Bad Guy is currently on break because of the World Cup, but will resume sooner than Coffee House. So the cast sat down to talk to 10asia on their roles.
Kim Nam Gil is charismatic as always, while Kim Jae Wook‘s sincerity shows through his responses.
There are some spoilers in the responses, since it assumes you’ve seen at least up to episode 5.
Q: In MBC’s “Queen Seon-deok,” your character received no love but in “Bad Boy” your character is loved by three women. How does that feel?
Kim Nam-gil (Kim NG): But Gun-wook doesn’t want anyone’s love. (laugh) Right now he is acting with purpose rather than actually being in love and he will probably be punished for it later on. I think that at this moment, he is using the purity of the three women rather than feeling love. But it feels like I’m shooting separate dramas because the personalities of Monet, Tae-ra and Jae-in are so different and I like that I have a lot to learn while trying to find my ground. Monet is young and naive and Jae-in is materialistic and individualistic yet someone Gun-wook can become close with on a more honest level. And I feel that I have to create a more sensual and strong atmosphere with Tae-ra, be attractive enough so that she will slowly leave her child and family despite being such a strong and sturdy character.
Q: Are there any seduction scenes you remember in particular?
Kim NG: There is a scene where I ask Tae-ra “Have you ever experienced first love?” That theoretically, everyone knows what love is about but if she had actually felt such emotions before. And there is a reason that I remember such scenes. In “Queen Seon-deok,” actress Ko Hyun-jung’s reactions were more on the stronger side while the reactions from actress Oh Yun-su seemed soft yet were intricate. Oh expresses her character’s emotions through slight movements, such as through movement in her eyes or the tip of her nose, by turning her head away or avoiding eye contact, to show that person is being shy or is convinced by my actions. I think that is why Gun-wook is excited in front of Tae-ra and tries to get her even harder.
Q: The mustache and round hat has left a strong impression. How did that idea come about?
Kim NG: The director really likes the round hat. He wanted to use it for when I need to bring out the atmosphere of being alone, hold back on showing my expressions and instead express my emotions just with my eyes. I feel that it suits Gun-wook. I couldn’t wear a cap to do that. (laugh) I was worried about the mustache because during the latter half of “Seon-deok” my character had a mustache so I was in the position where I couldn’t break completely away from Bi-dam [my character in “Seon-deok”] and show another character. So I thought I would bring back the general public’s enthusiasm for him, even if I may be told I’m playing a ‘present-day Bi-dam.’ And because I am 31-years-old, I thought that if I shaved off my mustache I would look younger and I wanted Gun-wook to seem older than my real age when he is with Tae-ra. As of now we are shooting the ninth and tenth episode and I think he needs to change his physical appearance in order for his revenge to seem more mean and colder. That’s why I’m thinking about cutting the mustache shorter.
Q: You have shot kissing scenes with Jae-in and Tae-ra — what are some of the differences that you felt?
Kim NG: With Jae-in, I would say we briefly locked lips and then stepped away from each other rather than calling it a kiss. My character did it because he wanted to hug her, feeling sorry for her over how hurt she is, and he tries to express ‘Will it be okay to show this emotion? Why am I doing this when I know I shouldn’t be doing it.’ It is completely different with Tae-ra though because he kisses her on purposes and he’s trying to appeal to her sexually. In a bad way, he’s trying to show, “I’m going to eat you alive. So that you fall. I’m going to bring you down to the point that you cannot free yourself. Let’s see if you won’t fall for me.’ (laugh)
Q: Last week “Bread, Love and Dreams” began its run on KBS and next week “Road No. 1” will premiere on MBC.
Kim NG: I watched “Bread, Love and Dreams” yesterday because veteran actor Jung Sung-mo is in it. The composition and script are good, the same goes for the direction, and the visuals and the level of focus of the veteran actors is great. What’s worse is that my family said they liked watching “Bread, Love and Dreams” more! (laugh) As for “Road No. 1,” we’re in unstable times because of the sinking of the Cheonan naval ship and it’s the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, so I am interested in it just like other people are. So I’m curious to see how they will portray the pain that our country expressed during the Korean War and the story of love and friendship amongst the characters. Ah, I feel like I’m the one starring in “Road No. 1.” (laugh) From the many storylines that has already unfolded, “Bad Boy” will show the thorough measures that Gun-wook takes in order to bring down the female characters and I think it’s important on showing the well thought-out revenge. I think giving a legitimate reason for the character’s pain that everyone can’t help but sympathize with would help.
