Kentaro Sakaguchi & Anne

Exclusive Interview Summer 2022


Kentaro Sakaguchi & Anne

The Exclusive Interview with Kentaro Sakaguchi & Anne from Fuji Television’s Monday night drama GUARDIAN OF THE MARKET.

Interview with Kentaro Sakaguchi

Q: This is your first starring role in the Getsuku (Monday Night 9 p.m.) slot right?

This is my first appearance on the broadcast slot since Love That Makes You Cry (2016). It has also been a long time for me to appear on a production for Fuji Television. I feel the same way about all my appearances, but to be ‘double starring with Anne on Getsuku’ gives me a sense of even more passion and enthusiasm. When I was told that this time it was about the Fair Trade Commission, I honestly wasn’t sure what it was about. Of course, I had heard of the Fair Trade Commission, but it seemed to be different from the law or police themed ones. I wondered what it would be about. But when I received the script and read it, I thought it was a very interesting story and I would enjoy filming it.

Q: What exactly did you think of the script for GUARDIAN OF THE MARKET?

At first, I felt it to be quite formal and a little rigid, but when we started filming and working with Anne and the others, I was able to feel a good sense of lightness with exciting pop elements.

Q: So, you mean it felt kind of intense?

Well above all, it is our mission to make a clear portrayal about the rights and wrongs of these parts. You can't help but get a little stiff here and there. But overall, it’s an exciting experience.

Q: How are you playing the role of your character?

There is an ‘evil’ character in the story. When he confronts such a figure, he also thinks about the fact that some people are saved by such ‘evil’ too. Therefore, I believe somewhere that as for the position of my character, he should not talk about justice as though it’s the only real way forward. It is very difficult to play such scenes. My character’s whole personality has not been fully revealed yet. It seems that he is carrying within himself, something quite deep from his past.

Q: How do you feel about playing the role with Anne?

He works very often with her character. Therefore, there is this atmosphere between me and Anne, based on the two characters, which has naturally been created. When we work with members from the Dairoku division, this feeling is transferred to others on set, and it all feels very comfortable.

Q: Is there a secret technique for that?

Well, it’s not like the crew members are asking us to create a ‘specific atmosphere’ (laughs). We just simply act on set and chat normally when the camera is not rolling. Also, the performances by other casts are so interesting, that it sometimes puts a smile on my face on set (laughs). There is the Dairoku division, and our characters are buddies within the team. I believe that the atmosphere created in such an on-location environment will inevitably become apparent in the work.

Q: And a message for the viewers?

The Fair Trade Commission, as depicted in this drama, may not be one of the strongest agencies associated with the government. I sometimes think that ‘it's okay to lose without a fight.’ But I like my character’s line, “even if you are weak, you have to fight.” There are many different characters in the drama, but I hope that seeing what they are doing will give you energy and power for the next day, and I wish the series continues to be of such.

Interview with Anne

Q: You are starring in the Getsuku slot for the first time in 7 years since Dating - What's it like to be in love? (Aired from January 2015)?

It has really been seven years since I returned to the Fuji TV studios. The social situation has changed drastically over the years, and I am very happy to be able to return to the Getsuku slot, and I feel a sense of significance in playing the role.

Q: What do you think of the story GUARDIAN OF THE MARKET?

At first, I wasn’t familiar with the Fair Trade Commission, and the terminologies in the lines seemed quite a challenge. But as I started to play my character, I realized that I was dealing with a world close to our own. The products we come across daily are priced and released to the market through a variety of competitive processes. A certain degree of legitimate competition among companies are needed. It felt like fresh new knowledge, that the Fair Trade Commission is there as a ‘watchdog’ to prevent any unfair practices from occurring within such competitions. We have a supervisor from the Fair Trade Commission too, so I think it is both realistic and exciting.

Q: What was it like after you started filming?

I feel that because the Fair Trade Commission had not been portrayed before, there’s a sense that I’m learning about it so much from playing my character. I’m sure that the viewers are feeling it too. Like is there anything that the Fair Trade Commission can do to intervene, even for a small store? I think it has opened the door to a completely new genre.

Q: Tell us about your character?

She was originally a police officer who was sent to the Fair Trade Commission for various reasons. At first, there is this feeling of wondering what this place is, and I’m sure it is something that can be taken in along with the viewers as the episodes progress. To begin with, she feels confused and doubtful. As the story progresses, she will find the meaning in working for the Fair Trade Commission, and eventually be able to produce some positive outputs. She’s someone who has gained experience in another job before moving to a completely different workplace. In society, I think there are many like her who change jobs in their mid-30s, so I think people can empathize with her feelings and what she goes through.

Q:You also cut your hair for the role?

As I’m playing in a new drama, I thought that it would be a good way to present myself with a fresh new look.

Q: What is it like working with Kentaro Sakaguchi?

We have worked together for a movie, but this is the first time in terms of tagging up as ‘buddies.’ Their relationship between is also portrayed in a natural way, without bringing in images that are far removed from their own. Also, since we are about the same age, there is no disparities in the way we think, and I enjoy performing together. I think the filming location is filled with fun-loving people, not only Kentaro Sakaguchi, but also the other casts and crew members too.

Q: Do you have a message for the viewers?

This work made me realize that the history of the Fair Trade Commission is not that old yet. Although the history of business has been going on for a long time, it was only around the mid 1900’s that the concept of ‘protecting competition’ within the market was introduced. I've learned that there are thousands of different kinds of water sold today, and that everything, including the designs, are handled within the world of competition. I think it changed my perspective a bit when I go to the supermarket now. I am excited to see how well the characters judge within such competition, and how the lives of various people and society are intertwined in the process. I hope everyone’s experiencing this excitement.