Friday, July 13, 2012

Actress Emily Kaiho Interview (Exclusive)

Emily Kaiho burst onto the scene with her dynamic portrayal of Momoko in the action film Bunraku. Beautiful and multi-talented, Emily is currently fronting her own metal band called SeeVa. Emily has a wide variety of experiences and takes time out of her busy schedule to conduct this exclusive interview with Dan's Movie Report. Enough of me being a blabbering buffoon, on to the adorable Emily.(Special thanks to Jeff Centuri, Kiara Schwartz, and Tara Macken for help woth this interview)

Update 12-12-12: Check out Emily's new band ARA Avex Rising Angels!

Describe a bit about your upbringing, and share a funny story from your childhood.

I was a very energetic child, just like how I am now, but was shy in public. I only showed my active side when I was with family, but was very quiet and self-conscious at school. It was mainly because I was half Caucasian and looked different from everyone else. Living in a small town in Japan, it was very rare to be one. 

Above Pic Credit: Kiara Schwartz  http://www.tobruckave.

Did you want to act in films early on? What made you finally decide to get into film? 

Actually, I started acting in musical theater when I was 13. This is when I got less shy and more outgoing. I really loved to sing, dance and perform. I know this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

On to Bunraku, describe the audition process, were there many actresses there with you, at the original audition?

Well, I grew up in Japan and was working as a model and dancer. And the more I got into it, I felt I wasn’t going any further. Once for life, and while I was still young, I wanted to take a chance
and go for the “American Dream.” I pretty much said good bye to everything, my family, friends, past, and flew to LA. Luckily, I could sign with Click models as soon as I got there and started working at a Japanese restaurant. After two months working at this restaurant, a casting director came to eat and told me about this audition for BUNRAKU. I never really had experience of film acting, but went for it. After two castings, I got the part and 3 days later, they flew me to Romania. I did not meet a lot of actresses at the audition, but afterwards I heard that they have been casting for this role for months and even went to Japan, but couldn’t find the girl. That was so amazing to hear.

Can you think of a funny story about the audition?

Car troubles!!! On the day before the first audition, I got my car towed! Yes, I was a bad driver (Ed Note: Stear clear of Emily!)
with only two months of driving experience and parked in front of someone’s drive way. So, it’s my bad, but I just got the sides that day and was so freaked out. It took me until midnight to get the car back and just practiced the sides over night.And there’s more...On my way to the second audition, which is the final audition, I got a flat tire! Again, it was my first car and had no idea what to do with it! I just parked on the street with a note and found a girl walking to her car and got a ride!! I was sweating bullets!!!!!! After this, it has to be my lucky charm to have car trouble before an audition, cause it means that I will totally book it.

What type of training did you have to do for Bunraku, acting, stunts etc..?

I originally had a solo action sequence and also a short fight scene, and the stunt team trained me for it. (They cut out the solo sequence. Oh well!) We had a lot of free time, waiting time on set and I was board, so I would just go train with the stunt guys. After several sessions, I really got into it and wanted to learn more. It was so much fun. I continued after the film and still practice everyday. All the stunt guys are still my really good friends too. It’s another great gift BUNRAKU has gave to me. 


Did your dance background help in Bunraku with the fluidity of movement in the action sequences?

Certainly! Dancing and martial arts have a lot of movements in common, and how you use and acknowledge your body.

How long was your portion of the filming?

I was in Romania for three months, but I had a lot of days off too. It was perfect. I could both work and enjoy some time off.
Any hard hits or bumps on set? Maybe share a story about working with Ron, or any of the other actors on Bunraku.Not really. Only when I was playing and trying to fight the Stunt guys off set. Lol Working with all the big name actors was an amazing experience. They were all very professional, but real people too. Josh would go and get his own coffee and asked if anyone wanted anything, I did some yoga with Woody and GACKT was like my big brother and Demi told me that I was doing a great job. hehe. Simple words, but it was very special to me. And we all sure did party hard! Almost every night, the hotel bar was full of BUNRAKU cast and crew.

