If you want to say which Japanese drama is the most popular recently, I am afraid it must be "Restart Life" starring Sakura Ando. The protagonist, Asami Kondo, firstly wanted to accumulate enough blessings so that she could be reincarnated as a human in the next life. Later, in order to save her friend who was in an air crash, she went through five similar but different lives. Li, finally achieved the wish.
"Restart Life" poster
In one of these five lives, Mami chose to be a professional TV producer, and based on her own experience, she planned a TV series with a female protagonist who can be reborn repeatedly. Seeing this, I think everyone should suddenly realize: this drama is originally a portrayal of Sakura Ando herself. Her life is the same as the protagonist in it. In fact, she has gone through five restarts. Otherwise, who can believe that at the age of 37, she can achieve such achievements in a life that cannot be repeated?
The first time: the burden of "Star II"
Although she was also born and raised in a family of four, Ando Sakura's family is not as ordinary as Mami's family in the play. Both of her parents' families have a lot of background.
"Restarting Life" Stills, Ando Sakura as Kondo Asami
Ando Sakura's grandfather, Yutaka Ando, has served as a member of Kasugai City, Aichi Prefecture for many years. He has connections in the Japanese Diet, so he naturally raised his son as a future politician from childhood. The son here has just entered the law school of Meiji University, and he has already established a good relationship with him and helped him find a job as a member's secretary. Reluctantly, my son only wanted to be an actor after watching "Tange Zuozan" starring Otomo Liu Taro when he was in the fifth grade. After going to Tokyo, studying in university, and joining a theater troupe, he completely broke with his father because of his youthful vigor. As a result, the secretary of the congressman became inappropriate, and he stopped studying at university. He also gave a name "Okuda Eiji" that had nothing to do with the family, and plunged into the entertainment industry. Through works directed by Kei Kumai, such as "Miyamoto Musashi", "7 Men and Women in Summer" and "Sea and Poison", Okuda Eiji gradually established his signature as a character actor; after reaching middle age, he ushered in his second spring as a director .
Ando Sakura with his father Okuda Eiji, mother Ando Watsu, and sister Ando Momoko
Ando Sakura's grandfather, Inuyang Ken, who has never met, is the son of former Japanese Prime Minister Inuyang Takeshi. Inuyang Ken himself served as the Minister of Justice and is also a famous writer of the Shirakaba School. Ando Sakura's grandmother is his outer room, and Inuyang Ken had Ando Sakura's mother Kazuko (later renamed Hezu) when he was 51 years old, so the control over this youngest daughter is quite strict. After returning from studying in the UK, Watsu joined the TV station to work in news, and met and fell in love with Okuda Eiji when he couldn't get a role or pay the rent. In the future, when her husband made absurd things because of the yellow soup, she would always be lenient. When she got older, she also wrote a book about her experience of overcoming depression, which became the gospel for many patients to get out of the pain.
Perhaps it is precisely because Okuda Eiji and Ando Kazutsu came from tightly bound families that they raised their two daughters very loosely. Sakura Ando aspired to become an actor after seeing her father's stage performance at the age of five. However, as she grew up day by day, she realized that if she really became an actor, she would inevitably not be regarded by others as a relationship dependent on her father. So, in the second grade of elementary school, Ando Sakura gave up this dream.
Self-portrait by Sakura Ando
After deciding not to be an actor, Ando Sakura found that painting can also bring fun to herself. She joined the school's art department and supported herself by doing odd jobs while studying. In Ando Sakura's fifth life, she once said: "Under normal circumstances, I am not good at expressing. For example, I used to join the art department because I wanted to express myself directly through painting... But many feelings are still It cannot be expressed from this. I have found that only through the combination of body and mind, through action, can I release the energy stored in my body."
And in this first life, Sakura Ando, who failed to become an actor, did not become a painter in the end. She spent her life in obscurity smoothly.
The second time: the weight of appearance
However, when Ando Sakura finished her first life and found that she could choose to do it all over again, she regretted giving up her dream of being an actor. So, after thinking about it, Ando Sakura decided to start over and start a second life.
