2046….Behind The Scenes

Well, this didn’t exactly mean to be my next story til I managed to pick up a copy (of a very scarce Bkk Post on Sunday). Having been surprised that the epic Hong Kong movie 2046 had been finally released in Bangkok’s cinemas, I couldn’t resist writing about it.

A long long time ago, I had the unenviable task of having, within very short notice to hunt down a Few Farang (including myself) to play as extras for a few days. So, there I was running around Banglumphu trying to find Farangs who were short of cash as you must have had to been pretty desperate to accept their measily fee. I was only doing it cause I was getting commission as I had heard that the Chinese productions were real stingy, which I found out later was an understatement.


“a right mix up”

Well, on the very first morning I had the casting agent blowing his top as one of the Farang hadn’t shown up. So there I was, revving it back to Banglumphu only to find this ghostlike Farang open the door to explain that he had a severe hangover and didnt have the energy to perform any acting skils, thanks a bunch mate. Back on the set, being not exactly in the best of moods, we had to dress up in these silly looking sailor outfits, which were to be our attire throughout. We had to wait for our call in this dirty carpark (RCA)opposite the set.

Next, I see this trampy looking Farang in fisherman pants,looking as if he had just fallen off the Khao Sarn – Koh Samui bus come up taking fotos of us with a funny looking camera, I mean he wasn’t even looking directly in the lens, so i thought him mad ( I had never seen a digi camera before. How rude i thought and so i asked the guy “Excuse me do you mind?” and to this he replied “Yes, I do. I am the cameraman/asst. director. Pretty embarrasing! Anyway, how the heck was I to know that there would be a Farang working on a Hong Kong movie?! I was to learn after that it was only Christopher Doyle, Hong Kong’s leading Farang moviemaker.

I asked one of the Chinese crew “Excuse me, couldn’t we actually sit inside the set(pub) only for him to inform me “This movie is top secret!” indirectly meaning “You loser extras can hang around in the carpark’. I was to find out later that the movie WAS top secret and when i did ask the Asst. director “Excuse me, what’s the movie about?” he responded with the likes of “The aftermath of a nuclear war”. What a bunch of lies!

I remember the very first scene when the director Wor Kar Wai asked the Japanese actor to the likes of “Ok you are losing at cards, will you continue playing or leave?”, What was this, I mean the movie didn’t have a script, what a freak director! Then who am I to judge, when Wor Kar Wai’s Chunking Express was ranked the eighth best ever movie since 1979 by a bunch of British moviemakers.


“Mr Tacky was told off by his manager for getting rather too friendly to the one in the middle. And it isn’t me!”

Then there was a Farang that I took along that did absolutely nothing within the four days besides sit around smoking, drinking beer, flirting with the model extras and fooling around with a couple of ladyboys at the back of the costume bus. Every time the crew shouted over for a couple of Farang he would just pretend that he didnt hear and so it was only me and this enthusiastic American who were there to strut our stuff. In one of my scenes I was shot head and dragged outside drenched in fake blood. You could have scene the look on a bunch of office girls that hadn’t realised that a movie was being filmed when they saw me walk by!

As for one of the main actors, a Japanese guy called Tacky Kawawackie, or something like that, I have absolutely nothing good to say about him whatsoever apart from that he plays the guitar pretty well. Having worked on a few Hollywood movies here, I had got used to the tradition that all the crew are treated pretty much equally. However on this set Mr Tacky was treated well above everyone else’s head. He was pampered all day like a big baby by his assistant fanning and wiping away his sweat as if he had no hands of his own. Next i noticed at lunchtime, him sitting in his mini bus scoffing away at a massive pizza hut and chicken wings. As for us, i thought the food so bad that I went to eat in the supermarket, again getting lots of stares cause of my funny sailor’s costume.

Since a few poshy schoolgirls had heard that Mr Tacky was playing, a smallish crowd would wait patiently outside the set to get a glimpse of their idol before going back. As for Mr Tacky, he was having none of that. As soon as he had finished work he would rush into his bus with his hand over his face with not even a simple wave to his fans. As you could have imagined, Mr Tacky isn’t as popular as he once was. I always remember some of Jean Claude Van Darned antics, but he still wasnt as ‘full of himself’ as Mr Tacky. He didnt seem to realise that most Thais didnt have a clue to who he was. He did look rather upset though, being totally ignored by the Thais, one time, while on the set waiting, the Thai extras got real excited about the arrival of another star P’Bird Thongchai Mc Intrye.


