SCENE #1 15th March、The 10 o’clock air in the morning
You can hardly tell the temparature was above 0 degrees when the March coldness sipped into our thick parkers (hoodies). There were about 50 staff and casts crowding in front of a building in Goyang City (T/N: 高陽市 a city north of South Korea). As if to dissolve the terrible cold when filming so early in the morning, the staff were even wearing 2 parkers.
This is the filming location for SBS Wed/Thurs drama < 3 Days >. It was already a hot topic (T/N: original Korean expression used here is HOT POTATO) even from the production stage. The genre is detective action “thriller”, rarely seen in Korean drama world. And there the producer of <Tree With Deep Roots> Shin Gyong Soo teamed-up with writer of <Sign> and <Ghosts> Kim Eun Hee, and led to this being labeled as “a drama that you can trust and watch”.
And on top of this solid platform we have the main casts Park Yuchun and Son Hyun Joo. It’s a story about a President security officer = Han Tae Kyung (Park Yuchun) who goes on to solve the mystery of the missing President = Lee Dong Hui (Son Hyun Joo) and the suspicious death of his father. The charisma of Tae Kyung, who protects the President with his life, can also be exuded from the stiff and rigid lines he speaks. Even when a gun was put in his face, he says happily “Go ahead and shoot. Do you think a security officer is afraid of guns?”.
The well-known soft and sad gaze of Park Yuchun turns into “passionate anger” when it meets the character Tae Kyung. I am not used to meeting “Tae Kyung” Park Yuchun but was looking forward to it.
I saw someone I know amongst the staff. Actor Park Yuchun. Close-up his face looked haggard and voice husky. Seems that after he finished filming yesterday morning and tried straightening his back on the bed for a while, his phone rang and he had to gather for filming again. Not just Yuchun. Staff who gathered for filming carried their tiredness from yesterday too, and were preparing indifferently the battle-field for another round of filming.
It was 12th and 13th March, that weekend after episode 3 and 4 were aired. There was a strange air of nervousness among the staff gathering to film episode 6. Special make-up team was again very busy. Another incident was about to hit Tae Kyung. In order to express that emotion well, rounds of rehearsals were done. For just 1 scene, lines were practised many times, and all the staff were holding onto their breath. And then everyone watched “Tae Kyung” crying and screamed. OK was given.
SCENE #2 Director and Actor, the atmosphere surrounding 2 men
The location looks like a place where people were holding a strike, and because of the importance of this scene both actor and director sat in front of the monitor. Yuchun was checking on himself what kind of emotions he should bring out in Tae Kyung while listening to Director Shin Gyong Soo explaining the scene. In between filming, even after filming, their conversation never end. When I watch both men’s back while sitting on the chairs, suddenly the word “chemistry” came to my mind. I thought this word fits in-between Director Shin Gyong Soo and Park Yuchun.
In response to the director’s requests which do not leave out any detail, the actor cleverly digest these and there was definitely chemistry between them. The 2 met for the first time at this production. When moving in-between locations, I asked Director Shin. The expected question on what kind of actor Park Yuchun is. This is the sort of question that he could have given a short reply, and yet he was seriously putting emphasis onto every word he used to respond. “First of all, he is very smart. How shall I put it…. Very clever and his ability to analyze the script is also great. It is unavoidable sometimes an actor’s own analysis is different from the intention of the producer, but when a further instruction was then given during those times, his speed and agility to catch that, being able to reflect that and act it out was really good. On top of that, the creativity when he can build various details based on a scene in the script, that part is also excellent”.
The encounter between Yuchun and Tae Kyung was a prediction by destiny.
SCENE #3 The Atmosphere of Park Yuchun
(T/N: R = Reporter; 6002 = your guess ^^)
Again he only slept for 20 minutes last night.
The action scenes he took the day before was too intense…. Just lying on the bed is tough due to the pain from his muscles and shoulder. It was so painful that he was awake the whole time and when hungry he ate the leftover toppoki telling himself to “sleep again” and then the call came. A call to start shooting.
R: Come to think of it, action acting was a first for you.
6002: Action… I find it interesting. Although it’s tough on my body but I try my best to make it as real as possible. The process in making them look real is interesting.
R: What did you think of the < 3 Days > script when you first read it?
6002: The degree of immersion was supreme. I was shocked that this kind of genre was to be made into a drama, and what should I say….. The tightness of the synopsis was like a detective novel. I thought I definitely want to take this, no, to me there is no choice but to take this on.
R: What was the reason that you were attracted to the character “Han Tae Kyung”?
6002: He holds the MASTER key for the overall incident. Surviving in the jungle where there is no line drawn between good and evil, I suppose? The person who finds clues on the incident amidst a mysterious situation. The job (holder) of a security officer exists closely in my normal life, so to a certain degree I thought I understand them and wanted to try acting them. It was a chance for me to show a new side of myself.
R: The filming of episode 1 and 2 overlapped with the final shooting for movie <Sea Fog>.
6002: I come-and-go during the drama filming while the movie-shooting was nearer the end. So episode 1 still remained in my heart. The other seniors already came for filming so when I do come, there were many scenes which I need to shoot immediately. Precisely because of such a situation,I thought we should discuss more about the acting calmly first but the most important thing then was to start filming…. At that time I was still not used to the tempo of filming, and it was extremely difficult for me to get into the flow of the drama. Now we always talk a lot before getting into filming so it’s alright.
R: You talked a lot with the director.
6002: We shoot after discussing a lot on how to spun my lines and with what kind of emotions based on the script.
R: How do you interpret Han Tae Kyung?
