American actress Charlotte Kate Fox is to star in NHK’s new morning serial drama, "Massan," to be aired from September. NHK’s morning dramas run for six months and largely focus on the lives and experiences of women in Japan.
The programs have proven popular with audiences for more than 50 years.
"Massan" is the 91st NHK drama and will break new ground with a foreign actress as the focus of the tale for the first time.
Fox, 28, was born and raised in New Mexico, U.S. She completed a Master in Fine Arts (Acting) at Northern Illinois University and has performed in a number of theater productions and independent movies, including “Chicago” and “Venus In Fur.”
"Massan" is based on a true story that dates back to the early 20th century about the first Japanese person to produce whisky in Japan and his Scottish wife, Rita.
In the drama, Rita is named Ellie. The couple met in Scotland when he was studying the crafting of whisky, and Ellie has given her husband the nickname Massan. The drama will portray how Ellie and Massan cope with the difficulties of an international marriage and challenges in the production of Japan’s first whisky, as well as Ellie’s struggles to get to grips with Japanese culture.
“I’m very excited to be here," Fox told a news conference this week. "I think that we [my character and I] are the same in the fact that both of us have moved across the world for something or someone that we love."
Fox's grandmother is from Scotland, and she was selected for the role from more than 500 applicants from Japan and overseas.
Tetsuji Tamayama, a popular Japanese actor who will play her husband, said “Charlotte is very peaceful and open-minded, and I am grateful to be able to perform with her. She may struggle as Ellie with Japanese culture and the language, but I will support her, whatever happens, as her husband."
"Massan" will be aired from Sept 29 to March 28, 2015. Filming is planned from May in Osaka, Hokkaido, Hiroshima and Glasgow, Scotland.© Japan Today