In the second life, Ando Sakura, who aspired to become an actor in high school, still works in a restaurant while studying, but it is no longer to escape the identity of "famous actor's daughter", but to accumulate more life experience . Unexpectedly, it really came in handy soon after.
"Long Distance Walk" Stills
When Okuda Eiji was the director and filmed "Long Distance Walk" starring Ken Ogata, he mobilized his whole family to play the role of passers-by. Sakura Ando plays the waiter in a family restaurant, and she only has a minute or two to play, and her lines are limited to the dishes ordered. This role, which doesn't even have a name, is her screen debut. She was already 20 years old that year. Compared with many "second-generation stars", this debut age came later. For example, Shohei Matsuda, who is half a year older than Sakura Ando, has already played a leading role in "Long Distance Walk".
Perhaps, it was from these few shots that Eiji Okuda saw his youngest daughter's talent in acting. In the second year, when he was planning to shoot "The Outside of the Wind", the original heroine temporarily changed her mind and quit before the filming started, so he naturally thought of asking his family to come to the rescue.
In "The Outside of the Wind", the 21-year-old Sakura Ando plays Mariko, a 17-year-old wealthy high school girl. On the one hand, she hides her Korean identity, and on the other hand, she has a special feeling for the Korean gangsters. This is the fourth directorial work of Eiji Okuda, but the response is far less than the previous "Long Distance Walk". To say that the crux of the film, in fact, mainly lies in the script. Although the performance of Ando Sakura, who is not from a major, is youthful, it is not considered a hindrance.
Stills of "Restart Life"
More complaints were directed at her looks. Without a beautiful face, one is not qualified to play a young girl on the screen. This seems to be an unspoken rule in the Japanese entertainment industry. After leaving the protection of her father, as the number of audition rejections gradually increased, Sakura Ando understood that in addition to her status as a "second-generation star", her ordinary appearance was also an unbearable burden for her.
Stills of "Restart Life"
In the fifth life, Ando Sakura was asked what made her feel the most embarrassed, and her answer was "taking pictures". This may be because she has no confidence in her appearance, "I have never been good at taking pictures, and I always feel embarrassed when being photographed." So, in her second life, she decided to stop the loss in time. Anyway, she has already tasted the taste of being an actress, and since there is no place for her, there is no need to be nostalgic. After bidding farewell to her acting career, she spent her life so smoothly.
The third time: a performance that makes people unable to take their eyes off
However, when Ando Sakura finished her second life and found that she could choose to do it all over again, she regretted that she had already stepped into the threshold of an actor, but gave up her dream too hastily. So, after thinking about it, Ando Sakura decided to start from the beginning and start her third life.
Stills of "The Exposure of Love"
This time, Ando Sakura decided not to care about her appearance, as long as she had the opportunity to perform, she would go all out to show her presence with every look and every movement. If you can't play the protagonist's young and beautiful girl, you can play the villain and strange girl who is against the protagonist. In this way, she finally got the chance to play the cult girl Gucci in the Cult film "Love Exposure" directed by Yuan Ziwen. This role earned Ando Sakura the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Yokohama Film Festival and the Best Newcomer Award at the Takasaki Film Festival.
Regarding the performance, Ando Sakura admitted: "I know that when I am filming, I often just follow my feelings; I will always remind myself that I should use my brain to think more. However, once I arrive on the set, I will no longer be entangled in which way to do it. right."
In 2012, the 26-year-old Ando Sakura won awards for three films "Love and Sincerity", "Samurai of That Night", "The Promised Country: Double Life", and became the first in the history of the Film Xunbao Awards An actor who won both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Only one year later, Ando Sakura has further climbed to a new height in her acting career. The two works "0.5mm" and "Love of a Hundred Dollars" she starred in were both big hits at the same time.
