The Drive My Car cast features Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tōko Miura and Reika Kirishima. This info article contains minor spoilers and character details for Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s 2021 movie. Check out more streaming guides in Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.
Drive My Car explores the friendship between a widower named Yūsuke and his chauffeur, Misaki. The characters meet in Hiroshima and get to know each other during hour-ride car trips. As Yūsuke prepares for an Uncle Vanya adaptation, Misaki reveals details about her teenage years and why she began working as a professional driver. Here’s every main player in Drive My Car, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s 2014 short story.
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘Pachinko’
Drive My Car Cast: Hidetoshi Nishijima as Yūsuke Kafuku
Character Profile: A theatre director and actor. He receives a residency opportunity in Hiroshima after a familial tragedy. Yūsuke reflects about the deaths of his four-year-old daughter and wife while building a friendship with a young chauffeur.
Nishijima’s Resume: Yutaka Yoshii in License to Live (1998), Takashi Nogami in Tounan kadobeya nikai no onna (2008), Honjô in The Wind Rises (2013), Shiro Kakei in What Did you Eat Yesterday? (2019), Shinobu Mifune in The Chef Is A Detective (2021)
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘Death on the Nile’
Drive My Car Cast: Tōko Miura as Misaki Watari
Character Profile: A 23-year-old chauffeur. She is from Kami-junitaki village in Hokkaido and moved to Hiroshima after her mother’s death. Misaki reveals her life story during road conversations with Yūsuke.
Miura’s Resume: Nue in Henshin Interviewer no Yû’utsu (2013), Shiota in The Girl in the Sun (2013), Shizuka in Goodbye (2018), Hiroko in Romance Doll (2020), Cocoro in Spaghetti Code Love (2021)
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘In Good Hands’
Drive My Car Cast: Reika Kirishima as Oto Kafuku
Character Profile: Yūsuke’s wife, a screenwriter. She comes up with stories while having sex with her husband. Oto dies from a brain aneurysm not long after Yūsuke spots her cheating with a man in their home.
Kirishima’s Resume: Female Xilian in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), Maki Kuwata in A Stranger of Mine (2005), Dr. Reiko Ishida in Norwegian Wood (2010), Minako Udô in Zettai reido: Tokushu hanzai sennyû sôsa (2011), Masami Nakai in Samayou yaiba (2021)
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘Slow Horses’
Drive My Car Cast: Park Yu-rim as Lee Yoo-na
Character Profile: A deaf actress who plays Sonya in Yūsuke’s Uncle Vanya adaptation. She is married to a Korean theatre director. Yoo-na wants her body to “dance” after having a miscarriage.
Park’s Resume: Feature Debut in Drive My Car
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘Black Crab’
Drive My Car Cast: Jin Dae-yeon as Gong Yoon-soo
Character Profile: Yoo-na’s husband, a theatre director. He studied at Waseda University and moved to Hiroshima with his wife. Yoon-soo invites Yūsuke to dinner after Yoo-na earns an Uncle Vanya role based solely on her talent and audition.
Jin’s Resume: Feature Debut in Drive My Car
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘The Bubble’
Drive My Car Cast: Sonia Yuan as Janice Chang
Character Profile: An actress in Yūsuke’s Uncle Vanya adaptation. She is cast as Yelena and hopes to improve her line readings. Janice and Yoo-na inadvertently strengthen the friendship between Yūsuke and the lead actor, Kōji.
Yuan’s Resume: Zhen En in Summer’s Desire (2018), Zi Yun in The Island (2018)
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘Deep Water’
Drive My Car Cast: Masaki Okada as Kōji Takatsuki
Character Profile: The lead actor in the Uncle Vanya adaptation. He appears early on in the movie and inquires about Yūsuke’s “multilingual methods.” Kōji hooks up with Janice and admits to having an affair with Ota.
Okada’s Resume: Takuma Kakunouchi in I Give My First Love to You (2009), Leo in Honokaa bôi (2009), Yoshiteru Terada in Confessions (2010), Hayato Yagami in Cannot Write (2021), Shinji Ochi in Cube (2021)
Read More at VV — Know the Cast: ‘All Hail’
The Drive My Car cast also includes Satoko Abe (Child by Children, Randen: The Comings and Goings on a Kyoto Tram), Ahn Hwitae (feature debut), Perry Dizon (Melancholia, Qiyamah), Hiroko Matsuda (feature debut), Toshiaki Inomata (Girl Sparks, Woman of the Photographs) and Takako Yamamura (Her Father, My Lover, Mother).
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.