Q: “Bad Boy” will not be aired this week because of the broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Africa matches. Did you get a chance to see the Greece vs. Korea match last Saturday?
Kim NG: I did. And I couldn’t cry nor laugh about it. (laugh) It was weird because unlike the other World Cup matches I didn’t feel anxious. It felt like the neighborhood was under attack because of the uproar of ‘WOW~” when they scored the first goal. All I did was clap a couple of times but kept thinking ‘They are good but if it continues to the round of 16…we’ll have to postpone our show once more’ and after thinking of several other circumstances, I just decided to just drop the thought completely. (laugh) Dramas have certain risks and I think that the audience will watch the show again even if it is postponed because they will be curious about the next episode.
Q: The scene at the beginning of “Bad Boy” where you cry at the spot where your girlfriend dies, was quite impressive. And it has been called ‘the world’s ugliest crying scene’ because of how your whole face becomes distorted but I think that’s why your emotions were able to be delivered more directly. What was it like shooting that scene?
Kim Jae-wook (Kim JW): I felt a lot more pressure with this one scene because it was where I would show a completely different side to my character after having shown his general disposition so far, such as his violent and immature actions. However, I shot the scene without rehearsing for it because I felt that I might lose the important emotions if I practiced. But honestly, I didn’t know I would look like that. I also didn’t know that I had knelt down while crying. I think the whole staff must have been surprised when I did quite unexpectedly. I am thankful to them because they must have had a hard time filming it. I hurt a lot while shooting that scene. So did my knees. (laugh)
Q: You spoke fluent Japanese in the fourth and fifth episodes. I know that you lived in Japan when you were younger so did you continue to study the language?
Kim JW: I didn’t know how to speak Korean because I went to Japan at such a young age and came back to Korea when I was seven years old. It’s hard to forget Japanese. I think it’s because it was the first language that I learned. I didn’t speak it as much when I was in high school but at home I still use Japanese to communicate with each other. That’s why my ears have always been open but no matter how much I wanted to speak in front of new friends who were Japanese or Korean-Japanese, I wasn’t able to because the words wouldn’t come out. When I was in my early-twenties, I was finally able to speak Japanese freely because of the continuous efforts I put into trying to get along with those friends. What helped the most was still having the pronunciation.
Q: How did Tae-sung’s short hairstyle with the middle parting come about? It is quite unique.
Kim JW: I worried a lot on how to visually portray a son of a conglomerate like Tae-sung and while the clothing and his line of movement are important, I felt that hairstyle would be quite important. The middle parting is something that most guys in the country don’t try out even though it may seem like you’ve seen it a lot and I thought that if I pull it off, it could look luxurious. It began with my greed to be the first one to try it out because it seemed that not even many actors had tried it out yet. I kept on insisting and said I would put up with the high risks on pulling it off. I have gotten cursed at a lot too because it. (laugh) I don’t have that many people around me who give me compliments.
Q: Besides the hairstyle and clothing, are there any other parts that you worked on in trying to look like a son of a conglomerate?
Kim JW: Primarily I focused on the outer appearance but I honestly didn’t study up on other factors other than that. When it comes to clothing, even the smallest differences such as the material or a handkerchief can make a person look luxurious so I consulted with my stylist on this a lot before the shoots. An actor being able to act well and be loyal to his character is a basic condition to be fulfilled — I think his expressions, clothes and hairstyle can also express his character. I also work in fashion so I didn’t want to miss out on those factors.
Q: Tae-sung seems like an impulsive and destructive person. Were there any scenes that you acted out in which you thought to yourself ‘He is really an idiot’?
Kim JW: There were no such scenes. I rather wanted to amplify his sensitivity or actions. When it came to scenes where his actions were destructive or violent I requested to add onto it. And many times I thought that I wanted to be even more dramatic in showing how he breaks apart at one point. The scene on the yacht where Tae-sung falls down after being slapped in the face by Jae-in was made up on set after talking with the director. Up until now regarding Gun-wook and Tae-sung, I think it will be a lot easier for the audience to watch the series if the two showed how they contrast in terms of their characteristics.