Maki Horikita (堀北 真希) (born October 6, 1988 in Kiyose,Tokyo, Japan,) is a Japanese actress and endorser. She debuted in 2003 as aU-15 idol and has since starred in Japanese television dramas, television andmagazine advertisements, and movies.
Horikita is the eldest of three girls. Known to be boyish asa child, Horikita enjoyed playing basketball and baseball as well as mock gamesof Dragon Ball Z with boys. Despite her boyishness, Horikita looked up to hermother. This was revealed when she appeared in an episode of KAT-TUN'snow-defunct variety show, Cartoon KAT-TUN where she mentioned that she likedimitating her mother when she was younger.
In junior high school, Horikita served as the vice-presidentof her school's student council and the vice-captain of the basketball club. Inclass, she was dubbed "The Boss of 3-C” in recognition of her status asthe class representative. As she became more active in the entertainmentindustry, she had to put her club and council activities on hold. Being unable tomeet her many commitments, she finally withdrew from her extracurricularactivities, concentrating solely on completing her high school education anddeveloping her career in show business.
Apart from modeling for photobooks, Horikita started as aprint and television endorser in 2003. She is best remembered for hertelevision commercials for Fujifilm (where she appeared alongside Japanese idolTomoya Nagase) and Lotte. In 2008, she was chosen as the endorser of Honda CarsJapan's STEP WGN. She is also a staple image endorser for Suntory and NTTDoCoMo. In 2008, Nihon Monitor recognized Horikita as one of Japan's topendorsers during its annual Most Popular Personality in TV CMs.
Horikita had appeared in several drama series and moviessince 2003, but it was her roles in Densha Otoko and Nobuta wo Produce thatopened more doors of opportunity for her. Her promising portrayal of thetitular character in Nobuta wo Produce won her a Best Supporting Actress awardfrom Japan's Television Academy Awards. It was also around this time that shewon the Newcomer Award from Japan Academy Awards for her role as a studentapprentice in Always: Sunset on Third Street.
In the following year, she won her second Best SupportingActress award from the Television Academy Awards for her role in Kurosagi.Months later, she was given the lead role for Teppan Shoujo Akane and the roleof a bully who is behind a class rebellion in the drama series Seito Shokun!where she co-starred with her agency senior Rina Uchiyama. She was also cast inthe horror movie, One Missed Call: Final, the last installment of the OneMissed Call franchise with agency colleague and best friend Meisa Kuroki andSouth Korean actor Jang Geun-suk.
Soon after, Horikita achieved her first Best Actress awardfor her role as Mizuki Ashiya in the Japanese drama adaptation of thegender-bender manga Hana-Kimi, or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. In the same yearthat Hana Kimi was filmed, Horikita also starred in the Taiga drama Atsuhimewith Aoi Miyazaki. Simultaneously, she played the lead character who hasmultiple personality disorder in the suspense movie Tokyo Shōnen and reprisedher role as a student apprentice in Always: Zoku Sanchome no Yuhi, the sequelto her breakthrough movie. Horikita's exceptional work was recognized by VogueNippon in which she was identified as one of the eleven Women of the Year for2007.
On October of the following year, she was once again seen ontelevision opposite Yuzu's lead vocalist Yujin Kitagawa, leading the cast ofFuji TV's golden time slot in the drama Innocent Love.Towards the end of theyear, she had been cast as Naomi, the female protagonist of Dareka ga Watashini Kiss wo Shite or DareKiss (based on Gabrielle Zevin's popular novel,"Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac") a Hollywood-Japan collaboration filmdirected by internationally acclaimed director and self-confessed Japaneseculture fanatic, Hans Canosa. (2007).
As soon as the filming for DareKiss ended, Horikita had goneon to appear in two television dramas, Atashinchi no Danshi in 2009 as anadoptive mother of six young men (played by Jun Kaname and Mukai Osamu amongothers) and Tokujo Kabachi!! in 2010 as an administrative scrivener oppositeArashi's Sho Sakurai.
Come January 2011, Horikita starred in the movie adaptationof Byakuyakou, a widely read novel that was adapted into a television drama in2006 starring Haruka Ayase and Takayuki Yamada. Produced by WOWOW FILMS, themovie was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama category. In thesummer of 2011, Horikita led the cast of a family drama called Umareru.
Horikita was one of the six young female hosts of the radioshow, GIRLS LOCKS!, a sub-portion of the Japanese radio program, SCHOOL OFLOCKS! from the radio network tfm. She usually provides book recommendations toher listeners and calls selected letter-senders to discuss the questions theywrote in their letters. Her stint was at ten in the evening, every third orfourth week of the month. Other hosts of this radio show include Yui Aragaki,Chiaki Kuriyama, Nana Eikura and Kii Kitano. She graduated from the program onMay 2009.
Horikita had also ventured the world of voice acting,debuting as an anime seiyu for one of the characters in Nobita and the GreenGiant Legend 2008. Her most prominent voice acting stint was when she providedthe voice for Luke, a character from the video game series, Professor Laytonseries.
Early 2009, she had also dubbed a character from the Belgian3D animated movie Nat's Space Adventure 3D/Fly Me to the Moon. She provided theJapanese voice of the protagonist, a young male fly who was determined toexplore outer space.