Genta Matsuda EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘The Date of Marriage’ actor & Travis Japan pop star talks about his own American Dream

Genta Matsuda Interview: The Date of Marriage actor and Travis Japan pop star talks about his own American Dream

Starring in Viki romance drama The Date of Marriage and singer in J-pop group Travis Japan, Genta ‘G’ Matsuda chats with TheReviewGeek about preparing for acting roles and how he’d handle romance in real life.

In an exclusive interview, 24-year-old Matsuda describes himself as the youngest of Travis Japan with a duty to keep things lively, but what shows up on screen in The Date of Marriage (Kekkon Yoteibi) and certainly during our conversation is a mature and focused man, someone capable of great determination.

Through all my romance-manga-related queries, he thinks through each, digging to the core of the question and providing a heart-felt response. It’s a lovely chat with someone who takes his entertainment job quite seriously, noting a goal to inspire others. Resolute that Travis Japan will become a household name at a global level, Genta Matsuda is ready to take on the world. He resolves that everything he does, including acting, is to bring attention to the group.

“As a group, dance is our strong suit – we train hard and often. We learned how important it is to be able to not just sing, but really sing while dancing when we appeared on America’s Got Talent [in 2022]. We also realized just how much the world was paying attention to us on that stage. We feel like we owe it to our fans in Japan and all over the world to be the best we can be.”


A gift to fans, this summer’s release Candy Kiss,’ sports a classic ‘King of Pop’ texture and even a few co-opted dance moves. “Since Travis Payne is one of our ‘founding fathers’ and he used to work with Michael Jackson, we wanted to incorporate that taste. It’s something we were passionate about, but also wanted to ensure was done with the utmost respect. The concept for the video is about how music and dance unite people regardless of differences.”

Travis Japan spent several months in the US honing their craft and learning English (check out his English message to TRG readers) as well as appearing on other dance shows. Matsuda notes some learnings and an interest in returning.

“There are definitely some cultural differences, but the American people were very kind and enthusiastic. It made me want to strive for that ‘American Dream,’ and I think all seven of us feel that way. I loved being able to connect and communicate with so many people, not just as part of America’s Got Talent and World of Dance, but regular people on the street and in our classes. It’s a very cool country and the people are a lot of fun. I hope that one day we’ll be able to tour the US to see more of it.”

Genta Matsuda in The Date of Marriage streaming on Viki and Bilibili


Acting is also a learning process for Matsuda, one that he embraces, considering himself a novice, but taking every opportunity to further develop. With four dramas and a movie under his belt, he’s naturally eased into method acting, absorbing himself into his roles. For So, I Couldn’t Kill (Dakara Korosenakatta), a murder mystery where he plays a loner who watches the world through a camera lens, he cites isolating himself, to get a feel for the character.

“As an actor, I want to 100% transform myself into each character. I like to create the character piece by piece in my mind so that when I portray him on screen, the audience sees the whole picture. For the two months of shooting So, I Couldn’t Kill, I created a space where I didn’t turn on the lights in my room, not even the TV. I removed myself from my private social circles and avoided people in general, not even talking to my parents. I wanted to live as the character so my portrayal would feel as authentic as possible.”

Preparing for The Date of Marriage wasn’t quite as dramatic but he was able to assimilate quite a bit while working with Ohara Sakurako. “She’s older than me plus a singer/actress with a lot of stage experience. She’s incredibly expressive – just amazing. I’ve always respected her and acting together really made me up my own game.”


Diving into The Date of Marriage, we discuss what it would feel like to be in a relationship like his character Yuki, selfless to the point of abandoning his own feelings.

“Of course, seeing the person you love with someone else is going to be hard. Even if I’ve moved on in my mind, emotions are not always so easy to convince. However, if you truly loved someone, you’d want them to be happy, right? So, no matter how I feel, it’s important to be respectful, not only to the person, their feelings and the new partner, but also to what we had. If they’re happy, I’m happy – or at least that’s what I’m supposed to say. But on the other hand, let’s be realistic. Yes, I’ll be very respectful in public, but once I’m home alone – where no one can see – then I can be emotional.”

