I recently caught up with Haruka Abe who plays Mari in Harajuku Girls. Read on to hear more about the character she plays and her appreciation of a fine cured meat platter…

 

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Q: Can you describe the character you’re playing in Harajuku Girls in one sentence?

A: I play Mari, an 18 year old girl who dreams of becoming an actor and is thrown out of innocent adolescence and into the underworld of Kabukicho, Tokyo’s pink district.

 

Q: What do you love most about your character in the play?

A: She is great fun to play because she goes on quite an extraordinary journey. I’ve played a lot of characters who are tough on the outside but vulnerable on the inside, while Mari is the opposite. She may appear naive and vulnerable on the outside but has a lot of strength in her, which is fascinating to play.

 

Q: What’s your favourite city and why?

A: London is definitely one of them because I just love how diverse and inspiring it is. I also love Venice because it’s just magical.

 

Q: What’s the best play you’ve seen recently?

A: It’s not really a play but Alegria by Cirque De Soleil was wonderful. I watched it as a child and when I watched it as a grown up it hadn’t lost the magic one bit.

 

Q: Why did you want to be an actor?

A: Because I always loved reading books and being immersed in the characters’ journeys, and as a child I realised that acting is just like reading books, but only better because you get to act them out…

 

Q: What’s your favourite word?

A: Twinkle.

 

Q: What would be your death row meal?

A: Cured meat platter with red wine.

 

Q: If you could have been born in any era, which would it be and why?

A: I’m pretty content with the current era, but I would love to visit the Jurassic for a day or two.

 

Q: Who inspires you?

A: Friends, family and colleagues, musicians, writers and artists.

 

Q: What books are on your bedside table?

A: At the moment I’m reading the Flashman series and a Japanese book by Miyuki Miyabe called Shiki.

 

Q: What’s your favourite place in London?

A: Southbank! I love the lively and creative atmosphere.

 

Q: Tell us a secret.

A: I would tell you but then I would have to kill you… I’m a pacifist.

 

– Julia

 

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