Whether he is working on a TV drama or a film, Takumi Saito makes it a rule to think, "This may be my last work," when going to a shoot. Thinking about the next work would break his concentration, the actor says.
"When you're in love, you won't think, 'Who shall I date next?' would you? A new work is always my girlfriend," the actor said.
Saito is now appearing in the TV drama "Rinsho Hanzai Gakusha Himura Hideo no Suiri" (The reasoning of clinical criminologist Hideo Himura), which airs from 10:30 p.m. on Sundays on the NTV network.
The actor is known for his sweet smile and charm of a mature man. Between takes for the drama recently, he was standing on Ipponbashi, a narrow bridge over the Shirakawa river in Kyoto. More than 300 women had gathered by the riverside to watch him from afar. In response to their cheers, he raised his right hand a little, in a gesture showing his composure as a star.
In the drama, he plays Hideo Himura, who masterfully solves mysteries while seeking beauty in murder scenes.
"When I play this role, I always put myself in the shoes of a demanding viewer and think, 'What kind of detective would I want to watch?'" he said.
He is thrilled from the bottom of his heart that he can act in this TV adaptation of Alice Arisugawa's popular mystery novel series.
"It's both stylish and rugged at the same time," he said. "I'm working hard to make it a work with novelty and appeal that can attract people overseas as well, if they have a chance to watch it."
Saito was born on Aug. 22, 1981. A native of Tokyo, the 184-centimeter-tall actor has appeared in a wide range of dramas and films with much success. This year, he will appear in the films "Mubanso" (Unaccompanied), directed by Hitoshi Yazaki; "Danchi" (A housing complex), directed by Junji Sakamoto; and "Koudaike no Hitobito" (People of the Koudai family), directed by Masato Hijikata.
Of the films he has recently seen, he recommends the French film "La Familie Belier" (released as "Eeru!" in Japan).
Summarizing the film, Saito said: "A girl who is a good singer and hoping to pursue a career in music struggles to win the understanding of her family, who are all hearing impaired. She has a great presence. It's by no means a bleak story. I was overwhelmed with emotion and shed many tears."
Asked which country he wants to visit, he chose Serbia.
"In 2015, 'Hanbun no Sekai' [Half a world], a film I directed, won a prize at the Japanese-Serbian Film Exchange," he said. "But I couldn't attend the award ceremony [in Serbia], so I'd really like to go there. It would be nice if I can travel not only to Serbia but also all around the world with films I make."