Japanese actor Tomohisa Yamashita is one of the stars of The Head, a psychological thriller produced by THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO in association with Hulu Japan and HBO Asia which revolves around mystery, terrible secrets and great intrigue in the icy South Pole. Yamashita, the young performer, musician and TV presenter who’s a hugely popular idol for his millions of fans in his native country, explains his experience in this ambitious international drama directed by Jorge Dorado and written by brothers Àlex and David Pastor.

-What is your character, Aki, like?

-Well, Aki’s very smart, but he’s not really the typical egg head. I mean he has a strongly intuitional side and he’s always following his intuition. And, he’s really loyal to his lover, you know, to Maggie, and he’s really respectful of her. He’s really loyal, but, sometimes he has a really short-temper. I can’t really describe it, like he has 2 sides: moon side and sun side. He is very interesting.

-Did you find any differences when working in Europe and Asia?

-It’s kind of different. In Europe, the actors are always making discussions. There is like no compromising. I was really surprised. And it was good for me and I’ve learned a lot of things from all the actors. And it’s kind of the same with the core crew, they all want to do a really good job.

-Was it difficult for you to work in a different language?

-In the beginning, yes. I was really anxious about how can I communicate with the casting crew. English is my second language. But once the shooting started it was good because they all really supportive and accommodating.

-Do you think the story works well with Asian audiences given the cultural differences between East-West?

-In this project, the story easily transcends the culture and the language. I am really excited to show The Head to everyone when I am back home in Japan. And I am sure it will definitely be received with a warm welcome.    

The Head is an international production. In the set the actors came from different cultures. How has it been living all practically together for 2 months?

-Now, Tenerife has become my second home, because we’ve been living there for 2 months and a half. We spent a lot of time together. It was really difficult because we were supporting each other every day. Sometimes some people were crying, sometimes people were laughing. It was like… It’s life!

-In Japan you have more than 3 million followers in your social networks. In Tenerife, however, you were more like a normal citizen. How do you feel about that? Was it different without fans, going out in the streets in Tenerife that in Tokyo?

-Yes [he laughs]. Tenerife is the most beautiful island in the world, because Tokyo is more a city. There is a lot of concrete and building. In Tenerife I’ve been always feeling really nice because of the weather. 90% of the days are sunny. So, between the great food and the people, who were really calm.   

-Which are your best memories from Spain after this experience?

-Every day when I was in Tenerife, we would start the day with a kiss and a hug and they really made me happy and relaxed, I love it!

-Have you began studying Spanish?

-Yes, really, “un poquito” [he smiles]. I would like to repeat the experience of working in Spain.

-THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO is one of the leading audiovisual companies in Europe. What do you think in your opinion is going to be the impact of The Head on all of you and on the Studio?

-I think it’s going to have a really significant impact.

-What was most memorable about the filming?

-Can you imagine? You are isolated for 6 months and there is some killer. That’s so scary, it’s really extreme and we can show the core of the human, that’s the key, really intense!

-Are you a claustrophobic person after shooting The Head?

-I was, but I am getting better!

-Will you go on with your musical career?

-Yes, if there is any chance. I am going to do a concert tour after this.