“The police cum set security cum extras cum handsome posers”

When chatting away to Mr Tacky’s assistant in Thai to Mr Tacky’s obvious distain, one of the extras whispered in my ear “Pls ask for his autograph for me?”, so I did. Only for Mr Tacky to reply “No, I don’t hand out my autograph to just anyone”. After that i continued chatting away to his assistant just to get up his nose. I mean, never in the 11 years that I have spent working on and off in the movie/tv business have I ever known any other star to refuse to sign an autograph!

Finally you may have read that the movie took five years to make. You are probably wondering why. Well, I can tell you that from the very beginning the production had serious financial problems. I didn’t go, but I heard from my agent the story of the crew’s fiasco on the final day of filming in Kanchanburi. Just as the crew were leaving for Bangkok to fly back to Hong Kong the extras etc.. were making a brawl cause the Chinese hadn’t paid their salaries as the production team had run out of money! So the police arrived and the whole Chinese crew were confined to the hotel premises until someone had to be flown in from Hong Kong with the cash! Im sure that Mr Tacky wasn’t too pleased! Serves them right, I say.

Mr Tacky’s Fan Clubs have been complaining that i didn’t use his real name! So here it is, just for yous:
Takuya Kimura or Kimura Takuya.

32 responses to “2046….Behind The Scenes

  1. Boo.. hoo, still no comments!

  2. Well, all I can say is that you are a man of many hidden talents! What else do you do in your spare time? My only claim to fame was some grunting on a t.v. drama a number of years ago. Though it is probably best not to brag about that!

  3. Thanks for the comment Richard, appreciated. Living here in Suphan, well, i dont exactly do much in my freetime. Got lots of stories in the bag, hope the readers dont get bored
    cheers.

  4. erm i was wondering when you talked about that japanese singer/movie star ..was his name actually “tacky” or was it more like “Tucky”???

    I heard of a Tucky and hes really big amongst thai teen girls..in fact i have to agree with you..so i found what you had to say about him very interesting ..

    In fact i have a close friend whos youngers sister was a magor fan..(bordering on obession) rented a mini van with her other friends and actually followed this guy after his concert to hi hotel room..by luck or something they actually managed to be parked beside at a red light..so they open their windows and tried to get his attention..and wat did he do..he open his window ..not so much a smile and flicked his cigarette butt and then shut the window…leaving 5 obessed fans…fans of his now more.

    I think your blogs are really fun and interesting to read..hope you keep blogging 😉

  5. Thanks for the comment Annie, very glad you have enjoyed reading my blogs.

    Just for you, I checked out Mr Tacky’s real name for you in the Bkk Post this morning. His name is Takuya Kimura.

  6. thanks steve..jus comfirmed that the person you referred to is actually the same person i was talking about..his stage name is pronnouced “Tucky” in thai…but i think “Tacky” suits him better..5555

    PS keep up the great blogging 🙂

  7. Steve your film is playing at the UGC cinema’s
    in the UK.i saw it in Slough a few weeks ago.
    One of the best films i have seen in years.
    The tile refers to the room he rents and the novel he writes while staying there.
    The film switches between the novels he writes,
    real life and flash backs.
    The scene you are in dressed has a sailor made it into the final cut,he meets a strange woman who gambles for him and wins him some money.

    Please keep writing,i always enjoy them.

    Maybe you can help me understand the concept of face?

    Mark

  8. lol, enjoyed this entry.. i thought it was really funny the jap guy was ignored and everyone was all about bird thongchai…
    oh well, some people are just like that 🙂

  9. Interesting story. Oh by the way i went an google than mr. tacky’s name and he is not that cute man. i think the picture of you and your little angel is way better than that mr. tack. so what about bird thongchai. Man bird, he’s been around for a while now. Well keep writing your stories and give us all the dirt on the actors and actress. I’m sure thai actors and actressess are way more respectful than that mr.takcy dude.

