Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kim Hye-ja & "Mother" Get Nods From LAFCA

The Korean film "Mother" released earlier this year seems to have made an impression abroad. Or it has with the LA film critics anyway.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) announced on December 12th (local time), the winning actors/actresses and film projects that they felt were noteworthy from 2010. Actress Kim Hye-ja was awarded with the Best Actress Award for her outstanding performance in the movie "Mother". The runner-up behind her was Jennifer Lawrence in the movie "Winter's Bone". On top of that, LAFCA also felt the Korean project was the second best foreign film to show in the US this year, placing it only behind the movie "Carlos".

"Mother" is about a mother's a desperate struggle to clear her son's name of false murder charges. Playing the mother of the son (played by Wonbin), Kim Hye-ja also won the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Best Female Actress this past November and the Asia Film Awards for Best Actress in Hong Kong last March.

The LAFCA is an organization founded in 1975, made up of film critics based in Los Angeles. They come together to vote on some of the best actors, actresses, directors, screenplays, movies, etc. for the year during the month of December. The best overall film for 2010 was "The Social Network" and the Best Actor Award went to Colin Firth for his role in "The King's Speech".

source: KBS Global

Friday, November 19, 2010

"The Man From Nowhere" sweeps Korea Film Awards

Align Center
Korean action movie "The Man From Nowhere" [CJ Entertainment]

"The Man From Nowhere" triumphed at the 2010 Korea Film Awards on Thursday, raking up the most trophies at the annual ceremony including its main star Won Bin who won the prize for best actor.

The action flick directed by Lee Jeong-bum took the awards for best actor, best new actress, best cinematography, best music, best lighting, best visual effects and best editor.

The movie, also starring child actress Kim Sae-ron, has been one of the hottest movies of the year, attracting over six million moviegoers during its run on the box office for several months starting August.

Won Bin, 33, had been up against Park Joong-hoon for "My Dear Desperado," Park Hui-soon for "A Barefoot Dream," Choi Min-sik for "I Saw the Devil" and Jung Jae-young for "Moss."

Won Bin's role as a reclusive former special agent who befriends a young girl next door has won him his second award for best actor -- the Daejong Film Awards held in late October deemed him the best actor of the year as well.

Meanwhile, Seo Young-hee nabbed the award for best actress with her role in "Bedevilled," ousting nominees Yoon Jeong-hee for "Poetry," Jeon Do-youn for "The Housemaid," Moon So-ri for "Hahaha" and Jung Yu-mi for "My Dear Desperado."

Critically acclaimed director Lee Chang-dong's film "Poetry" starring veteran actress Yoon Jeong-hee took the prize for best picture, best director and best screenplay.

The picture has won a total five awards for best screenplay, including at this year's Cannes Film Festival, the Buil Film Festival, Korea Film Critics Association Award and the Daejong Film Awards.

▲ Best Picture: "Poetry"

▲ Best Director: Lee Chang-dong ("Poetry")

▲ Best New Director: Jang Cheol-su ("Bedevilled")

▲ Best Actor: Won Bin ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Actress: Seo Young-hee ("Bedevilled")

▲ Best Supporting Actor: Yoo Hae-jin ("Moss")

▲ Best Supporting Actress: Yoon Yeo-jung ("The Housemaid"
▲ Best New Actor: Song Sae-byuk ("A Story of Bangja")
▲ Best New Actress: Kim Sae-ron ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Cinematography: Lee Tae-yoon ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Music: Shim Hyun-jung ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Art Direction: Park Il-hyun ("A Story of Bangja")

▲ Best Screenplay: Lee Chang-dong ("Poetry")

▲ Best Lighting: Lee Cheol-oh ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Sound: Gong Tae-won ("Midnight FM")

▲ Best Visual Effects: Park Jung-ryul ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Best Editor: Kim Sang-beom Kim Jae-beom ("The Man From Nowhere")

▲ Lifetime Achievement: Shin Sung-il

Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Song Seung Hun’s ‘Ghost’ Ranks Second at Japanese Box Office

The much-talked-about movie “Ghost: In Your Arms Again,” in which Hallyu star actor Song Seung Hun and Japanese star actress Nanako Matsushima appear together, has been released in Japan and ranked in second place at the Japanese box office.

