June 29, 2013 08:33
Jung Woo-sung, considered the top teen idol of the 1990s, remains popular among young fans at the age of 40 and is set to appear for the first time in his career as a villain, in what is being hyped as Korea's biggest summer blockbuster.
In "Cold Eyes," Jung plays a supporting role as a cold-hearted but meticulous gang leader. The movie, which is scheduled to be released next Thursday, involves a game of cat-and-mouse with a gang of detectives who form a surveillance team to catch high-profile criminals.
To add to his character's mystique, the gangster's name is never revealed, except for a billing as "James" in the final credits, and he is taciturn throughout, meaning Jung had few lines to memorize.
"I was worried at first [about portraying a character with so few lines]. But when I read the script, I was able to instinctively imagine the character's way of speaking and the look on the face. I tried to portray the character as I saw him,” said Jung during an interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Wednesday.
"Also, I didn't want to try to make his part in the movie bigger than it was supposed to be, just because it's me playing him. That would have diluted what I saw as the unique quality of the character, when reading the script."
Jung said he acted in an understated way. "I think this better exposed the character as being solitary and mysterious," he added.
It's been 20 years since Jung made his debut in the movies in 1994. "I should have made more action and romantic dramas. Focusing on those genres would probably have been enough for me to establish my name. But I guess I wanted to try different things as I saw what other actors were doing, especially their performances portraying realistic, down-to-earth characters. Now I think it wasn't worth it. What people want to see from me is my own unique style of acting," he said.
So does he feel that he has missed out on anything during his successful career?
"When I reflect on the past 20 years, one of my great regrets is that I didn't appear in more films. I only chose those that suited my personal tastes. Moreover, because I was quite a big star, my former agency refused many scenarios on my behalf without even letting me look at them," he said.
Asked what the future holds in store, he joked that he still has time as "people now live longer, so they can work in their respective fields till they grow very old."
"As my peers have played a key role in boosting Korean popular culture, I think there's still plenty of work for us to do," he said.
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