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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Sep 15, 2019



 japanese actor JOE NAKAMURA

joe nakamura and co-star kondo yohdi in ATHELETE

the JAPANESE poster of ATHLETE

JAPANESE ACTOR JOE NAKAMURA is currently in town to promote his movie, “Athlete”, that will be shown on Robinsons Galleria starting September 25, released by Viva International. He’s with his co-star, actor-model Kondo Yohdi. Joe was born on April 2, 1974 in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, but he looks much younger than his age.

He has appeared in other hit films like “Manhunt”, “36.8 C” and “Bond of Justice: Kizuna”. He has also collaborated in international co-productions with Singapore, Hongkong and Taiwan. He’s also a well known pop singer in Japan and, at the presscon of “Athlete” in Manila, he even sang a Tagalog song, “Saan Ka Man Naroroon”.

In “Athlete”, he plays Kohei, a former competitive swimmer who’s married and has a daughter who’s in high school. He thinks he lives a peaceful life, then one day, he is stunned when his wife suddenly breaks up from him, asking for a divorce. Of course, he is crushed by the separation.

Depressed, he gets drunk and meets an androgynous young twink, Yutaka (Kondo Yohdi), in Shinjuku 2-Chrome, considered as Tokyo’s gay district. Yutaka tends to him while he is so drunk and they make an instant connection with each other.

Yutaka’s ambition is to be an anime creator while also working as a live sex chat boy entertaining male customers on line. He is gay but he cannot come out to his sick father. Both sad and lonely, Kohei and Yutaka are drawn to one another and, although hesitant at the start, they end up making love with each other.

But they have a stormy relationship, often hurting each other’s feelings due to their own insecurities, especially when Yutaka meets Kohei with his teenage daughter but Kohei doesn’t introduce him to her as his young lover. But still, their love for each other grows deeper and deeper through their emotional ups and downs. Kohei then starts to question his sexuality.

Joe Nakamura’s performance as Kohei is getting a lot of positive reviews, but he reveals that it’s actually his first time to play the role of a homosexual. To prepare him, he watched the acclaimed “Brokeback Mountain”, but he says their movie “Athlete” is very different as it’s about the relationship of a man who’s divorced from his wife with a much younger man.

“Gays will find their story very touching,” Joe adds. “But even those who are not gay can relate with the emotions they go through in their roller-coaster ride of a relationship which are experienced by everyone who’s ever been in love.”