Maki Horikita (堀北 真希 Horikita Maki?, born October 6, 1988) is a Japanese actress. She debuted in 2003 and has since starred in Japanese television dramas, television and magazine advertisements, and movies. Horikita's roles include the shy student Nobuko "Nobuta" Kotani in Nobuta wo Produce, the righteous law student Tsurara Yoshikawa in Kurosagi, and the crossdressing sports fan Mizuki Ashiya in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e.
Maki Horikita was born on October 6, 1988 in Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan. She is the eldest of three daughters, with two younger sisters. Known to be boyish in her childhood, Horikita enjoyed playing basketball and baseball as well as mock games of Dragon Ball Z with boys. Despite her boyishness, Horikita looked up to her mother.
Horikita had appeared in several drama series and movies since 2003 but it was her roles in Densha Otoko and Nobuta wo Produce that opened more doors of opportunity for her. Her promising portrayal of the titular character in Nobuta wo Produce won her a Best Supporting Actress award from Japan's Television Academy Awards. It was also around this time that she won the Newcomer Award from Japan Academy Awards for her role as a student apprentice in Always: Sunset on Third Street.
In the following year, she won her second Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Kurosagi. Months later, she was given the lead role for Teppan Shoujo Akane and the role of a bully who is behind a class rebellion in Seito Shokun! where she co-starred with her agency senior Rina Uchiyama. She was also cast in the horror movie, One Missed Call: Final, the last installment of the One Missed Call franchise with agency colleague and best friend Meisa Kuroki and South Korean actor Jang Geun-suk.
Soon after, Horikita was awarded her first Best Actress award for her role as Mizuki Ashiya in the Japanese drama adaptation of the gender-bender manga Hana-Kimi, or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. In the same year that Hana Kimi was filmed, Horikita also starred in the Taiga drama Atsuhime with Aoi Miyazaki. Simultaneously, she played the lead character who has multiple personality disorder in the suspense movie Tokyo Shōnen and reprised her role as a student apprentice in Always: Zoku Sanchome no Yuhi, the sequel to her breakthrough movie. Horikita's exceptional work was recognized by Vogue Nippon which identified her as one of the eleven Women of the Year in 2007.
On October of the following year, she was once again seen on television opposite Yuzu's lead vocalist Yujin Kitagawa, leading the cast of Fuji TV's golden time slot in the drama Innocent Love. Towards the end of the year, she had been cast as Naomi, the female protagonist of Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shite or DareKiss (based on Gabrielle Zevin's popular novel, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac) a Hollywood-Japan collaboration film directed by internationally acclaimed director and self-confessed Japanese culture fanatic, Hans Canosa. (2007).
As soon as the filming for DareKiss ended, Horikita had gone on to appear in two television dramas: Atashinchi no Danshi in 2009 as an adoptive mother of six young men (played by Jun Kaname and Mukai Osamu among others) and Tokujo Kabachi!! in 2010 as an administrative scrivener opposite Arashi's Sho Sakurai.
In January 2011, Horikita starred in the movie adaptation of Byakuyakou, a widely read novel that was adapted into a television drama in 2006 starring Haruka Ayase and Takayuki Yamada. Produced by WOWOW FILMS, the movie was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama category.. In the summer of 2011, Horikita led the cast of a family drama called Umareru.
She is currently filming her first NHK asadora called Umechan Sensei.