Filipino actress Natileigh “Nats” Sitoy is the main character of the Japanese live-action adaptation of Hideki Arai’s manga series “Itoshi No Irene” which was directed by Keisuke Yoshida.
Natileigh is an active Filipino indie actress with films such as the Cinema One Originals 2014 “Soap Opera,” the Cinemalaya 2017 entry “Bagahe,” and “Pinay Beauty,” a Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2018 entry.
She also starred as Ula Valdez in the second season of the YouTube series, “Fangirl Diaries” by Happee Sy which documents the journey of a Super Junior fan.
Nats recalled that she auditioned twice for the role in the manga film adaptation. The first one was with the co-producer Bianca Balbuena through a video audition and the other one was with the Japanese representatives.
“They asked so many questions. I was in the room for 30 minutes or so. Then, they approached me and checked my face,” Nats shared recalling the time when she entered the room and saw the Japanese representatives whispering to each other.
Then she learned that the representatives were amazed by how she strongly resembles the Irene character in the manga.
Nats studied film making at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, which might be a reason for her excellent knowledge in film and acting.
The film was shot in Niigata, Japan and was divided into filming parts from summer of July 2017 to winter of January 2018.