All it takes is one glance because with that first glance, you won’t be able to look away. She’ll hold your gaze like a magnet. Your eyes will soak in every slender curve. Her gentle eyes will look back at you and your brain will cease to work properly. It will cough in fits as it tries to process the beautiful woman who sits before you. Meet Miss October 2013 – Maki Horikita.
It’s been ten years since Horikita debuted in the sci-fi movie Cosmic Rescue. The eldest of three daughters, she was considered a tomboy playing baseball, basketball and role-playing Dragon Ball as a child. She became the vice-captain of her basketball club in junior high. Despite her boyishness, Horikita looked up to her mother, saying she liked to imitate her mom when she was younger.
After two years of various dramas, she caught her big break in the dramatic comedy Densha Otoko (Train Man) playing the younger sister of the title character Tsuyoshi Yamada. Since then, her career has begun to take off with TV and film roles keeping her occupied throughout the year.
“I find acting really rewarding, because no matter how many roles I play, I never feel fully satisfied with my performance,” she told The Japan Times. “It’s challenging and tough every time. I always encounter one hurdle or another, and I somehow manage to finish it and get people to see the results of my work.”
Earlier this year she starred in Kencho Omotenashi Ka (Prefectural Government’s Hospitality Division), a film about employees working in the hospitality division of the Koichi Prefecture who attempt to find new ideas to promote tourism.
“I get many opportunities to work as Maki Horikita — appearing in TV commercials and variety shows,” she says. “But when I’m acting, I want to be recognized as the person I’m playing. For example, when I’m playing the role of a scary person, I want viewers to think, ‘Oh, this person might actually be this scary in real life.’ When I’m playing a cheerful character, it would be nice if people believed that I’m a cheerful person.”
Later this year, Horikita will star in Mugiko-san To (With Mugiko), a movie about a young woman who lives with her older brother following the death of their father. Her mother left home when Mugiko was young. Mugiko has not heard from her mother since then. One day, she returns and Mugiko has mixed feelings with her mother’s sudden appearance. Her mother is also hiding the fact that she is gravely ill. The film is directed by Keisuke Yoshida (Raw Summer, Sankaku) and is due in Japanese cinemas December 21.
If you can’t wait until December (or later for folks outside of Japan), you can catch Horikita in a new TV series, Miss Pilot, set to being in Japan on October 15.