Australian comedian Craig Anderson lives a very productive life in front of his computer screen, but his health is horrible. This film follows Craig on a mission to get fit by traveling through Japan in search of their skinny secrets.
How did you decide to do this film on this interesting and large fellow?
My previous documentaries are about serious topics, so I wanted to create a lighthearted and comedic documentary, which was still informative. I had seen some of Craig’s previous comedic work and thought he would be “the perfect fit” for the subject of the film.
Were the Japanese hosts welcoming? Did they fear you would make fun of their culture?
I’ve always found the Japanese people to be very welcoming, helpful, and friendly. They were quick to welcome and make us feel at home. The humor in the film comes not from making fun at their culture but from Craig’s bubbly personality. His goofball nature in a foreign setting is what adds color and humor to the film.
What do you think Western viewers will find most surprising about this film?
When most people think of Japanese cuisine, sushi and raw fish immediately come to mind. Although these dishes are Japanese classics, I think western viewers will be surprised to discover the typical Japanese diet extends far beyond these dishes. Miso Hungry explores traditional Japanese meals and ingredients that are commonly found in the Japanese home, but which may not be familiar to viewers in the West. I think Western viewers will also be surprised by how simple and effortless these Japanese dishes are to prepare and serve.
How is Craig doing now?
When Craig and I initially discussed filming this unique dieting experiment, we thought a 12-week diet would be sufficient time to measure the results. However, even after we had finished principle photography, the effortless nature of the diet and the impressive health benefits which resulted convinced him to continue the diet. Craig continued the diet long after we had finished shooting the film, and he has continued to lose weight.
Did making this film in any way change your own diet?
I was born and raised in Japan, so a lot of the traditional Japanese ingredients and meals were already familiar to me. I regularly enjoy eating Japanese cuisine, even the smelly, sticky fermented soybeans.