According to a Japanese research institute, “Ghost: In Your Arms Again,” which is a remake of the movie "Ghost" starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, had been released all around Japan on November 13 and ranked second at the weekend box-office.

In the film, Korean potter Joon Ho (Song Seung Hun) meets a successful CEO Nanami (Nanako Matsushima) in Tokyo and they fall in love with each other. But Nanami leaves this world due to a sudden accident and she comes back to see Joon Ho as a ghost. A sensitive melodrama, “Ghost : In Your Arms Again“ will be released in Korea on November 25.

source: KBS Global

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Weird [ Korean Movie 2008 ]

Genre :
Action, Comedy, Western
Starring : Song Kang-ho , Lee Byung-hun, Jung Woo-sung

Release date :
July 17, 2008
Runtime :139 min.

Kim Ji-woon


With the Korean Peninsula under Japanese rule in 1930s, many Koreans flock to Manchuria for refuge. Some become bandits, some train robbers and yet others bounty hunters. While the Weird, a notorious train robber, is stealing from a Japanese train crossing the Manchurian plains, he discovers a treasure map. But the map is also sought after by the Bad, a merciless gang leader. Coincidentally, the Good, a bounty hunter, is on the train, and he is after the Bad. The three engage in a spectacular chase with the Japanese Army, the Korean independence fighters, and the Chinese bandits all looking to get their hands on the prized map.



Thursday, November 04, 2010

Kim Ha-neul cast as female lead for upcoming thriller

A still from the upcoming thriller "Blind" [NEW]

Korean actress Kim Ha-neul has been cast as the female lead for a new upcoming thriller film.

A press release from movie promoter's NEW on Tuesday announced that Kim will be playing the female lead role opposite Korean actor Yoo Seung-ho in a crime pic titled "Blind."

"When I received the scenario it was a role that I felt would test my level as an actress. I want to put all my energy into the movie and meet the expectations of the staff and fans," Kim was quoted as saying.

"Blind," helmed by Ahn Sang-hoon, is about a visually impaired woman (Kim) who witnesses a horrendous crime while Yoo will play the male lead who acts as the 'eyes' for Kim's character.

The movie had won the awards as the best and most popular project at the "2009 Hit By Pitch" hosted by the Producers Guild of Korea which aims at enhancing producers' expertise and revitalizing film productions.

“Blind” is scheduled to open in local theaters in summer of 2011.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Posters for new romantic comedy "First Love" revealed

Movie poster for upcoming romantic comedy "First Love" [CJ Entertainment]

Movie posters for an upcoming Korean romantic comedy tentatively titled "First Love" were unveiled today.

The first poster reveals Korean actor Gong Yoo holding a name card to help find Lim Soo-jung her first love while the latter shows Lim hugging a giant heart.

Based on a musical which has been performed over 1,200 times on stage since its premiere in 2006, "First Love" is about Seo Ji-woo (Lim) who during her trip to India re-encounters her first love and asks for the help of Han Ki-jun (Gong Yoo) to search for him.

Lim made her debut as a model in 1998 and rose to stardom after starring in the horror film "A Tale of Two Sisters." She later starred in the hit TV series "I'm Sorry, I Love You" and films "Lump of Sugar" and "WOOCHI."

Born Gong Ji-cheol, Gong Yoo made his debut with a role in KBS' TV show "School 4" in 2001. He appeared in several dramas such as "Hello My Teacher" and "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" and movies "My Tutor Friend" and "She's On Duty."

The movie is set to open in local theaters in December.

Reporter: Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hyun Bin's film "Late Autumn" to open next month

official movie poster for "Late Autumn" [Lotte Entertainment]

Korean film
"Late Autumn," starring Hyun Bin and Chinese actress Tang Wei, will open in local theaters on November 25.

