EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J-pop supergroup Snow Man’s Ren Meguro

TheReviewGeek Interviews: J-pop supergroup Snow Man’s Ren Meguro

Supergroup Snow Man’s Ren Meguro talks to TheReviewGeek about immersing himself completely in J-drama silent and his childhood fantasy come to life for upcoming movie, My Happy Marriage. He shares how it all fits with his ‘day job’ as a member of Japan’s top pop group.

In an exclusive interview, 26-year-old Meguro imparts his interest in acting and talks about his work on silent, a drama produced last year on Fuji TV, now available on Viki. Meguro says that he couldn’t not star in silent – he just had to know how it would end. “From the moment I read the first script, I was hooked! It was so engaging and well-written. I genuinely wanted to know where the story was going to go.”

Silent is an 11-episode drama about a sweet high school couple. But after graduating, Meguro’s character, Sakura, develops irreversible hearing loss and abruptly breaks off the relationship without explanation. Ex-girlfriend Tsumugi moves on but doesn’t forget. And when she meets him again, she proves her determination to reconnect by learning sign language. See review here.

BECOMING SILENT

Meguro describes joining silent and feeling immediately comfortable. “It was very easy for me to step into his world as it was almost a mirror of my own. We wear the same styles, drink the same drinks and we both enjoy football.”

In preparation, the team heavily researched Meguro and intentionally created an environment that felt familiar. On set, Meguro continued to connect with his character, Sakura, avoiding the typical cast and crew camaraderie between takes (much like Sakura’s character) and sustaining his increasingly ‘silent’ world to maintain flow.

Rather than simply taking direction on set, he learned sign language and notes how different it is as a medium of communication. “Sign language is very intimate. When I’m talking to someone, using my voice, the other person will be able to understand exactly what I mean just by my tone. With sign language, you have to focus on the other person. It’s not just about what they’re saying with their hands but also their expression, so you have to be very detail oriented.” Meguro was so taken with the beauty of sign language, it became a part of Snow Man’s recently released music video AIKOTOBA.

So inspired by his temporarily silent world, Meguro’s thinking across his work as a performer shifted, “The series helped me realize that, whether I’m speaking my feelings – or singing them, or using sign language – the reason I’m doing it is because the message is important. The stronger that feeling, the more clearly it can be conveyed.”

A DIFFERENT MIX

Preparing for silent was quite a different experience to getting ready for My Love Mix-Up!, where the character was based on a well-known boys’ love manga. “I read every volume and have a lot of respect for it. The story begins with Ida (Meguro’s character) picking up an eraser that has a heart with his name on it. He’s confused at first, but then Aoki confesses that he has feelings for him. Since Ida is very innocent and pure and wants to take care of Aoki’s feelings, he thinks very carefully about how to respond. It’s based on such a sweet and wonderful story with a lot of source material for inspiration.” Whereas silent was an original script, so Meguro had to build the character from scratch.

In a completely different genre, upcoming period drama film, My Happy Marriage, (Watashi no Shiawasena Kekkon) is another new persona for Meguro. As a soldier with a reputation for cruelty, he’s pushed into a marriage with a young woman who, Cinderella-style, suffered abuse from her family. He clearly enjoyed the ‘soldier’ aspect, noting “He also possesses the ability to control the element of fire – which is super cool and something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.”

BRINGING JAPAN TO THE WORLD

With the voracity of streaming and international content on sites like Netflix, Viki and YouTube, Meguro inevitably represents Japan to the outside world through his work. He notes that My Happy Marriage conveys a key element of the culture. “The element of ‘WA’ (the essence of Japanese-ness) is prevalent in this film, such as the clothing, food and even the sweeping, dramatic gestures made while wearing kimonos. I hope that ‘WA’ is something people will appreciate when they’re watching the film.”

As a member of Johnny & Associates, Inc.’s idol group launched in 2020 with the best-selling single of that year (over 1 million units in the first week of release), Meguro expresses his passion for dancing and goal of making people smile with his music.

A close second is acting where he not only has the opportunity to make an impact but also challenge himself to experience things he wouldn’t otherwise get to do (like wield fire). “You only live once and I have this fundamental desire to live a life with no regrets – I want to have challenged myself in as many things as possible. I’m not the type of person who backs down just because something is difficult. I welcome the challenge.”

 

If you’re fan of Ren Meguro, Snow Man or just keen to know more, click here to see the full answers to every question. You’ll find he’s just as engaging as an interview subject as he is to watch on screen. For more Japanese drama and movie reviews, click here.

Watch silent and My Love Mix-Up! on Viki.

 

8 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J-pop supergroup Snow Man’s Ren Meguro”

  1. Hi Naomi,
    Thanks so much for your note & I love your suggestions. But neither of the two you mentioned are available globally – yet. I will certainly keep my eyes peeled and review them as soon as I spot them. If you see either on a legal streaming site, do let me know!

    Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this Kristen!
    I’d love to see Watashino-Shiawasena-Kekkon (my happy marriage) aka “wata-kon” came out in 2023 and Tsuki no michikake came out in 2022 which Ren Meguro received “Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor” & “New Actor Award” for.
    I’m counting on you!! Thank you 🙂

  3. Hi Yurie,

    You are conveying very well. Let us know what you’d like to read next.

    Thank you for reading and for commenting!

  4. I really enjoyed this interview. The drama called “silent” is wonderful, so I would like many people to watch it😊✨

  5. I want to have people around the world know that.
    but I cannot express the things that I want to convey in English.
    Thanks for your article.

  6. Hi Sangee,

    Thank you! I’m so pleased you could feel his personality through this story. Agree, ‘silent’ is definitely worth a watch 🙂

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Thanku for this interview. How humble and precious he is 🙂 To anyone reading this, if you haven’t watched silent yet, please consider doing so. It’s a very heart-warming show and Meme excels in dramas like these. Very excited for his future roles. May he keep rising as an actor and earn even more accolades.

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