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KENTO Matsunami Has Had a Cyclonic Rise

Q & A 

Dane Millerd

Local Legends Entertainment

DM: What drew you to Nik's project Death Note?

KM: I am a huge fan of Death Note and I’ve always wanted to play Light (Kira) so badly.

DM: Can you tell us about your role and a little about the film?


KM: The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook from a shinigami named Ryuk that grants its user the ability to kill anyone whose name and face he knows. The series centers around Light's attempts to create and rule a world "cleansed of evil" and become "the god of the new world" using the notebook, and the efforts of a detective known as L to stop him.

Light Yagami is a genius high school student who discovers the "Death Note,” a notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it, as long as the writer has seen that person's face. After experimenting with the notebook, Light meets the Shinigami Ryuk (the notebook's original owner), who dropped the notebook to the human world out of boredom. Light tells Ryuk of his plan to rule as a god over a new world free from criminals, where only people he deems morally fit to live remain. Light becomes known to the public as Kira (キラ), which is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the word "killer." Ryuk, invisible except to those that possess the Death Note, follows Light around and takes enjoyment from Light's meticulous decision-making as Kira.

DM: How does a short film (length aside) differ from a feature?

KM: There’s many differences between a short film and a feature. I would say time, money, storyline, size of crew and audience. If done well, short films have the potential to reach massive amounts of viewers and gain tons of hits on YouTube and other sites.

DM: You have a lot of projects going on, anymore planned in this style/ genre?

KM: Actually, Another Yesterday is also a thriller and drama, so it was not my first time. But I really like this genre because usually there are clever endings you didn't see coming. If I don't figure out the ending of a movie before I am halfway through (and especially, right up until the end) that's great! Thrillers have such strong endings.

DM: What inspired you to get into acting?

KM: I’ve loved performing since I was kid. I’m passionate about portraying different characters, especially those totally unlike my own personality. It’s sometimes hard to become someone so different from myself, but it’s also really fun. An actor is a person who can be an astronaut one day and a doctor the next, so you can truly be anything. Also, making people laugh and be happy is something I like to pride myself on. I want everyone to be uplifted and inspired when they watch my work.

DM: You have made a lot of shorts - do you plan to keep doing that or more features?

KM: Yes! I like both short and feature films, but I have made a lot of shorts, so I want to try more features.

DM: What's next for you?


KM: I’ve been cast for the upcoming series ZAPS inc. This series casted some well known actors such as Mackenyu and Wesley Wong from Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), Masa Yamaguchi from Wolverine (2013), and Osric Chau from 2012 (2009). I can’t wait to work with them! I’ve never experienced an action film, so I’m a little bit a nervous. But I’m very eager to participate! I’m so lucky and honored to act with these wonderful and talented actors. I’ll do my best and have fun.

DM: How has life changed since Another Yesterday?

KM: Another Yesterday was my first audition and project ever in my life, so I learned so many things from it. I honestly still cannot believe I was cast as the lead role for a feature film and went through everything even though it was my first experience. I wouldn’t have gotten though it without family, friends, director Steven Heil, and the cast and crew. After I wrapped shooting, I signed with Scott Eriksson of Asian Cinema Entertainment and started my career as an actor in LA. Even though it’s been over a year since my first audition, things aren’t going bad! I’m so excited to start 2018!!!

DM: Best advice you ever received? 

KM: When I got a callback for a big-budget feature film and was really close to landing the lead role but missed it, I was so disappointed. My manager Scott Eriksson said “Actors lose nine, but get one. So never give up.”

DM: What makes Death Note so special for you?

KM: Death Note is one of the most popular anime and like I mentioned, I’m huge fan of Death Note. In Japan, there is already a live action adaptation of Death Note. Ever since I watched it, I’ve always wanted to play Light Yagami/Kira. So when I learned I was cast as Light, I could not sleep at night because I was so excited and happy.

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