Asked by Kevin Stringer in DanceCelebritiesAsk Me Anything
Answers with Mari Koda?
What has happened since the end of STEP UP REVOLUTION?
Jenny Kido went back to New York and was working hard as a phone operator, but because she has an accent she was having a hard time. Also, she was missing her friends because everyone moved to California.
What dancing styles have you mastered?
I have never mastered any style of dance yet, but most people are happiest when they see my popping and freestyle dancing. I guess I am getting better with those styles of dance.
Are you currently studying any new dancing style?
No, I got hit by a car when I was in Canada filming STEP UP: ALL IN. I'm still trying to manage with the pain from that so I'm re-studying my own styles.
You've danced for several artists, including Jamie Foxx, 50 Cent, Skrillex, and Missy Elliott. What artists are you most eager to work with now?
When you're not dancing or acting, what do you like to do?
I like cooking, reading books and meditating in nature.
September 10, 2019 4:18PM
You won first place in BET's 106 & Park Freestyle dance competition. What do you think set you apart from the other competitors?
I was very relaxed and had fun, because I didn't know it was a competition. My friend called me and told me to go to 106&Park studio because they were looking for a dancer or something... Then I ended up on the stage...
What was the audition process like for your role as 'Jenny Kido' in the STEP UP franchise?
It was an open call audition, so many people were there and waiting. I was one of them. I didn't know it was for a movie, I was happy to dance freestyle and learn new choreography. After the audition I found out that it was for a movie. They said STEP UP but I didn't know about the first one so I figured it was for a TV commercial.
This is your fourth time reprising the role of 'Jenny Kido' in the STEP UP franchise. What do you know about the character now that you didn't when you started?
She is the only character in the movie that doesn't have a love interest. I feel bad for Jenny Kido because she never falls in love. I think she needs to find someone in the STEP UP movies... Hopefully she can find love in STEP UP 6!
September 10, 2019 4:20PM
How do you and your co-stars prepare before you start shooting the movie?
At dance rehearsal, we dance a lot to exchange our energy and get vibes from each other. It's a great way to prepare before we start shooting.
What can you tell us about STEP UP: ALL IN's plot?
It's about learning how to work as a dancer in L.A., and how to make money doing it. Yes, we all love to dance and perform but it's about how we can manage it and keep our relationships with our friends as well.
What makes STEP UP: ALL IN different from the rest of the movies in the franchise?
We are always moving forward and growing up together with the fans.
Which actor or actress inspires you the most?
Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx.
September 10, 2019 4:22PM
What will excite ANSWERS.COM users for them to go check you out in STEP UP: ALL IN?
Well I got hit by a car and it was pretty bad, but Jenny Kido still did her thing. I am very proud of her. I didn't use any pain killers, I just did a lot of icing.
You're currently touring the world teaching dance workshops, sharing your knowledge and skills with people willing to learn. What motivated you to do this? How is it going?
It has been more than amazing. I love traveling so I am always motivated just knowing that I am going to a different country. I love sharing my experiences with others and the happiness and excitement that comes from that is very powerful.
When you return to Japan, you're immediately recognized for your standout career. How has your life changed since you became an international star?
Nothing changed around me, but I have more chances to meet new people than before.
How is dance perceived/performed in Japan vs. the U.S.?
I don't think there is much of a difference. Dance is a universal language and every country knows it.
What advice would you give to any dancers or actors out there trying to follow in your footsteps?
Having fun is the most important thing; and please don't compare yourself to others! We all have a good side and a bad side, a strong side and a weak side, and a bright side and a dark side... making a balance for yourself in order to become a professional has nothing to do with other people.
What made you decide to pursue acting?
I love to experience other people's life in a film...that's why I decided to pursue acting. One day I told Jon Chu (the director of STEP UP 2 and STEP UP 3D) about it and then he made parents for Jenny Kido in STEP UP 3D; I think he did it because I told him. When he casted an actress for Jenny Kido's mom it was the same date that my mother passed away a long time ago. I thought it was so cool but the scene got cut, lol.
Do you have any new acting projects coming up? If so, what are they?
Yes, but I can't tell you yet!!!!
September 10, 2019 4:27PM
Are you interested in pursuing more serious roles or do you like playing the lighter and more humorous characters?
I love both, I am interested in playing any character.
If you had the chance to be in any movie, which one would it be and why?
21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, I'd like to play Schmidt's adopted sister.