Japan's ultimate heartthrob Kimura Takuya set Busan on fire when he revisited the port city in time for the international premiere of his latest movie ``Hero'' at the 12th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF).
More than 100 reporters and photographers crowded the explosive press conference room in Paradise Hotel, with some 70 female Japanese fans filling the hall outside to get a glimpse of their hero.
Kimura Takuya at the press conference to promote 'Hero' at Busan
The 34-year-old star is a member of Japan's biggest all-time idol group SMAP and has starred in TV series that garnered unprecedented popularity, such as ``Fried,'' ``Good Luck'' and Engine.'' He has also voiced a character in Hayao Miyazaki's epic animation film ``Howl's Moving Castle.''
Takuya returns to his role as a high school dropout-turned-hotshot prosecutor in ``Hero,'' and said he was happy to return to the role because his character is so intriguing.
Six years before he played the same part for a TV series. In Japan, TV dramas are divided by seasons and produced in 11 segments. Sometimes popular ones are made into two-hour specials, and if that proves successful, larger-scale productions are made. Fuji TV's ``Hero'' makes its big-screen debut with Japan's hottest star -- who is voted ``man I want to make love with'' for the 14th year now -- and Korea's Lee Byung-hun making a cameo appearance.
``Hero'' was shot in Busan, and director Suzuki Masayuki explained it's because ``Korea is a cinema kingdom'' after introducing himself in fluent Korean. ``I wanted to shoot my movie somewhere open, and Busan was the perfect place,'' he said.
Kimura said he was happy to be back in Korea and honored that ``Hero'' makes its international debut here. Compared to his experience at the Cannes Festival, he said that he is enjoying Busan in terms of the food and people. ``Koreans look very much like the Japanese, so I feel very much at home.
Takuya said that he is staying at the same hotel while filming ``Hero.'' ``I feel much more at ease this time because I'm not shooting a film, and I can actually appreciate things like the nice bath tub and beautiful ocean view out the window,'' he said.
Hallyu superstar Lee Byung-hun makes a special appearance in ``Hero.'' ``His appearance is short, but he plays a very strong, heavyweight role. Lee is explosively popular in Japan, and is know to have a `pretty smile.' He was really the only one I had in mind for casting,'' said the director.
``I would love to make a film with him for a longer period of time in the future,'' he said.
Japanese Actor Close Up: Kimura Takuya
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Date of Birth: 13 November 1972
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Birth Name: Takuya Kimura
Height: 5' 9¼" (1.76 m)
Spouse: Kudo, Shizuka (2000 - present) 2 children
Love and Honor (Bushi no ichibun) (2006)