Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Concealed Lives turning in to Public Life

Concealed Lives (FIN: Salatut Elämät) has been the 2nd most viewed TV program since it was first broadcasted in 1999. It only seconds to the Daily News, which is amazing as Concealed Lives is a drama series (soap opera). With average of 800 000 daily viewers for the last ten years it means that being an actor in it exposes you to ca. 1/5 of the Finland's population. Concealed Lives to us actors turns in to Public Lives, and the public's opinion of us actors is sometimes surprisingly based on the fictional character that we portray on the television.


My adventures on the show begun in September 2009. My character, Noa Okada, was an 18-year old exchange student from Japan. His father was a Japanese but his mother a Finn. As Noa's mom was very strict on teaching him the Finnish language, his spoken Finnish was perfect. This made my acting million times easier! As I was chosen to act Noa's role, his background got additions with active training in martial arts and gymnastics. See the example videos below to see, how these characteristics were used in the show.

  • Noa vs. Miro

  • Noa vs. Miro on the dance floor

  • Noa chose to come to Finland as he wanted to experience himself what it means to be a Finn. He was excited about everything! This included going to the sauna and drinking heavily with the boys with dramatic results ;D In real-life I have seen exchange students coming to Finland, and these two activities are one of the first things to introduce to a new visitor! The dramatic results are based on the person himself ;D

    Noa also started to have feelings towards his first friend in Finland, Oona Kiviranta. Oona was friendly towards him right from the beginning and made it easy for him to get used to the Finnish culture. Oona was also very interested in Japan and Japanese youth culture, therefore they had a lot in common. But Oona already had a boyfriend, Miro Holm. Their relationship was having difficulties as Miro had to put business before their relationship in many occasions. Still, Noa tried to behave himself in an honorable way all the way to the end. Huge problems begun when after a sushi dinner, arranged by Noa to Oona, both of them got accidentally drunk. Miro's mother Isabella Holm didn't approve Oona's and Miro's relationship, therefore she was willing to sabotage it as much as possible. Eventually, Oona kissed Noa, which totally surpised him as well. The truth didn't hold for long, and the true drama begun with drastic outcomes. After all, it is a drama show :)

    After a very special exchange student experience Noa left back to Japan on the episode that was broadcasted on 18th January 2010. Towards the end he and Oona continued to be just friends. In the last scene between these two youth they said farewells in a positive manner.


    Noa, as a character, was designed to be a good guy. He was well raised, and he considered himself to be a descendant of a Samurai. Therefore, he always tried to be as honorable as possible. Nevertheless, he was still a teenager in a foreign country with its own culture, which created conflicts in his own mind and in his life in Finland. As much as I've paid attention to Noa's popularity in real-life, he has fans who like him, people who dislike him, and people who couldn't care less. No matter popular the character is, they have at least all these three groups of viewers.

    In total, Noa was seen on 37 episodes between 11.9.2009 - 18.1.2010. Acting in Concealed Lives has been my most visible role so far in my acting career. Yet, I consider it to be just one great job among the many other jobs I've been privileged to do as a stuntman or as an actor (see my CV). I couldn't tell beforehand how the publicity from Concealed Lives would affect my life, and now as it is over, I can't tell yet how it will affect from this day onward.

    What I know, is that deep down as a person, I haven't changed much (my subjective opinion). I've gained tremendous amount of new experiences and knowledge regarding actor's work and living as a more public person. But I've always worked hard to make my dreams come true, and as I'm still on the same path, I continue to work hard :D

    I've enjoyed mainly positive publicity, and I am very thankful for everyone for that. I do my best to keep my image as positive as possible now and always! I am a happy person, and I love sharing this feeling to others as well! The more I share, the more I get in return. The Circle of Happiness where no one has anything to lose! :D

    What I'm going to do in the future hopefully can be read every now and then from here, in this blog. How will I look, I don't know. Below are various pictures from my professional life over the years. I know it's me in them, but sometimes I think I look cooler in the pictures than in the real-life, hahahah ;D

    Story of me in Ekonomi magazine. Photographer Tommi Tuomi (2006).

    Acting as a Ninja Pirate in a corporate video. Photographer Paavo Mikkola (2007).

    Actor/Stuntman for the Leet Promotion Video (watch it from here). Photographer Robert Örthen (2007).

    Stunmant in Nissan Tiida TV commercial (watch it from here). Photographer Boyd Benkenstein (2007).

    Parkour model in Salcomp Inc. company's Annual Report publication. Photographer Mikko Tikka (2007).

    Model for the Extreme Running mobile game promotion materials. Photorapher by Joonas Mäntynen (2007).

    Personal promotion picture. Photographer Sirpa Heikkilä (2007).

    Stuntman for a TV commercial. Photographer Antti Lahtinen (2007).

    The Cat with my mom from the Alice in Wonderland theater play. Photographer my sister (2007) :D

    From Nokia N79 Active Promo video (watch it from here). Photographer Timo Lampinen (2008).

    From Yakuza Diaries - Blooming Flower short-film (watch it from here). Photographer Mika Laurila (2008).

    Personal Promotion picture. Photographer Jere Hietala. Visualization by Jay Style (2009).

    See more pictures and videos of me from my website WWW.TUNGBUI.COM

    1 comment:

    1. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.