It took some time to get used to talking with Gang Dong-won. And it is not because of his slow way of speech. Gang is one who will listen to a question, remain silent for a long time and give his answer just when you are about to ask another question because you thought he would not answer your previous question. He is an actor who will think over both the question and answer in his head thorougly, check how geniune his answer is and then speak. That is why we were able to experience 'sincerity' -- a value we thought existed only in letters -- from Gang who is the star of recent hit Korean film "WOOCHI".
10: You had quit smoking when starting to film "M" -- have you taken it up again?
Gang Dong-won (Gang): I failed (to quit). It's hard not to smoke while working on a film because you get stressed. And you also go out to drink a lot after shoots so I'd smoke once in a while when I do. I'm going to try quitting again next year.
10: You mentioned stress. Director Choi Dong-hoon used the word 'hell' to express what it was like on set of "WOOCHI".
Gang: I think the rough time the actors and directors have on set is different though. I simply got bruised here and there because the action scenes in "WOOCHI" is all about speed. There are a lot of scenes where I dash this way and that, fall or ram into places, get beaten up and run away.
10: Working with director Choi must have been very different from working with director Lee Myung-sae of your previous films the "Duelist" or "M".
Gang: They have very different styles. They're both great at details but differ in their methods. Director Choi creates complex stories while director Lee goes with simple stories but uses a lot of detail in telling them.
10: This is also a commercial film in the traditional sense.
Gang: But I thought "Duelist" was also a very commercial movie. In the midst of filming some people had told me it's becoming too much of an art film but I and director Lee had claimed that it was a commercial film. Both of us had misjudged entirely. (laugh) I can, however, confidently say that "WOOCHI" is a commercial film.
Gang: I hope I do. I want one of my films to be a hit before my 20s pass. We'll hit the break-even point if we draw in 4.5 million viewers so I hope we breach that first and then I hope I get to see it become a big hit by attracting twice as many moviegoers. Acting-wise, I want people to see that I can pull off such roles too.
|Actor Gang Dong-won [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]|
Gang: Playing a fun mischievous character? I do want to prove that I can pull off whatever character I take on. I wanted to show I can be a pure unmarried man living in the countryside through "Don't Believe Her", a high school student in "Romance of Their Own" and an assassin from the Joseon Dynasty in "Duelist".
10: And did you achieve what you had aimed for with all your films?
Gang: Honestly, I don't look back on a movie once I'm done filming because I'll consider my job done. I start preparing for my next role hoping to do well at it rather than check whether I achieved a goal I had set for my previous movie. It's not that I'm irresponsible and don't care for how people evaluate me. I know, better than anyone else, in which parts I lack so I prepare myself for my upcoming role rather than regretting on my past. I think it's better. I consider my upcoming film done too although we haven't even started promoting it yet.
10: Then maybe that's why you have such a hard time while in promotion.
Gang: Yes, that might be why. I'm moving forward, thinking of what I should do next while also having to pull out what I think I'm already done doing.
10: There was a video of you once where you asked for the press release of your film before an interview.
Gang: It's so that I can explain the movie better since I'm usually bad at explaining things. I have to recognize in advance the difference between what I think of a movie versus what the promoters want to show the public about the movie. I don't want to get scolded in case I mess up. (laugh) The PR team will tell me I shouldn't have said certain things.
10: It seems you're very cautious. Do you not like saying things you aren't prepared for?
Gang: I don't like it because I might make mistakes. I'm okay with interviews like this one but I don't like making mistakes at bigger events like film festivals where the things I say could be misrepresented. Everyone makes mistakes but people say so much about even the smallest details. I don't like being talked about. Of course, I like it when people say I did well or I'm good looking but I really don't like hearing people say that I'm weird. Maybe it's because I'm the youngest of my family? (laugh) Because I'm so used to just being loved all the time?
10: Well you can't be praised all the time for a role.
Gang: Yes that's true. I guess I'm better at self-reproach in that sense. My brain knows what I need to do but I sometimes can't do it no matter how hard I try. Then I'll just pass, telling myself that it's something I can't do for now.
10: What didn't work out with "WOOCHI"?
Gang: A scene where I tried to laugh heartily? I tried it for a scene where I think it would suit perfectly but it didn't work too well. There are several such minor scenes I hope had worked out better.
10: You seem to be greedy to do well with even the slightest details.
Gang: I'm a very detail-oriented person. A perfectionist.
10: You don't like to make mistakes plus are a perfectionist. What's more important between doing well and not making a mistake?
Gang: That's an important question. I shouldn't make a mistake... yet I guess doing well is more important. I think it's okay to make a mistake to the extent I can make a comeback later. But I should do well enough that it'll make up for my mistakes.
Reporter : Wee Geun-woo email@example.com, Yoon Hee-Seong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographer : Chae ki-won email@example.com
Editor : Jessica Kim firstname.lastname@example.org, Lee Ji-Hye email@example.com
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