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(Yonhap Interview) Actor Gang Dong-won: I wanted to quench thirst of unfairly treated people

2018/02/13 09:56

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SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- Despite his unfashionably permed hair style, Korean heartthrob Gang Dong-won is still handsome in his latest film.

In "Golden Slumber," he plays Kim Geon-woo, a kind and truehearted delivery man who is suddenly wanted by the police as the prime suspect in the assassination of an influential presidential candidate.

Gang said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Monday that the protagonist has much in common with the actor himself.

"I was raised in a really ordinary family. I walked to school past rice paddies and lived in a house heated with briquettes," he said, adding that his life began to change only after he became successful as an actor.

This photo released by CJ E&M shows actor Gang Dong-won. (Yonhap) This photo released by CJ E&M shows actor Gang Dong-won. (Yonhap)

But because of his noble appearance, Gang is often assumed to have come from a wealthy family.

"The rumor that I'm from a rich family is far from the truth," he said, waving his hand in a gesture of denial.

He also said that, unlike his image as a cold-hearted person, he is warmhearted like Geon-woo, a character who "always opts to suffer losses for others whenever he has to make an important choice."

  

A still from "Golden Slumber" (Yonhap) A still from "Golden Slumber" (Yonhap)

Directed by Noh Dong-seok, the movie is a remake of a Japanese film of the same name released in 2010, which was in turn based on a Japanese novel.

Gang was the one who first proposed to the film's studio that they create a Korean version, having been mesmerized by the novel seven years ago.

"I thought it would be great if we could make the flow of the story faster and develop it in a more interesting way," he said.

Most of all, he didn't like the ending of the original story, so the Korean movie has different conclusion.

"I wanted to end the story after properly settling the problems of people who are treated unfairly by those in power. As you know, it's hard to see such an ending in real life. Some people are cleared of their charges only after several tens of years while some others are released without being properly punished for what they have done. I wanted to quench this kind of thirst in people's minds. ... I think, in the end, being an actor is an occupation that can comfort people and give pleasure to them," he said.

This photo released by CJ E&M shows actor Gang Dong-won. (Yonhap) This photo released by CJ E&M shows actor Gang Dong-won. (Yonhap)

Just like Geon-woo, who constantly runs to escape from his pursuers, Gang has worked without rest for the past few years.

Most recently, he has been filming director Kim Jee-woon's new sci-fi film, "Inrang," which will be given an English title later. In March, he will go to Europe for the filming of "Tsunami LA," a disaster action movie to be directed by Simon West of "Tomb Raider" and "Con Air."

   In the disaster film, which features a massive tidal wave hitting Los Angeles, Gang's surfer character saves people from the scene of the disaster. Gang, a fluent English speaker, handles all the dialogue in English.

"I'm going to be busier in the next few years than this year," the actor said. "I'd like to play a wide spectrum of roles, seeking a balance between what audiences want to see and what I like to play."

   sshim@yna.co.kr

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