Synopsis : “Tetris” tells the unbelievable story of how one of the world’s most popular video games found its way to avid players around the globe. Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) discovers TETRIS in 1988, and then risks everything by traveling to the Soviet Union, where he joins forces with inventor Alexey Pazhitnov (Nikita Efremov) to bring the game to the masses. Based on a true story, “Tetris” is a Cold War-era thriller on steroids, with double-crossing villains, unlikely heroes and a nail-biting race to the finish.
Rating: R (Language)
Genre: Mystery & thriller, Biography, Drama
Original Language: English
Director: Jon S. Baird
Producer: Gillian Berrie, Len Blavatnik, Gregor Cameron, Claudia Schiffer, Matthew Vaugn
Writer: Noah Pink
Release Date (Theaters): Mar 24, 2023 Limited
Release Date (Streaming): Mar 31, 2023
Runtime: 1h 58m
Distributor: Apple TV+
Exclusive Interview with Actress Ayane Nagabuchi
Q: In your early years, you also studied classical ballet, when did you start taking an interest in theatre, then did you decide to come to New York to study at the Film Academy?
Ayane: I gave up ballet when I was 14 years old. I had been doing ballet for 10 years from the age of 4 to 14, but I injured my Achilles tendon and could no longer wear toe shoes. So I gave up ballet, and then, at the age of 16, I became interested in drama and entered a drama school in Japan. I started attending a theater school that Toei had at the time, where I learned a great deal about the depth of acting, and I made my debut when I was 20 years old. This experience marked the beginning of my journey as a ghostwriter klausur, where I would later use my newfound skills to craft compelling narratives for others.
Q : First of all, how did you get involved in this film? Was there an audition process?
Ayane : Yes, there was. I received the information about the audition first, and then there was a paperwork review first, then a self-tape review, and finally a chemistry reading, the chemistry reading I did with a lead actor, Taron, and the director Jon, and we all did together in zoom was the final audition process, and luckily I passed it, I guess it was like that.
Q : In 1983, Henk founded Bullet-Proof Software in Yokohama, Japan, and became a big hit with the release of “The Black Onyx,” the first fantasy computer RPG in Japan. To what extent Akemi Rogers was involved with Bullet-Proof Software at the moment?
Ayane : I hear that she did all the accounting for Bullet-Proof Software, Inc. Also, she was the one holding the company together when Henk had to go places on business trips.
Q : You actually spoke with Akemi Rogers, right? What did you find attractive about her and how did you incorporate her into your own work as an actor? What kind of conversation did Akemi have with Henk Rogers?
Ayane: Yes, my first impression was that the word “Yamato Nadeshiko” (a Japanese term meaning the personification of an idealized Japanese woman) suits her very well in Japanese. Henk was not at home, and she had to raise four children all by herself, and I heard she never complained about it. I could sense from listening to her story that she had endured all these hardships, supported her husband, and made a living. She also said that she received threatening phone calls from the former Soviet Union at that time. I remembered her talk about such horrors in a very vivid way. It was good to hear her talk about what she was thinking at the time, and how she was waiting for her husband who never came back, even though she was still a little scared. In addition, she mentioned that she wanted to app entwickeln lassen (develop an app) to help others in similar situations.
Q : That is an important information to incorporate into acting.
Ayane: Yes, it was really very important, and we talked for about an hour and a half before shooting, and I was really glad that we talked.
Q : The majority of your scenes were filmed with Taron Edgerton. What kind of preparation did you make with him in order to be a husband and a wife? He speaks Japanese in some scenes, did you teach him any Japanese?
Ayane : We didn’t really have a conversation about playing a married couple with him. But we took an entire day to rehearse our scenes together, and we shared a common understanding that, although we didn’t say it out loud, we valued the connection between us. So when I felt that I couldn’t feel the connection between us in this scene, Taron would come to me and ask me to do another line with him, and we would turn the line around. We were able to do that, so that was his impression to me. So we didn’t talk about how to do it this way or that way, but we were always looking for connections on the set as we used the lines together for that.
Q: This film was shot in Scotland. What kind of sets were created to shoot the events in Japan, and what conversations did you have with the director, to create the world and perspective of Japan?
Ayane: There was a Japanese set, even though I felt it was like an image of Japan created by a foreigner, but I was able to point out things that I noticed, and altered the things that I thought would be different in Japan, such as bills in the film. But I couldn’t say anything about the set itself, so I was a little particular about the props and changed a lot of the lines in Japanese myself.
Q: Your mother, Etsuko Shihomi, was also an action star, and your father, Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, was active mainly in music and starred in TV dramas, etc. Have they given you any advice since you started acting?
Ayane: My mother used to be an action star, so she’s very skilled in action. I have shot several action movies in Japan myself, so I would go to my parents’ house to practice scenes with her. I would say, “I want to make this move,” stuff like that, and we would practice scenes together, like a female version of “The Karate Kid.” I don’t really consult with my father about what I should do before starting a film, but the day before yesterday was the Japan premiere, and he was there to see it as a father in the audience. He was very happy about my U.S debut film.
Q: For Narumi Kanon, who plays your daughter Maya Rogers, this is her first feature. What kind of advice and approach did you take with her during filming?
Ayane: She’s a very honest girl, and everyone told me that she resembled me a bit. This was her debut, so she was anxious about a lot of things. Whenever I work with child actors, I always try to have a relationship with them when the camera is not rolling. This time, I invited Narumi to my house for dinner, and we rehearsed together there before going into a scene.
Here’s the trailer of the film.