Song Kang-ho [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
Song Kang-ho is not an actor who can be described as someone who is merely 'good at acting.' His acting lifts up and calms the viewer's heart at the most unexpected moments. He will take off his shoes and put them onto the feet of the woman who is roaming about a street at night ("Thirst"), hold up a mirror for a woman who is cutting her hair to start her life fresh ("Secret Sunshine") and ask "Have you at least been eating?" to a haggard-looking suspect he has barely caught ("Memories of a Murder"). He brings forth ripples to viewers' hearts the moment these characters, with Song Kang-ho's face, make even the smallest gesture. What is more memorable in "Hindsight" too is not the blue mise-en-scene that covers the entire movie but how awkward former mob boss Du-heon (played by Song) looks as he scratches his head while looking at Se-bin (played by Shin Se-gyeong) walk away. So where does this man's unidentifiable, seemingly limitless power to do so come from? Below are excerpts from 10Asia's interview with Song Kang-ho.
<#10LOGO#> You seem to have lost a lot of weight.
Song Kang-ho: I didn't on purpose but I do think I lost a bit of weight. Maybe it's because I drink less? Although I actually did drink last night. (laugh) I came to drink a lot while filming with guys for movies such as "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" and "Secret Reunion" but less while filming with women for movies like "Secret Sunshine," "Thirst" and the recent "Hindsight."
<#10LOGO#> But I heard that you were going to appear in "Night Fog" (translated title) which tells about friendship between men but switched over to "Hindsight."
Song: I had always wanted to try working with director Lee Hyeon-seung. And it was in the fall of 2008, when I was almost done filming "Thirst," that I decided to do "Night Fog" with him but it didn't happen for various reasons. So I told him to take his time in preparing the movie and that I'd do any of his movies, when I came to join "Hindsight" which he wrote about two years ago. Everything worked out smoothly after that. I guess it just shows that it helps to have an actress... (laugh) But that took a long time to happen too so I asked him to wait a few months and shot "Secret Reunion" in between. (laugh)
<#10LOGO#> Why was it that you so wanted to work with director Lee Hyeon-seung?
Song: There's something that's unique and different about him when it comes to his cinematography. "Blue in You" and "Il Mare" were both movies that at the time, had extremely modern and stylish vibes about them. I also thought that the characters in his movies were very different from the characters you see in other people's works.
“There is a mystical charm about Du-heon...... He's like a sponge.”
Song Kang-ho [Chae Ki-won/10Asia]
Song: Ah, well you'll see this when you watch the movie but there's a mystical charm about him. The movie is about how Se-bin, played by Shin Se-gyeong, and Du-heon develop their emotions for each other which is at times, in a dense way and at times comical yet sticking, so the movie doesn't tell everything about Du-heon from the very beginning. Should I say there's a subdued feeling about him? His emotions such as love and friendship aren't delivered through what he says but accumulate until instantaneously, like a sponge absorbs water, absorbs the emotions into himself. This sponge-like feeling about Du-heon was very new to me.
Song: Would it have been ordinary for Du-heon to be all muscular and look like he's great at fighting just because he was the former boss of a mob? Would I not seem like a boss if I didn't bulk up and when I take off my clothes, people didn't say, "Wow, he's really scary. He really looks like a boss." I didn't think so. And on set, if the director said that something I did wasn't the way Du-heon would act, I'd think of what sort of person he is and how I should show who he is by trying to find the common denominator between me and the director's thoughts.
<#10LOGO#> You've played a variety of roles and various personalities including a detective, secret agent and gangster but it's impossible to not think of you when we think of those characters. So why is it that these characters, on such extremes, are bound by you?
Song: Everyone has different styles of acting but we can't say which is right and which is wrong because what an actor does is what works best with that actor. It's just that with me, I try to figure out the nature of the characters that I play rather than focus on what they look like on the outside. I always think of what would be the most 'ordinary' way of expressing a character. For example, when it comes to being a reporter, you might think that computer, notepad and voice recorder is what they're about and they are but they're things everybody knows about. However, there are things about them that are ordinary yet we don't know about. For example, there's another nature to reporters. And that's what I look for. I think showing the audience that single thing specific to that reporter is what moves and marvels them.
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