“Mr. Park gets attacked again today. He is attacked, beaten and attacked again. The kids that he hired to protect himself from the attackers are even more dangerous.” Talalala, the familiar music from [popular Korean TV show] “Human Theater” plays and Mr. Park (played by Park Yeong-gyu), the owner of the famous gas station from ten years ago, appears on the big screen. In the first movie, Mr. Park was helplessly attacked at his gas station by No Mark (played by Lee Sung-jae), Paint (played by Yoo Ji-tae), Ddan Dda-ra [which means “rock star” in Korean] (played by Kang Seong-jin) and Mu Dae-po [“Bulldozer”] (played by Yu Oh-seong). He is determined to get his revenge but, again, he finds himself in a similar situation which he has no choice but to put up with. The press conference for film “Attack The Gas Station 2”, held at Seoul’s CGV Multiplex on December 16, kicked off with Park Yeong-gyu walking onto the stage and sadly proclaiming, “I have to put up with this again!”
Mr. Park hires a group of employees -- One Punch (played by Ji Hyun-woo), High Kick (played by Jo Han-sun), Deulbaejigi (played by Moon Won-ju), Yaburi (played by Jung Jae-hoon) -- at his gas station in order to protect himself from another possible attack. Lo and behold, a group of high-schoolers show up to rob the place but the new group, who are even crazier than No Mark and his crew, manage to hold the fort. But what in the world has happened to Mr. Park, who has to find some place to hide even after surviving the attack? Will Mr. Park survive his crazy group of employees who are ignorant, rebellious and have no respect for their boss? Viewers will be able to find out when the movie opens in theaters on January 21. Below are excerpts from the press conference for the film “Attack The Gas Station 2”.
Q: It’s been a really long time since we saw you on the big screen. Is there a special reason you chose to take on “Attack The Gas Station 2” as your comeback movie?
Park Yeong-gyu (Park): I wouldn’t call it a comeback. I lived an ordinary life for a while, away from this business. Then when the director offered me the part, I was hesitant because at that point, I was trying to decide whether I was going to continue acting or not. But now I’m very grateful to the director who asked me to do the movie and supported me from the very beginning. It’s a film that made me realize that I couldn’t live without acting.
|Actor Park Yeong-gyu [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Park: I was in a state of total shock after losing my son in a car accident five years ago. It was a very painful time and I wanted to give up everything, so I turned my back against the world for five years. But when I started working again with “Attack The Gas Station 2”, I thought another phase of my life has started for me as an actor. I started thinking, ‘This is so much fun, why didn’t I do this?’ You see people like Lee Kwang-gi [Korean actor whose 7-year-old son died of H1N1 influenza virus in November], but you don’t know how painful it is until it happens to you. But I’m happy, I’ve learned how to laugh again and got my energy back from doing this movie because I got to hang around with young people.
Director Kim Sang-jin (Kim): Mr. Park had to stay the same as ten years ago, even if all the other characters had changed, because Park Yeong-gyu represents the previous, older generation. When he played Midal’s father in [popular Korean sitcom in the late 1990s] “Soonpoong Clinic”, Park Yeong-gyu had that typical attitude of a man who wanted to follow and live by the society’s conventions. And although ten years has passed, that generation hasn’t changed at all. They still want to succeed in life, want their children to go to college and get tutors for them, and try to make more money. And so Park Yeong-gyu was still the most appropriate person for the role.
|Actor Ji Hyun-woo [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Ji Hyun-woo (Ji): The director made One Punch such a fascinating character. Of course, it’s been great playing the role of a younger man parts so far, but I think I might go for more animalistic, manly roles as I get older. (laugh)
Q: Jo Han-sun, you used to be a soccer player so that must have helped you when playing the part of High Kick, who was on the National Youth Soccer Team.
Jo Han-sun (Jo): It was very helpful. Not only when I was shooting scenes where High Kick plays soccer but also I was able to understand how he felt after he quit soccer. So I was able to express those emotions in detail.
Q: The first movie “Attack The Gas Station” was a commercial success, attracting 2.5 million viewers a decade ago. Did you feel any pressure making the sequel?
Kim: They say no sequel is better than the original, but honestly I didn’t make “Attack The Gas Station 2” thinking that I could live off of the first movie’s success. Yes, the first one was successful but that was ten years ago. The reason I made “Attack The Gas Station” was because I wanted to show people how the younger generation was living their lives at that time. And I made the second movie for the same reason. The young people these days are very different from their counterparts ten years ago. There is a new story that is different from the first film. It has the same title but it’s a completely different movie.
|Actor Jo Han-sun [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Jo: I saw the first movie again but I didn’t use it for reference. The only thing I could use for my character was my own experience as a soccer player. (laugh) I’ve never played a part like this so I wanted to make it interesting.
Ji: Nothing in particular, but the director told me that One Punch was like the comic book character Guyeongtan. So I sort of thought of him as a role model.
Moon Won-ju: My character has a wrestling scene in the film, so I watched professional wrestlers rather than actors. And he has a little stutter so I met with a group of stutters and learned how to stutter. My character is also a casanova, so during the shooting I watched kuma sutra movies on cable every morning. (laugh)
Jung Jae-hoon (Jung): I did see the first movie but I got my role models from people in real life -- the people in their twenties who want to make easy money, the young people who are very accustomed to capitalism. One example would be those young people in Gangnam who drive illegal taxis. (laugh) I also got help from [comic book character] Kang Baek-ho in “Slam Dunk” and [character from Korean movie] Pil-joong from “Conduct Zero”.
|Actor Jung Jae-hoon [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Jung: I think I was too ambitious. I broke my nose in the last fight scene because we didn’t quite click with one another. I wanted to get a nose job but I couldn’t because the producers told me they were running low on money and I was a newbie so I couldn’t make demands. (laugh)
Q: When “Attack The Gas Station” opened, the country was faced with an economic crisis and we are also dealing with a bad economy these days. How do you want to approach the audience with this movie?
Kim: I always want to make a fun movie. Before the shooting, I talked a lot with young people about how they are living and how they want to live in the future. I think a lot of that came out in the film.
Park: I politely refused [to do the movie] in the beginning. I said that I wanted to retire and live a quiet life. But then I kept hearing about the movie and felt like it was something I had to do. (laugh) That’s how I started but I was afraid at first. I felt like I had forgotten everything about doing comedy and I was worried if I could make people laugh. But when I heard the director say ‘okay’ after I did my first scene on the first day of shooting, I was able to regain my confidence. I will try to pay back the Korean people who regard me as an actor that they still want to see in movies.
|Actor Moon Won-ju [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Ji: There is no lazy scene in the movie because the film’s physical space is limited to a gas station. When you watch the screen, you’ll see that there are people in the background who are doing something besides the person the camera is focusing on. I want people to pay attention to that sort of stuff.
Moon: I’m a Class of ’98 who went through the economic crisis. I remember feeling very depressed the day I saw “Attack The Gas Station”, but [after watching the movie] I was laughing and feeling much better. I think the audience will be able to watch this movie and roll around in laughter like I did.
Jung: I watched the first movie in high school when I had just started acting so it’s a big honor to get to do the sequel. I think the movie isn’t entirely about being funny -- it also has a wise sense of humor. I hope that it’s an entertaining and meaningful film.
Reporter : Lee Ji-Hye email@example.com
Photographer : Chae ki-won firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor : Lynn Kim email@example.com
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