Biography

 

Profile

Name: Horikita Maki (堀北真希)
Nicknames: Maki-maki, Homaki, Makinpo, Horikitty, Pori-chan
Birth date: October 6th, 1988
Birth place: Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan
Body height: 160cm
Star sign: Libra
Blood type: B
Profession: Actress and endorser
Talent agency: Sweet Power
Official website: Horikita Collection

Childhood

Horikita Maki is the eldest of three girls. She was boyish during most of her childhood. On holidays, during middle school, she would enjoy playing basketball and baseball with her friends. She also preferred playing Dragon Ball Z with the boys than playing dolls with the girls.

Despite being boyish, she looked up to her mother. This was revealed when she appeared on KAT-TUN’s variety show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, where she mentioned that she liked imitating her mother when she was younger.

Education

In junior high school, Horikita Maki served as the vice-president of her school’s student council and the vice-captain of the basketball club. She was dubbed “The Boss of 3-C” in recognition of her status as the class representative.

As she became more active in the entertainment industry, she had to 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, concentrating solely on her studies and career.

Career

Printing and Advertising

Apart from modeling for photobooks as a U-15 idol, Horikita Maki started appearing in various advertisements in 2003. Her well-known commercials are her advertisements for Fujifilm (where she appeared alongside Japanese idol, Tomoya Nagase) and Lotte. In 2008, she was chosen as Honda Cars Japan’s endorser of STEP WGN.

She had also appeared in numerous magazines, most of them featuring her on the cover. Her semi-suggestive photoshoot in the October issue of AnAn Magazine and her photo book, entitled S, were both released in October 2008 in time for her 20th birthday, the age in Japan that formally inducts a person into adulthood.

She was also chosen to be the model in the cover of First Kiss, a compilation album of 15 songs from female artists released in the late 90′s. The album aims to evoke people’s memories of their first kiss, with the songs having been chosen through a survey of women in their twenties. The album includes songs from Hikaru Utada, Ringo Shiina and The Brilliant Green. She was enlisted to appear on the CD jacket through a survey and turned out to be the most popular choice among the young actresses of the present day that reminded the respondents of themselves when they had their first kiss.

Nihon Monitor recognized her as one of the top endorsers in Japan for 2008 in its annual Most Popular Personality in TV CMs. She is also a staple image endorser for Suntory and NTT DoCoMo.

Radio Broadcasting

Horikita Maki was one of the six young female hosts of the radio show, GIRLS LOCKS!, a sub-portion of the Japanese radio program, SCHOOL OF LOCKS!, from radio network TOKYO FM. She usually gave her letter-senders a call as a form of reply and provided book recommendations to her listeners. Her stint was at ten in the evening, every third or fourth week of the month. Other hosts of this radio show were Yui Aragaki, Chiaki Kuriyama, Nana Eikura and Kii Kitano. She already graduated from SCHOOL OF LOCKS! and her last radio appearance was on 14 May 2009.

Voice Acting

Horikita Maki 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. Her most prominent voice acting stint was when she provided the voice for Luke, a character from the video game series, Professor Layton series.

Early 2009, she had also dubbed a character from the Belgian 3D animated movie, Nat’s Space Adventure 3D or Fly Me to the Moon. Her voice was used as the Japanese voice of the protagonist, a young male fly who is determined to explore the outer space.

Film and TV Drama Acting

Among Horikita Maki’s many drama and movie stints, she gained much recognition in the 2005 television dramas, Densha Otoko and Nobuta wo Produce. Her exemplary portrayal of the titular character in Nobuta wo Produce bagged her a Best Supporting Actress award from Japan’s Television Academy Awards. The role propelled her into popularity. Shortly after Nobuta wo Produce, she starred in a television special, Tsubasa ni Oreta Tenshitachi (Wingless Angels), a 4-night special that features four of the most popular young Japanese actresses in roles that depict the darker reality of the lives of young Japanese women. In 2005, she also appeared in the baseball movie, Gyakkyo Nine. It was also around this time that she won the Newcomer Award from Japan Academy Awards for her role as a student apprentice in Always: Sunset on Third Street.

