Actor Hyun Bin has adopted an unusual promotional tactic for his latest flick by turning up at cinemas across the country to meet viewers in person, along with other members of the cast and the director. They have done this since "The Fatal Encounter," which revolves around a real-life plot to assassinate King Jeong-jo in 1777, was released on April 30.
They have visited up to 20 venues a day since all other promotional activities were canceled in the wake of the ferry disaster on April 16. Part of the reason for this was that they also had to contend with harsh reviews of the film from critics before it hit local theaters.
"Sometimes I feel really tired. But at times like that, one thought in particular gives me strength," said Hyun. The phrase that encourages him, "Only when you do your best on the little things can you change the world," is taken from "The Doctrine of the Mean" an ancient Chinese book of Confucian philosophy. The phrase is cited in the movie by the king.
A year after King Jeong-jo ascended to the throne a plot to kill him ended in failure and everyone involved was executed. The movie hinges on the crucial 24-hour period around the assassination attempt. It begins with a scene of the king doing push-ups while topless, which gave Hyun a chance to show off his newly developed back muscles.
"A king would only have eaten the finest food and would have spent most of his time in a sedentary position. Also, he would hardly have been exposed to the sun. So I thought it wouldn't make much sense to depict him as having well-built muscles, and thus I didn't like the idea of showing them in the first scene," said the actor.
"But I also wanted to show what the king would have done to protect himself. I tried to imagine how someone would have built up their body during the Chosun era. They may not have had any fitness equipment at their disposal, so I also eschewed this."
Hyun joined the army when his popularity was peaking in the wake of his 2010 hit drama "Secret Garden." "The Fatal Encoutner" marks his return to the big screen since he left to serve his mandatory military service from March 2011 to December 2012. It has drawn 3 million viewers in just two weeks of its release.