It’s Leslie’s birthday today and coincidentally, he was in Melbourne, after 3 days and 3 nights of filming a new commercial for a drink. I was very lucky to catch him and besides catching up on our usual going-ons, we talked about his new project "Superstars – We Are the Asian" and our favourite topic – Akina Nakamori.
"Superstars – We Are The Asian" is his new picture book due for release on the 8th August and features 250 Asian superstars including 130 from Japan, 50 from HK, 40 from Taiwan, and a few respresentative stars from the other SouthEast Asian countries. Japanese superstar, Yuming will writing for the book and she is also one of the 250 stars featured in this special. Each star will be given a 2 page spread and no favourtism will be shown because the setting and lighting will be the same for everyone.
Leslie has disclosed that he is flying back to Tokyo and meeting Seiko Matsuda this weekend, when she flies back from NY to record her new album. He has approached Seiko about appearing in "Superstars" but Seiko wants to look at his portfolio and discuss more about the project before signing on. Like many other superstars, there is a concern that they might be outdone by someone else.
He also mentioned that he has approached Akina twice through her record producer (I can’t remember the name) for this project and has twice been rejected by Akina. The reason for declining is that Akina has decided more than 10 years ago to stop participating in group projects and will only focus on mini-projects. Leslie said that even though he has not met her, "She is the most DIVA person I know." Thankfully, he does not hold any grudges against Akina because he knows that it is important for a star to stick to their principles and he respects that.
Akina has also came back and said that she is interested in being Leslie’s model if he is interested in shooting individual projcts and Leslie has promised that he will do it definitely after this major feature. He is naturally disappointed because even Yuming-sama says "Of course Akina should be in it!" Even her "Primadam" co-star (not Kuroki Hitomi) but another female actress (who used to be professional ballerina), who is featured in "Superstars" has taken on the initiative and encouraged Akina to do it. She said that Akina is very nice off-screen but she wants to focus on acting well in this drama, and mini-projects for her fans. So, Leslie has given up on Akina appearing in "Superstars" even after I asked him to ask again.
The launch of "Superstars" will be accompanied by a tour and exhibition in 5 different countries including Japan and Singapore. He hasn’t decided on the dates for Singapore but it will be in between August and December.
So, this is the latest update on Leslie and his saga to photograph Akina. I will keep all posted if Seiko decides to go Akina’s way. Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit. Back to Ranbi for more Primadam soon!