by Chris MaGee
Lord knows life isn't easy being an actor, but for all the confidence crushing auditions, and piecemeal bit parts that actors have to suffer through on the way to to the top (or even the comfortable middle) it's nothing compared to what an actor and/ or actress in the adult film industry has to go through for their work. Throw out the idea of "art", AV roles are hard, sweaty, and often demeaning work that involves everything from public shame to the threat of H.I.V. and the folks who make their way to the top in the industry are very few and far between. You'd think that for a Japanese AV starlet like Maria Ozawa life might be a little easier, but according to a post by Brett Bull over at the Tokyo Reporter that doesn't seem to be the case.
The casting couch may be a peril that young actresses risk in their attempt to become a star, but in the Japanese AV industry young women are often forced into prostitution and their fans pay top dollar for the opportunity to meet their idols in the flesh. It's normally younger or lesser known AV stars who must suffer in the fuzoku, or sex trade, in which they are contracted out to a local hostess club or soapland, but now it seems that either 23-year-old half-Japanese/ half-Canadian Ozawa has fallen on hard financial times herself or that the folks making money off her have.
Apparently the Club Tora no Ana located in Tokyo's Shibuya district is offering up 70-minutes with Ozawa to their wealthy clients to do with her what they will. Bull's article reveals prices, etc. which I don't really feel comfortable reprinting here... It's a very well put together and well-researched piece, don't get me wrong, just one that I find very sad. (To read the full details click here)
What I find especially sad about Ozawa's situation is that she had recently been attempting to shift her career away from AV roles and into more legitimate projects, but her most recent attempt to headline a film in Jakarta caused angry demonstrations in Indonesia and the forcing of Ozawa to bow out of the mainstream film (read our report here). So if you're a young actor out there trying to make your way and feeling like you're prostituting yourself out to get work, think of poor Maria Ozawa who has sadly (and literally) been forced to do just that.