Ikuta Erika, Who Has Played As Cosette For The First Time, Which Was Her Dream Since Before
Musical play “Les Miserables” is celebrating its 30th anniversary in Japan. It is considered as a novel masterpiece work of Victor Hugo, even its musical songs are overwhelming. It was first premiered in London on 1985, and was performed in different countries around the world. On 2012, it had a movie adaption and earned a big hit. Les Miserables began having a different version since 2013. The story takes place in France on 19th century. Jean Valjean represents the people who have always longed for freedom. The popular Nogizaka46’s Ikuta Erika participated in the play and got a role of Cosette, who has always hoping for something for the first time. The Tokyo performance started on May, but it has already ended now.
Q: Do you like musical plays ever since before?
A: I’ve already like musical plays since when I was on elementary school. That time, I’ve went to so many auditions but I did nothing but to fail. Then, I found out about Nogizaka46’s audition. I’m not really fond of idols, but I wondered if singing and dancing in the stage is just the same with musical plays so I challenged myself. While being active in Nogizaka, I can’t stop thinking of wanting to do a musical play, and that was the time when LeMise was having an audition, so I went there. Even if I wait for a thousand years, nothing will happen, so I greedily accepted the challenge.
Q: Are you not afraid of taking that challenge?
A: It is indeed scary, but the feelings of wanting to try it is still overflowing. Of course, I’m afraid of taking the challenge, but I won’t be able to grow if I did nothing. I always think of wanting to grow.
Q: Have you known “LeMise” since before?
A: When I was still attending elementary school, I often go see it and watch some movies. There was a time when we needed to give a speech about our favorite movie. I said, “I want to play as Cosette in Les Miserables someday” and now, it has already come true. My clasmates even went to see me, and I was deeply moved *laughs*
Q: You’ve always wanted to play Cosette?
A: I’ve always wanted Cosette. Ever since I was a child *laughs*. I was actually a shy person before, and when I met Cosette, I was charmed and that was my start. Now, I met many kinds of people within the group. I’ve become energetic now. As we practice and do the real performance, my desire of wanting to play Fantine and Epinone is growing even more. I don’t have enough experience right now, it takes time. I think maybe “LeMise” will always be my dream.
Q: What was your first impression standing in Imperial Theater for the first time?
A: At first, I was so nervous that I thought I wouldn’t be able to stand up anymore because that theater is so big, and to think that many people will come to watch us, and even more we have to perform it so many times in front of them, I felt a lot of pressure. I worried so much thinking if I could overcome the pressure, but seeing the how the team unites, I’m amazed. They’re always supporting each other, they have lessen the pressure I’m feeling. The time curtain rises, it will always be a new adventure. They still have communication even if everyone is in silence. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Q: Do you still have fun even if you’re having a hard time?
A: Yes, I still enjoy it. When I think of one thing, everything goes to the minus direction and I will end up being negative, so I think that I need to be in the plus direction in order to be in a good condition, so what I do everytime that happens, I just enjoy things and resist the negative things. That’s how I work positively. However, when I think of it calmly, I’m terrified *laughs*. I’m told that I have to always go forward when working, that’s why I always give my best.
Q: What can you say about taking the role of Cosette?
A: The first thing I was told, “Do not be a puppet”. Because the tone shows the innocence of Cosette, I have to be myself to be able to express the feelings Cosette has. I’ve always concentrated in the group about 5 years already, that’s why I don’t really know the outside world. Here I am, wanting to now the outside world, thinking what will happen if I go for audition or not, and what things should I do to be able to stand in the stage. That part of me represents Cosette. Another one, I remembered the time when I was in high spirits, I thought that deep inside Cosette, she has really a warm heart. In our very first practice, Cosette has already become my image and It is hard to take her off from myself.