Mayumi Yoshida is returning to The Man in the High Castle for the final season. In this exclusive interview, she talks about the Crown Princess’ return.
The Man in the High Castle returns for its final season next week. We’re ready to find out how it all ends, and we know there will be some familiar faces back. One of those familiar faces is Mayumi Yoshida, who returns as the Crown Princess.
We haven’t seen the Crown Princess since the first season. Why is she back for the final season and what does she want? Yoshida talked to Amazon Adviser exclusively about her return, her work in directing and producing, and future projects.
Amazon Adviser: What can you share about your character and her storyline for Season 4?
Mayumi Yoshida: The Crown Princess comes back to San Francisco to begin to take a more hands-on role in the governing of the Pacific States. She has a lot to say this season, and she’s not backing down.
AA: What’s it like coming back to the show four years later?
Yoshida: I’ve actually been involved in the show throughout Seasons 2 and 3 as a Japanese Dialect Coach, so I never felt like I left. The cast and crew are like a big family to me now. But people always asked what happened to the Crown Princess, so I’m so glad she came back.
AA: What’s it been like knowing that this is the final season of the series?
Yoshida: I think we were lucky in a sense that we got to end it the way we wanted to. Instead of getting canceled midway through telling the story. There was an air of appreciation in every department and we all wanted to do the best we could, knowing it’s the last.
AA: At what point did you know that you were returning as The Crown Princess?
Yoshida: Isa [Dick Hacket, showrunner] called me maybe, like three months or so before the first day of principal photography. Best news ever.
I had very short hair in the first season, and Caroline who’s our fabulous Head of Hair department had to make it look like I had long hair for the Crown Princess. So for The Man in the High Castle Season 4, I made sure I had long hair to make her job easier. I also had the opportunity to get Royal mannerism coaching, wore kimonos more often, which helped me get back into her even after four years.
AA: What are you excited for fans to see for your character (without spoilers)?
Yoshida: She’s not the young quiet princess anymore. She’s in a position where she must carry great responsibility, and she is not afraid to challenge others. It was truly an honour playing her not only because of who she simply is, but because she was a fearless Japanese woman in a male led society.
I think just like Juliana, Helen, and Bell, the women in this season are so powerful. I’m excited for the fans to see how these women play a big part in this epic finale.
AA: I notice you’re directing, producing, and writing now as well as acting. What’s it been like moving to behind the scenes and managing multiple “hats” in the business?
Yoshida: Being part of the High Castle family taught me so much. In every department, storytelling is always essential. So the core never changes no matter which hat I wear, it always must serve the story. I enjoy the synergy between it all, especially between writing/acting/directing.
AA: Can you share anything about your upcoming projects?
Yoshida: I have a short film I co-directed with Nach Dudsdeemaytha called Tokyo Lovers that we guerrilla shot in Japan two years ago. We’re finally releasing the film online at the end of November, just in time for X’mas. Since the movie is set during X’mas/New Years in Tokyo.
I have a film I co-directed with Diana Bang (The Interview) called In Loving Memory written and starring Andrea Bang (Kim’s Convenience), which is premiering at the Whistler Film Festival on Dec. 8.
I’m also developing my directorial debut short AKASHI into a feature length film which we aim to shoot in 2020.
AA: Do you have a dream role that you’d love to play or a dream project you’d love to direct?
Yoshida: It changes from time to time, but right now I want to be in anything Phoebe Waller-Bridge does because I adore her. Maybe a big movie like Star Wars or something in that range so my family and friends in Japan can watch it in theatres back home. I believe in the power of representation, so I want to contribute by being part of a big franchise like that, so people of color/women like me feel seen and included.
As a director, I love stories that feature complex women. Big Little Lies was brilliant and I’d love to create something as good as that in the future.
What are you excited to see come from the Crown Princess in The Man in the High Castle Season 4? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Man in the High Castle Season 4 is released on Nov. 15 on Amazon Prime Video.