Cats and Crew 20th Century Boys

AIRI TAIRA as Kana AIRI TAIRA as Kana Profile

Born in 1984, Hyogo prefecture.

Filmography: Arch Angels (Directed by Issei Oda / 2007), Pole Toppling (Directed by Tetsu Maeda / 2003), Doubles (Directed by Satoshi Isaka / 2003), Dream Maker (Directed by Hiroshi Sugawara / 2002)

Character

Kanna is Kiriko's daughter and Kenji's niece. Nobody knows who her father is. Her mother left her in Kenji's care and disappeared. After Kenji goes missing after fighting Friend on Bloody New Year's Eve, Yukiji became Kanna's surrogate mother. In 2015 she attends high school and works part-time at a ramen restaurant in Kabuki-cho. She's fluent in Chinese and Thai, and not intimidated by the Mafia. She also has a strange power to dodge bullets. In 2017 Kanna calls herself the Ice Queen, plotting a coup d'etat against Friend.

 

Interview

About Chapter Two:

Just a few days before the audition for the role of Kanna, a friend of mine told me about an intriguing comic series called 20th Century Boys. Then my agent called me about the audition and I read the series. I could identify with Kanna so I really wanted the part. I went to the hair salon and had my hair cut just like Kanna and went to the audition.

AIRI TAIRA as Kana I'm very similar to Kanna in a way I'm also a tomboy and very emotional. Another thing is that I love to run. I don't know if Kanna likes to run but from the beginning of the first movie, she's running. In this movie she's always running. I love running and I usually wear pants and sporty clothes.

One big difference between Kanna and me is that she is independent and influences others. I'm far from that, always getting lots of help from the other actors and crew. I had pressure to act like Kanna even between takes and sometimes it was too much. Takako Tokiwa and Teruyuki Kagawa gave me lots of advice. I was often too emotional and ended up crying when I was performing. Kagawa told me that it was natural to cry in the first half of the movie because Kanna would cry about the absence of her uncle. He also suggested that it would help me if I empathised with Kanna once she'd decided to carry on Kenji's hopes. I tried that and it worked.

To stay in synch with Kanna's determination to carry on Kenji's hopes, I always listened to his song on my iPod. It was my ritual; if I cried listening to the song, I'd give a good performances that day.

I like Kanna's line, "Uncle Kenji never ran away." She refuses to turn away from the truth about Friend. 20th Century Boys -Chapter 2 is packed with exciting scenes and complex plots but if you watch it from Kanna's viewpoint, it's very easy to follow. I hope you'll enjoy solving the mystery with Kanna.

About Chapter Three:

All during the shooting of Chapter 1 and 2, I was infuriated by Friend's oppression. But reading the final chapter screenplay, my impression of Friend changed as unknown details about him are revealed. It was quite unexpected and it made me want to cry.

In the last movie instalment, my character Kanna dyes her hair jet black and she's a leader of a resistance group called Ice Queen's group. The responsibility of rousing the masses to rebel makes her cold and emotionless. I lost sleep, as I lay awake anticipating upcoming scenes. The pressure disappeared when my character reunited with her uncle Kenji after the concert scene. My tensions lifted and I felt my expressions soften.

The most memorable scene for me in this movie is the concert scene. When Uncle Kenji arrives on his motorcycle, I had a lump in my throat. When Toshiaki Karasawa who portrayed Kenji, played the guitar, I started to cry. There were thousands of extras in front of me but I could only see Uncle Kenji. I wasn't sure if I was crying because I was in character or if it was me, Airi Taira personally pushed to the edge of her emotions.Aira Taira2

I went to the audition thinking if I didn't get the part, I'd quit show business all together. Getting the part meant having a year of wonderful acting experience. When my last scene wrapped, the director came up to me and told me that I'd done a good job. It made all my effort worthwhile and I was so happy."

1999, 2006 Naoki Urasawa, Studio Nuts, Shogakukan 2008-2009 “20th Century Boys” Film Partners 2008-2010 4Digital Media

AIRI TAIRA as Kana