Maeda Ai has been in several iconic films including Battle Royale. She was a child actress who started in the world of advertising before expanding her horizons to both on-camera and voice acting. She debuted in a McDonald’s commercial at age ten in 1993 with her younger sister Aki who would also become an actress.
She was in elementary school when shooting her first commercial. She would sign with the Crayon talent agency and appear in Appare Sanma Dai Sensei as a schoolgirl. She would change her management company to Granpapa in 1997. That same year she was in the pop group Pretty Chat and release the video and single Wake Up Girls. That was the act’s sole record. She also had a song with her sister called Don’t Cry in 1998.
She would continue modelling, including with her sister, until age sixteen when she would earnestly move into the world of feature-length film. She would move to Vancouver, Canada for almost a year to study English in 2000. She subsequently graduated from the Tokyo-based Christian college Aoyama Gakuin University.
She married actor Nakamura Kankuroo in October 2009. She had met him when she was 17, and he was 19, while filming Hikari No Teikoku. At first she was not convinced of the need for marriage, but following several familial and personal problems and his help she would come around. They have two sons. One was born in 2011 and the second was born in 2013. Both sons have appeared on the kabuki stage.