Masayuki Suo (director, screenwriter)
Born in Tokyo in 1956. Majoring in French Literature, he graduated from the Department of Letters, College of Arts, Rikkyo University. While a college student, he worked under directors Banmei Takahashi, Koji Wakamatsu, and Kazuyuki Izutsu as their assistant. He made his feature movie directional debut in 1989 with Fancy Dance starring Masahiro Motoki. Sumo Do, Sumo Donft (1992), which also starred Masahiro Motoki, won various awards including Best Picture at the Japan Academy Prize. Shall We Dance?, which he directed in 1996, started the ballroom dance craze in Japan and dominated the 20th Japan Academy Prize by winning 13 awards. Following its worldwide release, it was remade in Hollywood in 2005 starring Richard Gere and drew attention both domestic and abroad. Breaking his 11-year silence, he directed I Just Didnft Do It in 2007 with which he swept the film awards with the sensational subject of a man put on trial for train groping. In 2011, he released Dancing Chaplin. Suo is currently one of Japanfs leading film directors.
Comment by Director Suo: gI made I Just Didnft Do It because I wanted to show the world this reality about the criminal justice system. For this movie, the setting is the medical care system, which deals with peoplefs lives and deaths, and I want to portray how people make decisions when theyfre about lose someone they love and how theyfre judged by that. I present to you a mature, heart-wrenching love story.h
Tamiyo Kusakari (Ayano Orii)
Born in Tokyo in 1965. She started learning ballet when she was eight years old and was given her first starring role in Koi no Ito (choreographed by Asami Maki in 1984). She has won various awards as a ballerina and has given numerous performances overseas. She starred in and made her name as a movie actress with Shall We Dance? (directed by Masayuki Suo) in 1996 for which she won Best Actress in the 20th Japan Academy Prize as well as many other awards of that year. She later married Suo, the director of the movie. She retired as a ballerina in April 2009, giving her final performance in Esprit\The World
of Roland Petit, which she planned, developed, and produced herself. Since then, she has appeared in theatrical productions such as Miyagino (directed by Katsuhide Suzuki, 2009) and Henry VI (directed by Yukio Ninagawa, 2010) and in TV productions such as Shinzanmono (TBS, 2011) and period drama Ryoma-den (NHK, 2011). She collaborated with Director Masayuki Suo once again in 2011 in Dancing Chaplin.
Comment by Tamiyo Kusakari: gThis movie has a deep theme and is a very big challenge for me. I havenft been in a theatrical-release movie for 16 years, but Ifll do my best to deliver what the director envisions.h
Koji Yakusho (Shinzo Egi)
Born in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1956. After working in a municipal ward office, he joined Tatsuya Nakadaifs acting studio Mumeijuku. He dominated the Best Actor prize in 14 Japanese movie awards in 1996 with his roles in Shall We Dance? (directed by Masayuki Suo), Sleeping Man (directed by Kohei Oguri), and Shabu Gokudo (directed by Tatsuoki Hosono). He also starred in Lost Paradise (1997, Yoshimitsu Morita) and films presented at international film festivals, such as The Eel (1997, directed by Shohei Imamura), which won the Palme dfOr at the Cannes Film Festival, and Eureka (2001, directed by Shinji Aoyama), which won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury also at the Cannes Film Festival. Also appearing in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005, directed by Rob Marshall), Suite Dreams (2006, directed by Koki Mitani), Babel (2007, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), I Just Didnft Do It (2007, directed by Masayuki Suo), Isoroku Yamamoto (2011, directed by Izuru Narushima), and Waga Haha no Ki (2012, directed by Masato Harada), he is Japanfs leading movie actor and a winner of many movie awards who unfailingly gives outstanding performances in productions both domestic and international. He made his directional debut with Toadfs Oil in 2009 and received the Shiju Hosho (Purple Ribbon Medal) in 2012.
Comment by Koji Yakusho: gWhat is Director Suo interested in now? What kind of movie does he want to show movie fans? People canft take their eyes off him. Again, I was surprised by this screenplay. Itfs wonderful. Ifm going to give it my best. Also, itfs my first time working with Ms. Kusakari since Shall We Dance? and Ifm looking forward it.h
Tadanobu Asano (Noriyuki Takai)
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1973. He made his film debut in Bataashi Kingyo (directed by Joji Matsuoka) in 1990 and his starring role in Helpless (directed by Shinji Aoyama) in 1996. Since then, he has won various movie awards, including Best Actor at the Yokohama Film Festival for his role in Focus (1996, directed by Satoshi Isaka) and Best Supporting Actor at the Hochi Film Awards for his roles in Taboo (1999, directed by Nagisa Oshima) and Gojoe: Spirit War Chronicle (2000, directed by Sogo Ishii). In addition to domestic films, such as Kabei: Our Mother (2008, directed by Yoji Yamada), Mt. Tsurugidake (2009, directed by Daisaku Kimura), and Villonfs Wife (2009, directed by Kichitaro Negishi), he has appeared in overseas productions including Mongol (2008, directed by Sergei Bodrov) and has landed starring-class roles in major Hollywood productions, such as Thor (2011, directed by Kenneth Branagh) and Battleship (2012, directed by Peter Berg).
Takao Osawa (Toru Tsukahara)
Born in Tokyo in 1968. He is a former fashion magazine model who has also walked the runways in Paris fashion week. After his 1994 acting debut in Kimi to Ita Natsu (CX), he appeared in popular drama series Wakamono no Subete (CX, 1994) and Hoshi no Kinka (NTV, 1995). He won Best Actor at the Japan Academy Prize for his leading role in Gege (directed by Itsumitsu Isomura) in 2004. In the same year, Crying out love, in the center of the world (directed by Isao Yukisada) became a record box office hit. In addition to his diverse roles in movies such as Metro ni Notte (2006, directed by Tetsuo Shinohara), Life: Tears in Heaven (2007, directed by Takehiko Shinjo), Ballad: Namo naki Koi no Uta (2009, directed by Takashi Yamazaki), and Sakuradamon Gai no Hen (2010, directed by Junya Sato), he has taken on the challenge of a musical, Phantom (2008 and 2010, directed by Katsuhide Suzuki). TBS drama series JIN (2009 and 2011) in which he plays the main character enjoyed phenomenal record-breaking viewer ratings and became a social phenomenon.