In The Blue Skies at Your Feet, his character, high schooler Shuya, is misunderstood and faced with a girlfriend who appears indifferent toward him. With his romance-drama-based experience, how would he handle a similar circumstance?

If the person I liked was indifferent to me, it would be impossible to keep my feelings a secret. To me, communication is incredibly important and I’m very direct. If I want a hug, I will say I want a hug. I don’t do the beat-around-the-bush thing. I’m proud that my parents raised me to be very open with affection because that’s how they are. As a kid, they would hug me if I did my best, and as an adult they still do. Whether it’s G the artist or G the man, I want to be the type of person who can continue to deliver love to everyone, regardless of gender or age.

When asked about personal ambitions, he generally drifts back to talking about Travis Japan. But here and there we get an injection of individual goals or thoughts, including a reveal of his next drama about a kind-hearted tax collector, There’s a Reason for ‘I Can’t Pay’ (Zeicho: ‘Haraenai’ ni wa Wake ga Aru) starring Fuma Kikuchi of J-pop group, Sexy Zone and featuring Matsuda.

“While I love acting, my first priority is Travis Japan and I am very focused on what’s coming up next for us musically and as performers. I want Travis Japan to be a group that inspires good memories for our fans all over the world for years to come. If we can inspire even one person to have the hope to get up and conquer the day, I will feel like we’ve done our job.” One thing we can anticipate is a music video for the catchy The Date of Marriage theme tune, 99 Percent.’ 


With time for one last question, I can’t help but ask about something curious I found while researching – a rumored bathing powder collection. Japanese bathing powders are known for their healing properties from muscle relaxation to releasing toxins from the body and improved oxygen flow. Nevertheless, it’s a humorous conversation.

“I have to say I’m a bit nervous hearing this as I wouldn’t claim to be a collector of bath goods. However, I am a big fan of scents – being enveloped by a cloud of nice perfume, cologne, or aromatic oils is a part of how I energize myself and detox from the day, which includes bath time. I enjoy lavender scents and bath salts that detox to clear your head, especially if I have a meeting or performance the next day. I really cherish those moments when I just get to relax with my thoughts.

Like I said, I wouldn’t say I was a ‘collector’ but now that I think about it, I do have a linen closet with three entire shelves dedicated to these sorts of products, so…”

Having indulged my nosiness, we talk about the interview itself and how it’s an opportunity to send a message to readers and international fans of both Travis Japan and The Date of Marriage.

“When Travis Japan was in Los Angeles, we talked a lot about what it would be like to be able to speak with people on international platforms. It’s very important to us to be a group that reaches out and connects with all our fans all over the world; not just through our music and dance but also our words thanks to interviews like this. So, this is one of our dreams coming true.

Personally, someday, I would love to play a role in Hollywood as an actor who can represent Japan, like a Samurai perhaps. To our fans, I will continue to work hard as Genta ‘G’ Matsuda of Travis Japan, so please keep supporting us!”


What’s your response to Genta Matsuda? Add your thoughts in the comments below.

Check out Genta Matsuda’s video message to TRG readers here and see the full Q&A here.

See The Date of Marriage review.  Catch Travis Japan’s dance video for The Date of Marriage theme song,99 Percent’. Watch The Date of Marriage on Viki or Bilibili.

To see more interviews, click here. To read more reviews of Japanese dramas and movies, click here.

2 thoughts on “Genta Matsuda EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘The Date of Marriage’ actor & Travis Japan pop star talks about his own American Dream”

  1. Why, thank you! We’re going 3D with smellevision here at TRG.

    Thank you for reading & for commenting!

  2. Your interview makes him sound like a guy who can do it all with flare and smell good while doing it.🙂

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