A press release from Lotte Entertainment revealed the date of director Kim Tae-yong's movie about a coincidental meeting between a male gigolo named Hoon (Hyun Bin) and Anna (Tang Wei), who is in jail for murdering her abusive husband.

The movie was first released in 1966 by famed Korean filmmaker Lee Man-hee and it was re-made three times -- into "Promise of the Body" in 1975, "Manchu" in 1982 and Japanese film "Promise" in 1972.

Born Kim Tae-pyung, Hyun Bin rose to stardom after his role in the smash MBC TV series "My Name is Kim Sam-soon" in 2005. He is currently working on the upcoming SBS drama "Secret Garden" alongside Ha Ji-won.

Tang Wei made her debut in 1998 in the movie "Chinese Female Football" and became an international star after starring as the heroine in the flick "Lust, Caution" in 2007.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Jun Ji-hyun considering new movie role

Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun [Asia Economic Daily]

Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun is considering a role in an upcoming movie by famed director E J-yong.

"Jun is currently in talks to appear in a movie titled 'Falling in Love,'" an official from her agency J&Co. Entertainment told Sports Today over the phone on Thursday, adding that the actress is looking at her role in a positive light but nothing has been confirmed as of yet with many adjustments having to be made.

"Falling in Love" is about a married woman falling for a manager of a club even though she finds out he approached her for her money and the man too gradually develops actual feelings of love for the woman.

"Love" claimed the Kodak Award during this year's Pusan Promotion Plan of the annual Pusan International Film Festival, winning it funds for production from Kodak Korea Limited.

Director E is well known for his works including "Untold Scandal" (2003) starring Hallyu star Bae Yong-joon and "The Actresses" (2009).

Jun Ji-hyun, whose English name is Gianna Jun, rose to stardom after her role in the 2001 hit movie "My Sassy Girl." She made her international film debut last year in the action flick "Blood: The Last Vampire" and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan."

Jun parted ways with her management agency Sidus HQ after 14 years to establish her own agency J&Co. Entertainment in mid-October.

Reporter : Ko Kyoung-seok kave@
Editor : Lucia Hong luciahong@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Thursday, October 21, 2010

71: Into the Fire [ Korean Movie 2010 ]

Genre : War
Starring : Kwon Sang-Woo , Cha Seung-Won, T.O.P, Kim Seung-Woo

Release date :
June 16, 2010
Runtime :120 min.

Lee Jae-han


A story of 71 student soldier trainees who fought an impossible war against seasoned North Korean army during Korean War which broke out in 1950. Based on real history, the film delicately depicts the fierce battle that teenage student soldiers fall into as they fight to protect the final defense line by themselves when under a surprise attack and their emotions and conflicts as they experience the grown-ups’ war.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Oldboy' Ranked Among World's Top 100 Films

Park Chan-wook's "Oldboy" was included on a list of the world's Essential 100 Films released by the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday.

Ranked at 99th place, the 2003 revenge thriller is the only Korean film on the list, which mostly is made up of movies made before 2000.

The top honor went to "The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)" by French director Carl Theodor Dreyer, while Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane (1941)" was the runner up.

Francis Ford Coppola's "
The Godfather (1972)" came in fourth, Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai (1954)" was sixth, Michael Curtiz' "Casablanca (1942)" eighth, and Vittorio De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves (1948)" 10th.

Based on a Japanese comic book, "Oldboy" follows the journey of a man who seeks to learn the identity of the person who imprisoned him for 15 years. It won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and was named among 25 must-see foreign films by a U.S. magazine last year. It is currently being remade in Hollywood.

source: Chosun Ilbo

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Song Seung Hun "I Loved the Original Movie 'A Better Tomorrow'"

Actor Song Seung Hun has made a comeback after a two-year break by playing Lee Young Choon in the movie "A Better Tomorrow, 2010."

