He has won the Best Actor in the Japan Academy Awards in 2016. He has spent a length of time filming this year for his next work, “Last Recipe~ Kirin no Shida no Kioku” (directed by Yojiro Takita), premiering in cinemas in Autumn 2017.
2016 is truly a successful and fulfilling year for someone who always says “maintaining our current situation is the best”. Our interview begins in the usual Nino style.
N: I always say “maintain our current situation, maintain our current situation” every year, but if I keep saying this it becomes meaningless right? (laughs) It’s easy for people to see this as a conservative mindset, but I feel that by replying “to maintain my current situation” whenever I’m asked “what is your goal for next year?” I will have a good year ahead.
He meets the director, Yojiro Takita for the first time. It is also their first time working together. This is what he says about his character as a genius chef in the movie -
N: I don’t specially do any preparation in terms of cooking and didn’t have any difficult moments. Even though people will misunderstand this, but I have always not forced myself to do anything that I cannot do.
So although it’s a compliment if someone told me “you cook like a real chef!”, on a certain level I’ll find it hard to accept this comment because at that moment they don’t see me as an actor taking up a role.
Since my profession is a unique one, I do get many compliments for my acting, but I question what kind of a job will allow a 33 year-old to be complimented for cutting vegetables? It’s hard to grasp the nature of this profession, so I’m also determined not to do too many extra things.
People will definitely ask me how it feels like since I’m meeting the director for the first time, but in this line of work basically everything is new where we do things “for the first time”, so I’m often at a loss at answering this (laughs). Because we’re always experiencing things for the first time.
His thoughts on Arashi’s Arena tour, after their last one 9 years ago -
N: There was a period of time where Arashi only toured around the 5 major cities, but it wasn’t only fans from these cities who came to watch, there were fans from all over the country who came for our concert. This time with Arashi going to more places to hold a concert, it’s a beginning; we want to shorten the distance as much as possible.
Looking at the outcome, being able to go to different areas is a good thing. Although the content of the Arena tour is based on what we did in our Dome tour, but we express the ideas differently and do things differently as well. The concept of doing it as a “show” is also a good experience.
It’s a good thing for the group if we’re able to do this on a regular basis. But there’s also the question of practicality. Leader and J toured at the same time that they were filming, and I’m not confident of completing other projects at the same time with our tour schedules. Every member might think of this differently, but to me, I’ll probably prioritise and think about taking up certain projects while giving up on some.
I guess it’s because I’m the kind of person who focuses on completing one particular task at a time. I don’t like it when things overlap with each other and time runs out for one project, which will be a burden and a trouble to many people.
To Ninomiya, who adopts a “never look back” mentality, 2016 has been a happy year.
N: Although there isn’t one specific incident, but I feel that this year has been a good one. If I have to give a reason, it’s probably because I’m fortunate enough to maintain my current situation, which gave me many opportunities to do many different things.
Summing up this year in one kanji? It’s like asking why the name of our group is one kanji. There’s only “Arashi”, isn’t it?