But a lesser known fact about Cha is that he has formal credentials as a singer. Previously, he released two music albums, and got a couple of songs climbing high on the local music chart for a while.
The unexpected problem for Cha is that no one takes him seriously when he sings; a far from pleasant development for the talented actor.
However, hope is at hand with a turning point looming. In "Highway Star (Bokmyeon dalho)," to be released on Feb. 15, Cha does not have to worry about the unintended and unwanted blending of his comic image and serious singing talent. His primary role here is to sing as comically as possible - and this is not a joke.
The movie, co-directed by Kim Sang-chan and Kim Hyeon-soo, pushes Cha to a throat-vibrating terrain of melodramatic Korean popular songs - a genre known here as "trot" that is quite similar in melody and words to Japanese melodramatic enka songs. Cha plays Dal-ho, a seemingly clueless rock star wannabe in a rural area. One day, a recording company head (played by Im Chae-moo) sees potential in this young man and encourages him to take a chance by becoming a trot singer.
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