Talented but sadly under appreciated30 July, 2010 by Chad
Nagayama Eita (who normally goes by just Eita, 瑛太) is a rather under appreciated actor from Japan, despite having appeared in a large number of dramas and movies to date.
27 year old Eita is the most successful of 3 acting brothers. He began his career modeling in 1999 before switching to acting 2001. Starting with small roles, he found his niche playing likable supporting characters, sometimes infused with a touch of his own eccentricity.
The first time I would encounter Eita was in the 2003 film version of the Azumi manga staring Ueto Aya. He later played a more prominent role (though still secondary to Tsumabuki Satoshi and Shibasaki Kou) in the memorable Orange Days.
After his strong performance in Orange Days, Eita saw more success in 2005 when he finally managed to land multiple lead roles, the most popular of which was in the television version of Water Boys. He also starred alongside Miyazaki Aoi in an artsy movie called Su-ki-da, which deserves special mention for having pretty much only one scene for the entire duration of the movie and hardly any dialogue. Still it was an emotion filled movie that was well received by critics. It’s worth the watch if your a fan of the genre.
In 2006, Eita appeared as the violinist in the highly popular Nodame Cantabile. He also reprises the role in the recent two films based on the series. However, Eita’s big break came in 2008, when he appeared with Miyazaki again, this time in the year long taiga drama Atsuhime. Atsuhime became the highest rated show of the past decade and Eita finally entered the list of Japan’s top actors. He was also part of the main cast in the controversial Last Friends, another of the year’s top ranking dramas.
More recently, Eita appeared in Voice. He also co-stars with Ueno Juri once more in last month’s Sunao ni Narenakute.
In his personal life, Eita had been romantically linked to a number of actresses including Ueno Juri who he acted together with in Nodame Cantabile and Last Friends. However last month, pop idol Kimura Kaela announced her engagement to the actor (to everyone’s surprise). More shockingly though was the news that Kaela was already 5 months pregnant with his child. Despite that, she has been working on releasing her new single and compilation album this month. While it seems like a shotgun marriage, Eita and Kimura with their quirky personalities, do make for a matching couple.