I want to understand how exactly actors get movie or TV drama roles in Japan. We can only make a list of the best and worst casting choices without knowing anything that goes behind the casting. But then again, it’s easy to make a list and hard to get those ‘facts.’
Here’s what we know:
- Production Committees make all the important choices, including the director and the cast;
- Talent agencies are part of these boards, and they have their roster of talents. Amuse got Haruma Miura, Takeru Satoh, Ryunosuke Kamiki; while Stardust manages Kento Yamazaki, Masataka Kubota, Yuya Yagira. Topcoat has Masaki Suda and Tori Matsuzaka. Of course, Johnny’s got the idols including Junichi Okada, Nino, Kame, Toma Ikuta, Yuto Nakajima. Ken-On promotes Sota Fukushi.
- Cast and crew get low pay compared to their Hollywood counterparts; they can’t even match what the Chinese or the Koreans are getting, according to many reports;
- The producers of a successful TV series, when adapted into a movie, will have ‘priority seats’ in the committee. Cast and crew can be same, or some casting choices have to be made to assure that there is a success in the box office;
- There is enough income to be had in the local market.