Song said, "I and every man my age actually admired the movie 'A Better Tomorrow' in the past. In that movie, the actor Chow Yun Fat, who fired guns with both hands and lit a cigarette by lighting fire to faked bills, looked wonderful. I thought that I would be criticized anyway even though I performed very well in the movie.”

A Hallyu star, Song Seung Hun, came back to the screen by appearing in the movie “A Better Tomorrow, 2010,” which is a remake of director John Woo’s original movie “A Better Tomorrow (1986).” He made a comeback to the film after a two-year break since the movie “Destiny,” in which Kwon Sang Woo and Song Seung Hun had appeared as the protagonists.

During an interview held at a café in Samcheongdong, Song Seung Hun said, “We did not just try to reproduce the original, instead we produced a Korean style of storyline and a movie filled with Korean sentiment. The movie is not just a simple remake.”

The movie tells the stories of Hyuk (Joo Jin Mo), who belongs to an organization smuggling weapons, Hyuk’s younger brother Chul (Kim Kang Woo), who has to chase Hyuk as a policeman, and Tae Min (Cho Han Sun), who tries to conquer the organization by eliminating the others. The movie will be released on September 16.

Song Seung Hun played a North Korean defector named Young Choon who works at the weapon smuggling organization. He said, "I decided to appear in this movie because I have a deep-rooted trust toward the director, and since my debut movie, in which I had worked together with the director, I have always wanted to work with him again someday."

Actor Song Seung Hun and the director, Song Hae Sung, met again 11 years after they filmed the movie "Calla (1999).” Since that time, the director Song had developed into a famous movie director by making movies such as "Failan” (2001) and “Maundy Thursday” (2006), and the actor Song had become a Hallyu star by appearing in many dramas and movies.

Song Seung Hun said, "Director Song has come to have more clear views of his own. He used to listen to actors' opinions before, but he has changed to a person who wants to carry his own points" (laugh).

The original movie, "A Better Tomorrow" is a major work of Hong Kong Noir, in which Hong Kong’s star actors of the 1980s such as Chow Yun Fat, Leslie Cheung and Ti Lung had appeared, and it actually had a profound influence in Hong Kong’s movie industry as an action movie.

Song Seung Hun had inevitably felt pressured about the original, but he did his best to draw an evaluation from viewers saying that the remake movie came close to the original. For playing the character Young Choon in earnest, he started to smoke again even though he had quit smoking five years ago, and he had practiced disassembling a rifle at home to showcase a realistic scene. He had also learned how to play the piano and how to operate a boat. He did not even apply any lotion to his face to look as tough as possible.

He said, “Director Song asked me to show hazy eyes to express Young Choon, who had been ruined over a period of three years, but I could not understand his request and I even felt bitter about him. But, after I watched the completed movie, I could understand why he asked me that kind of request and I felt sorry because I might have been able to perform better if I had more time for preparation.”

After he had left the army in 2006, he had played muscular characters in works such as “Destiny,””East of Eden (2008),” and “A Better Tomorrow, 2010” because he had wanted to abandon his former soft and tender image shown in dramas such as “Autumn in my Heart (2000)” and “Summer Scent (2003).” Song said while smiling, “I had been described as a soft character in the previous dramas, but actually my personality is a long way from those soft images.”

He will begin filming the drama “My Princess” from the middle of next month and act with the actress Kim Tae Hee in the drama. By appearing in this drama, he will come back to the small screen with a soft image again. He stated, “I have never played a wealthy character before, I always had to suffer from hunger and I had been depressed all the time within the drama. I am used to taking the role of a son coming from a poor and complicated family. It will be the first light and pleasant drama after a sitcom drama, so I expect that filming this drama will be very exciting and fun.”

Hallyu star Song Seung Hun recently filmed the movie “Ghost” with the actress Nanako Matsushima, who has been popular in Korea because of her Japanese movie “Ring.” The movie “Ghost” is also a remake movie of the original movie (1990) with the same title, in which Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore played the protagonists.

