By Kim Tae-jong
Stars from “My Wife Is a Gangster” say that their film is totally different from the previous two films of the series during a news conference held in Namyangju, Kyonggi Province, Friday. From left are Cho Hee-bong, Shu Qi, Lee Bum-su, Hyun Young and Oh Ji-ho. /Reuters-Yonhap
NAMYANGJU, Kyonggi Province _ Local gangster comedy “My Wife Is a Gangster (Chopok Manura)” was a huge hit in 2001, drawing over 5 million moviegoers. But as goes with many sequels, the 2003 sequel was disappointing and commercially unsuccessful attracting less than 2 million viewers due to its cliched storyline and jokes that did not distinguish it much from the original.
So what are the makers of its third installment to do, but attempt to infuse something totally new in the upcoming film. The first obvious change is Shu Qi, popular actress from Hong Kong, well known for such films as “City of Glass” (1998), “The Transporter” (2002) and “Three Times” (2005).
Shu replaces South Korean actress Shin Eun-kyung who played the leading character of a housewife and a tough female boss of a gang. Shin starred as the gangster wife in the two previous serials.
“When I first read the scenario, I didn’t feel too stressed as it was a totally new movie (compared to its previous films),” Shu Qi said during a news conference held at the Seoul Studio Complex in Namyangju, Kyonggi Province, where the film was being shot. “You will experience something very exciting in the film.”
“Basically, as I can’t speak Korean, my role in the film is totally different from Shin’s roles,” she answered laughing when asked about the differences between her and Shin’s characters.
Directed by Cho Jin-kyu, “My Wife Is a Gangster 3” revolves around Aryong (played by Shu Qi), who flees to Seoul as her father’s gang is engaged in a severe conflict with another gang in Hong Kong.
The scene she filmed that day involved Aryong having breakfast in an apartment with Korean gangsters whose mission was to act as her bodyguard, but they find themselves in an awkward situation, finding out another night that she is not just a pretty daughter of a boss of a Hong Kong-based gang but also is good at martial arts.
Director Cho, who made the original, said that the film will be like a comic action version of “Roman Holiday,” and he avoided using typical formulas often used in the genre of a gangster comedy.
“Personally, I really like ‘Roman Holiday.’ This film will be like its comic action version,” Cho said half-joking. “I’d like to avoid such scenes as gangsters’ fighting with scantlings in a warehouse. I’m trying to create my own styles in the film putting hilarious jokes and seriousness.”
Along with Shu Qi, the film is full of interesting actors, and they are confident of portraying funny characters. Lee Byum-su, who played a cruel gangster in his latest action film “City of Violence,” is back as a “faithful” and “kind” gangster, and Hyun Young, popular for her cute voice, plays an ethnic Korean from Yanbian as the Korean translator of Aryong.