The film which is based on the same-titled bestseller novel by Hyakuta Naoki that won the No.1 title in the 2013 Honya Taisho, features Okada in the leading role of Kunioka Tetsuzo who is modelled after Idemitsu Sazo, the founder of petroleum company Idemitsu Kosan. The story spanning the Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, describes how his efforts in setting up a petroleum business helped Japan to gain courage and hope for the future after World War II. Ayase plays Tetsuzo's wife Yuki.
Despite the rainy weather, the cast stayed at the red carpet area set up at the central garden for about 50 minutes where they met fans and spoke to the media. When they moved indoors for the press conference, Okada stumbled over his words twice when he was talking which made the audience of 4,200 laugh and he revealed that he was nervous. The director expressed thanks to Ayase for her presence while surrounded by so many "old men" while Okada revealed that everyone was very happy during the few days of filming when she was around. In response, Ayase said that it was a wonderful experience for her and she had wished that she was a guy so that she could mix around with them. Yoshioka chipped in to say that Ayase had "educated" them on the difference between a hair rinse and conditioner which made all the "old men" fall in love with her.
Although this is the second time which Okada and Yamazaki has worked together (the last was "Eien no Zero", Okada thought that it would be easier this time to act in front of a green background for the VFX scenes but the filming techniques used this time were different so it was a challenge for both him and Yamazaki. Okada also worried if he would look convincing especially when he had to play his character's years from the age of 60 to 96 but his co-stars such as Tsutsumi, Kobayashi and Kunimura seemed to sense his concerns and assured him that he looked like a man in his 60s. In fact, Kunimura who plays his rival in the movie said that he didn't see Okada as he is but rather as the latter's character Kunioka who looked like a detestable old man in his 60s to him.
Suzuki Ryohei recounted that although Okada looked like a 60-year-old man during the filming, he experienced first-hand how mischievious the latter can be when Okada asked him for a New Year's money packet when they met during the filming earlier this year. Okada then revealed that in the end, Kobayashi was the one who gave him the money packet even though Okada was dressed as a 60-year-old man at that time and wondered if he should be the one giving the money packets out.
Filming took place from autumn last year to the beginning of this year.
Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 / Sanspo / Oricon 1 / Oricon 2 / Eiga.com