Erika Sawajiri loses comeback movie role as contract termination looms

Erika Sawajiri loses comeback movie role as contract termination looms Erika Sawajiri

TOKYO —

Erika Sawajiri, 23, has lost her part in an upcoming movie that was supposed to mark her comeback as an actress, with the role going to actress Meisa Kuroki, 21.

Sawajiri was initially chosen over Kuroki and several other candidates to be the leading lady in “Space Battleship Yamato,” scheduled to hit cinemas in December next year. Filming for the movie - rumored to have production costs of roughly 1 billion yen - will start next month.

The change in casting came about after Sawajiri’s agency, Stardust Promotion, informed production management that they were considering terminating her contract. Stardust has not yet confirmed the reason behind her forthcoming dismissal but one staff member did say that it was due to a significant breach of contract.

Sawajiri has spent most of her time in Spain and England since getting married to media creator Takeshi Takashiro, 45, at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo in January. She was seen heading for a fashion show in New York in February wearing fashion items Stardust viewed as a promotion for Takashiro’s business interests.

In July, she was cautioned by police on Amami Oshima, an island in Kagoshima Prefecture, which was a popular spot for viewing the solar eclipse, after she was found to be riding a powered bicycle that required registration.

Rumors abound, however, that drugs may be involved, with Sawajiri and Takashiro attending an event on Amami Oshima which Noriko Sakai, 38, also attended. Takashiro has since written on his blog that they have never met Sakai nor her husband.

  • 0

    TheDave

    I feel kind-of-sort-of bad for Sawajiri, but then again she has been a bit of a beech. However, A Space Battleship Yamato movie is something to be really excited about.

  • 1

    Molenir

    A 23 year old girl married a 45 year old guy? I feel sorry for her too. Were there no decent guys her own age?

  • 0

    Hehehohohaha

    Being canned for being involved in her husband's business and no scooter registration? mmmm nah don't buy it. Using the fashion thing and scooter registration as a way to cover up drug use? Oh yeah that sounds much more likely given that media attention Sakai has received.

  • 0

    bgaudry

    Guilty of association I expect. Nevermind, this young lady is rather rude and annoying, so glad she's losing work.

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    she is pimple on the bum of Japan's entertainment industry and Kuroki Meisa is prettier and nicer anyway.Looks like the agencies are starting to jettison the riskier celebs..My wife said that the reason she got dumped is cos she didn't want to work in a movie with Kimutaku.Can't blame her for that one..

  • 0

    Betting

    I don't fully understand the background of this of course, but write that they have never met Sakai or her husband in order to avoid claims about drug use seems pretty weak and childish.

    Anyway, hopefully the movie will be pretty good. I'll be lining up to see it.

  • 0

    Sarge

    Betsuni.

  • 0

    KallyPygous

    Japanese business practices really need to be overhauled. An actor shouldn't lose their role just because they lose their agent.

    I seriously doubt that by the time humans have space battleships anyone will remember Yamato or even Japan. Global politics will surely be unrecognisable so far into the future.

  • 0

    IchyaWarFare

    Good stuff. Glad they are getting rid of the trash.

  • 0

    GW

    A 23 year old girl married a 45 year old guy? I feel sorry for her too. Were there no decent guys her own age?

    Ah lets see, how about because, KACHING!! $$$$$$$$$

  • 0

    Potsu

    Not the classiest looking person.

  • 0

    pawatan

    Not the classiest looking person.

    Not the classiest person, either. Her little diva meltdown a few years ago was stuff of idiot legend.

    Why would she expect people would want to hire her after acting like such a diva publicly? It's not like there's not another few thousand pretty young things who could step in and do what she does without all the drama and chaos.

  • 0

    cow76

    Comebacks seem to be taking place at younger and younger ages. 23? I was in university then. Anyway, never heard of this woman or anyone else in this story but the fewer Japanese celebrities the better. They're all annoying.

  • 0

    bobbafett

    “Space Battleship Yamato,”

    will the ship be embarrassingly obliterated without a single kill like the WW2 Yamato?

  • 0

    gogogo

    23 is the new 40, they gave it too a younger girl.

  • 0

    Yelnats

    Why is everyone picking on her? I think she is kind of cute.

  • 0

    stirfry

    don't you have to be somebody first ?

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    The cops are slowly weeding out some of the tall poppies that have gotten themselves noticed for the wrong reasons..there will be no shortage of 'tarento' ready to dob other competitors in for doing drugs either,I would guess.The list of celebs who are reportedly skating on very thin ice is well-known and finding it's way into Japanese scandal mags (rightly or wrongly) but the softly softly approach by the police seems to be a ploy to let some of these big names detox before possible drug tests.I think we may see more people axed by their agencies if they are given the heavy word by the Japanese Police.It does seem like a Japanese way of doing things.Remove someone from the spotlight with an inference of 'we are watching you,so wise up'.Nobody at the agency gets arrested and life goes on as usual. Sawajiri has made herself so many enemies in the geinoukai and the general public that she was obviously an easy target.

  • 0

    wontond

    23 and already working on a comeback?! Are we sure she every really arrived? Perhaps she might want to find another line of work.

  • 0

    kokorocloud

    She had a melt down a few years ago? What's that about?

    Everything is about drugs lately, gosh...