Do you know of any plans to make a second Bunraku film or one like it?

I’m not sure if they would make another BUNRAKU, but certainly I am always on the loop of auditioning.

Above Pic: Bunraku Screen Cap, Dan's Movie Report

Did you have a better understanding and appreciation for action films after the production completed?

Yes. Before, I thought action film were just brutal, but now that I studied martial arts and saw how an action film is made, I see it differently. It more like a dance performance. There is always a fight choreography and something to express through the movements. If it’s just shooting away,
not so much, but martial arts is really a kind of an art.

Above Photo Credit: Kiara Schwartz http://www.tobruckave. 

In general do you like films like Sin City and Bunraku that use a lot of green screen or more live background stuff?

I like all kinds of films, no matter what the genre is. I think the most important is a great story and interesting characters. Moreover, great acting, directing, music, editing...anything can add up, but I’d say if you’re looking for a good film, look for a good story.

Any more film or TV work upcoming, I noticed you worked on a few commercials for Adidas, Nike and Wal-mart as well?

Yes, I have recently got cast in a horror film and will be starting to shoot next month in August. I will be playing the main character and it’s going to be a big challenge for me, but I am very thankful of the opportunity.

On to the music side,I saw on the internet you are in a band called See Va, how long has the band been active for?

SeeVa is an all girl Metal band based in Tokyo. It’s a brand new band, just three months old. I signed with a Japanese record label Avex this year and through some connections I met with my guitarist, Rena and we formed our band together.

Above Pic: SeeVa from Emily's Facebook Page

How would you describe your sound to someone that has not heard your music before?

We are very much inspired by Heavy Metal, Rock and Progressive Rock. We like to make intense, hard rockin’ music.

Most of my readers are from the US, are there any US bands and singers that influence your musical style. Maybe also let my readers know about some Japanese or other Asian bands who are your influences?

Dream Theater, KISS, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer
Japanese Bands: X Japan

Above Photo Credit: Kiara Schwartz http://www.tobruckave. Tara Macken and Emily

What made you get interested in taking the stage musically?

I always loved to sing, starting in musical theater and tried out for so many singer auditions but never really got through. And I met so many great singers in the process, I totally lost confidence at a certain point. I had more offers as a model and kind of stepped away from singing for several years. Just recently, I met someone from Avex and because of BUNRAKU they had interest in me. I auditioned for them and got the ticket to come on board with them. Never give up, and keep on doing it, and someone will be watching. I really do think so. I not just a lucky girl. I just never give up.

Above Pic: Emily from her IMDB page

Must be exciting to have the immediate impact of being onstage and connecting with your fans?

It’s a brand new band and we are still in process of making our own songs. We are mostly in studio. Sometimes we perform in front of small crowds at a Rock Bar, but more like testing out our songs. It is quite a process, but for sure, we will start performing in the near future.

How about any stories from your live performances?

Not yet.

I was checking over the See Va page is their currently music available to listen or buy on there?

Not yet.

What is in the future for Emily? More acting? Music? What career path are you focusing on?

To me, acting, singing, modeling or dancing is all the same. It’s performing. It’s expressing.I don’t want to limit myself to just one thing, even though it is a lot more work, I choose to do it all! I’m sure there is space for all of us performers and if we keep on doing it, it just keeps getting better. I just go one day at a time, but always eyes on a brighter future.

Any final advice for young musicians or actors just starting out?

It’s sure a tough road, but there are so many amazing things about this job. That’s why I’m still here. Many people would think you are crazy when you tell them you want to be a performer, but let them be! Whatever people say, even your family, it doesn’t matter. Just go your way, and
make your own life just way you want it.

Thanks Emily, for more info on her, scream your browsers over to these following web areas:

SeeVa official blog (Japanese):

SeeVa Official Website:

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