Kanjani8′s Ryuhei Maruyama (27) said he cannot wait to see how fans react to his first stage play “Gilbert Grape”, which began shows at The Globe Tokyo on January 16, reports Sankei Sports, Sponichi Annex.
It is the first time the novel-turned-feature-film of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” has become a stage play, which looks at the life of country boy Gilbert Grape and his family. Maruyama plays the main character Gilbert, getting his first on-stage kiss scene with co-star Tomoka Kurokawa (21) and affair scene with Yuko Itoo (36). On top of this, Maruyama also narrates the play, meaning he is needed on stage for most of the show’s 2-and-a-half hours.
It has been reported at a press conference before his first show, Maruyama said he had found stage acting addictive and could not wait to go on stage.
“I can’t wait to see how the audience reacts,” he said.
Maruyama also said the large number of lines he had had to memorise was not as troublesome as some people may have thought.
“I did think there were a lot of lines at first, but to be honest, it’s fun. It’s hard work, but then I get a bigger sense of achievement too,” he said.
Maruyama’s co-star Itoo chatted about what it was like working with the first-time stage actor.
“He’s such a good boy. Even when we go out for drinks, he’s such a good boy,” she said.
The Johnny’s talent, however, took the compliment a different way.
“She’s like the big sister that lives down your street. Itoo-san always tells me, ‘you’re such a good boy’, but I’m scared she’s saying it because she actually thinks I’m unreliable,” he said.
“Gilbert Grape” will continue performances in Tokyo until February 6 before moving onto shows in Osaka.
Source: Momoedgewood, Sankei Sports, Sponichi Annex