Ab Fab Actor Isn't Happy She's Not Returning For The Movie

17 March 2016 | 10:53 am | Cyclone WehnerUppy Chatterjee

"I was absolutely gutted. But it didn't work out."

Naoki Mori

Naoki Mori

Many are getting excited that the long-awaited Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, written by co-creator Jennifer Saunders, will finally hit screens this July. But when speaking to the British show's Naoko Mori who played the memorable Ab Fab character Sarah, the excitable bestie of Saffron "Saffy" Monsoon (Julia Sawalha), she said her character won't be returning.
"You have to ask Jennifer about that!," Mori tells The Music ahead of her appearance at Supanova. "Tweet Jennifer and ask her! Yeah, I was supposed to be in it – and I am not in it. It kind of didn't work out, scheduling-wise and with script changes and all sorts. So, yeah.
"Sadly, I'm not [in it]. I was absolutely gutted. But it didn't work out. But, yeah, ask Jennifer. I don't know what happened there [laughs]. 'Cause I was supposed to be in it, I'd been told I was in it, so yeah – [I am] a little bit disappointed, I have to say. But I'm really looking forward to seeing it."
Again centring on the comic antics of PR agent Edina Monsoon (Saunders) and fashion mag editor Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), the spin-off from the television show will have a female-heavy cast — with cameos confirmed from Rebel Wilson, models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne and reportedly even Kim Kardashian.
The movie generated controversy late last year when news broke that Scottish comedian Janette Tough would play a Japanese male fashion designer named Huki Muki. In a series of tweets, Korean-American star Margaret Cho accused Ab Fab of perpetuating "yellowface".
The debate over racial stereotyping coincides with a bigger discussion about the lack of cultural diversity in Hollywood. The Japanese Mori, who grew up between Japan, the US and the UK, is optimistic about change. Aside from her past role in Ab Fab, Mori is best known for portraying Toshiko "Tosh" Sato in both Russell T Davies' Doctor Who and Torchwood
"I personally have been extremely lucky. I think, bar [the BBC docu-drama] Hiroshima, playing Yoko Ono [in the TV bio-pic Lennon Naked], and [last year's ensemble movie] Everest, everything else I've played has been non-Japanese. I've been really, really lucky in that sense. It is getting a lot easier now, in a sense that people are more conscious about [the issue of diversity]. 
"Ab Fab, for example – that was never a Japanese part. It was purely because of Jennifer being forward-thinking then – 'Why not have a Japanese or Asian character?' So I really am grateful for all the producers and casting directors and people like Jennifer and Russell to go, 'You know what, why not have a Japanese or Asian person?' So I've been really lucky. 
"It is sad that we're still talking about it, because it should just reflect real life – and, real life, there are all sorts of people, all sorts of religions. I don't think we are particularly conscious when we make friends or talk to people in the bar – we don't go, 'Oh, I'm not talking to that person because he's not Caucasian.' I don't think we're like that. 
"So I think we do have to be conscious, but there's a part of me that doesn't want people to be conscious about it… It's a very delicate area. I want people to forget that I'm Japanese. I just happen to be Japanese... It would be great if we can get to that stage sometime."

Eat your heart out Saatchi & Saatchi... It's a new dawn in advertising as Monsoon PR branches out…

Posted by Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie on Thursday, 18 February 2016