During the press conference, Endo raised the question of whether TV Tokyo is indeed as poor as it seems because it's well-known that they don't pay a lot. However, the TV station managed to assemble such a star-studded guest line-up for this drama which led him to joke that they are suspicious about TV Tokyo's financial status. Mitsushi then followed by asking if TV Tokyo is plotting to do a spin-off drama by gathering such a strong cast for the fictitious morning drama within the main drama and expressed his wish to see that happening. Matsushige revealed that they were not told beforehand who would be appearing as the guest stars in "Shimakko-san" for every episode and they tried to search on the Internet for clues but to no avail. Although it is tough for them to act without knowing who would appear, Endo said that this was a fun thing too because of the surprise element.
Oosugi then related that there had been a lot of positive response from the professionals in the industry about the original series last year even at the filming sets of other dramas and movies which they were at. However, they still didn't expect that a sequel would be made so quickly although the cast members had expressed their wish to do this again by the time they finished the last series' filming. As such, they were very happy about the sequel especially since many actors had expressed their wish to be a part of it thus leading to such a star-studded supporting cast and guest line-up.
The cast members of the drama had created a LINE chat group among themselves during the filming of the original series last year. After that, it was Mitsuishi who kept sending private messages to each of them such as photos of rivers and the autumn leaves to Endo which made Mitsushi slightly embarrassed. Matsushige who claimed to have never made a mistake when sending messages on his phone, did exactly the opposite when he sent a message to the Byplayers chat group asking about a white hair spray dye when it was actually meant for his stylist. He thought that the members in the chat group would ignore his message but everyone actually replied and there was even a photo of a spray and hair brush asking if this was what he wanted.
The cast members revealed how Taguchi expressed his regret in a letter for not being able to attend the event and had to "appear" as a stand-up panel even though he teased Endo last time when the latter couldn't make it to the previous series' press conference. The actors also said that they were all very at ease with each other and described themselves as people of the same species as they looked forward to splitting the tab for their drinking sessions. At present, the filming is progressing with a very tight schedule as they had yet to finish Ep 2 even though it is just a week away from the broadcast and they don't even know what to do about Ep 3 yet.
The cast also talked about the drama's opening sequence which featured them getting in and out of the sea in suits. When they first heard about this idea, Endo immediately questioned who came up with this idea in the cold winter and found out that it was Oosugi. On the day of the filming, the weather was rather fine and it turned out that it was warmer to stay in the sea rather than get out of it due to the higher water temperature. Matsushige then recounted how funny it was when the locals kept squealing when they saw them coming out of the water and wondered if they mistook the actors as Arashi (since there were five of them). Mitsushi joked that if they are to become Arashi, he would be Ninomiya Kazunari since he's shorter than his co-stars and he ended up having half of his face submerged in the sea which was really scary for him.
Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 / Natalie / Oricon