The Emergence of Masaki Suda: Is he the next big dramatic actor after Yuya Yagira, Sosuke Ikematsu and Shota Sometani?

I had an interesting discussion about Masaki Suda on Twitter about what sort of roles he may find challenging – since he’s been doing such a variety already – that playing a cross-dresser or a bully – seem so easy to do! Some may argue about our assessment that Masaki Suda is one of Japan’s best young actors at the moment – in the same league as Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, and Sosuke Ikematsu.

The three young actors we’ve mentioned have been getting a lot of attention lately – Sometani with high profile movies like Parasyte and Strayer’s Chronicles, Ikematsu portraying matured roles in Paper Moon and Love’s Whirpool, while Yuya Yagira goes all-out in Crows Explode, Ushijima, the Loan Shark and Again. Of course, one may argue, Suda needs to get more challenging roles to be in the same league as Sometani, et al. – perhaps another Tomogui?

Note that Suda just grabbed numerous acting awards for his role in The Light Shines Only There. His upcoming movies, including Assassination Classroom, Akegarasu, and Pink and Gray (together with Yuya Yagira for the first time) may even further his acting horizons.

In a recent interview, Suda says that he enjoyed the company of his co-star Ryosuke Yamada in Assassination Classroom and the “masculine-feminine” nature of humans as explored by their characters. Suda plays Karuma Akabane, one of the students who was forced to train themselves to kill the alien who wants to destroy Earth.

The same can be said when he and co-star Aoi Morikawa responded about their roles in Chokolietta.

Just like our recent article on Shota Sometani, we’re answering the same four questions for Suda.

What is your assessment of and hopes for Masaki Suda? I would say, we have yet to see the full potential of Masaki Suda as an actor. He has yet to play the main character in a major film production, with the exception of Tomogui where he initially leveled up his acting and left his contemporaries eating dust. I would hope he finds someone like Sion Sono, who brought to us Shota Sometani and made us aware of the power and intensity of the young actor in Himizu, most definitely Sometani’s most important role to date.

What were his best roles? And why? Kamen Rider fans will, of course, tell you about Suda playing the role of the androgynous Philip and how he managed to elevate the character into mere “fun” and “super-hero-ish” into someone with substance. But it remains his role as the son of a sadistic, sex-addict father in Tomogui that remains his best so far. Being the 3rd most important character in The Light Shines Only There follows closely.

What are his strengths and potential? He is quite fearless. I don’t think his public image matters to him very much in the same way as idols and their agencies protect their image. He will not hesitate to play bold, complicated, dark characters. You would not see any Johnny’s idol making love and naked on the big screen, will you? Or play a bully, teasing and tormenting his classmates or perhaps even do a cross-dressing character with personality issues, right?

What kind of roles would you like him to do? Buddhist monks have been made fun already that it would be interesting if Suda can find a character that is serious and maybe some religious discourse in a few scenes (not as heavy as say, Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose).

The gay guy with a depressing character may be quite a challenge, but perhaps playing a good son with Ryonosuke Kamiki as his brother who is super evil and will torment him until the end.

How about you? Any particular role you want Masaki Suda to play shortly? Let us know what you think!


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