When you see a movie with the title "Zombie Strippers," you should know exactly what you’re going to get – and it isn’t Shakespeare. With generous amounts of soft-core sex and head-exploding gore, "Zombies" stars American pornstress Jenna Jameson as a stripper, who along with her co-workers, gets infected by a government super virus that is supposed to regenerate dead soldiers, but instead turns people into flesh-eating zombies (and makes the girls better strippers).
Adding a bit of spice for the Japan release of the DVD on April 22, former porn star Nana Natsume provides the voice for Jameson’s character in the Japanese-language version. “When I first heard the title, I thought it might be rather frightening, but after seeing it, it was more like a comedy,” says Natsume, 29, who retired from the adult video industry in 2007. “Doing the voiceover was a challenge. I was thinking about what kind of voice I should use for the main character. Then I had to match the dialogue with Jenna’s mouth movements and practice vocalization. The whole process was quite fast; it only took about four hours to do.”
Born in Takatsuki, Osaka, Natsume did odd jobs such as waitressing after finishing high school. “I had many dreams,” she says. “I wanted to be in showbiz, or work in a cake shop, or do something in the jewelry business.” After being scouted, she started in magazines as a gravure idol and did some TV work before making her debut in the porn industry with adult video company Soft on Demand when she was 20. “My mother was very supportive and told me to go for it; my dad didn’t say anything,” she recalls.
Over the next five years, Natsume made numerous porn videos, often one a month, including one memorable role as a sexpot whose breasts fire bullets when she is sexually aroused. Throughout her AV career, Natsume picked up many awards within the industry, among them best AV actress at the annual Takeshi Kitano Awards in 2004. Although she is happy to talk about her AV activities, Natsume is now trying to move on with her mainstream career. ““It’s been a challenge to change my image from porn to mainstream,” she admits. “I’m still struggling with that. It’s going to take a lot more time and effort.”
Since retiring from the porn industry, Natsume has appeared in some action movies, including a joint Hong Kong-Japan production last year titled "Sasori," in which she plays a gang boss. “That was a good experience,” she says. “The way they make movies in Japan and Hong Kong is so different. On a Hong Kong set, there are no defined roles. Everyone pitches in and does whatever is necessary.”
Natsume has also provided the voice for Sega, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS video games. She keeps busy doing regional radio and television variety programs. Last year, her face adorned a giant billboard on a Shibuya building as part of a campaign to raise public awareness of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). “I’m very interested in topical issues,” she says. “I follow politics and crime, especially the upcoming lay jury system. I wonder what that’s going to be like. I’d really like to be on a jury.”
Standing 163 cm tall, Natsume is dressed up for her promotional work for "Zombie Strippers," but says she prefers hanging out in T-shirt and jeans. Diesel is one of her favorite brands and Roppongi Hills is a favorite shopping spot for her. “My style has changed a bit over the years. When I was 18, I was into the Namie Amuro look -- you know, the shirts and miniskirt style.” In her free time, Natsume enjoys scuba diving in Okinawa and occasionally gambling on boat races.
Although some men may be intimidated about approaching a woman with Natsume’s background, she has a few tips for guys. “I like kindness in a man and someone who has that samurai ‘bushi’ quality,” she says.
"Zombie Strippers" is available from Sony Pictures Entertainment for 3,990 yen.© Japan Today