October 19, 2017

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Sumire Appears in Hollywood Movie for the First Time

A model and actress, Sumire (27) made a debut in a Hollywood Movie, by playing a supporting role in The Shack, which was released on March 3rd, 2017 in the United States and came out in Japan on September 9th, 2017. The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same title written by a Canadian, William P Young. The book was self-publicated in 2007 and eventually turned into a New York Times best-seller for 70 consecutive weeks. The story is about the spiritual saving of a man who lost his daughter. Though Sumire works as her first name in Japan, in the movie she is credited as her full given name, Sumire Matsubara, and she plays an Asian woman by the name of Sarayu, which mean breath of wind. In an interview with Flickering Myth, she mentioned that the movie has “so many beautiful underlying messages,” and one of the simplest messages is that “anybody can be healed and anybody can help themselves and get help.” Another message that she thinks the movie conveys is that “this bad in the world can bring good and can bring people together.” In regards with the novel, she has read it and she said she has “never read a book so pure, so simple yet so moving.” She loved the story and said that “she wanted to be a part of this film.” Regarding Sam Worthington, who played the leading character Mack Phillips, Sumire said “Sam is a genius,” and she tried to learn a lot from him.

Both of Sumire’s parents are famous actors: Junichi Ishida (63) and actress Chiaki Matsubara (59). In 1996, Ishida’s eight year adultery with a popular model, Rie Hasegawa was reported and got a lot of attentions from the media. Ishida’s comment that justified the adultery, which often translated to “adultery is culture” made the public and media furious, which intensified the media focus on their relationship. The family was closely followed by the media everyday, and invaded their privacy. That led Matsubara to get divorced with him and move to Hawaii with Sumire. She was seven years old at that time. At first Sumire was bullied at school for not being able to speak English. The only English words that she knew at that time were “apple” and “hello.” In order to overcome with bullying, Sumire intensely studied English and mastered it in about a couple of months, which enable her to enjoy friendship with the children at her school. From ages 13 to 18 years old, she went to Punahou School which is a prestigious private high school that former US President Barack Obama went to.

She enjoyed learning, singing, and dancing classes at the school and she took part in Musical “West Side Story” at school at the age of 18 years old. After graduating from Punahou School, she went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania where Holly Hunter and Ethan Hawke studied acting. At the college, Sumire faced adversity that she had never faced before. In addition to the heavy work load of classes (she often used her sleeping time to prepare for rehearsals), she was the only Asian student at the college and was discriminated by some of the faculty members. One of the faculty members told her that Asians will not succeed in the United States and also they would not succeed in the acting industry in the US which led her to withdraw from the school temporarily during her sophomore year and sought a career in Japanese entertainment show business. In 2011, Sumire started working in Japan as a model and actress and appeared in many commercials and TV shows since then.

References

Another Sky aired by NTV (Channel 4) aired on September 8, 2017

Another Sky is aired from 11:00 pm to 11:30 pm every Friday.

Youtube Video titled “Sumire-The Shack Interview” posted by Flickering Myth

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