Interview: NAOKO MORI from TORCHWOOD (Part Two)

Torchwood - Naoko Mori and Anthony Lewis

Here is the second part of our interview with Naoko Mori, who plays Tosh on TORCHWOOD.

In part one, Naoko Mori talked about Tosh’s evolution this last season, her doomed love life, how she first heard about Doctor Who, what originally made her want to become an actor, and much more.

In part two, Naoko Mori touches on the dramatic ending of Tosh, her future projects, her dream role, and more.


I haven’t actually seen the last episode, “Exit Wounds,” but I was told that something major happens to your character. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Naoko Mori: Oh yes, something major happens. What can I say, it was very emotional on and off camera, but it’s a really special episode and I have to say the writing again, it always comes back down to the writing and that just sums it up. I think it’s a very surprising turn of events, especially for the viewers and the fans, but that kind of shocking thing is always good I think. What I was happy to see was that it wasn’t done just for the sake of it, as a gimmick. To me it makes sense, because I think she has had an incredible journey, it’s like she came full circle. And also, on a very basic point of view, it just reminds people that it is dangerous being in Torchwood. People die young and it reinforces the fact that it’s a dangerous job we do. It’s an amazing climax and so well written and we had a lot of discussions at the time, how it was gonna happen and many many emails, conversation and on a personal level, I just wanted to make sure it was done with the right balance. I think and I hope we managed to do that. But yeah the last two are certainly the big episodes. The reaction has been ridiculous here in England. The texts and calls and emails, I’ve been getting just from friends following the series, it’s like “Oh my God” (laughs). People coming up to me on the street welling up “I can’t believe…” I guess we did something right.

Do you have any future projects that you are working on?

Naoko Mori: I’m kind of waiting to hear. I’ve been spending a lot of time in LA and stuff. There’s a theater project that’s happening in Japan, but also something else happening in America. But it’s like Murphy’s Law, everything always clashes, so we’re trying to figure out how to work all this logistically. But yes, I’ll certainly be back there very soon. Maybe before or after I do this thing in Japan. So yes, I’ve got a couple of really nice and interesting stuff coming up, so that’s kind of exciting. I mean, I’ll miss Torchwood and I’ll miss the gang and you know it doesn’t feel like it’s ended because we’re all still in touch, and we’ll always keep in touch. John (Barrowman) for example and I have known each other for like eighty five years. But yes, there is some exciting stuff coming up so we’ll see.

Is that something that you would like to do, move to the US?

Naoko Mori: Yes, I mean, I actually grew up in the States when I was a child. I moved to New Jersey when I was four, so I actually learned my English out there and in fact I’ve only become very British because I’ve been here for a while now. So yes, I’d like to spend some time back in the States. I also want to do some stuff in Japan, I used to do a lot of stuff in Japan way before Torchwood and stuff, so I’m usually always on the move it feels like. I still haven’t unpacked fully from LA and it looks like I’ll be repacking in the next week or two. I think that for me, from my own background of having lived around so much, it’s always like I have three tanks inside me, it sounds really strange to say but, it’s like I have an England tank, an America tank, and a Japan tank, and for me I need to almost keep moving around, not in a sort of insecure way, but it just feels like once in a while I need to go back to Japan and sort of recharge my Japanese side or something. That’s what I’ll kind of be doing. I think after two years in England and two years in Cardiff in the rain, in the cold, I need a little bit of sun and some good Mexican food.

Is there a dream role you’d love to play that you haven’t had the opportunity to play yet?

Naoko Mori: So many. Like I said I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to play a variety of stuff, even within Torchwood and to me doing stuff like Absolutely Fabulous and then working with the Spice Girls and working with someone like Mike Leigh. I’ve been trying to think what I’d like to do and you know I’d really love to do like a costume drama. It something I’ve never ever done, it probably sounds like a weird idea because I’m Japanese and you wouldn’t necessarily find Japanese people in a Victorian costume film, you know, but why not? I’m always up for the changes and new challenges and stuff, so certainly that’s for sure, like a nice period drama or something. And anything that’s got a good story. It’s all about telling a good story. You know, it would be nice to do some theater again, I did “Avenue Q” between the first series and the second series, which was great because I hadn’t done a musical in a while and it’s such a good show. It’s great to sing again. So yes, maybe do a play, maybe a costume drama, do you call it a costume drama? and who knows it’ll be nice. The theater project in Japan will be nice and this thing in the States which is gonna be a TV thing would be pretty cool too, but it’s if all the dates work out (laughs).

Can you talk a little more about the Japanese project?

Naoko Mori: It’s a theater project, it will be a play, we just don’t know what. There’s a theater I’ve worked with a couple of times and we’ve been talking about doing something, so it’ll either be a musical or a play. And we’re just sort of making a short list of what kind of plays would be good for the new season and stuff. The other thing I can’t talk about it too much because not everything is signed sealed and delivered.

Is there someone you would like to work with that you haven’t had the chance to work with yet?

Naoko Mori: Oh my God. So many people. I’m a huge fan of Woody Allen and that’s one thing I’d love to do and I haven’t done for a while, I’d love to do some film work. And I love Woody Allen films and so many good directors out there and writers out there. I mean it’s like how long have you got? I can give you a list of all the people I want to work with. But yes, there’s certainly a lot of people, especially in the US.