Friday, January 29, 2010

Haruka Ayase goes from "Oppai Volleyball" and being the blind swordswoman to KFC

by Chris MaGee

Okay, it's not at all unusual for even a critically-acclaimed actor or actress to take on a lucrative endorsement deal. We've seen Anne Hathaway become the face of L'Oreal Cosmetics, Gene Hackman does voice over work for the Oppenheimer Funds commercials, but I don't think we tend to see such high profile talent shilling for fast food joints. I guess that even though actress Haruka Ayase just picked up the Blue Ribbon Award for her role in Eiichiro Hasumi's "Oppai Volleyball" it doesn't mean that she doesn't need some extra cash, and quite a few extra calories.

The 24-year-old, who also won acclaim last year for her role as the blind swordswoman in Fumihiko Sori's "Ichi", has signed on to be the spokeswoman for KFC in 2010. The fast food company is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Japan and to kick off a year of special meal deals, promotions, and of course a new campaign of commercials Ayase was on hand at a press conference in Tokyo last week with KFC Japan president Masao Watanabe plus the most popular inanimate buddy for photos of giddy gaijin touring Japan, the fiber glass Colonel Sanders that stand outside Japanese KFC restaurants.

Ayase was presented with a doll designed to resemble her, plus a bucket of chicken. She admitted that while shooting a series of commercials for KFC that she'd swiped a drumstick or two between takes. She's a braver person than me. While I may not have the iron-coated stomach of my youth anymore I'm still pretty resilient when it comes to eating greasy foods... except for KFC. man, that stuff does a number on me. Well, my only advice to Ayase is to hit the treadmill after polishing off a bucket of chicken otherwise she may end up losing that "Oppai Volleyball" figure.

Thanks to Japan Today for this bit of news, and to MSN Japan for the above image.

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