As this will be Hasegawa's first appearance in a NHK morning drama, he commented with a smile that he really likes his character's name and revealed that he had already given up on appearing in morning dramas since he failed the audition many times in his 20s. Although he was happy about being offered the role of Manpei, he had his reservations over whether he was too old i.e. 40 years old to play the heroine's husband. Nonetheless, he saw the chance of being able to play Manpei who is modelled after Ando Momofuku as a good change in his acting career so decided to take on the challenge. As for working with Ando Sakura for the first time, Hasegawa was full of praise for her and said that he had always wanted to work with her someday.
Sources: Nikkansports / Cinemacafe / Yomiuri Hochi