Nakagawa: Yeah, that’s cool I guess (laughs)
Sunagawa: I was never a morning person but I’ve become better at getting up. Also, there’s a lot more people who support Kamen Rider Zero-One. Of course, we’ve had supporters before, but, you see I’m actually a pessimistic person, and seeing that we gained more supporters helped me. My mental strain went away.
Nakagawa: As for me, when it comes to acting, I was still a beginner. I couldn’t feel out a fictional character. But when I saw that we had so many support from fans who love Jin, that’s when I really felt that he had come alive.
Now let’s play the “Which character of Zero-One is most likely to be a ~~” game? Let’s start with the “crybaby”
Sunagawa and Daisuke: (laughs)
Nakagawa: Good question… (laughs)
Sunagawa: When it comes to who cries the most, it’s Nakagawa. He cried within the story as well as when we wrapped up filming.
Nakagawa: Yeah that’s me. I cry about things in real life but when I watch a touching film I cry too.
How about the most free?
Sunagawa: Yeah that’s Nakagawa again (laughs).
Nakagawa: Not Ryutaro Okada (portrays Fuwa)?
Sunagawa: He’s a different kind of free (laughs)
Nakagawa: He’s the type to be himself the most (laughs)
Sunagawa: He has a lot of conviction so he seems the most free. Rather than free, he seems more strong willed.
Nakagawa: So the most free would be…
Sunagawa: Like I said, it’s you (laughs). Maybe Tsurushima (Izu) too. She’s always the type to make her own schedule and she’s always so bubbly.
How about the most earnest?
Sunagawa: Hmm that would be Igeta Hiroe (portrays Yua).
Nakagawa: Yeah it’d be Igeta.
Sunagawa: You just want to smile when she laughs a bit. Even when we played the metsuboujinrai game at the Final Event, I felt so happy just watching her have fun.
Nakagawa: Even on people’s birthdays, she prepares everything for everyone ahead of time.
Who is definitely not a morning person?
Nakagawa: Okada (Fuwa).
Sunagawa: Yeah it’s him (laughs).
Nakagawa: Yeah it’s Okada, I can’t say why though (laughs).
Sunagawa: Agreed (laughs).
Who’s prone to feeling lonely?
Sunagawa: I think it’s me.
Nakagawa: I think so too. Those who are people person tend to end up feeling lonely when they’re not with them.
Sunagawa: But I only like the Zero-One members! (laughs)
Nakagawa: That’s not true! (laughs)
What makes you feel lonely?
Sunagawa: When we were nearing the end of filming or when I’m by myself on set. Even on episode 8 I was like “I don’t want it to be over just yet!”
Nakagawa: You’re always saying that (laughs)
Sunagawa: Whenever I imagine the end, I think to myself, “I don’t want everyone to leave just yet…” We’ve met up plenty of times after the final episode so I haven’t felt that lonely yet but I feel like I’ll feel lonely in a few months after the movie ends. Everyone will go their separate ways, be in different shows… oh man I feel lonely now (laughs).
Nakagawa: You really are the one who tends to feel lonely (laughs).