Cha Seung-won: Not Groomed for Stardom

    August 02, 2005 20:16

    Cha Seung-won is probably the most gregarious and approachable person there is, a small miracle given the star’s instantly recognizable face. “Do I feel uncomfortable when I go to public places filled with crowds? Do you think I do? I’m not an idol who was groomed for stardom. I go to grocery store and shop all alone every day.”

    His new film, "48 Hours Live Broadcast", which goes on release on Aug. 11, is a detective thriller with a touch of director Jang Jin’s unique sense of humor. Cha plays the role of Choi Yeon-ki, a hot-tempered prosecutor who tenaciously digs into a murder case. When he interrogates the suspect (played by Shin Ha-kyun) or yells at a TV producer, his face generates a frightening tension. But that tension can dissolve into explosive laughter as the actor flits from drama to comedy, from suspense to release with a subtle movement of his eyebrows.

    Cha carries a large bag reminiscent of a graduate student’s full of screenplays studded with Post-Its, notebooks and a diary. That suggests an unusual sense of responsibility, and the weight of the bag is doubled by the weight of expectation for the new movie. “Of course I want the movie to be a blockbuster,” Cha says. “Many people can be just happy to hear how good they were in the movie, even if it was dismal failure in terms of box-office profits.” But this actor lacks the complacency. “When you step onto the plate, you at least have to get a single, not strike out.” There is another reason ticket sales matter: “The box-office profits are important because they reward the efforts of the crew,” he says.

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