He added, “Since I cannot speak Japanese, I felt frustrated because I could not express myself very well due to language, but as time went by, I could realize that language was not that important in acting. In the end, I could concentrate on acting and was deeply immersed in emotion even more than when I acted in Korean films, so sometimes I did not listen to the director’s instruction saying ‘cut’ and kept acting on the set.”

source: KBS Global

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Autumn invited to Toronto

South Korean director KIM Tae-Yong’s ambitious Korea-China-US co-production Late Autumn has been officially invited to the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, which opens September 9, 2010. Late Autumn will screen in the World Contemporary Cinema section, joining IM Sang-soo’s The Housemaid in the Gala category and KIM Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil in the Special Presentations section.

Late Autumn is KIM’s first English-language production, set and filmed in Washington state, and starring the rising pan-Asian Korean actor HYUN Bin and of Chinese actress TANG WeiLust, Caution. The film is the fourth remake of a lost Korean masterpiece of the same titled by cinematic genius LEE Man-hee, released in 1966. Famed directors KIM Ki-young and KIM Soo-yong made admired remakes in 1975 (Promise of the Flesh) and 1981 (Manchu), respectively.

Following the theme of the original, the story revolves around Anna, a Chinese-American woman imprisoned for murdering her husband, who, while on a 3-day parole meets and falls in love with a Korean-American man on the run. They promise to meet again in two years, but will their promise be kept?

Director KIM is known for his critically acclaimed previous film Family Ties (2006) and his feature debut, the girls high school horror Memento Mori (1999). Late Autumn is a joint production between Korea’s Boram Entertainment, M&FC, and US company North by Northwest. A Korean release is expected in the Fall of 2010.

credits: Nigel D’Sa (KOFIC)

Korean Remake A Better Tomorrow invited to Venice

Korea’s remake of John Woo's quintessential gangster drama ‘A Better Tomorow’ has been invited for a special out-of-competition screening at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Directed by SONG Hae-sung (Failan, Maundy Thursday) and starring four major male stars, the film will be released in Korea on September 16.

The original 1986 production set the bench mark for Hong Kong noir style films and helped break Hong Kong films into the international arena. In addition, Hong Kong films are thought to have directly inspired Korean films such as Shiri (1999) the North Korean spy gangster thriller which itself spawned a whole succession of films. Remaking A Better Tomorow then takes the Korean film industry in a full circle. There is so much confidence in the project that even the director of the original Hong Kong film, John Woo, is a producer on the Korean remake.

It has been said of the original A Better Tomorow that it changed the Hong Kong film industry forever. Part of the reason for this may have been the casting of iconic Hong Kong actors Leslie Cheung and Chow Yun Fat. Taking the lead roles in the Korean production are (Ha Ha Ha 2010, Marine Boy 2009), KIM Kang-wooJOO Jin-mo (A Frozen Flower 2008, 200 Pounds Beauty 2006), JO Han-seon (Attack the Gas Station 2 2009, Cruel Winter Blues 2006) and SONG Seung-heon (Fate 2008). The film has secured a coup in casting these four ‘it’ actors already creating a substantial buzz around the production of the remake. JOO plays the boss of the gang involved in shady deals who has lost contact with his young brother Cheol, played by KIM who has now become a police officer. Cheol of course thinking he was originally abandoned by his brother is out for blood, which all leads to the familiar themes of betrayal and honor, and a tragic climax.

source: KOFIC

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rain highly likely to star in remake film

Asian superstar Rain is highly likely to play the main character of film "Red Scarf," a remake of the Korean movie of the same name from 1964.

"The details have yet to be set but there is a very high possibility," an official with the film remarked regarding Rain's casting which would mark the singer and actor's second local big screen role.

His first movie role was in critically acclaimed director Park Chan-wook's "I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay" where he played the male lead opposite top Korean actress Lim Su-jeong.

The original "Red Scarf" production, by late director Shin Sang-ok, is about how an Air Force pilot becomes a true soldier.

The remake will tell of the life and comradeship of various soldiers and be produced jointly by Jang Tae-gon, producer of the original movie, and CJ Entertainment.

