Yoshino Kimura

Exclusive Interview Winter 2020

From “Alive: Dr. Kokoro, The Medical Oncologist ”

Yoshino Kimura

Alongside Nao Matsushita, Yoshino Kimura is now playing a leading role in Fuji TV’s Thursday night drama series, ‘Alive: Dr. Kokoro, The Medical Oncologist.’ Here’s the exclusive interview with the actress who discusses about some of the behind the scenes gossips and thoughts about this captivating medical series!

Q What kind of a woman do you think your character Kaoru is?

Kaoru is an incredibly talented doctor. From research, I've found that many female surgeons have very clear-cut personalities, who have quick decision-making skills similar to their male counter-parts. As a result of particular issue, she transfers to Kokoro's hospital. I think that some of the interesting areas to watch out for is seeing and discovering her intentions as the story progresses. Maybe Kaoru will grow to be an influential character for Kokoro?

Q And Kaoru is a surgeon?

I had the opportunity to play the role of a doctor when I was 19. Back then, I received training such as handling medical equipment and the technical principles of blood drawing. So, I look forward to operation scenes. Also, there are usually actual doctors overseeing the filming on drama sets, so it’s always a good chance for me to ask them if there's something I'm unsure about.

Q What kind of areas do you try to keep in mind when you are playing her?

I have a doctor that I really admire and respect. When I was about three, I had asthma and I used to go to a local pediatrics near my house. There were times when it often even prevented me from getting a sound sleep. When I visited the doctor, she would stroke my back gently making me feel at ease. I recently visited her to celebrate her 100th birthday. Even though she’s a physician and my character is a surgeon, I hope to be able to play Kaoru whilst keeping her compassionate and encouraging qualities as a precious example.

Q So it's been a while since you have worked with Nao Matsushita?

It's been 14 years since working with her. Back then, we didn't have Wangan Studio and we were filming at one of the studios located in Shibuya. I kind of remember the ways in which she was acting quite nervous on set, as she was still in the earlier days of her career. The drama we were filming together for had many cast members and the set appeared to be really busy, but she was sitting on a chair in the far corner and seemed like rather reserved. However, I recently saw her speaking fluently in a strong Kansai accent in a drama series and I was really amazed by that (laughs).

Q Kaoru meets Kokoro played by Nao Matsushita. What do you think about the sympathetic feelings and friendships between adults?

There are of course friendships which develop from adulthood. It is not like the unconditional kind you get when we're kids, however I think people can also develop a relationship if they are on the similar wavelength. What I particularly feel important, is the idea of respect. No matter what kind of background someone is from, I think that this is the key word for forming a good new friendship. So, when I meet people who have these kind of qualities, I always feel happy.

Q So you must also be excited about working with other cast members, right?

I enjoy working with all the cast members especially Kinya Kitaoji. The atmosphere suddenly tightens up when he comes onto the set. In the drama series, he is playing a character of a writer who is also good at cooking.

Q What kind of a message do you want to portray to the viewers through the drama series?

In some ways, I think that the patients are actually playing the leading roles. They are the ones who are having the most difficult times along with their loved ones. I’m playing the role of a surgeon in the story, and I’m approaching the scenes with this in mind. Even though the theme of the drama may be construed in a negative light for people who are actually struggling with cancer, I hope that it is being a series which has a lot to offer for people from all sorts of backgrounds. Therefore, we will try our utmost best to continue filming earnestly. Lastly, I also hope that through the drama, everyone will get to know more about many of the new forms of treatment which are also around.