Sakura Gakuin Nendo 2013 graduate Iida Raura was interviewed by LoGiRL to promote Chia Doru and her guest appearance on LoGiRL on October 12. She talked about acting and how she is learning to be an actress, her daily training and practices but also she gave interesting advices to Sakura Gakuin Nendo 2015 members, specially to Shirai Saki. Read the interview translated below.
Sakura Gakuin Nendo 2013 graduate Iida Raura interviewed on LoGiRL
Satou Haruka, the character played by Iida san is an ex 'yankii' [delinquent youth], right?
Raura: "She has a sharp tongue, and sometimes she gets angry with members, but in essence she is a warm-hearted girl with a sense of humanity and moral obligation. But right after I got the script, I couldn't get used immediately to the 'yankii' manner of talking. There's a lot of expressions I normally don't use at all, so it was a bit difficult. Therefore I watched 'Crows Zero' [クローズZERO] lots of times in a row, in order to learn the 'yankii' talk."
By playing this part, do you think you found some yankii-like temperament in you?
Raura: "Hmm, well I have been told I have a menacing look in my eyes. When I'm just having an absentminded expression, they say things like 'don't make such a scary face!'... This time, while playing I had to glare at people sometimes, so maybe I could make a good use of my nasty look... this sort of thing. Normally when they tell me I have a menacing look I'm not happy at all, but maybe for this occasion it was a good thing."
How was your cheerleading practice?
Raura: "Talking about cheerleading, I had this arbitrary image of 'holding pompons and doing line dancing', but honestly there are some parts I took a bit lightly. If you don't have some muscles you can't really do it, and I also got things like wrist pain. All things considered, practicing was hard."
Specifically, what kind of schedule did you do?
Raura: "The first part was lots of practice to build basic strength, like nothing but jumping and high knee exercises for around 1 hour, then sit-ups, exercising the dorsal muscles and trunk, push-ups, all over and over again, it was really hard. But even at school I always liked physical education, and I'm a bit confident about my athletic ability, so I had fun practicing."
A difficult aspect of the acting part?
Raura: "It's my first time in a drama series, and the first time I had to play a role with a name so it was full of things I didn't know, I was confused about many things. At first during the take I kept being nervous, but little by little I got used to acting, and in the second half it became enjoyable."
How was the mood at the filming location?
Raura: "It was really enjoyable. The age difference among SPARKS members is more than 10 years, but the elder team looked after the juniors' difficulties, and also during the practice we called to each other and it was a very good mood. During the breaks we made a lot of noise and we played by taking funny/weird pictures."
What's the difference with Sakura Gakuin days?
Raura: "Sakura Gakuin is a group where you graduate after graduating from middle school, so eventually you become the oldest, and when this happens you get to a situation where you must necessarily lead the juniors. Therefore in Sakura Gakuin I also had to give advice and directions to the younger members, in SPARKS I'm the third from below, so the biggest difference is there is a lot of older girls. I had to play the role of the younger sister in very few occasions, so at first I was confused and I didn't know what to do. But gradually I took a relaxed attitude, and I spontaneously accepted several lessons from the elder members."
In your job, what would you like to try as a challenge from now on?
Raura: "This time I acted for the first time in a serial drama and I experienced the joy of acting, so I would like to try and challenge myself more and more in several roles. Being able to experience a different life than your ordinary one is really fun, isn't it? Acting is also this, it was fun thinking 'I wonder what kind of feeling is this?' While preparing for the part."
What about activities other than acting?
Raura: "I'm also part of a musical unit called 'Night of Spica', and I'd like to give my best in there as well. Then, I would also like to act not only in films but also in theater, I'd also like to try variety shows. In any case, by trying everything I'd like to become an actress who can play a part in several places."
The ideal actress image Iida Raura is aiming at?
(In the first picture below: "Becoming a humble woman!! Chia Doru in the role of Satou Haruka" - Iida Raura)
Raura: "It's being a humble woman. My grandmother has taught me "If you always act humbly, both when praised and when they speak ill of you, you won't make a mistake" and I decided to keep these words always in my mind. Even if you do such a job, acting self-important and putting on airs is absolutely disagreeable. Therefore I want to keep on being always modest."
Message to the students of Sakura Gakuin
Moreover this time, being an interview for LoGiRL where Sakura Gakuin has a regular show, Iida-San wrote a message at the back of a colored paper for the current Sakura Gakuin. (Second picture below)
"To all the members of Sakura Gakuin
If you do properly,
I won't get angry!!
Please do it with concentration.
(especially Shirai Saki san)
2013 nendo graduate student, Iida Raura"