Gr÷▀ere Ansicht anzeigenSh˘ka ďshima (photo by Sh˘ka ďshima)

"I'm the type to follow my heart!"

Exclusive Spirit - A Smile in the Storm interview with Sh˘ka ďshima, actress from "Satsujinki o kau onna" ("The Woman Who Keeps a Murderer")

Von Marc Hairapetian


"Chance is the intersection of several necessities." (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec)

"Satsujinki o kau onna" (international title "The Woman Who Keeps a Murderer") by Japanese director Hideo Nakata ("White Lily"; "The Ring - The Original"; "Ring 2") is the best proof that even a low-budget film can look expensive. More importantly, it combines the genres of pinku eiga and psychological horror thriller in a sophisticated way, while also being very stylish and sexy: Kyoko (Rin Asuka, known from "White Lily") was sexually abused as a child. She has therefore renounced the male world and has a lesbian partnership with the pretty but also pathologically jealous Naomi (Sh˘ka ďshima). When Kyoko nevertheless develops feelings for a neighborhood writer, the tense situation escalates into a spiral of sex and violence.

The film is an amazing adaptation of the novel of the same name by Kei ďishi, who wrote the tem-plates for the horror thrillers "Apartment 1303", "Love Eternal" and "Under Your Bed". In Germany it was released under the title "Split Desires - Dunkle Triebe", as VoD, DVD and Bluray by Busch Media Group.

When I saw "Satsujinki o kau onna" I was enthusiastic about all female actors, but I was most fascinated by Sh˘ka ďshima (born June 30, 1993 in Hyogo Prefecture). I wrote a DVD review about the provocative erotic thriller for the Austrian Ray Filmmagazine. I would have loved to talk to Sh˘ka about it. But how do it? Nippon is far away from Germany. I finally found her on Instagram, wrote to her in English with the addition of a Japanese translation help. Lo and behold! She responded and was willing to do an interview via Zoom video. Arrigato, Sh˘ka, also for two wonderful pics! Thanks also to her friend and manager Sarah who was very helpful with the translation.

Gr÷▀ere Ansicht anzeigenScreenshot of the interview between Sh˘ka ďshima and Marc Hairapetian (Spirit - A Smile in the Storm

 Marc Hairapetian: How did you get the role in "Satsujinki o kau onna" ("The Woman Who Keeps a Murderer")? Was there a casting?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: I had a chance to work with the director when we were shooting a late night pro-gram in the past. And I've heard that he had good impression of me.

 Marc Hairapetian: "Satsujinki o kau onna" ("The Woman Who Keeps a Murderer") is a very erotic film, but it also has horror elements and is the psychogram of a young woman with a dissociative personality disorder. How do you like it yourself?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: I just needed to concentrate to play Naomi. But we all realized that we were creating the part of Kyoko and Kyoko itself. The last scene was so emotional of me.

 Marc Hairapetian: How was the response to him in Japan in 2019? Did the film come to the cinema before the corona pandemic?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: So many audiences are curious about this film which I'm so proud. And YouTube teaser was played many times. Also a lot of woman's audiences went to theater, I was so grad about it. Currently, you can watch at subscription service like Netflix.

 Marc Hairapetian: You are one of three other personalities residing in Kyoko. As a child, she was sexually abused by her stepfather and probably even killed him by pushing him off the roof of a high-rise building. As her lascivious but jealous friend Naomi, she fantasizes about a lesbian rela-tionship. Was it difficult to get into that role?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Actually, I was not casting as Naomi at the time director offered. I also tried another auditions for several rolls in this movie. And finally I got a roll of Naomi. I was surprised to be honest but, it is a chance. One of my favorite actor Isabelle Huppert said that "I was chosen for the role". I thought "Naomi will be me". Personally, in order to manage my body, I almost didn't eat lunches on site, and I cooked my own meals and took them with me to eat. It was early in the morning, it is kind of difficult for me to wake up at early. I didn't eat flour at all during the shooting period and endured it until the shooting was over. Because I went to my favorite bakery the day af-ter cranking up.