In Nobuta wo Produce, the chemistry between her character (Nobuko, commonly known as Nobuta) and Akira Kusano (played by Japanese idol and NEWS member, Tomohisa Yamashita) was recognized as well, leading both of them to star in another drama, Kurosagi. She played the role of Tsurara Yoshikawa, a law student who disapproves of Kurosagi’s swindling ways and who, ironically, falls in love with the con artist. She bagged her second Best Supporting Actress for performing the said role, a year after she received her first one from the same award-giving body. A number of producers and scriptwriters had come to recognize her acting skills and soon she was given the lead role for Teppan Shoujo Akane!!, and the role of a mastermind bully who pulls the strings from behind a class of rebellious students in the drama Seito Shokun!, where Rina Uchiyama (her agency senior) is the lead actress. She was also part of the Japan-South Korea collaboration movie, One Missed Call: Final (third and last installment of the One Missed Call franchise), with Meisa Kuroki (her agency colleague) and Jang Geun-suk (South Korean actor).

Come 2007, her role as Mizuki Ashiya in the Japanese drama adaptation of the gender-bender manga, Hana-Kimi or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, earned her a Best Actress award. Towards the end of the series, she had been attending press conferences for three of her other projects: Atsuhime (the Taiga drama), Tokyo Shonen (the suspense movie where she played the lead character who has multiple personality disorder) and Always: Zoku Sanchome no Yuhi (the sequel to her breakthrough movie, Always: Sunset on Third Street). All of her exceptional work paid off when she was chosen by Vogue Nippon as one of its eleven recipients of the prestigious Women of the Year award for 2007. Other recipients of the same award were Ayase Haruka and Anna Tsuchiya.

It was early 2008 when she was chosen as the lead actress for NTV’s two-part four-hour special, Tokyo Daikushu, which was televised on March 17 and 18, 2008. The drama was a special commemoration of Japan during the World War II era, when Japan had been under siege. Alongside actor Tatsuya Fujiwara of the Death Note fame, she played the role of Haruko Sakuragi, a nurse whose father had been killed years ago when his factory was bombed during the war. Fujiwara, on the other hand, is the man who saved her during her father’s death, and who is later on brought into a hospital as a patient with a heart condition where the two once again cross paths. Other actors in the drama special include Eita, Yuki Shibamoto, Ryoko Kuninaka, Hiroshi Tachi and Miki Maya, with the drama’s music composed by Yoshiki of the legendary rock band X-Japan.

Two years after starring in Kurosagi, TBS brought the television drama to the silver screen and she reprised her role as Tsurara Yoshikawa in Kurosagi. The movie was said to have earned approximately 15.5 million US dollars, whereas the movie had been filmed with only a budget of 2 million US dollars.

In October of the same year, she was once again seen on television, opposite Yujin Kitagawa (Yuzu’s lead vocalist), leading the cast of Fuji TV’s golden time slot in the drama Innocent Love. She played the tragic heroine, Kanon Akiyama, a young woman who seeks a better life away from her hometown without people judging her based on her family background, only to find love in the form of a church pianist, played by Yujin Kitagawa.

She also appeared in the TV Asahi special, Danso no Reijin (aired in December, 2008), as Ri Kouran, a famous actress in China and the United States during the 1950s, while the lead role of Yoshiko Kawashima was taken by Meisa Kuroki. Ri Kouran, whose real name was Yoshiko Yamaguchi, had been rumoured to be closely linked to Kawashima at one point.

Towards the end of the year, she had been cast as Naomi, the female protagonist of Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shite or DareKiss (based on Gabrielle Zevin’s popular novel, “Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac”), a Hollywood-Japan collaboration film directed by internationally acclaimed director and self-confessed Japanese culture fanatic, Hans Canosa. She played the role of a student at an international school in Tokyo, who loses four years of her memory after falling down a flight of stairs, an ambitious role as nearly half of her dialogue is in English.

As soon as the filming for DareKiss ended, she had gone on to appear in two television dramas, Atashinchi no Danshi (in 2009 as an adoptive mother of six young men, played by Jun Kaname and Mukai Osamu, among others) and Tokujo Kabachi!! (in 2010 as an administrative scrivener, opposite Arashi’s Sho Sakurai).

Come January 2011, she starred in the movie adaptation of Byakuyakou, a widely read novel that was adapted into a television drama in 2006, starring Haruka Ayase and Takayuki Yamada. Produced by WOWOW FILMS, the movie was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama category. In the summer of 2011, she led the cast of a family drama called Umareru.
 

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