One of the leading drama stars on Japanese TV, Inoue Mao (30), remains a respected and most sought-after actress in an industry that values appearance, popularity, and connection. In a series of articles, she reflects on her acting career amidst personal challenges and the hype on ratings. This article partakes Inoue’s acting journey from such interviews and this author’s particular (and biased) interpretation.
Looking back, it was about 12 years ago when she plays the role of Makino Tsukushi in the Asian phenomenon known as Boys Over Flowers. Inoue has accomplished a few acting milestones right after: an asadora Ohisama (NHK / 2011), a taiga drama Hanamoyu (NHK / 2015), a Best Actress trophy for Rebirth – Youkame no Semi (2011), a Best Actress nom for The Snow White Murder Case (2014), and a venture into voice acting.