  10. Thanks Steve for your story. I am a Takuya Kimura fan from China. My two friends meet Takuya in Shanghai in 2003, they tell me somethings like yours. They meet Takuya in Shanghai in 2003, When they see his freezed face they realy eager to beat him. You might be surprised why we are still Takuya’s fans and more respect him than before.

    It is said that the coin has two faces,there are some scenes behind the “Behind The Scenes”. It will be long and boring, please do me a great kindness to read it.

    Before telling my friends’ story, I try to explain a little why Takuya looks like so obvious distain from the set of 2046 in Bangkok. He never does like that before or later in his life, it is well-known that he stays always with staffs and enjoys his time in every set. He is anormal in Bangkok, because he is exactly in the worst period of his life at that time, in the most terrible situation one humain being could meet with a heart too heavy. He says himself in his rublique monologue of magazine that he must try all his best to do not lose control. (I will write more details afterwards)

    As for the big baby who “was pampered all day by his assistant fanning and wiping away his sweat as if he had no hands of his own”, I should say it is funny :). No, I figured actually it’s terrible. This is a typical Janpanese working way, not only in business shows but in general companies: the uppers and the olders are treated well above everyone else’s head. I hopes he is not spoiled. Maybe he realizes it already, when he comes to Shanghai, he has just 4 japaneses with him including only one assistant – his manager, others are FUJI TV’s staffs the vice-president of FUJI TV per exemple. Then here are stories my good friends tell me.

    They say Takuya is very hard on his fans. One of my friend says she hate him then. But the driver of Takuya tells them he is a very very nice guy he ever meet. Everytime the driver drives him to the set or somewhere, when he leave the minibus, he shakes hands with the driver and says “Xie-Xie, Xin-Ku-Le.” (Thanks, good job) in very standard Chinese Mandarin. He gives him a signed photograph when he asks for his daugter. (In public area he rarely do that, it’s forbidden by his agency. This is one of regrettalble famous rules of his agency >.

  11. Steve Suphan

    Thanks a lot Zoe, you claim the award for the longest set of comments ever… for a single blog at thai-blogs.com!

    That is quite an insightful reply into the personal life of Tacky!

    Absolutely, just as i wrote in the blog – it looked like the director had no script whatsoever! I wasnt joking about Tacky having a bit of a fancy for the Thai model/extra (middle in the pic above). I knew this girl quite well and she told me that Tacky did call her out a couple of times after!! He did sign a nice big photo for her too! Must have done it behind his manager’s back!@

    Your story was very insightful. Thanks a lot and glad you enjoyed the read!

  12. This is one of regrettalble famous rules of his agency >.

  13. Sometimes he chats with the driver and other drivers even though he doesn’t speak Chinese and they donn’t speak English and Japanese. At the end of shooting, before Takuya leave Shanghai at the last time, he sends the dirver, his bodyguards(some chinese soldiers), and other staffs in the set everyone a T-Shirt which designed and made by himself. The driver and other drivers (Leung Chiu-Wai and Fay Wong’s per ex.) tell my friends he is so polite and warm-hearted, they never meet a star like him. (In Bangkok, it is said he thanks very much his bodyguards, also local soliders, and sends them also everyone a T-Shirt)

    Another story is told by a friend of my friends who works in the Shanghai Pudong airport. Everything about 2046 is supersecret. Even the media of Shanghai donn’t know Takuya will come. It’s her the first one get the information for some intime friends, and they donn’t spread it because we knew Takuya dislike people chase him in non-publical apperance and working time.

    At the first time Takuya arrive, the girl of airport is one of the receptionists and takes a book written by him with her, so he know exactly she is his fan. When he leaves Shanghai at the second of several times, the girl is on holiday, but she goes to airport with the will to say good-wishes to him (At that time he have a high temprature and a heavy shoulder injury). When his minibus come, his interpreter (a Chinese young woman, the set find for him from Beijing) tell fans who wait there he will give them his sign if they want, but do not follow him into the hall, he doesn’t like the other passengers are disturbed because of him.

