Japanese actor Ren Meguro recently spoke to Variety about his experiences of playing the self-serving protagonist of Haru Tennouji on the new fantasy drama series, Trillion Game, which is now streaming on Netflix. During the interview, the performer discussed his experience of playing the young businessman, who’s described as the world’s most selfish person, but is also known for his wit and charm.
Meguro, who’s best known for his work as a singer and dancer with the Japanese boy band Snowman, has been venturing into acting in films and on television shows over the past several years. In order to prepare for his portrayal of Haru on Trillion Game, he studied the manga Japanese series written by Riichiro Inagaki that the show is based on. The actor also added his own spin to the character.
During the interview, Meguro noted that playing a character who’s so egotistical was an interesting challenge for him. He mentioned that although he’s not a selfish person in real life, he embraced the experience of being able to fully immerse himself in the protagonist’s outlandish indulgence.
The actor noted that Haru is “certainly very different from me…as I don’t think I’m a selfish person, but this did make it a very interesting role to play. That’s one of the things I love about acting; you’re playing pretend and getting to be someone else.
“Even though I’d never be that selfish in real life, it’s okay to act that way as Haru’s character. It’s part of getting into his head, so I didn’t hesitate to fully immerse myself in his outlandish indulgence,” Meguro added.
In order to prepare for the role, the actor said when he “read the manga, I really homed in on Haru’s personality, and how natural he is when it comes to communicating with others. He’s got a personality that draws people into him and makes them want to follow him even down crazy or unorthodox paths. Though most of the time he’s bluffing, somehow, he always manages to accomplish what he says he’s going to.”
Meguro also reflected on his past acting experiences and how they have helped him develop his performance skills. He shared that finding a connection to the characters he portrays has become easier over the years, which is one way he makes them more relatable to the audience.
The actor also expressed gratitude for the opportunities Trillion Game has brought to him, but also for all of his fellow members of Snowman. Meguro feels that having his first lead role in a prime-time television series opens more doors for all of the musicians in the group.
The performer also noted that he was able to create a natural chemistry with his co-star, Imada Mio, who plays the show’s female anti-hero, Kirika Kokuryu. The duo was able to create a believable after they previously worked together on the fantasy action drama movie, As Long as We Both Shall Live. (Read our review of the film from the Fantasia International Film Festival here.)
Meguro stated that “Having worked with Mio previously on the set of As Long As We Both Shall Live, where we played a romantic couple, made the atmosphere of Trillion Game much easier. While Haru and Kirika are very different characters from those we played in the previous film, as actors we were very comfortable with one another, and that natural chemistry made the inter-character chemistry more believable,” he shared.
The actor stated: “With Trillion Game, I and the rest of the cast, as well as the staff and crew really put a lot of heart into creating the drama. When it comes to completed projects I’ve done, I feel like once they’re out they kind of take on a life of their own through interacting with new audiences, and I’m very curious to see how that plays out with first-time foreign viewers in addition to repeat or first-time viewers here in Japan.
“As an entertainer who wants to experience being a part of more international projects — not just acting but together with Snow Man as well — I’m glad that more people around the world are getting the chance to experience TV shows that represent and show off what Japan has to offer,” Meguro added.
Trillion Game follows two young men – one a computer programming expert, and the other a self-centered but charismatic entrepreneurial type – who have their early career moves thwarted by Dragon Bank. As a result, they start their own company with the seemingly impossible ambition of building a trillion dollar company. Since they have no business plan and no capital, they must come up with innovative ways to raise money and get ahead.