 Marc Hairapetian: What was it like working with director Hideo Nakata, who created a modern hor-ror classic with "Ringu"?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: The director looks serious, has a charming side, and very professional. It was an honor to work with him.I think that the director's personality and the way he approached his pas-sionate work led me to a relationship of trust with him. Besides, if it hadn't been for the director's offer, I might not have taken it. During filming, he always had a bandana wrapped around head when I entered the set. He rewound it many times until It ready. You could say it's the director's trend mark, and he seems to be enthusiastic about it.
Every day, I observed, "What color is it today?"
The red color suits him best.hahaha

 Marc Hairapetian: The film has some explicit lesbian sex scenes. You seem very passionate about it, but how do you play something like that? Is it more of a technical process? And did you talk be-fore with your film partner Rin Asuka about it?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Rather, it's a woman, so it's a big part of the smooth progress. The actual shooting site may not be very sexy. (smile) "It's like a professional wrestling club before a tournament," said the director. During the shooting, the shooting team was always conscious of "appearance".
What you are performing here and how you see the video are completely different. There were many difficult things. There are many processes, and if one of them is different, concentration was necessary because the appearance was greatly different. I had a lot of first-time experiences, so I think Rin-chan's presence helped me. Rin-chan was a wonderful actress who was dignified and accepted anything. During the filming period, we were both focused on our roles, so we didn't talk much, but in the waiting room, we encouraged each other by saying things like, "Let's do our best again today," and "You're sleepy, lol." Hide and eat sweets together.

 Marc Hairapetian: Have you read Kei ďishi Roman and how is it different from the film?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Of course I read it before I started shooting. It's a little different, but I don't think it will make much of a difference. I like reading, but writing is beautiful and ephemeral with its delicate expressions. Mr. Oishi is a person who writes such a sentence. I tried to shoot while thinking that I wanted to express that part as much as possible. As for Kei Oishi's work, I really like Under Your Bed. After The Woman Who Keeps a Murderer, I heard that it was made into a movie and is now being remade in Korea.

 Marc Hairapetian: There are only four entries of you in the International Movie Data Base. Were you a child actress first? Are not all of your films listed in the IMDB?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: I started my career when I was seven years old, so yes. It's not all, and there are many things I don't remember either. However, up until now, I had been mostly on TV, so I had a strong desire to be involved in movies in my twenties. There are more distributions such as subs now, so if I come across an interesting work, I would like to participate in any form.

 Marc Hairapetian: Have you always wanted to be an actress?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Well, naturally. There was a time when I wanted to be a singer. Now, I think it would be great if singing and dancing could be useful in theatrical performances, and I would like to sing if I have the opportunity.

Gr÷▀ere Ansicht anzeigenDessert Ó la Sh˘ka (photo by Sh˘ka ďshima)

 Marc Hairapetian: You always post a lot of photos of delicious dishes on Instagram. Are you a cook too?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Thank you very much. That makes me happy. I love cooking and it is no exaggeration to say that I am happiest when I am eating. I want to eat what my heart really wants in a regular rhythm, rather than eating healthy food for my body. I think. So even if you feel junk, if you want to eat it, eat it. And I try to have a well-balanced diet, such as exercising. Organic has fi-nally penetrated Japan too.

 Marc Hairapetian: So far you have only shot in Japanese films. Can you imagine shooting abroad? Maybe in the USA or Germany?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Well, I have to study more languages for that, but. I am willing. I want to challenge anything. In "Samurai Warrior Queens", I played the role of Takeko Nakano in a British-German co-production, and the filming team was mostly from America, England, and Germany. It was an exciting experience, completely different from the one in Japan. It was a tough shoot, but I was on the same wavelength as them, and it was a lot of fun. It is said that music transcends borders, and I believe that the same applies to acting. Like LÚa Seydoux, Charlotte Rampling, and Gena Rowlands, who speak with their eyes, who have persuasive power and presence even with-out dialogue. - I can speak Korean, so I would like to work in Korea. First of all, I am studying Eng-lish hard!