    So all other fans stay outside and chat with the driver. Only the girl, who thinks she herself is staff enters. She go to the VIP room, Takuya is chatting with staffs there, everyone include him is smilling. But when he suddenly see her, his smile freezes, he turns his back to her. She wants to cry and escapes, knowing she do a wrong thing. Takuya recommends already not to follow him enter, and especially this is not her working area. He used to be hard on fans who leave their working positon just for him, which she know a longtime ago (most of Takuya fans know that), but her original idea is that she’s in the holiday. She finally go ahead, says behind him: “GOMENASAI.” (Excuse-me in Japanes). It seems that Takuya is surprised, he turns around immediately and says: “That’s all right.” She has no courage to see him, so she doesn’t know his expression, but his voice is very gentle. She says he turns around facing to her realy quick and feels he is a realy gentle man. She cries and figures she is wrong anyway. Takuya looks like very very tired and ill. This is a morning flight. After all night’s shooting, with high temprature and injury, he back Japan just for lots of works there. When fans coming, it means he has not any break even in the airport. So she do not give his infos to others until the last time he back Japan.

  14. Then some details about the worst period of Takuya which make him a little anorml at that time.

    – The separation between he and his girl-friend in april
    – Has no works to do except one month shooting of 2046 in the end of the year because of his conflicts with his agency
    – Everyone is opposed to 2046, he must show them his choice is correct
    – The crazy working way of Wang Kar-Wai make him down

    After separation with his girl-friend who he deeply loves for nine years since 18 years old, he is hospitalised the first time in his life. This is a ordinary girl, not works in bussiness show.

    In Japan even in Hongkong and Taiwan, everybody talks about his conflicts with agency. His will of independance is nipped in the bud by that most powerful and awful agency in Japan which control their artists like feudal emperor. Some rules of this agency for exemple:

    – Take photo with fans or sign for them is forbidden.
    So fans is forced to buy their photos and signs…)

    – Media or websites must pay for using their artist’s photos.
    The price is so high that almost no one want to pay it. So in the officiel site of Takuya’s series or film or the fansites in Japan, you can not find his photos, in place of it, there is alwalys pictures of sunglass, costume of his role or something like that. Another exemple: in april 1999, Takuya Kimura start a on-line diary in the site of his friend Shigesato Itoi. It is under a pseudonyme and with quelques photos in disguise. (check it here: http://home7.highway.ne.jp/tobicco/geinou34.htm ) But it is cancelled in just one month. Shigesato Itoi (Producer of Mother2) explains then that’s because of his agency’s anger.

    – Artists can not have girlfriends or get married, apart from he is retired.
    (Once there is a super star get married but disappears right away. People should wait 20 years to see his reapperance, and this is a live to say good-bye to his fans. Takuya is the only exception in their management history who get married in 2001. Of course he pay highly price for that.)

    It is no exaggeration to things about his agency, it is exactely called by Japanese Johnny’s Emperior. Your can not get rid of them, except they do not need you again.It’s easy to imagine their reactions when Takuya create his own agency and want to leave them. He is the most popular star in Japan of all the time, they cann’t punish him like others, but they sill do something. So Takuya’s agency disappears immediatly and he is put on ice. Since 1992 to 2005, he has one or two series every year but nothing in 1999. Once in a TV show, when the others present their full schedules, he says:”I have no works, I stay at home. Thanks!”

    On top of that, this is a TV emperior whose power doesn’t extend as far as territory of movies. They donn’t like Takuya enter that new territory and lost him. They refused Wang Kar-Wai severals times and donn’t notify Takuya. He finally know that just because of Wang Kar-Wai who contact him by the private way. Everyone opposes him, he do everything in bid to collaborate with this director he likes very much. So when Takuya go to Bangkok he is under a great pressure. But the way Wang Kar-Wai works make him lost in all directions.

    In 2046 Shanghai Press Conference Wang Kar-Wai says: “Takuya reachs maturity, in Shanghai, dislike in Bangkok, he stays always with us and discuss with us.” The fact he doesn’t know is what Takuya does in Shanghai is what he does in the past ten years. It is well-known that he like stay with set, all sets highly praise him after working together. He changes himself in Bangkok. In the period 1999-2000, when he make appearances on Television, he looks like tired, distracted, vague, withdrawn… He makes all his intimes and fans worry about him a lot.

