Kyohei Takahashi EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW (Full Q&A): Meet ‘My Home Hero’ Actor & Naniwa Danshi Singer

Kyohei Takahashi Interview: Meet the Actor and Naniwa Danshi Singer

Starring in current Disney+ drama worldwide, My Home Hero and member of J-pop group Naniwa Danshi, Kyohei Takahashi sits down with TheReviewGeek to explain his ‘personality gap’ and how he turns introversion into energy

In an exclusive in-person interview, 23-year-old Kyohei Takahashi talks about his current drama My Home Hero (Disney+, Hulu, MBS, TBS), recent film festival-trotting romance, And Yet, You Are So Sweet (Bilibili) and music group Naniwa Danshi.

Kyohei Takahashi

In My Home Hero, your character Kyoichi sees through other people’s deceptions. Is this something you’re good at personally? Can you tell when someone is lying?

Not even slightly. Kyoichi is amazing. He’s so smart, but I’m a bit dense when it comes to that. I’m so trusting – the type of person who is easily scammed, even by my own group members.

For the first few episodes, Kyoichi appears to be a cold gang member. What were you able to draw from your own life to become this character?

We both have a very cool outward persona, not animated with our reactions. Plus, we’re both quite young among the people surrounding us. While working on the character, the director said my eyes are expressive so I should use them. I took that to heart, aiming to convey surprise, doubt, even cold ruthlessness through the eyes.

You were great in Episode 4 when Kyoichi reveals that he’s not just a gang member but a son avenging his father. Yet you’re still the guy who must appear to belong in Nobuto’s world. How did you work on making this transition for Kyoichi?

It was important to clarify – his dreams were stolen. When we meet him, his revenge quest is interrupted by what he considers little more than a nuisance. The internal struggle is where I focused my performance. Kyoichi is like 80% gangster, 20% messed-up kid. This balance helps the audience see his humanity and hopefully empathize with him.

There are many surprising scenes in My Home Hero. What’s your favorite? Which would you like to have done differently?

My personal favorite is when Kyoichi makes dinner for Tetsuo – the start of Kyoichi’s understanding that they’re not so different. I also enjoyed the gunfight scene when Tetsuo is tricked into a fake drug deal. It was my first time doing any sort of action or shootout scene – hard work, but a lot of fun.

As far as what I would do differently, I would like to redo a lot of the gunfight scenes. I was so new to it and wasn’t sure what I was doing. I feel more confident now and would like to take the experience and apply it to the same action sequence. Still, it was my first, so it will always be special.

If you were the director, what part would you change?

That’s way out of my scope (laughing). I’m not good at being in charge. I prefer to just be told what to do.

Can you tell us how your character evolves throughout the series?

Without giving away anything, by the middle of the drama, Kyoichi’s in a terrible position. He’s been told that he will take the fall if he can’t find the killer. Despite personally suspecting Tetsuo, he can’t prove it yet and he starts to identify with Tetsuo in the context of his own secret revenge mission. They begin to develop a friendship, albeit a very contentious one and I like how their characters come together. Tetsuo offers Kyoichi something he’s missing, something he hasn’t had in a long time.

And Yet, You Are So Sweet has been screened at international film festivals. Please tell us something about your character and his challenges.

Sui was a dream role – my first romantic lead, something I’d sought for a long time. He’s handsome and popular, but deep down incredibly shy; a complex character within a simple story. I was able to connect with him more easily than with Kyoichi. On the other hand, the challenge is one of the reasons I’m so proud of Kyoichi.

What would you consider the highlight of your time as Sui?

I love his interactions with the heroine. Neither of them knows what it’s like to be in love and they play it out like a game. Sui receives as Maaya gives and this magnetic interaction finally locks into a sense of real love, almost by accident. It was fun and I am very happy with the recognition it’s getting overseas. I’ve always wanted to do a romantic comedy, so its success makes me even more excited at the chance for future opportunities.

You mentioned you were able to connect with Sui easily. Were you similar in school?

There’s a scene when he first meets the heroine and overhears her situation as he’s napping in the library. This was very relatable, though while Sui was properly using his rest period to do so, I was always sneaking catnaps during class or when I was supposed to be working.

What do you like about acting that’s different to performing as part of Naniwa Danshi?

