Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Maki Horikita (堀北真希 Horikita Maki?, born October 6, 1988, in Kiyose, Tokyo) is a Japanese actress. Maki Horikita started her acting career in 2003 as a U-15 idol and has since starred in a number of Japanese television dramas, TV and magazine ads, and films.
Maki Horikita was born the eldest of three girls on 6 October 1988 in Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan. She was boyish during her childhood days, like in middle school, she enjoyed playing basketball and baseball with her friends on holidays. While she was in junior high, she preferred to play Dragon Ball Z with the boys more than playing with the girls. This was because with the girls, she couldn’t play the princess the way she wanted in the princess make-believe games.
When she attended as a guest on KAT-TUN's variety show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, she stated that she loved imitating her mother when she was young.
In her junior high years, she served as student council vice-president and basketball club vice-captain. She was also described as the “Boss of 3-C” in a number of various writings, in recognition of her status as class leader. As she became more active in the entertainment industry, she put her club and council activities on hold. Being unable to meet her many commitments and after much deliberation, she finally withdrew from her school activities, plainly concentrating on her studies and career.
After completing her senior high education, she passed the entrance examination for Chuo University, known for its Law school, but it is uncertain whether she will study Law.
Later in 2003, Horikita started to model for various advertisements and star in TV dramas and films in supporting roles. Her first photobooks featured her as a mild-themed gravure model. However, her career in the said modeling field was indeed short-lived since she gradually dropped gravure-themed modeling when she started to get busy with TV appearances.
Her well-known commercials are her advertisements for Fujifilm (wherein she appeared alongside Japanese idol Nagase Tomoya) and Lotte (particularly for its sub-brands Ghana and Airs). Her current advertisements for the said chocolate brand are its Ice Yogurt and Shasha.
Horikita has appeared in numerous men's and teenage magazines, most of them featuring her on the cover.
Currently, Horikita is a constantly praised U-20 Japanese idol, her rise to fame seemingly gradual but certain.
In 2005, she gained much recognition from her back-to-back TV dramas, Densha Otoko and Nobuta wo Produce.
Her exemplary portrayal in Nobuta wo Produce as the shy Nobuko Kotani, bagged her a Best Supporting Actress award in a Japanese award-giving body. On the other hand, the chemistry between her character, Nobuko, commonly known as Nobuta, and Kusano Akira, played by Japanese male idol Tomohisa Yamashita, was recognized as well, leading both of them to star in another drama, Kurosagi. Horikita bagged her second Best Supporting Actress award from the same award-giving body for her performance in this drama.
Come 2007, her role as Ashiya Mizuki in the Japanese adaptation of the gender-bender manga Hana-Kimi, or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, earned her a Best Actress award, her first one to date. After filming the series, she has been attending press conferences for her three projects: the Taiga drama, Atsuhime; the suspense movie where she plays the lead character who has a multiple personality disorder, Tokyo Shōnen, and the sequel of her breakthrough movie, Always: Sunset on Third Street.
All her exceptional work paid off when Horikita was chosen by Vogue Nippon as one of its eleven Women of the Year (award) for 2007. Recipients of this same award include Ayase Haruka and Anna Tsuchiya.
Horikita is also one of the six young female hosts of the radio show, GIRLS LOCKS!, a sub-portion of the Japanese radio program, SCHOOL OF LOCKS!. She usually gives her letter-senders a call as a form of reply and gives book recommendations to her listeners. Her stint is at ten in the evening, every third or fourth week of the month. Other hosts of this radio show include Yui Aragaki and Erika Toda.
She has also debuted as an anime seiyu for a Doraemon animated movie, Nobita and the Green Giant Legend 2008 as the young princess of the "Green Planet," who transfers all of Earth's plants there because of the Earth's advancing environmental destruction.
On January 20, 2008, she did a public 'after-recording' at a studio in Meguro, Tokyo for the Doraemon movie, along with other guest voice actors like Maria Genesis (GT). She already has done a voice recording for a video game series, Professor Layton series since 2006, but she said it's harder to get used to dubbing in the animation, than it is for the game. She was asked who, in the Doraemon series, is her favorite type of a boy. She replied that she has a lot in common with Nobita; a similar interest in sleeping, string figures, and shooting (as seen in western movies).