Song Sae-byeok [Beck Una/10Asia]
Song Sae-byeok has spoken in the same Jeolla Province dialect while showing little change in his expressions -- from films "Mother" to "The Story of Bangja" to "Trapped" to "The Unjust" to "Meet the In-Laws." But he has known how to make the audience burst with laughter everytime.
His latest pic, "Meet the In-Laws," is about the love between a man from the Jeolla Province and woman from the Gyeongsang Province, considered taboo in the year after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. 10Asia met with this actor, who we have much to discover about.
10: I think you must've felt comfortable playing Hyun-joon for "Dangerous Meeting" because of the fact that he's from the Jeolla Province.
Song Sae-byeok: Well the script was great but I was sort of worried before going into shoot because I'm from the city of Gunsan in the North Jeolla Province while my character is from the South Jeolla Province and people's accent and personalities are stronger in the south. The rhythm in which we speak Korean is different too. And since I'm from the North Jeolla Province, the first thing I thought was that I'd mess things up if I mix up the two dialects. So I studied the language and got tips from senior actors of mine that are from the southern province. It's a change for me in its own way. (laugh)
10: What was it like living in Gunsan where you spent your childhood? I heard there's a lot left from the modern historical times... that it's unique because there are a lot of Japanese-style houses because the city was the port used to export rice to Japan.
Song: Yes. There's a lot that's still the way it was in the past so they used to shoot a lot of movies and dramas there. I'd sometimes go watch the shoots. (laugh)
10: Had you been interested in movies, dramas or acting since you were young?
Song: No, not at all. It was only to the point where I'd rent a video after thinking 'This'll be fun!' I was just normal, with no dreams of becoming an actor and never having been serious about movies. I don't even know how I've been able to live this way till today. What is it about this job that I like to be doing it? (laugh)
Song: I'm guessing it's this. Mmm.... I feel alive, is what I would say as said in a line from a theater play. The feeling that my heart is beating hard? When I'm on stage or in front of the camera.
A scene from "Meet the In-Laws" [Lotte Entertainment]
10: Well the Song Sae-byeok that the audience has seen so far is not an actor who is brimming with energy. You're rather the type that'll make people laugh by making the ones stirring with energy lose steam with a slight nudge. I think that's why a lot of people presume that you'll be an introvert.
Song: If you look only at the movies I've been in so far... Ah, you're right. I once did a theatrical play where I was a person with extremely primitive energy. You should've seen me then... That's what I've... done before. That's what I'm trying to say.
10: In a previous interview with us after film "Mother," you said that "The Bride with White Hair" was the movie that shook your world when you were young.
Song: Yes, completely. I watched it at the movies over my winter break when I was in eighth grade and there wasn't a single person that didn't like Brigitte Lin or Leslie Cheung back then right? I wasn't a mania of Hong Kong films but I fell in love with "The Bride with White Hair" and watched it about 100 times. I still have it at home and watch it from time to time when I feel like it. when I want to.
10: Why did you like that movie so much?
Song: I think I was moved a lot by how the man loves one woman, the self-sacrificing love. And you know how in the last scene the two finally meet again, right? Leslie Cheung is walking toward Brigitte Lin with the flowers that'll keep you alive for 1,000 years if you eat them after having fended off every person that has approached him for the past ten years, but Brigitte Lin misunderstands him and dashes at him with her white hair flying about her. Cheung is then down on the ground. And he then shows her the flowers while saying, "Whatever it is that I did wrong, please know this. That is was all for you." (sighs) It may sound ordinary but everything about that movie was extremely shocking. I'm sure me being in puberty may have played a role but since then, I've always told myself that I want to love someone in such a way.
10: Guys usually focus on the action when it comes to Hong Kong films but it looks like you actually focused more on the romantic element to it.
Song: Yes... I think I prefer romance over action.
Song Sae-byeok [Beck Una/10Asia]
10: Well I was thinking that you probably cringed while shooting the scenes that show how you date Lee Si-young for "Dangerous Meeting" but who would've known you're actually more into the romantic stuff.
Song: Me... Something like this... is what I had wanted to do so badly! People can do everything with their mobile phones these days, right? You don't really write finger-marked letters anymore. But I became so jealous of the young men and women of the late 1980s while filming this movie. It's when people didn't even have pagers. You had to make phone calls at set times. I think I'm more of an analog guy. I mean, of course things weren't as comfortable as they are now but I really envied the feelings of love and fondness the couple felt. It was just so beautiful.
10: I'm sure you've felt like that for someone when you were in school.
Song: I was really quite when I was in school. It was to the extent people would say, "Wow, Sae-byeok's talking, Sae-byeok's talking" if I speak.
10: Could you not be bothered to speak?
Song: Oh no. I felt choked as well. My school days were dull to the point that I regret spending them like that. On the other hand, there was one thing that was definitely good because of the fact that I kept quiet... I had a lot of thoughts in my head. You know, the time when you hit puberty and things about the world come forth. It was better that I was alone. The strong sun! Why's the world like this!
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>