To pull off the scintillating sex scenes in In The Room, local director Eric Khoo needed someone with, well, experience.
Enter 30-year-old Japanese adult video (AV) actress Show Nishino, who has been appearing in TV shows, movies and picture books since 2001.
She stars in In The Room as Japanese expat wife and mother Mariko, who has an affair with younger man Boon (Malaysian actor Lawrence Wong). But as they continue their romantic trysts, Boon asks Mariko for an emotional commitment that is more than she is prepared to give.
The R21 movie is currently showing in cinemas here.
When In The Room made its local premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) in December, Nishino was unable to attend with the rest of the cast as she had injured her knee in a car accident in November.
However, she makes up for it in an e-mail interview with The New Paper.
She explained: "I had an operation on my knee and it is not totally well yet, but I am working hard on my therapy in order to recover as soon as possible."
What attracted you to In The Room? Is this the first time taking on a Singapore project?
This is my first time doing a Singapore movie, so I was really excited about it. And when I found out the director was Eric Khoo, one of the history-making directors in the Singapore movie industry, I felt really honoured.
You flew to Singapore to shoot In the Room. Have you been here before, and how did you like it?
I came to Singapore previously for a concert when I was with the J-pop group Ebisu Muscats. Singapore is a very beautiful country. While I was filming here, the thing I enjoyed most was the kaya toast at the place where I stayed.
How did you relate to the role of Mariko? Did you see any similarities between you and her?
With regards to love, I am a little cautious. Even if I were to meet someone young like Boon, I would probably end up just looking at him, and not doing anything to catch his attention.
That said, I have not really met someone I would make bold moves on. Maybe if I were to meet someone like this in the future, I might be brave and fall crazily in love with him.
How was it working with your co-star Wong?
I think he is handsome, genuine and an excellent actor. I don't think it is a matter of how much experience you have. He was very serious about his role, and I was happy that he had such a good attitude. I am really glad he was my partner in the movie.
How do you think Wong did compared to the male actors you work with in Japan?
The character Boon is a young man with his first (sexual) experience, and I feel that it is a plus for Lawrence to be cast as Boon. Lawrence's gentle look complemented the role well, and he really did his best playing Boon. I think he acted very well as a sweet and gentle lover to Mariko.
What was your impression of Khoo?
Eric was very strict during the filming, and he constantly looked serious on set, but he would always give us the appropriate encouragement when we acted well. On set, he was able to bring out the best in all the cast and crew. And at the end of filming, he really showed his utmost appreciation to everyone for their hard work.
Even among the famous directors in Japan, it is difficult to find someone who will show their gratitude to all the crew. It took me by surprise how Eric was able to switch between being stern and appreciative towards us.
Did you give suggestions on how your love scenes should look?
I gave comments on how our bodies should move about, and what angle should be used to shoot the scenes. This way, the camera would not be able to capture the loincloth worn by Lawrence (laughs).
Is there any interest among your Japanese fans to see In The Room? Will it screen in Japan?
Of course, the fans in Japan are highly interested in the movie. It is scheduled to be shown at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in March, and I hope many people will watch it.
This article was first published on March 2, 2016.
Get The New Paper for more stories.