6002: The will of a human being to solve suspicions as the son who lost his father, as well as the professionalism from being a security officer. I thought about these 2 points. While doing activities as a singer I have chances to meet with many security officers, and their position is one who have no choice but to sacrifice themselves. That sense of duty is not something you can build and not something that you build and can act upon I think. It is like being born with a different kind of blood. And then you have the President whom you should protect, and also a father. To protect these 2, nothing is scary to Han Tae Kyung. No matter what dangerous situation he is being put in, he is a security officer who thinks protecting the other 2 is more important than protecting himself. He is calm and he always use his brain, I want to show his other side appropriately, the perplexity behind.
R: He has this typical image of a smart, yet cold and rational security officer.
6002: In the beginning he was just a security officer so I must show him as always calm. The real security officers are like that too. They are calm and very good in judging situations. But because everyone is like that, if I also become cut-and-dried like that, the character will become flat. So during those emotional parts, I want to express them in the utmost non-security-officer-like way. To express these where you can feel the human flavor, putting away his profession.
R: This is the first time you act with Son Hyun Joo.
6002: I already filmed till episode 7 with my senior. I can’t even find words to express how I feel about acting with my senior…. His eyes look VEEERRRRY real. There was a scene with him in episode 5, and in that scene I had to cry a lot although not out loud. And there, when I look into his eyes I almost went crazy. There weren’t any lines, and the eyes said everything. Further more, when I was pulled out of the angle (camera), and they focused on him with me just saying my lines, I couldn’t stop my tears still. I felt his acting really holds a taste of real-ness.
R: Son Hyun Joo is able to bring out the emotions of his counterpart with his acting you mean?
6002: I think so. I was really shocked. I know his acting is fabulous but… The more episodes we film into the drama, my emotions get more and more immersed into the role. When I reach a stage where I can bring out a lot of emotions and then I act with Son Hyun Joo senior, that (Tae Kyung) emotions that came pushing up was tremendous. Really those emotions here (gesturing at his stomach area) came up too and he pulls out everything. His gaze really touched me.
R: What did you think of the script written by Kim Eun Hee?
6002: The scriptwriter’s script was perfect. Whenever I read a new script I am surprised and have a lot of respect. The thing I thought ever since I started doing dramas is that the script is most important. I try to find everything in the script, and stay true to it. So I read the script repeatedly, and try to capture everything within myself.
R: There is no melo (T/N: melodrama) in writer Kim Eun Hee’s works.
6002: Hmmm. I don’t know. I decided on doing this project without thinking about that. Personally, I don’t see a need for that….. Actually the other day the writer came to our filming an I asked about melodrama. But there are still too many things for Tae Kyung to solve. I don’t know how it will be like in the future though.
R: Many staff praised you as an honest person.
6002: I love the filming locations too much. I get along well with everyone and it was enjoyable. It was a straight-forward drama and suitable for night shooting…. When filming it was always cold and there are many action scenes so there are some tough times. But I seemed to have changed from before. Previously, I may have tried being courteous at the shooting locations but now I really feel comfortable with the staff and we get along well and even joked around with each other.
R: So your underlying power (experience) has accumulated? (T/N: original Korean word 内功 was used, as in the martial art “inner strength”)
6002: Not really underlying power but I come to think of it in a similar way. When filming <Sea Fog>, I thought the more I am conscious of being polite, the more people around me will get uneasy. So I thought it is actually better for me to be relax in order to get closer to everyone. I didn’t just suddenly think like that but naturally it became so while time pasts. Before, when I was asked how my filming location was like, I replied “I like it, it was comfortable” but now, the nuance is a little different. I am really really comfortable (laugh).
R: Seems like the shooting of movie <Sea Fog> left a good and strong impression.
6002: I really learned a lot. On acting too, as I’ve watched so much aciting from my seniors there. Every scene was shot carefully, and many takes were done too. When I keep monitoring them, I also learned a lot about the technicality on shooting angles etc. Size of the angles differ when the distance of the lens’ focal point is different. It is more effective acting like that. During the 4 months together with our staff, we eat together everyday and drink together, and so I get to know more things from there. The things I realized while watching my seniors act, and there were also advice I got directly from them. For example. Even if you don’t have enough technique, or when your mouth can’t say the lines due to the cold, even just with you gaze should not make the audience and viewers of the movie feel bored. Even after you’ve finished saying your lines, the importance of why your eyes should continue to show what they see. I learned a lot of these. In the end, this is what it means to bring out emotions with real-ness right? I still can’t do it well but I try to always focus and not let even a split second escape.
R: What has < 3 Days > leave behind for Park Yuchun?
6002: Action actor = Park Yuchun? (laugh) That he can do action too. First of all, if I can wrap up < 3 Days >, I think it would be good to become an actor who doesn’t change no matter what situation he is being put in. In this situation I should do this, and the tenpo here should be this, the drama filming sets really has so many types of variables. I want to act with a core and not being affected by these variables. If I have confidence in doing this, I think I can take-on any role in any clothes while being a little more relax when acting.
R: 1 year ago, we talked about this in <Singles> interview too. That you want to take-on acting without concern about your appearance.
6002: Did I say that then? (laugh) Ahh, come to think of it before I started this drama, I went for a drink with my seniors after the script-reading session. We talked about something simliar too then. “I… I want to act without being mindful of the angle (camera)” I asked. I told them that I don’t want to act thinking that I need to be included in the angle (camera). Then Shin Gyong Soo director and the cinematography director said this. Don’t think about that just do it!, they said. WE will put you INSIDE the angle (camera), they said. Of course there are circumstances whereby we need to cater to the angle (camera) but when it is not necessary, I wanted to act with a little more freedom.
R: You do get along well.
6002: Yes. That is why I am distancing a little from wanting to be interesting. Although I’m staying away from doing “interesting” acting, that has also not translated into my eagerness to [act] but the birth of something stronger it seems.