Stills of "0.5mm"
Ando Sakura's grandmother was ill for many years before her death, and her mother, Kazuzu, shouldered the burden of taking care of her, and suffered from depression because of this. I don't know if she got creative inspiration from this, and Ando Sakura's sister Momoko wrote and directed "0.5mm" focusing on the theme of elderly care, and her father Eiji Okuda served as the producer. In this work, Ando Sakura's acting skills have undergone obvious changes. The previous performance style of opening and closing, which made people unable to look away, has been transformed into a more natural and relaxed state. The audience is no longer attracted by the actor Sakura Ando, but by the character itself.
"Love of a Hundred Dollars" Stills
In the boxing-themed "Love of a Hundred Dollars", the protagonist she played turned from a useless woman squatting at home into a professional boxer. For this reason, during the filming period, she had to go through the difficulties of gaining weight quickly and then losing weight quickly process. With this remake of the role, Ando Sakura received her first Japan Film Academy Award for Best Actress.
At that time, Sakura Ando was only 28 years old and had already won all the important film awards in Japan. Moreover, more and more people praised her appearance for its unique beauty. However, it does not seem to be easy to maintain this momentum. Especially for actresses, once they step into marriage, it means that their acting career has also come to an end. Therefore, in this life, Ando Sakura decided to put her career first. Therefore, in the title of her work, "The Thief Family", which won the Cannes Palme d'Or, was not included.
As for the reason, in the fifth life, Ando Sakura once revealed in an exclusive interview with "Movie Xunbao": The decision to take this film may be due to the intuition of a pregnant woman. Although I am still me, when the stomach When I had a child, I tried to rely on my instincts to think 'no matter what the future holds, let's talk about it later'. Also, the day I learned about the story happened to be my wedding anniversary, so I felt it was a kind of fate." Since there is no Choosing to become a wife and a mother naturally missed "The Thieves".
The fourth time: flash marriage without any hesitation
However, when Ando Sakura lived her third life and found that she could choose to do it all over again, she still couldn't help but regret that she arbitrarily believed that career and family could not be combined. Unlike Mami in "Restart Life", who repeatedly avoided her ex-boyfriend, Ando Sakura decided not to give up the love that fate brought her.
Sakura Ando met her husband Yuu Karamoto, who is also an actor, at the Akita Jumoni Film Festival in 2008. After three years of dating, they entered the marriage hall. Regarding her husband, she once said with a smile when participating in a variety show: "At first I thought he was disgusting, because the characters he played were all villains. Later, I accidentally discovered that he was very handsome, and then we got married like this without any hesitation."
A few days ago, after receiving the Japan Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Sakura Ando posted a photo of her, her husband Yuu Karamoto (left) and Tori Matsuzaka, who played her ex-boyfriend as a guest star in "Restarting Life", on social media
Like Ando Sakura, Karamoto Yu also came from a family of performers, the son of famous green leaf actors Karamoto Akira and Kazure Kazue. Similarly, Karamoto Yu is not a "second-generation star" with outstanding looks like Matsuda Ryuhei. He has also become an unforgettable actor with his superb acting skills. Everything about the two seems to match so well, from looks, family background to acting, and their combination has naturally become a good story in the Japanese entertainment industry.
In March 2017, Sakura Ando, who was seven months pregnant, and Toshiyuki Nishida, the veteran actor, served as the master of ceremonies for the Japan Film Academy Awards. She was still filming on the set before, and she didn't stop working early because she was pregnant. This time, of course, Ando Sakura did not miss "The Thieves Family" again. With a figure that has not yet fully recovered due to childbirth, she presented the most sincere motherhood in front of the camera that does not require blood ties.
Stills of "The Thief Family"
Ando Sakura won 11 film awards including the Film Weekly Award and the Japan Film Academy Award for "The Thief Family". Since then, film appointments have come one after another. However, she paused at this moment. In the Japanese entertainment industry, this seems to be a normal decision for an actress who gets married and has children. Many of Sakura Ando's predecessors, such as Miho Nakayama, Tomoko Yamaguchi, etc., chose to be at the pinnacle of the show business after marriage, retired or semi-retired from the showbiz, just like Alice experienced a parabolic life, and eventually returned to mediocrity.
