Thursday, 17 May 2012

Up Close and personal - Matsumoto Jun

Jun Matsumoto (松本  Matsumoto Jun) (born August 30, 1983), often called Matsujun (松潤), is a Japanese singer, actor, and radio host. He is a member of Japanese boy band Arashi and is best known for his portrayal as Tsukasa Domyoji in the Hana Yori Dango series, in which he won GQ Japan's Man Of The Year Award under the singer/actor category for his work in the drama.
Matsumoto began his career in the entertainment industry when he joined the Japanese talent agency Johny & Associates in 1996 at the age of 12. Prior to his debut as a singer with Arashi in 1999, Matsumoto started an acting career when he was cast as Teddy Duchamp for the stage play Stand by Me, which was based on the film of the same. Since then, he has gone on to appear in numerous dramas and movies, receiving a number of awards and nominations for his roles.

Early life
Matsumoto was born in Toshima, Tokyo, as the youngest child in his family. He has an older sister whose support of KinKi Kids influenced his decision to join Johnny & Associates in 1996. Thinking it might bode good luck, he sent his application to the agency on his elementary school graduation day and received a phone call weeks later from president Johny Kitagawa himself, inviting him to attend a rehearsal instead of being auditioned. Due to this, Matsumoto is frequently referred to as one of the elite within the agency.
Matsumoto graduated from Horikoshi Gakuen, a renowned high school known for its many performing arts alumnae such as Kyoko Fukada and Ai Kato, in March 2002 at the age of 18.
Music career
Although the majority of Matsumoto's solos for albums and concerts are written by Arashi's staff, he has contributed lyrics for two of his solos: "La Familia" and "Naked" in 2008 for the album Dream “A” Live under the penname "Jun".

Acting career
In 1997, Matsumoto was cast in his first stage play, which was based on the American coming of age film Stand by Me  with future band mates Masaki Aiba and Kazunari Ninomiya. He did not return to do any major stage productions for nearly seven years after Stand by Me, instead focusing on dramas and movies. However, in 2004, Matsumoto appeared in the stage play West Side Story with band mates Satoshi Ohno and Sho Sakurai. In 2005 and 2006, Matsumoto was given his first lead stage play roles in Eden no Higashi (エデンの東 East of Eden) and Byakuya no Onna Kishi (白夜の女騎士 Valkyrie of the White Night) respectively.
It was announced on July 21, 2011 that Matsumoto will star in Yukio Ninagawa’s production play, Aa, Kōya (あゝ荒野 Ah, Wilderness). This will be his first stage play in five years.
Like bandmate Sakurai, Matsumoto made his acting debut as a television actor in April 1997 in the drama special Hoken Chousain (保険調査員 Insurance Investigator). A few months later, he co-starred with the members of KinKi Kids and future bandmate Masaki Aiba in the mystery-thriller series Bokura no Yūki: Miman Toshi (ぼくらの勇気 Our Courage: Miman City).
Matsumoto gained further popularity as an actor in 2002 when he starred in the first season of Gokusen with Yukie Nakama, Shun Oguri, Tomohiro Waki, and Yuma Ishigaki. His portrayal of the troubled but highly intelligent student, Shin Sawada, drew acclaim and won him Best Supporting Actor at the 33rd Television Drama Academy Awards. Soon after, his character also made a cameo in Sakurai's comedy seriesYoiko no Mikata (よい子の味方 Ally of Good Children). In the same year, Matsumoto took another high-profile role in the live-action adaptation of manga series Kimi wa Petto as Takeshi "Momo" Goda, starring opposite Koyuki. 
In 2005, Matsumoto took the most prominent role of his career to date when he was cast as Tsukasa Domyōji in the live-action adaptation of manga Hana Yori Dango. Co-starring opposite Mao Inoue, Shun Oguri, Shota Matsuda, and Tsuyoshi Abe, the series was a success with an average viewership rating of 19.6%. Matsumoto's portrayal as the air-headed and arrogant leader of four rich heirs won him Best Supporting Actor again at the 47th Television Drama Academy Awards.

In 2007, due to the success of Hana Yori Dango, it spawned a second season, which was an even bigger hit with television audiences as it had a peak rating of 27.6% on the final episode and an overall rating of 21.57%.Matsumoto won Best Supporting Actor at the 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix for his role. The same year, Matsumoto starred in Bambino! which won him his first Best Actor award at the 53rd Television Drama Academy Awards.
In 2008, he re-united with Bambino! co-star Karina for the drama special Myū no Anyo Papa ni Ageru (みゅうの足パパにあげる Myū will Give Daddy Her Legs). He portrayed a man diagnosed with CIDP struggling to recuperate and return to normal life with his wife and young daughter. The drama special received a viewership rating of 25.6%.
In 2009, Matsumoto starred in his first drama series in nearly two years. He portrayed Vito Hayakawa (早川ビト Hayakawa Vito), a half-Japanese, half-Filipino young man who always faces life with a smile in the drama Smile. Matsumoto subsequently won Best Actor for his role in the 13th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix.  Fuji TV announced on September 10, 2009 that Matsumoto would star in a three-part drama special called Wagaya no Rekishi (わが家の歴史 History of our Family) scheduled to air for three consecutive days in the spring of 2010.

In January 2010, Matsumoto co-starred with the other members of Arashi in their first drama in nearly ten years in the human suspense drama special Saigo no Yakusoku (最後の約束 Last Promise). Matsumoto portrayed Nozomu Gotō (後藤  Gotō Nozomu), a 27-year-old motorcycle courier rider who is caught up in a building hijack. Matsumoto co-starred with Yuko Takeuchi in his first Getsuku drama titled Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku (夏の恋は虹色に輝く Summer Love Shines in Rainbow Colors). He also made a guest appearance on the final episode of bandmate Ohno's drama Kaibutsu-kun (怪物くん Little Monster).

Matsumoto appeared on the silver screen for the first time a year later in Shinjuku Tanteidan Shōnen (新宿少年探偵団 Shinjuku Boy Detectives) but his breakthrough did not come until 2001 when he was cast as Hajime Kinda'ichi in the third season of Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo.
In 2002, Arashi co-starred in their first movie together called Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakedo Happy (ピカ☆ンチ Life is HardだけどHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard But Happy). They came together again for its sequel Pikanchi Life is Hard Dakara Happy (ピカ☆☆ンチ Life is HardだからHappy Pikanchi Life is Hard Therefore Happy) in 2004. He also starred in the film Tokyo Tower as a womanizer with a preference for older women the same year.
In 2007, Arashi starred in their third movie together Kiiroi Namida.

Other ventures
Matsumoto has his own radio show, Jun Style, on Nack5 since October 5, 2002.

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