    Here are some words from Wang Kar-Wai:
    “It is very hard for people like tak to accept the way we work because we come from 2 different systems. The japanese way is very very very organized, so i think he is very courageous, he’s very brave to take up this challenge.” – In 2046 Cannes Press Conference, Cannes film festival, 21 Mai 2004

    “I don’t know if he can suit the way I make the film, because Japanese actors are very disciplined, they are in the habit of knowing everything for what they could be getting ready. Everyone arrounding him thinks it will be a risky but he himself takes it as a challenge.” – In 2046 Pusan Press Conference, Pusan film festival, Octobre 2004

    And Takuya write to his friend from Bangkok, in a rubrique monologue of magazine either, says: “I feels I am a useless man. Everyday I am risky to lose control.”

    He says in Bangkok he likes that person who don’t know swimming is throwed in a deep pool. He hasn’t script and know nothing about his role. If he asks what he will do the next day and Wang kar Wai gives him some tips, it would be a lie. Things are changed everyday, every moment. He bacames a child who hate the school, takes refuge in his minibus at every interruption. It’s the encouragement from Leung Chiu-Wai and his friend help him overcome the crise.

    This should be the main raison why Takuya looks like so obvious distain, maybe you takes this like poor pretexte, but there are also several Hongkong big stars like Leslie Cheung(Happy Together),Tony Leung Ka Fai(The lover, Ashes of Time) can not accept Wang Kar Wai’s working way. They declare they refuse to collaborate again with Mr.Wang who makes them mad. They are Hongkong Chinese, Wang Kar-Wai also. They have basically the same culture and speak the same language. For Takuya, a japanese, speak English not well, and who, at his first time working with a un-japanese set, meets the most crazy director in the world, the situation is even worse.

    I beg your pardon for post this interminable verbiage and my errors in English. Thanks and best wishes to you and that cute girl in your arms.

  15. I am very glad to get this brillant award. Thank you, mother, father!

    I has to be admitted that I envey a little that model. Er…she is his type anyway. His girl-friends was a model before she meets him. And he was down, longly, seperated forever with his girl-friends several months. He needs somebody.. Ok, I should say I donn’t know the another sort of animal, the man, who seems all like models, stewardesses…Maybe she is lovely this thaigirl…Haha, the gril he likes is always the one we dislike, we fool fans.

    And the story about Christopher Doyle is very interesting. He is a heavy drinker, a playboy, but a very great cameraman in the world.

    Thanks for you prompt response!

  16. >> seperated forever with his girl-friend several months ago

  17. Ouuuuuuf, still me.*@-@* it’s my fault, I’m so sorry. Just to say don‘t worry about it. He donn’t mind be talking about things he did. As I wrote no one could critisize him more severely than himself. He said he was a useless man in Bankok.

  18. Thanks for all your comments Zoe, great to read that Mr Tacky still has a fan or two.

    Working with Tacky for a few days was certainly an experience!

    Just a pity, that many other fans of superstars, even though they have never met their idol – have only naively wonderful positive things to say!

  19. thanks zoe, for being so cool and patient and trying to explain all these calmly… and wow~ you worked with him… envy you… you shanghai fans are so lucky…
    and for april, sorry, but you really don’t know him. for whatever reason you don’t fancy him anymore, but pls remember that he’s still got the other fans who were out there cheering him on. anyway, why attack your ex-idol? it’s as meaningless as attacking an ex-boyfriend. there must be sth in him that you liked other than his good looks. well, if you say that that was the only thing about him that you liked, shows some quality about yourself. sorry i could have been a bit harsh, but hey, we took our time to know him and from what we know ( mind you, that could be just a tiny part about him), the guy’s worth our respect. so pls think about how others would feel.

