Song Kang-ho Conquers Fear of Monsters

July 21, 2006

If the creature movie "The Host" pulls audiences above all with director Bong Joon-ho’s ingenious directorial skills and superb special effects, that does not diminish the pleasure of seeing a superb ensemble cast at work.

At the center of the harmonious achievement is the actor Song Kang-ho, who controls his explosive power throughout the movie rather than blowing up for instant catharsis. The film, which comes 10 years after Song’s debut, is released on July 27.

What was your first impression when you saw the finished movie?

I though it was a very strange movie. I felt it was like a color I’d never seen before.

Apparently you had qualms accepting the part even though Bong Joon-ho had directed you in "Memories of Murder" before?

I wouldn’t have appeared in the film if Bong hadn’t been the director, because I don’t like monster movies. When I first read the script at the planning stage, I wanted to refuse for the same reason I wanted to accept. The work felt unfamiliar and strange. That was the appeal of the movie for me.

What kind of man did you think Kangdu was? — Song’s character, who runs a stall near the Han River and goes on searching for his daughter after she is kidnapped by a monster?

He is reckless but innocent. Mainstream figures in society would not so recklessly launch into a search for a kidnapped daughter. But I think they have just been tamed by organizations, and they were originally as innocent as Kangdu. In the context, Kangdu is the most ordinary person, paradoxically.

Can you count the most important three among the productions you have done for the last 10 years?

"Green Fish", "The Foul King" and "Memories of Murder." I have worked with good directors for 10 years. Lee Chang-dong, Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-jo have had great influence on me.

What is the most important factor when you choose a movie?

I consider who directs the movie above all, then the script. The rest doesn’t matter.

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