Fifth time: in the name of mother
However, when Sakura Ando finished her fourth life and found that she could choose to restart for the last time, she hesitated. With a happy family and lovely children, Ando Sakura does not regret her decision to retire; but to say that she does not miss the set is to deceive herself. Since there is still one last chance to restart, let's try it out.
After "The Thief Family", Ando Sakura received an unexpected film appointment - the morning drama "Wanfu". "Wanfu" is based on the founder of Nissin Momofuku Ando and his wife Renko, telling the story of how they finally invented instant noodles after repeated failures.
Morning dramas usually choose young actresses who are in the development stage to play the protagonists, in order to bring youthful, lively and healthy impressions to the audience, and at the same time help young actors to develop their performance career to a higher level, and Sakura Ando is already a Honor is what it is, even if there are no morning dramas to icing on the cake. However, the interestingness of the subject matter itself, and the fact that the character Fukuko is also a mother, made Ando Sakura very excited. The embarrassment is that the daughter is not yet one year old and cannot be away from her mother for too long, but the broadcasting and filming period of the morning drama is as long as half a year, and the set is not in Tokyo but in Osaka.
After such a psychological struggle for a month, her husband, Yuu Karamoto, encouraged her and said, "Let's try as hard as fools." The solution Ando Sakura came up with was to take her daughter to the set in Osaka, while taking care of Parenting and filming. "For an actor, this is a reform of the working model; and for a mother, this is also a very intimate way of working." Ando Sakura said in an interview, "I clearly feel the pressure, but I It's better not to put too much pressure on yourself. That's what I learned from parenting."
Taking Ando Sakura's attempt as an opportunity, NHK carried out internal reforms, opened a special children's space next to the shooting site, and provided various supports for those who need to balance childcare and work. Now, cast members take their children to NHK to participate in filming almost every day.
Stills of "A Certain Man"
Of course, not every studio can provide a convenient parenting space like NHK. After "The Thief Family", Ando Sakura did not accept any more film appointments for more than three years. What made her decide to come out again was the role of a mother. In the movie "A Certain Man", she played the role of Lie, a miserable woman who had suffered a marriage change. On the one hand, she had to face the grief of her second husband's sudden death, and on the other hand, she had to bear the blow of her dead husband's concealment of her true identity. At the same time, she must take on the role of mother and comfort her two young children.
Wife Mu Satoshi, the leading actor of "A Certain Man", revealed that Ando Sakura once said to him suddenly on the set: "I am really not suitable to continue to be an actor." This made him think that Ando Sakura was ready to retire. After filming this movie, Satoshi Satoshi ran into Yu Karamoto one day, and asked cautiously, "How is Sakura?" Karamoto replied, "Well, I'm making a movie." "What's going on here?" What's going on?" His wife Mu Cong drew a big question mark in his heart.
Obviously, Satoshi Satoshi underestimated the determination of an actor who restarted his life five times. With "A Certain Man", Ando Sakura once again stood on the stage of the Japan Film Academy Awards after four years and received the award for Best Supporting Actress. "I was at the height of my anxiety because I was finding it hard to juggle childcare and filming... I had taken a long break before this, but when I was making this film, it suddenly dawned on me that filming All the things I experienced on the scene were very important moments in my life." She said while weeping. Actresses such as Machiko Ono and other mothers in the audience couldn't help but burst into tears.
Stills of "Restart Life"
At the same time, the series "Restart Life" inspired by Ando Sakura's personal experience has also sparked a topic on social media. This episode aired on TBS at 10:30 p.m. has more than 1 million "likes" on its official website, far more than TBS's "Get Ready!" " (574,000 person-times) and "Goddess' Classroom ~White Paper on Legal Youth~" (635,000 person-times).
After experiencing five times of life, the protagonist of "Restarting Life" Kondo Asami finally completed self-salvation and helped her friends survive the catastrophe. She died at the age of 98. So, here comes the question, how will Sakura Ando go on with her last life? Let us wait and see.