There’s a certain power when I’m performing with Naniwa Danshi. The seven of us rely on one another for strength on stage and to recharge when off. I know I can always count on them – they’re like my brothers.

On the other hand, when it comes to acting, I’m on my own. It forces me out of my comfort zone and requires me to get to know more people. As one of the youngest on My Home Hero and still very new to acting, I took in everything; not just from the actors, but the director and crew too. Nerve-wracking, but overall, it was a great experience.

Who did you learn the most from when it comes to acting?

There were many scenes with Kuranosuke-san, especially when it was just the two of us, and I learned so much from him. He was inspired by the source material and very much a ‘Dad’ with his on-set family – very loving and strong.

But with Kyoichi, there’s a timidness to him, like he’s one wrong look away from falling apart. He’s a great actor and I learned a lot, like how even something as simple as the way I take a breath can impact both my character and others in a scene.

I read that you consider yourself shy. After a few years of performing, do you still feel that way? If you weren’t in entertainment, what would your career be instead?

I’m still shy, even if it doesn’t seem like it on stage or in front of the camera. I guess I’ve just learned to turn those worries into energy. If I had a different job…that’s a good question. I used to want to be a hairdresser, so I’d probably be in beauty school learning how to do that.

I met Fujiwara Joichiro not very long ago and he shared that his role in Naniwa Danshi is to be the ‘first penguin.’ What role do you play as part of the group? 

Everyone says I’m the handsome one, which is true, but I guess most would imagine someone who takes himself too seriously, not wanting to break the ‘looks façade.’ I’m definitely not that. To continue the bird metaphor, I’m the ‘odd duck.’ I don’t always do what everyone else is doing because I want to forge my own path on my own terms. I can be a bit vain – like a parakeet in front of a mirror – but I’m not afraid to also be seen as goofy or even ugly. More than any set adjective, I’m the one and only Kyohei Takahashi. 

I saw the roller-skating basketball video. Is that what you mean? On that note – what the heck happened?

Contrary to some reactions, it was a legitimate accident. In fact, during testing, I made a few shots. But the moment we ran it for real, *bam* totally ate it, face-first into the mat. Other people might have been humiliated, but not me. As soon as they realized I wasn’t hurt, everyone on set started rolling with laughter. Hearing that assured me it would make for good TV; perhaps even better than if I’d actually made the shot. The god of comedy was on my side that day.

There was another video on your YouTube channel where each of your groupmates did a photoshoot for you. How was that experience? What did you like about it? 

I loved it. I think they came up with the idea to tease me but quickly realized that I was not going to turn down the chance to be the star of my very own video, no matter how silly it made me look. Definitely one of my personal favorites, our fans even made subtitles for it in English, Thai, and Russian, which made me especially happy. I had fun but when I see that people enjoyed it enough to it share with others, I am so grateful. It makes me want to entertain them even more!

[To share the fun, refer to video at the top of this story.]

What’s next for you? Can you share any upcoming news?

Nothing that I can officially announce just yet, but I would love to do another romantic comedy. I really like those roles. Though, it was kind of fun to be the outlaw. I don’t know, maybe my next role will be completely different.

[Since this interview, My Home Hero the movie has been announced, with Kyohei Takahashi reprising his role as Kyoichi.]

There’s not very much public information about you – so tell us something. What would you like your new international fans to know about you personally?

I like to think of myself as an embodiment of the ‘personality gap.’ I like how I look and am especially proud of my work as a magazine cover model but there’s more to me. I love being a part of Naniwa Danshi and making people laugh.

I guess I try to be a little bit of everything, so you’ll have to keep watching to see all of me.

Do you have any final words for our readers?

I hope My Home Hero will become even more popular overseas and that it will open up opportunities not just for me, but also for Naniwa Danshi. I’d love for us to go abroad!


Check out Kyohei Takahashi’s video message to TRG readers on X here. For his interview story, click here. For a review of the My Home Hero drama series, click here. For a review of the My Home Hero anime, click here.

To read fellow Naniwa Danshi member, Joichiro Fujuwara’s interview, click here. To see more interviews, here. And to read more reviews of Japanese dramas and movies, here.

Stream the entire series of My Home Hero on Disney+ worldwide and Hulu in the US. Catch it on MBS or TBS in Japan.

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