Toda Erika Model Press Interview, Alluding to the Possibility of a SPEC Sequel

27 Dec

SPEC, which had its beginnings as a serial drama, and showed its raging development as there were films that followed, is finally concluding its story. Model Press conducted an interview with the actress Toda Erika, who plays the role of Toma Saya. Toda Erika talked about the opening of SPEC: Close ~Progress Version~, which opens on November 1, and SPEC: Close ~Crisscross Version~ opens November 29, that she is preparing for, her current mental state, the making of her role, and she even went into the possibility of a sequel to the SPEC series.

SPEC, which was broadcast as a drama in October 2010, is a story of combo of Toma Saya and Sebumi Takeru, special investigators of the Public Safety Division in Police Headquarters, and their fight with criminals who possess the special ability called ‘SPEC’, which includes abilities such as precognition and telekinetic powers. Due to SPEC being a production of Tsutsumi Yukihiko, the peculiar world view has gripped the hearts of many fans, which lead to a drama special, SPEC: Shou, to be broadcast on TV last April, and continuing that, the movie SPEC: Heaven was released.

The movie that concludes the saga is SPEC: Close, and it’s a two part project that comes in the ‘Progress Version’ and ‘Crisscross Version’. Things such as the ‘Simple Plan’, ‘The Third Prediction of Fatima’, the man in white who appeared at the end of SPEC: Heaven…all of the puzzles that weren’t explained will all become clear.

SPECIAL INTERVIEW】As for the things you gained from SPEC…

The SPEC series is finally coming to an end after dedicating about three years to the series.
Toda: When we were finishing shooting the movie, I felt it and even became sad, but recently the feeling that “it’s over” is honestly starting to disappear. However, as we’re traveling to a lot of places for the local campaigns, my true feelings are welling up little by little as we approach the end.

Have you thought about a project that continues the series?

Toda:From the beginning, we had a discussion that we would do four parts outlines for the series. However, while wondering if we would be able to do it or not, all of the hopes are dependent on all of the fans. I’m truly thankful that people have a desire for the series to continue. When SPEC: Heaven was released to the public in theaters, our thoughts strengthened that we must cleanly end the series with SPEC: Close.

To the production that focused on the details and frequently foreshadowed, the series gained popularity and even saw the birth of enthusiastic fans, but there are many people who have not accepted the fact that this is the conclusion. Furthermore, isn’t there a possibility for a sequel?

Toda: There isn’t (Laughs). During ‘Heaven’, producer Ueda said to do ‘Close 2’, as it would still be a four-part project, but together with Kase, we rejected it right away (Laughs).

I see. It’ll be very lonely not being able to see an unconventional heroine like Toma again. As far as you’re concerned, isn’t acting a character like Toma a big turning point when looking at it from the viewpoint of continuing your career as an actress?

Toda:Yes, when it comes to destroying the image I had until then, this role had a profound impact on me. I thought about wanting to obtain freedom through this drama, so I decided to participate in SPEC, but if I were to turn back time, I wonder if I would be able to obtain that freedom. Due to acting the role of Toma, I was able to see the fact that “from now on, the future is important”, and it has given me the confidence to say that SPEC has become the drama that is the foundation of my acting career.

This time in ‘Close’, through the SPEC in Toma’s left hand, there many scenes where Toma comes to commandeering things that she didn’t previously have, but doesn’t it cause hardships acting in situations that are generally impossible?

Toda: That scene was truly difficult. How should I put it? Even though I wanted to imagine the scene, I couldn’t, but even when I did imagine the scene, I don’t know if I did it correctly…to that extent, it was difficult to the point where I felt like I had entered eternal hell. Though I want to move my eyes and control my left hand in a way that’s generally impossible, I thought to myself “Isn’t this definitely impossible?” (Laughs) So while I was extremely worried, I took care so that I would be calm just for an instant. After that, the CG saved me (Laughs).

Were there any roles/productions that you referenced?

