Child actress Mana Ashida (6) has been getting lots of attention since her outstanding performance in the drama series "Mother" this past spring. Since then, roles have been pouring in for the young star, and yet another one was announced on Saturday. She will play a supporting character in the movie "Hankyu Densha," which just started filming.
"Hankyu Densha" was first announced in August. Based on a bestselling novel by Hiro Arikawa ("Freeter, Ie wo Kau"), the film stars Miki Nakatani (34) at the center of several intertwined stories involving the people she encounters while riding the train. The movie's title comes from the Hankyu Railway, which serves as the main setting.
Ashida will share the screen with Nobuko Miyamoto (65), who plays Ashida's grandmother. One reason for Ashida's casting is that she is originally from the Hyogo prefecture, where the story takes place. As a result, she will also be speaking naturally in the local Kansai dialect.
Ashida's recent roles include the movies "Kokuhaku" and the "Ghost" remake. She has already been cast in NHK's 2011 taiga drama "Gou ~Himetachi no Sengoku~," as well as the movies "Usagi Drop" and "Inu to Anata no Monogatari: Inu no Eiga."
On the other hand, this will be Miyamoto's first movie role since "Bizan" in 2007.
The cast of "Hankyu Densha" also features Erika Toda (22). The movie is currently projected for release in April 2011.