  20. thanks zoe, for being so cool and patient and trying to explain all these calmly… and wow~ you worked with him… envy you… you shanghai fans are so lucky…
    and for april, sorry, but you really don’t know him. for whatever reason you don’t fancy him anymore, but pls remember that he’s still got the other fans who were out there cheering him on. anyway, why attack your ex-idol? it’s as meaningless as attacking an ex-boyfriend. there must be sth in him that you liked other than his good looks. well, if you say that that was the only thing about him that you liked, shows some quality about yourself. sorry i could have been a bit harsh, but hey, we took our time to know him and from what we know ( mind you, that could be just a tiny part about him), the guy’s worth our respect. so pls think about how others would feel.

  21. Just want to say, thanks to zoe for the explanation. thank you very much. makes me learned much about Takuya Kimura.

    And to Steve, you met him only one. but you judged him like he is a bad guy! and yuor last post, show that you have personal sentiment to Kimura Takuya. Are you jelaous??

    Maybe you have obsession to be big star. but your skill, your brain, make you just became an extras. Oh, how a pity you are!!

    Authors Notes: All thanks to two of Mr Tacky’s on-line fan clubs for posting the link to this blog. Certainly helped to increase the web traffic! Actually, this is the second time now – the first was last year! Well, i have already been a main actor here on Thai TV so i suspect that i was just an extra and casting asst. just for the fun of it! Am I jealous? Well, i would say that a lot of Tacky’s fans are more jealous of me having known the guy in real life. I was a kid once, so i know what puppy-love and obsession of ‘stars’ is all about.

  22. When i was at High School i used to be a fan of Takuya (Mr Tucky) but now i get to know that i he his just another ‘Boy Band Boy’ who has never learn to grew up.

    Thanks for this story from Steve and he doesnt bother to listen from teenage fan girls.

    I rememebr the bad reports about Takuya Kimura in magazines after he came to Thailand to make that movie 2046 and when i read this story this guy just suck.

    I have grown up and now i can see through the the ignorant ideas and obsesseion of Japanese Boy bands.

    I will tell my friends about this blog about Takuya.

  23. I attended Takuya Kimura’s new Drama’s shooting as an extra in Shanghai last weekend.
    I saw by my own eyes that Takuya Kimura was very kind & gentle. He smiled to his fans with a big wave when he left on Nov 6. Of course, he was in a good mood when he stayed in Shanghai this time.

    I do think 2046 wasted so many people’s efforts. Including Takuya Kimura, and including you, Mr Steve Suphan. The scene, which was shooted in Thai, were cutted by the director Wor Kar Wai. So many people’s work had gone to waste.
    Takuya Kimura couldn’t enjoy this work at all. It’s a ridiculous mistake to attend 2046’s shooting. I do think so.

    sorry for my poor English.

  24. I am sorry that I am so angry and sad
    that I don’t finish the whole article.
    But I read through all Zoe’s comments,
    though I have known most part of what
    she said.

    Thank you very much, Zoe!

    But I think someone’s mind is so hard
    to change that it always makes us feel
    frustrated, so I seldom try to persuade
    others to know and love the real takuya.
    I feel a little regret that I came to
    see this blog because it makes me upset,
    while tomorrow is his birthday and I
    should be happy. But I choose to leave
    message here because I want to show
    there is not true that “Mr Tacky still
    has a fan or two”!

    I feel so sorry to you, Steve. I said
    something inexplicable on your blog. I
    don’t want to be rude and I
    understand you didn’t write it on
    purpose to hurt someone like me.

  25. very interesting read…XD I enjoyed the movie 2064, and it’s interesting to see some of its story back in 99.

    But as you can see, TK’s got some fans out there… a lot more than you can imagine. Many of them have met him, many worked with him, and according to what they saw, there is a pretty good chance that he is not as bad as you thought he is, and they are not just all fooled by him.

    I can understand why you think of him that way, I almost felt the same when i first got to see some of his stories. But he turns out to be a lot better than that after you get to know him.

    But of course, you don’t have to know him, although it’s a really shame. I actually am getting use to him being missunderstood and hated, it’s part of the fun! haha~

  26. Ooops… it’s suppose to be 2046….

    haha…

    and Happy birthday to “Mr.Tacky”!

