A new comedy film by Hayato Kawai, “First Gentleman” (Japanese title Sori no Otto, on the first female Prime Minister of Japan and his wife was released just in time for the presidential election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 29, followed by the general national elections for members of the National Diet on October 31, 2021 .
We chatted with the two stars of the film, the cast, Kei Tanaka, who plays husband Hiyori, a boy-tempered bird expert, and Miki Nakatani, who plays Rinko, the first female prime minister.
Based on Maha Harada’s best-selling novel, the film humorously portrays a married couple in a political world full of conspiracies, but with a positive and refreshing note for the future.
Before assuming her role, Nakatani studied the manner and speeches of women leaders of the world such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
What she found in common was “how well they handled anger at the unfair treatment of women, being open-minded, non-resentful and responding with a smile. Instead of” raising their voices, they spoke warmly and calmly.
Following their example, Nakatani created her own image of a female prime minister. In the film, Rinko is eloquent and fashionable. She is always calm and competent, good at negotiating with powerful politicians.
On the other hand, her husband Hiyori, played by Tanaka, is easily influenced by his surroundings. The actor sometimes finds it difficult to remain passive required by his role ー as events unfold around him.
“Sometimes actor Kei Tanaka couldn’t help but interfere with his role by showing his face or making unwarranted movements. It was difficult to be completely passive like Hiyori, to do nothing and stay happy, ”recalls Tanaka.
“It’s a film that makes you laugh and cry, and that leaves you feeling optimistic. I especially want women to watch it. I think we made a heartwarming movie, ”Tanaka said.
For his part, Nakatani commented on the film: “It is a film which aims to show Rinko’s ideal society: one where, with the support of her husband, she can give birth and raise children while being an active woman.
“This is a movie made for entertainment, so I hope everyone enjoys it.”
ABOUT THE FILM
Hiyori (Kei Tanaka), is a good-natured bird watcher and son of a great zaibatsu family (financial conglomerate). As he watches wild birds on a remote island where there are not even cell phone signals, his beloved wife, Rinko (Miki Nakatani), leader of the opposition party, becomes the first female Premier. Minister of Japan. All of a sudden, Hiyori is cast into the great role of “First Gentleman”.
“First Gentleman” was released nationwide from September 23 in Japan. The film lasts 2 hours and 1 minute. It is available on DVD from October 12, at this link.
Author: Keiko Mizunuma