Rain, 28, has received a notice to enlist in the military on September 28 this year -- all Korean men are required to fulfill the country's two-year mandatory military duties. But he is expected to be able to defer the date since he is also studying for a master's degree.

Rain, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, is one of Asia's most popular entertainers who has achieved a phenomenal level of success in both singing and acting.

He went from being a promising trainee to a mega-popular singer and actor in just ten years, releasing six studio albums and starring in several hit television dramas.

In 2008, he went to Hollywood and made his international debut with a supporting role in the Wachowski Brothers' pic "Speed Racer," followed by a lead role in martial arts film "Ninja Assassin."

Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Lee Byung-hun, Son Ye-jin, Bong Joon-ho Win APN Awards

Actors Lee Byung-hun and Son Ye-jin and director Bong Joon-ho have been named the winners of the 2010 APN Awards by the Asian-Pacific Producers Network. They will be awarded the prize in Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province on Friday.

The annual award presented by the organization of over 100 film producers from the Asia-Pacific region used to be given to only one actor or actress from the host country of the APN general assembly that year. It has now been expanded to three categories -- an actor, actress and director.

Previous recipients include Jeon Do-yeon of "Secret Sunshine" in 2007 and Kenichi Matsuyama of "Death Note" in 2008.

The upcoming APN meeting, which will discuss potential joint productions and copyright issues, is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday on the sidelines of the Jecheon International Music & Film Festival.

source: Chosun Ilbo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Good Rain Knows [ Korean Movie 2009 ]

Genre :
Starring : Jung Woo-Sung, Yuanyuan Gao

Release date :
October 8, 2009
Runtime :100 min.

Directed by :
Jin-ho Heo


Timely like the spring rain, so has he come back into my life... Dong-ha is a thirty-something Korean man on a business trip to Chengdu, China where his company is carrying out construction projects to rebuild the city after the earthquake of 2008. There, totally by chance, he meets an old friend from his school days in the U.S. May is originally from Chengdu, and she has come back here after graduation and now works as a tour guide. Dong-ha and May were perhaps more than friends and had feelings for each other then, but they parted ways before they had a chance to define or declare them. Now that they are thrown on each other’s path again, however, they find that the old feelings remain and new ones are forming and that they resemble love.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Chun Jung-myung cast in upcoming noir film

Korean actor Chun Jung-myung [Office Zero]

Korean actor Chun Jung-myung
has joined the cast of a film noir drama film also starring top actor Song Kang-ho and actress Sin Se-gyeong, his first time to take on a big screen role since being discharged from the military late last year.

The film's distributor CJ Entertainment announced in a press release on Wednesday that Chun will be playing a character who remains loyal to his gang's boss (played by Song) even after he retires while also developing feelings for Se-bin, to be taken by actress Sin, who approaches the boss with the intention of killing him.

The upcoming movie, tentatively titled "Blue Salt," will be helmed by noted filmmaker Lee Hyun-seung, who is known for his other film noirs including "Il Mare (2000)," "If You Were Me 4" (2009) and "Enlightenment Film" (2009).

Chun, 29, made his break into the entertainment industry with his role in KBS's drama "School 2" (1999). He has appeared in other small screen roles such as SBS' "Fashion 70s" and most recently in KBS' "Sister of Cinderella" with Korean actress Moon Geun-young.

He also starred in Korean films "The Aggressives" (2005), "Les Formidables" (2006) and "Hansel and Gretel" (2007).

Filming for "Blue Salt" will begin this summer.

Reporter : Lucia Hong luciahong@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Won Bin: ‘I Dreamed of Becoming Actor After Watching Action Movie’

The movie “The Man From Nowhere,” which will be released on August 4, is a very violent movie with realistic action scenes. The fight scene in which Tae Sik, who is the former member of a special forces unit, devastates a criminal organization that kidnapped a neighbor girl contains violent scenes such as splattered blood and broken bones, but the scene is also filled with resolute and well-made action sequences.

