Actors Yoon Kye-sang, left, and Kim Ha-neul speak about the rules of dating during a press event for their upcoming movie ``Lovers of 6 Years'' at a Hongdae club in northern Seoul last week. / Yonhap
By Lee Hyo-won
What happens when you've been dating for six years? Kim Ha-neul and Yoon Kye-sang show that the initial sparks are long gone but a deep sense of familiarity settles in, through the upcoming film ``Lovers of 6 Years,'' slated for release Feb. 5.
During a press conference last week at a Hongdae club in northern Seoul, director Kim Hyun-gene explained, ``I wondered how it would be for couples that date for a while, say six years. After six years, you grow so comfortable with each other that some break up and some overcome this and get married. I think six years becomes a bit of a turning point.''
``I was able to relate very much to my character, who is my age and generation,'' said the lead actress. ``I think that when men date someone for a long time they tend to unintentionally hurt their girlfriends with their insensitivity,'' she said. ``A simple `I'm sorry' can easily make up for it, but they don't seem to know.''
Kim, the queen of romantic comedies like ``Almost Love'' (2006) and ``Too Beautiful to Lie'' (2004), makes a long-awaited comeback on the big screen. Her co-star, Yoon, a former member of the boy band G.O.D., has also been making a name for himself as an actor ever since debuting in the film ``Flying Boys'' (2004).
The two actors, both 29 years old, spoke about the various rules of romance ― both on and off screen.
Regarding first impressions of each other, Kim said that it took a while to break the ice. ``(Yoon) seemed really shy at first. I was really concerned about playing the role of a person in a six-year relationship… But he was very considerate the whole time we worked together. He's a good friend, and I am very thankful,'' she said.
Yoon said, ``It was very awkward at first and I had heard that (Kim) was sort of snobby. I was worried, because to make this film work it helps to be close with your co-star. But as we worked together I saw that she was very passionate about her work and took each scene very seriously. I learned a lot from her as an actor.''
In the film, the two grow a little too comfortable. Kim's character doesn't hesitate to ask her boyfriend to do her favors like shopping for tampons.
``I'm the youngest in the family, so I actually ran such errands for my mother and older sister when I was young,'' said Yoon. ``They probably asked me to do it because they thought I was a clueless little kid, but it was mortifying for me to go make trips to the pharmacy. The tampon-shopping scene shows how family-like the two are.''
As much as the movie is about love, there was much interest in the sex scenes. ``There was no bedroom scene but there was one on a sofa as well as a one in a car,'' said the actors, drawing laughter and provoking much curiosity.
Yoon added, ``We joke how we shot the film for 18 and over (rated R) but edited it for 15 and over (PG). Even though Ha-neul and I discussed (the intimate scenes) a lot I got really nervous when we actually started shooting.''
As for their personal dating styles, Yoon surprised the crowd a bit. Contrary to his playful image, he said he always starts a relationship with marriage in mind.
In terms of ending relationships, Kim was asked whether she tends to dump or be dumped by her boyfriends. The actress said it usually ended mutually by bidding each other farewell in a cool manner.
Meanwhile, the movie had recently made headlines concerning a screenwriter identified as Choi, who filed a lawsuit against the production company Picasso Film. He claimed that the company did not pay him in full and went on with using his work without acknowledging him.
The makers announced during the press conference that there were no legal breaches on their behalf and the film's release will not be affected in any way.