Naomi Watanabe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Naomi Watanabe
渡辺 直美
Naomi Watanabe (1).jpg
Naomi Watanabe in 2010
Naomi Watanabe

(1987-10-23) 23 October 1987 (age 34)
OccupationActress, comedian, fashion designer
Years active2007 (2007)–present
Height1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)

Naomi Watanabe (渡辺 直美, Watanabe Naomi, born 23 October 1987) is a Japanese comedian, actress, and fashion designer. She rose to fame in 2008 for her imitation of Beyoncé, after which she was given the title “the Japanese Beyoncé”.[1][2][3]


Watanabe does impersonations of popular artists in Japanese culture, among which her imitation of Beyoncé singing "Dreamgirls" and "Crazy in Love" quickly became popular. She has also launched her own fashion line called Punyus (loosely translated to "chubby" in English), and played the role of Mabel in the musical Fame and Tracy Turnblad in the musical Hairspray. Her Instagram account is followed by 9.3 million as of 18 March 2021.[4]

Guest appearances[edit]

Watanabe was seen as a guest in the 2013 anime movie Crayon Shin-chan: Very Tasty! B-class Gourmet Survival!!.[5] In 2016, she voiced the character of Ashima in the Japanese language dub of the Thomas & Friends film The Great Race.[6] In 2019, she was featured in Queer Eye: We're in Japan!n Season 1, Episode 3, The Ideal Woman.[7]

In March 2021 she announced her intention to move from Japan to the United States the next month.[8] She has appeared in Us Weekly magazine.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Watanabe was born in Taipei to a Japanese father and a Taiwanese mother and raised in Ibaraki:[10] She is of Japanese and Taiwanese descent.[11][12] In April 2021, Tokyo 2020 creative director Hiroshi Sasaki was forced to resign after he suggested it would be appropriate to dress up Watanabe in a pig costume for the opening ceremony and call her “OlymPig”.[13]


Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes Ref(s)
2010–14 Waratte Iitomo! Fuji TV
2011 Saturday Night Live Japan Fuji TV


Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2012 Tug of War!
2013 R100
2018 Sunny: Our Hearts Beat Together Ume
2020 The Untold Tale of the Three Kingdoms Diaochan [14]
The Promised Neverland Krone [15]

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes Ref(s)
2011 Deka Wanko NTV
Yūsha Yoshihiko TV Tokyo
2014 A Time of Love TVB Jade
2016 The Hiddens Astro Wah Lai Toi
2020 Followers Netflix


Year Title Role Type Notes Ref(s)
2007 Sazae-san TV
2013 Crayon Shin-chan: Very Tasty! B-class Gourmet Survival!! Film
2015 Chibi Maruko-chan: A Boy from Italy Film
2020 Doraemon: Nobita's New Dinosaur Natalie Film
2021 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie -Part 1&2- Zirconia 2-Part film,
Season 4 of Sailor Moon Crystal
2022 Deemo: Memorial Keys Sachet Film [17]

Japanese dub[edit]

Year Title Role Voice dub for Notes Ref(s)
2015 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Tilly Rebel Wilson [18]
2015 Pixels Serena Williams [19]
2016 Ghostbusters Dr. Abigail L. "Abby" Yates Melissa McCarthy [20]
2018 I Feel Pretty Renee Bennett Amy Schumer
Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
2016 Thomas & Friends: The Great Race Ashima
2017 Coco Frida Kahlo [21]


  1. ^ "和製ビヨンセ・渡辺直美、美空ひばりさんのモノマネ初披露". Oricon (in Japanese). 23 August 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  2. ^ "和製ビヨンセ・渡辺直美が激白?「椎名桔平に口説かれたら芸人辞めます!」". Cinema Today (in Japanese). 2 May 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  3. ^ Hou, Kathleen. "Make Some Room For Naomi Watanabe The unstoppable Japanese comedian is coming for America and the world". The Cut. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ Inagaki, Kana. "Comedian Naomi Watanabe on luxury, loneliness and being morbidly fat in Japan". No. April 18, 2018. Financial Times.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "映画 きかんしゃトーマス「走れ!世界のなかまたち THE GREAT RACE」" (in Japanese).
  7. ^ "Queer Eye: We're in Japan! | Netflix Official Site". Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  8. ^ Baseel, Casey. "Naomi Watanabe moving to U.S.; switching base of operations to outside Japan". Japan Today. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  9. ^ Us Weekly, December 13, 2021, p. 46.
  10. ^ Inagaki, Kana. "Comedian Naomi Watanabe on luxury, loneliness and being plus-size in Japan". Financial Times.
  11. ^ Hou, Kathleen (1 August 2019). "Make Some Room For Naomi Watanabe". The Cut. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  12. ^ "渡辺直美は8.5kg減 「肉食ダイエット」がいいかも". Ameba News (in Japanese). 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  13. ^ Why Japan can't shake sexism BBC News, Mariko Oi, 8 April 2021
  14. ^ "『新解釈・三國志』"自称イケメン将軍"岩田剛典&"絶世の美女"渡辺直美が参戦". Crank-in!. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Live-Action The Promised Neverland Film Casts Keiko Kitagawa, Naomi Watanabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  16. ^ "劇場版「美少女戦士セーラームーンEternal」 ジルコニアのキャストが発表!". Sailor Moon Official (in Japanese). 10 September 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  17. ^ "DEEMO Memorial Keys Anime Film Reveals February 25 Debut, 5 More Cast Members". Anime News Network. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  18. ^ "ナイト ミュージアム/エジプト王の秘密". Fukikaeru. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  19. ^ "マイアミ・ギャングスター". Sony Pictures. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  20. ^ "ゴーストバスターズ". Fukikaeru. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
  21. ^ "リメンバー・ミー". 16 March 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2021.

External links[edit]