An interviewer met actor Won Bin, who has been "reborn" as an action hero, at a café located in Samcheong-dong, Jongno on August 2. He had previously filmed battle scenes in the movie “Taegukgi“ and he had carried a gun when he filmed the movie “Guns and Talks,” but he mentioned that this is the first time for him to film a legitimate action movie.

He said, “When I was a high school student, I completely indulged in action movies. When I watched the movie ‘Terrorist,’ I came to have a dream of becoming an actor. I just had the vague thought of thinking ‘It looks cool. I wish that I could film that kind of movie.’ But, it took about fourteen years for me since my debut to realize my dream of filming an action movie."

Won Bin has clean-cut features not readily associated with the word ‘Mister,’ which is the Korean title of the movie. Director Lee Jeong Bum had reportedly kept in mind an image of a middle-aged man character for the role. Won Bin related his thoughts about this image, saying, “When I first read the script of the film, I wanted to play the character, and I thought that it might be more interesting if a male actor who does not look like a middle-aged man performs the role.” Won Bin does not have the image of a tough man, such as actor Choi Min Soo, who played the protagonist in the movie “Terrorist,” which had given the dream of becoming an actor to Won Bin, but he successfully portrayed the character who has a deep scars inside and effectively expressed the anger of the character emotionally.

He informed the interviewer that he had talked with the director many times about the character and he had actually focused on portraying the character’s emotion through action. He explained, “Tae Sik’s depressed feelings were expressed in the form of action. Action is actually Tae Sik’s language in this movie.”

He continued, “Filming the action scenes was very exciting. Also, when I filmed some action scenes not typical of Korean action movies, I was even more amazed. I had to perform the movements that come naturally when a special agent is faced with the enemy and prepares for counterattack, so I had to be equipped with the basic movements. I trained to use a gun and sword and to perform action steps three months before filming began. Practicing the steps was very tricky. My upper body and lower body have to move together, but actually they move in different directions.”

He presented the fast and disciplined action which is a mixture of traditional Asian martial arts such as Penjak Silat, Kali, and Arnis. Which scene did he feel was the most dangerous for him? He picked the scene in which he is thrown off a building and falls onto the net of a driving range. He said, “I was hanging from the height of a five-story building, relying on only a single rope. In the scene, I had to fall down while feigning unconsciousness, so I was really dizzy when I filmed the scene.”

The movie “The Man From Nowhere“ is the first movie in which Won Bin plays the sole protagonist. When he filmed the movie “Taegukgi,“ actor Jang Dong Gun acted as another protagonist together with him; when he filmed the movie “Mother,” he played the male lead alongside actress Kim Hye Ja, and when he filmed the movie “My Brother,” actor Shin Ha Kyun was the main actor along with Won Bin. This time, Won Bin has to solve every problem in this movie as the sole protagonist. But, he does not attach great importance to that fact. He said, “I just approached this movie as an actor. Some people say that I am the single protagonist of this movie, but I tried not to put so much importance on the fact because thinking that way could disturb my acting by giving me pressure. In fact, I did not have enough time to think about those things because the filming schedule was so tight. At this moment, while I wait for the release of the movie in the midst of many people’s excited anticipation, I am feeling a little bit of pressure.”

From his first movie “Guns and Talks” in 2001, which was directed by director Jang Jin, to this latest movie “The Man From Nowhere,” he has filmed five movies. Even taking into account the break from the time when he entered the army until his discharge due to family problems, the number of works in which he has appeared is not very high. He explained, “I could not find works that I really wanted to appear in. When I filmed the movies such as “Taegukgi” and “Mother,” it took a long time for filming. I want to act consistently and slowly for a long time, rather than appearing in many different works.”

What does Won Bin usually do when he does not work? He answered, "Most of the time, I stay at home. I watch movies and read books. I usually do not meet people very often or drink alcohol with people. Sometimes, night and day become switched for me, and during those times, I do not sleep at night and watch movies until the early morning, and go to bed afterward. I have been quite busy, so I have not been able to go to the cinema since the movie ‘The Servant.’”

source: KBS Global