If anyone understands the truth in the phrase, "It doesn't hurt to ask" — it's Alexandra Rutter.

The 23-year-old cofounder and artistic director of Whole Hog Theatre (WHT) is also the director of the first-ever adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's 1997 anime masterpiece, "Princess Mononoke."

"I feel incredibly privileged to have been given this opportunity," she tells The Japan Times by phone from England. "I didn't ever think we would get it."