Toda: Kase lent me the movie ‘The Fly’ after telling me that it could be used as a reference. In the movie, mankind becomes a flu-human species, but in ‘Close’, I perfectly become Toma with the exception of something [translator’s note: ‘something’ isn’t specified]. So during that time, I became Sebumi’s method of seeing, and I grasped the emotions. I’m thankful for that.

With the exception of the middle of the movie, Toma and Sebumi have supported each other. During the series when Toma and Sebumi are together, violent language is thrown at each other several times, such as ‘baka (idiot)’ and ‘busu (ugly/plain woman’, but by some miracle, it doesn’t turn into an unpleasant feeling. That is one of the charms of SPEC.
Toda: That’s correct. In regards to Sebumi, since he is serious, I think he is able to say these violent sayings. In regards to chief clerk Nonomura, he is able to say extremely nasty things like “Those must be your last words,” but as expected, it’s because he is able to trust them. In ‘Close’, Toma and Sebumi’s ultimate love is even depicted, so please anticipate that as well.

We’re looking forward to it! Toma is an intense character with an IQ of 201, but on the other hand, her favorite food is gyoza, she matches her unfashionable suit with a no-makeup face, and she drags her carry bag to the scene of the crime where she investigates. I don’t want to ask this, but are there any similarities between you and Toma?

Toda: Well, let’s see…There are things I can replicate, such as being able to eat 50 gyoza pot stickers by myself if there’s no rice. I believe that’s where I resemble Toma. Though, I can’t eat as many of them as Toma can (Laughs).

(Laughs) Please give a message to your finds who are impatiently waiting for the release of the movie.

Toda: Though there’s a part that’s a little difficult, please enjoy the movie in an honest manner. I touched on this a little earlier, but the love from the expressions between Toma and Sebumi are truly beautiful, so pay close attention to that. Also, when the ending credits start rolling, I think you’ll want to watch without getting up from your seats.

We’ll touch her acting soul and private matters in the Q&A section.

Q. While filming, how do you manage your body?

Toda: The filming for SPEC was always mid-summer or mid-winter. While filming in mid-summer, I would always suffer from heat exhaustion and I made a promise with Kase that we would keep going until we were exhausted, but this time I felt the energy being sapped from my body and I had no energy whatsoever. I think the adrenaline naturally left my body. I would have a nourishing drink with Kase afterwards (Laughs).

Q. In order to weather the filming for dramas and movies, do you work out?

Toda: Now I’m skipping out on it…Even more, after starting SPEC, I ended up not exercising (Laughs). So there was training before, and I did go to the gym and various other places to exercise, but in regards to Toma, seeing as her calves would show up on screen, I didn’t think it would be in character for her to have muscles in her legs, so I stopped exercising at once. For this reason, I have become more conscious of what I eat, and I’ve been eating things like Chinese soft-shelled turtle soup.

Q. I believe your busy schedule is going to continue, so after you accumulate all of that stress, how do you relieve yourself of that stress?

Toda: The best method is to meet up with friends. Among other things, if I have the time, I also like going on vacation. I recently visited an unpopulated island where I rode an jet ski and enjoyed a barbeque (Laughs). Since there were a lot of things that I wanted to do from before that I ended up doing, it was an extremely enjoyable time.

Q. Toma runs around in order to protect humanity in the role of a detective, but in order to fulfill your goals/dreams, explain to us what you think is important in order to reach those goals.

Toda: It’s not about worrying about my image, but possessing the power to raise my conduct. The moment humans lose their goals, they have this feeling that everything is over, but I have the desire to continue keeping my goals alive.

Thank you very much.

Toda Erika gave an expression appropriate for the interview, giving off a feeling of completeness for what the SPEC series has achieved. With Toda playing the role of Toma, it is obvious from anyone’s point of view that a few layers from Toda’s position as an actress has been shed. Toda stated “Next time, I want to play a role the exact opposite of Toma — an easy role,” with her persistent challenges continuing.


Translation: The Real CZ @ Hallyu Interview


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