 Marc Hairapetian: Laurence Olivier once said that being an actor means conveying illusions. Oskar Werner disagreed and said he wanted to give the audience the dream. Which of the two is correct: illusion or dream? And what do you want to convey to the audience?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: It may be an illusion. In every case it has to do with fantasy. When I was younger, I might have answered "dream". But the two can be said to be inseparable. Because we are expres-sive people who live in the real world within the given world.

 Marc Hairapetian: I have a poll in my culture magazine Spirit - A Smile in the Storm where I ask actors, directors and other personalities about their favorite films. Can you name five of your favorite films and give a reason?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: It's a tough question, but. except for the obvious "Titanic", "La La Land, ""Kill Your Darlings" , "La pianiste", "Girl with Dragon Tattoo", "The Imitation Game". I have watched these many times. "Titanic" was the first movie I saw as a child. And Leonardo DiCaprio became my favorite actor, and I'm still here. Since it is a special work, I will not put it here. "La La Land" is my favorite love story. (No, I won't give up on the "Before Sunrise" trilogy either.) My favorite scene is when he picks her up for an audition. At that time, I was depressed at work, so I cried so much that the screen was distorted at the movie theater and I couldn't see it. I think that it is a work that stuck in particular because I am doing this work. I want a love like this! I have the DVD of "Kill Your Dar-lings", and I've watched it so much that I even memorized the lines. The world view, camera work, music, everything is my favorite, so if I had to give one reason, it would be the director's sense, but what fascinated me the most was Dane De Haan's acting ability. "La pianiste" is a work starring ac-tress Isabelle Huppert. The last scene is shocking. I thought that there was no play suitable for such a last scene. It's an interesting work because the feelings I had when I saw it when I was young and the feelings I had when I saw it recently are completely different. "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Here is my favorite 007 - Daniel Craig - in and another favorite actress Rooney Mara. I can't forget the last scene because of the shock. I have never seen such a sad movie. Still, it's a wonderful work that gives you a glimpse of the splendor of loving someone. Novels are my favorite, but the actors in the movies were also great. "Imitation Game": I've watched this too many times. I really like the acting of actors. I am a fan of Alex Lawther since this time. It's become particularly popular these days, and I think it's only natural. I have watched his play many times. As much as the con-tent is content, the cast's delicate play shines, and it is a work that I love no matter how many times I watch it. I love also other Korean movies, Xavier Dolan, David Fincher and Wes Anderson's work is not to be missed. (smile) I deliberately left out Japanese movies. I also want to do works like "Blue Jasmine" and "Gone Girl". Ah, you can talk as much as you want. Hahaha

 Marc Hairapetian: Super! You named nearly 20 movies. I ask often also about twenty favorite films not just five. Second last question: Do you think that you are a typically Japanese girl or don't you care about old traditions?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: What do you think? I don't care if it's good or bad. I'm the type to follow my heart. It doesn't matter to me what other people think. I don't think I need a title either. It's fitting to say it's unconventional.

 Marc Hairapetian: Self-confident answer! I appreciate it. Last but not least: What is your goal in life?

 Sh˘ka ďshima: Life goals are difficult to put into words. I want to meet Taylor
Leonardo DiCaprio, who I mentioned at the beginning, is also active in environmental protection ac-tivities. In the future, I would like to engage in activities that contribute to environmental protection in earnest. I'm still just thinking. For that reason, I want to start by putting it into my own life, and I live every day. After that I will continue to learn a lot of love Are you going to tell someone about it?I feel that it can be said that it is connected to everything in expression and private life. "Love" itself. My roots, my mission, my purpose in life. I want to continue living without giving up on it.

Interview: Marc Hairapetian for Spirit - A Smile in the Storm (February 2023)