Interview with Arisa Nanase
Arisa Nanase was born in 1988. She grew up in Nagoya, Japan.
When she was 18 years old, she was picked up by an agency and she started her career as an actress. She appeared many kinds of TV shows, Commercials and mobile short movie products. Also she took many lessons like acting, dancing, and learned modeling skills. She was especially interested in acting using English so she began to study English in earnest for the future.
Two years after she started her career, she won first prize the Japan Major Boys & Girls Contest 2008. Afterwards she joined an agency in Tokyo. Some of her past projects have included the films Sunday (Nagura Films – Japan – Lead) and Landmark (Ryousuke Films – Japan); Television: “Bonita! Bonita!!” (TV Aichi) and TA*RO (Chukyo TV) and Commercials. Her modeling credits include Bijin Dokei, Cheek, Men’s Spider and Audition. She also was a judge for the audition phase for the Chita Girls.
In 2010, she attended New York Film Academy and eventually moved to LA to continue her studies in acting for film. Even during that stay, she landed some roles. After a brief trip back to Japan she returned to Hollywood and appeared in many films and TV shows. She now travels and works between Japan and America.
Great to meet you. Can you tell us a little about growing up in Nagoya?
Great to meet you too! I was born in Nagoya and still I live there. Nagoya City is a big city in Japan like Tokyo or Osaka but most of the entertainment industry is located inTokyo so it’s sometimes hard to work as an entertainer in any other city.
I really love Nagoya though. Everyone is so sweet and is always willing to help each other. It’s easy to get to other places because my city is the middle part of Japan. Most people want to go to Tokyo but I don’t think I need to leave Nagoya yet.
When you were a little girl were you always someone who was interested in acting and modeling?
Actually not until I was a Junior High School student. Before that I was not interested in acting and modeling but then I saw a movie that changed my life. After that I was always thinking about acting especially when I was a high school student. I couldn’t tell about it to anybody though. I remember I was sending fan letters to Hollywood actors!
Can you tell us a little about the Japan Major Boys & Girls Contest? You won first place. What kind of competition was it?
It was a competition by an agency in Tokyo. I won because of my acting and modeling skills. Basically I could take lessons after I got it. It was agreat experience for me.
What did you think of LA when you first arrived? What are some of the differences you have had to adapt to?
My first image for LA was “everyone is so friendly!!” I was so excited at that moment because it was my dream!!! I was a little bit nervous but people looked nice and one time I met the person who said “I like your shoes!!”! It made me smile.
The one big difference is traffic in L.A. I used to ride the buses a lot in L.A. and almost every time the buses were running late and I would not make an appointment in time. In Japan, a bus and train come in at a regular time. In L.A. I was always afraid of being late!!
Many men try to give their seat to a woman in the train in L.A. . In Japan I saw men sit down while a woman stood in front of him many times… it was kind of disappointing to see how chivalry has dissapeared in Japan.
You had the lead role in the film, “Sunday”. Can you tell us a little about what the film is about and was the character you played?
“Sunday” is about 2 fashionable girls. I had the idea for this video. One of the girls enjoys her life and wants to be a model and dancer.. so she pretends to model and practices dancing with her friend.
I play the lead role and this character was really close to my real life so it was not so difficult and I had a lot of fun doing it.
What kind of roles do you enjoy doing and can you tell us about some of the other projects you have worked on?
I enjoy comedy roles the most. If I can make you laugh or cry by my acting I feel happy. I’d love to make you emotional by my acting.
I’d like to try sexy and mysterious role next.
I worked on TV shows in Japan which were fashion/variety shows. In Japan there is no difference between being an idol, a model, or an actor…so I ust did as much as I could. I worked on a short drama for a mobile application as my first acting job. It was kind of fun because I played many roles. A maid, a criminal, a girl… it was good experiences for me. I love to act in film the best, I feel it. Especially when I was shooting in the backlot at Universal Studio in L.A. I was so excited!! I was acting in the same place that many of Hollywood’s greatest movies were filmed!!!
Who are the Chita Girls and what criteria did you judge them on?
The Chita Girls is an all girl group from the Chita area (Aichi prefecture). They act as spokespeople and perform PR for all the Chita area. It was first time for me to act as a judge.
It was interesting for me and I really learned a lot. I looked for applicants who understood what was needed, that had good energy and was confident and friendly. After that I have try to have those characteristics when I audition.
You have also done a lot of modeling for magazines, primarily in Japan. Can you tell us about some of your experiences?
Yes, I did many modeling jobs in Japan. I was modeling for magazines and advertisments. Some of my clients were a beauty salon, a Japanese dress manufacturer, and street snaps for young men’s magazine. One of them became really popular in Japan. It’s called Bijin (beautiful) Dokei (clock) which has many girls with the time and it’s an application for the iPhone and PC. I think modeling is the part of acting for me.
I understand you also enjoy doing videos to help teach english. Can you tell us about them?
Haha, yes!! When I went to America I was shocked because my English, which I studied in Japan, was almost useless to me. At first I even didn’t know what the phrase “what the hell!!” meant!! These things are not taught in school but it’s important for people who go to foreign country and want to communicate with young people to know.
So I thought it would be a good idea if I taught REAL English to Japanese after I came back to Japan.
I did it a little bit already in an internet TV show that me and my friend, Bupubupu, put together but I’d like to make more.
What are your dreams and where would you like to see yourself in five years?
My dream is to be a famous actress in the world and help to many people. I would like to change people’s life in a good way like I was changed by a movie and by being an actor. Five years from now I will be 29 years old so I would like to have my own family and I will do my best to make them happy. Also I would love to continue acting in both Japan and America.
Where can we find out more information about you?
I had my own web page but right now it is down so you can check out my:
If you contact me I will reply!