Keiko Kitagawa

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Keiko Kitagawa

Keiko Kitagawa (北川景子), born August 22, 1986, in Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan, is an actress who played Rei Hino/Sailor Mars/Reiko Mars in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Her other roles include Kiyohara in Cherry Pie, Reiko in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Rina in Dear Friends, Momoko Hasegawa in Mop Girl (her first TV drama series since PGSM), Wakaba Enokido in Homeroom on the Beachside (her first premium TV drama series), Hiroko Hoshino in Handsome Suit, Izumi Kuramoto and Shizuko Arisawa in Last Operations Under the Orion, Riko Shirakawa in Buzzer Beat, Rie Saito in Hitsudan Hostess, Ito in Hana no Ato, Yuzuki Onuki in Moon Lovers, Izumi in Matataki, Shoko Kazuki in LADY ~The Last Criminal Profile~, and Yukari "Caroline" Hayasaka in Paradise Kiss.

She is the second oldest of the Senshi actresses, but unlike the others, she actually had zero experience in the entertainment world before her debut in PGSM. Before her graduation in commercial science (majoring in applied economics) at Meiji University in 2009, her surging fame and the resultant queue of new works had created a greater challenge for her time management than fellow college-going PGSM actresses like Mew Azama and even the busier Chieco Kawabe. Even so, she managed to occasionally meet the also tight-scheduled Ayaka Komatsu, her closest friend among the Senshi actresses (they mentioned each other by their nicknames in their blogs, and even posted the same photo of them posing together), and to host a "Senshi reunion" at her Tokyo residence.

After winning the "Miss Seventeen" title of the Seventeen teen fashion magazine in 2003 (the same title Mew Azama won in 2002), she began her modelling career, and quickly became one of the few top models of the magazine, dubbed by other media as a "charismatic model" of the teenage generation (she graduated in September 2006). Her presence in the consciousness of the general public was boosted by her Hollywood debut in 2006 in an American film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Although she only played a minor supporting role in the film, she received disproportionate media attention at home when it premiered in Japan in August of the same year. In 2007, she became a "CM character" of DoCoMo, the country's leading mobile phone company and a subsidiary of NTT, the national telecommunications giant. This work was contracted for one year, and involved her working with a number of top artists in the company's commercials. From May through December of the same year she wrote a weekly personal column in a TV magazine.

Starting in late 2007, she became an image model in a series of TV commercials for a new flagship product line from Kanebo, one of the two leading cosmetics manufacturers in the country. This in effect ranked her among the other four A-list divas also appearing in the commercials, most of whom were also well-established, such as Takako Tokiwa and Miki Nakatani. It was a significant milestone in her career, and reflected her aspiration to become a top artist.

Her status as an A-list artist was formally established in mid-2008 with her leading role in Fuji TV's premium Monday-9:00pm slot drama Homeroom on the Beachside, in which she acted with several top veterans, most notably Yuji Oda.

Personal Trivia

  • There was a rumor about her having an affair with her college classmate and the top heart-throb of the immensely popular boys' vocal group NEWS, Tomohisa Yamashita, which stemmed from a purikura photo of two look-alikes kissing circulated online and reported even in overseas media. Since then she was harrassed by his fans to a point that she had to officially deny it on her blog (without mentioning his name). While this incident had suddenly expanded her exposure, whether it actually helped or hampered her career is uncertain.
  • Like Rei Hino, she attended a private missionary school (大阪女学院; lit. "Osaka Girls' Academy"), which adopts a ladder system similar to that in T·A Academy for Girls. The school's curriculum emphasizes religious and English language training. She did not complete her high school studies in that school, though, but instead transferred to and graduated from a private international high school.
  • She has studied calligraphy, a traditional skill that Rei Hino has shown in the live-action series.
  • According to her personal magazine column, her relationship with her father is not close, which, to a certain extent, echoes Rei Hino's relationship with her father in the live-action series, although nothing indicates that it is as confrontational/hostile as Rei's.
  • After filming in California for the role of Reiko in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Keiko returned there for a few months in 2006 to study English, during which she also lived with a local family.

Roles

Trivia

External Links