[INTERVIEW] Director Ryu Seung Wan: “Yoo Ah In is My Lucky Charm”
Celebrated Korean director Ryu Seung Wan had been interviewed numerous times during the Veteran movie promotion. Ryu is known as a genius young director, and it seems Yoo Ah In looks up to director nim [sending a single heart emoji], which appropriates, since director nim acted like an obnoxious yet endearing big brother 😀 Yoo Ah In said he wanted to work together with him again. I totally support this teamwork.
Here we gather Ryu’s interviews from radio shows, TV shows, and news portal sites related to Veteran and Yoo Ah In. Let’s check some interesting stories from Director nim about Yoo Ah In~
-Translated by Furbabe-
Casting Yoo Ah In
“The fact was that we didn’t have many choice. Most of young Korean stars have many things to consider, such as CF, because of their ‘Hallyu wave’ status. So, taking this role would require a great courage because they got scared when they learned about this role. I would like to give it to the one who says ‘I’m going to do this because I want to’.
“When I received the answer from Yoo Ah In that he agreed to take on this role -as I expected since the script is good- I still felt shock. First thing that I did after hearing his decision was screaming ‘yahoo!’ But later on, I was terrified of how to work on his appearance. ‘How will I turn this actor into Jo Tae Oh?’ I was panicked.
“At first I still thought that Yoo Ah In looked like an innocent young man. And I thought ‘why do I feel like having an elegant friend from the backstreet?’ What my mind wanted was a third generation chaebol image and I could not imagine Yoo Ah In as this villain.
“But after reading the script, Yoo Ah In gave an accurate insight of Jo Tae Oh. We had prepared several alternative scripts, just in case he demanded adjustments for the character, but Yoo Ah In said, ‘What’s the story behind Jo Tae Oh? He’s not that bad’.”
He is a good actor
“When Yoo Ah In made his first appearance on the shooting set as Jo Tae Oh, he astonished directors and the crews. He stood out with a sort of Narcissus feel and unique aristocratic atmosphere. It was a kind of mysterious feeling and it felt so bothersome. We all felt thrilled with this chemistry.
“Just like Yoo Ah In who experienced many first times in this movie, it was also my first time seeing him cursing, smoking tobacco and wearing suit. There was a moment while we were shooting I couldn’t help saying ‘well done’ several times, because he played really well.
“Typically most villains show explosive acting. Among the conventional villains, we have seen the explosion of emotions in their acting most of the times. But Yoo Ah In was different. He described Jo Tae Oh accurately.
“There was a scene where I wanted Yoo Ah In doing a wicked laugh without exaggerating it. In the truck driver assault scene, Yoo Ah In laughed so cruelly and so good. Suddenly the smile disappeared from the staff’s faces who were watching it. Everyone saw his eyes, but it was Jo Tae Oh’s eyes that we only recognized. His laughter was too harsh to the point that martial art director Jung Doo Hong wanted to beat him up (laughs). He’s a good actor.”
Creating Jo Tae Oh
“Jo Tae Oh’s character was completely created by Yoo Ah In himself. I had never seen anything like this before. I heard someone said, ‘is this the reverse of Kangchuli?’
“The villains in my previous works such as No Blood No Tears, played by actor Jung Jae Young, and Lee Beom Soo in The City of Violence, are the full blown out force villains. Again, I think this time Yoo Ah In had his share in creating the new villain. He came in well-prepared as Jo Tae Oh. He is a good actor. He is my major bokdeongi [lucky charm] along with Jang Yoon Ju. [‘bokdeongi’ means lucky charm or a person who brings good luck, but it’s also quite a popular dog name in Korea. So it’s cute that Director nim called Yoo Ah In ‘bokdeongi’] 😀
Got mixed up with Secret Love Affair
“There was one funny moment at the filming location when local folks thought that Yoo Ah In was arrested because of adultery. We did a lot of shooting in actual places, and we had the last scene by the court. We shot in Seocho-dong Court which issued a real arrest warrant and the Mapo Police Station.
“There was a funny thing happened at the time. It was Sunday and there was a civil wedding, and many people came to the place. At first I thought the locals may have heard about this filming. When Yoo Ah In entered the scene handcuffed, some ahjummas said, ‘Aigoo~ Seon Jae, you’re finally arrested.’ Then it dawned on me that they mistook Veteran with Secret Love Affair. I told Yoo Ah In, ‘so you’re gonna go to jail now, not for the assault or murder charge, but for getting caught committing adultery (laughs).”
Keeping up with Yoo Ah In
“When I met Yoo Ah In outside our filming schedule, we didn’t talk about work. We just did what normal people did, because if I asked his feeling and told him like ‘don’t be afraid’, it might have given a reverse effect and he could have suddenly afraid of acting as Jo Tae Oh.
“We barely met outside our filming schedule due to his drama [Secret Love Affair] shooting and overseas activity schedule. But every time I met him, I tried observing his words, reactions and actions. I don’t want to make a mistake by forcing the actors get overworked on a specific role. It is important to understand their condition.
“All the actors made the characters alive. Of those characters, Yoo Ah In was the one who could relate to Jo Tae Oh truly. He had a good facial expression in acting. And he took a good care of his condition. We shot the movie in Cheongju. Usually, actors when shooting out of the city got tired and prefer sleeping in the local hotel or in the house near the filming site. But Yoo Ah In drove back and forth to sleep at home in order to keep his own condition. It seems that if you sleep in a comfy condition [like your own bed] then you keep your body fit better, which what he did.
“After we finished the day, we usually went downtown for some beers, but he wanted to keep Jo Tae Oh’s good shape so that he stayed away from this temptation.
“I’m looking forward to his future works. He’s a brilliant and bold actor. First Veteran, followed by Sado. Amazing works choice.”
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