  • 0

    Midnightpromise

    She will make a fine CATIII actress.

  • 0

    franz75

    bobbafett: the original story says that they made the space ship out of the wreck of the one rusting in the ocean.

  • 0

    chewbakayaro

    I saw her at the beach once several years filming a drama - cute as heck, I thought. Then she got all diva-ish - including some pretty wild hair, clothes, and make-up - so then I turned my attention to Kuroki Meisa - gorgeous as heck, I thought. No doubt the Yamato casters were reading my mind when they decided to replace Erika with Meisa.

    By the way, Battleship Yamato was an old cartoon from back in the 80s that hooked me like Melrose Place did for the young 1990s crowd. A movie version would be a pretty sweet ride.

  • 0

    TSRnow

    Anybody remember seeing Starblazers on TV? That's Yamato. I think it started out like "We're all in outer space, protecting mother earth...?"

    BTW, her attitude probably lead to all this, so it's nobody else's fault but her own.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Sawajira is amongst the absolute most spoiled and immature people I've ever heard of. I agree with a poster above that her celebrity meltdown a while back was absolutely amazing to see, and her reasons for marrying (including a VERY explicit contract) are simply disgusting.

    Good riddance. Of course, she'll still be loaded and likely get away with whatever she wants for a good few years yet, but I can see her blowing it all away somehow.

  • 0

    Sarge

    This is the worst photo of her I've seen.

  • 0

    Shaolin7

    Youtube actually had the clip for a while, where she was interviewed after the infamous "betsu ni" incident and ended up crying buckets. It certainly goes to show good looks don't amount to a thing, if character is lacking. Someone else alluded to it in one of the Noriko Sakai threads, but there are allegations of drug use by KT and his wife Shizuka Kudo, as well. Don't expect to see the celebs + drugs angle getting dropped anytime soon.

  • 0

    abromofo

    I'm starting to get the impression that any female in this country that scores higher than a 6 out of 10 on my hotness scale generally behaves like an obnoxious brat.

  • 0

    LoveUSA

    This woman has a French mother?

  • 0

    Cliffy

    Oh! Space Battleship Yamato. I used to watch that Anime when I was a little kid. Now, they are making a live movie? I think she could fit as all female characters in that series are anorexic.

  • 0

    mnemosyne23

    head tilt I don't know the first thing about this actress, but she's trying to make a comeback at 23? Wow.

    Reading some of the comments it sounds like she's had a bit of a checkered history in the spotlight, but given her youth I'm wondering if it's less that she's always been a brat and more that she's fallen into the same celebrity trap that so many young stars encounter. Namely, they're thrust into the limelight, everything's aces and candy, then the bloom starts to come off the rose and they find themselves fighting to stay afloat. It happened to Britney. It happened to Lindsay (and hasn't particularly STOPPED happening for her). Just because Sawajiri is Japanese doesn't mean the same thing couldn't happen to her, nor to all the other "pretty young things" (male and female) who hitch a ride on the "tarento" wagon in Japan.

    Also, I think it's pretty ridiculous that rumors of drug use "abound" just because she and her husband attended a party that was ALSO attended by Noriko Sakai. SHOCK. Give me a break, people. If drugs are involved, then make the case with something other than "She was in the same place as so-and-so!" Last I heard, you don't catch drug addiction like the flu, just from being in someone's vicinity. Geez.

  • 0

    tokyotom

    i thought she looked hot when she pouted

  • 0

    bobbafett

    the original story says that they made the space ship out of the wreck of the one rusting in the ocean.

    LMAO

  • 0

    Osakadaz

    yeah Kimutaku and his wife were also at the Amami eclipse event and are inseperable from the Sakais,whereas Sawajiri probably has no connection with them.Guilt by association but probably with fairly decent grounds. Sawajiri's mum is French Berber/Algerian.

  • 0

    SebastianFlyte

    What a load of useless babble.

  • 0

    Feekalmatter

    I think everyone who has read this article (including myself) should seriously consider what else they could have done with the minute it took.

  • 0

    bdiego

    Wow, of the lowest things to do..riding a powered bicycle without registration!! That's like ten times worse than using drugs or being naked in Roppongi park right? Right?

  • 0

    nightvision

    I pity this girl. All because of PMS.

  • 0

    bdiego

    Wow, walk into the same building as Noriko Sakai and you get accused of using drugs! That's rumor for you.

  • 0

    seggahme

    Erika is one of the most talented and beautiful j-actresses i know. Stardust - is just one from the very long talent agencies. Erika's husbund is himself enough powered person in showbiz. so i don't much worry of this accident. maybe, Erika herself wanted to break her contract.

  • 0

    unrested

    when she threw that fit it was ridiculious. i never completely understood, but she seriously acted like one of my kindergartners who doesnt get there way. she pouted the whole interview, almost refused to answer questions, then bawled at the end.

  • 0

    yuki0426

    I like her as a japanese actress, so it is pity that I hear this news.

  • 0

    riverwalk

    I wonder why she don't learn by experience of the past. I don't know she is on drugs or not. But watching news like this,everyone can't help doubting her.

  • 0

    zMeina

    I think if Erika Sawajili not have something doutful,she must setting a press interview and explain to they about this dismissal. However,taking an active part in the world at this occasion is also good.

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