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the scene

FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL ’04

THREE DAYS OF MUSIC & MAYHEM AT NAEBA

Spanish rockers Atom Rhumba kick back

Fans get into the spirit

PHOTOS BY ROB SCHWARTZ

 


star struck

Revolutionary spirit

TV personality Sarina Suzuki says the world could benefit from more reggae and Che Guevara.
by Chris Betros

When Sarina Suzuki was young, she wanted to be the wife of a yakuza boss or in the Self-Defense Forces. The 27-year-old actress and TV personality says she has always been impressed by strong women. Strong men, too-her ideal man is Che Guevara. "He inspired a lot of people and I like his revolutionary spirit," she chirps. And her ideal woman? "Angelina Jolie."

Today, the Osaka-born Suzuki has just finished taping a cooking variety show on TV Asahi. But her costume and hairdo will be quickly replaced by another look. Given the nature of Japanese show business, entertainers like Suzuki go from network to network appearing on an endless variety of programs. Since her debut at 17, Suzuki has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, TV commercials, radio programs, a couple of films and made countless appearances in magazines, sometimes in provocative photo spreads known as gravura in Japanese.

As she chats in her dressing room, Suzuki switches into English occasionally, the result of 18 months study at Berlitz. "I'd like to work in English in the future, either TV or even the theater," she says wistfully. "I don't have much of a chance to use my English. I have foreign friends but we speak both languages, more Japlish, which can tend to be a bad habit." She is her own harshest critic when it comes to her work, saying, "I still get nervous before going on TV, if I think about it too much." Surprisingly, Suzuki gets very little feedback from her mother or three brothers. "I don't think they are really very interested. Mom always told us: 'It is your life, you do what you think is right.'"

Unlike many of her colleagues, Suzuki is more open about her private life, although some intrusions do not go unpunished. "Once when I was in a restaurant, a waiter was secretly photographing me with his cell phone. My friend warned him, but he said he didn't know what we were talking about. So I grabbed the cell phone and busted it. I gave him some money and we left the restaurant," she says.

Despite devoting most of her energy to entertainment, Suzuki maintains an interest in politics. "I like any job in which I can express myself. Maybe one day I might teach," she muses. A reggae fan, she says the issue closest to her heart these days is world peace. "You have two sides in a conflict. Both think the other is in the wrong, so there'll never be peace. They should listen to reggae music. I always think it has a great peace message."

Photo credit: Chris Betros



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