Ryota Katayose is already big and is certainly getting bigger. Since 2012 he has been a member of Generations from Exile Tribe, a boy band spinoff from the Exile mega-group with a large following in not only Japan but also China and elsewhere in Asia. The 25-year-old has also starred in a number of television dramas and films (2017’s “My Brother Loves Me Too Much,” 2019’s “Prince of Legend”), while voicing the lead role in the hit 2019 Masaaki Yuasa animation “Ride Your Wave.” He currently has 1.3 million followers on Instagram.
In his new film, “Come to Kiss Me at 0:00 AM,” Katayose plays a fictional version of himself — a movie star, named Kaede Ayase, whose megawatt smile sends female fans into a swoon or a fit, or both. Watching it, I was somehow reminded of Paul McCartney in The Beatles’ 1964 film, “A Hard Day’s Night.” There was the same steely professionalism under the boyish exterior and the same cool amusement at the madness swirling around him, though Katayose’s character does what McCartney does not in the aforementioned film: Hang out with an actual teenage girl (Kanna Hashimoto), although one not so besotted (at least initially) as her friends.
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