    ^ ^

  27. dear zhen, don’t be sad^^
    Takuya Kimura is “strong”, and we must be as strong as him..
    And we should study to find fun things from such unpleasant articles^^

    Happy birthday to Mr Tucky(right???)!!!

  28. Thanks for Steve, cuz you showed us one aspect of dear takuya. That bad period of his life, which train him to
    be mature and responsible today!
    I worked with him just as someone who left message here in Shanghai last week, and I should say he is a father with baby smile, he is cool but kind to staff and fans, he is becoming inclusive and he is an angle in my heart for ever!
    Happy birthday Takuya, with all teh best wishes from fans who really know you
    and appreciate you!

  29. Give Steve a break, i thought this blog was spot-on and real funny too. So what, if Steve writes about his first-hand encounters with the staff and actors of 2046 – he is only the facts from his eyes.
    I dont believe all the Takuya fans posting who have all met and worked with him, i smell a lot of lies there. Just wanting to spice up some response.
    I can read that some of these Kimura fans have some brains but others look like they have a donut.

  30. Thank you for your entry, Steve and your response at my forum. Feel free to come read it. But just to put the record straight at your blog here, Kimura Takuya has more than just a fan or two. In his latest one episode Hero Special drama recently, he has 30.9% of Japan turning on the TV to watch him, an all time high for Japan again. That’s 39 million people, Steve. Not just one or two. Not to mention the countless fans all overseas. I respect your right to say what you want about Kimura but I urge you to be accurate in your figures so that those who come by would not be mistaken that he is a passe primadonna star which you are alluding to here. For a detailed knowledge of his character through his writings and audio broadcasts, we have English translations to facilitate your understanding of this icon in Japan.

  31. It’s interesting to see the reactions to Steve’s blog. I enjoyed reading his experiences on the set and it is interesting to get that on-the-ground perspective.

    But, in the end, I don’t much care how big Takuya’s fan base is or whether he’s a nice guy or whether Wong Kar-wai confused the actors and the extras. “In the mood for love” and “2046” happen to be two of my all-time favorite movies and that’s all that really matters to me…

  32. Hi Steve,

    I don’t know why you modified your post of 2006-03-17, in which you said the post got a highviewing and you are wondering about if Takuya Kimura himself could see it.


    A few days ago, I was very lucky to have the chance working together with Takuya Kimura as extras. If you read in chinese entertainment news, you might notified already that Takuya came to Shanghai since 3 to 6 November for his series Kalei naru Kaiken.

    The Chinese medias mentionned that there were many Takuya fans registed as extras without ask for money just for see him. In fact, there were more than forty fans from Shanghai and other cities (Beijing, Tianjing per exemple) successfully registed, including some young man. Of course this is a secret between the chinese extras company and us, Japanese staffs didn’t know it.

    We worked with Takuya for 3 days from 6:00am to 9:00pm, the longest day is 4:30am to 11:00pm. We saw him by our eyes ourselves. Everyone said Takuya is a so great person, very nice and gentle. He smiled to the staff who gave him coffee, he took the same working-lunch as us, he said Ni-Hao (Hello in Chinese) and thanks to local staffs; when the director said standby and the other actors sit down, he didn’t touch the chair, stood aside chatting with staffs or just quietly stood there. It’s not for one or two times but from morning to night all the 3 days.

    Last day, the temperature was suddenly down, we all felt it was freezing because we were in summer suits. When Takuya saw the 200+ extras were cold and tired, he left all the staffs and came to us, standing alone in the crossing where the wind was strongest but all the extras in 4 directions could see him, stanby together with us for almost one hours. All the extras were encouraged at that moment not only the fans.

    When the filming was finished, we waved and said Good-bye to him, he waved back with a gentle smile and said bye-bye.

    We were not surprised to see a Takuya like that. As I wrote before, what Takuya did in Shanghai, in 2004 as in 2006, is what he did in the past ten years. (There were lots of reports by staffs or by fans in Japanese)

    By the end, thanks everyone who read my posts and, thanks to Steve also, I personally like your story about Takuya. No one is perfect, Takuya could always critisize himself and became stronger and stronger, that’s enough.

    P.S. Takuya is one of the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine usa this year, total is 9 persons.