Posted : 2014-05-11 14:55
Updated : 2014-05-11 17:32

Hallyu stars return to big screen

Song Seung-heon, left, and Jang Dong-gun — will venture into new roles in upcoming films "Obessed" and "Crying Man" respectively.
/ Yonhap and Korea Times

By Park Jin-hai

Two hallyu heartthrobs ― Song Seung-heon and Jang Dong-gun ― will venture into new roles in upcoming films.

Song, 37, the star of "Autumn in My Heart," will appear in the mellow romance movie "Obsessed" in May, while Jang in the action film "Crying Man" in June.

At the press previews, held over two days, the two veteran actors of 20 years looked more tense than before. Both Song and Jang, are being put to the test for their new roles.

Returning to the big screen in four years with "Obsessed," Song is no longer a gentle, sweet lover. He is a married soldier who falls in love with the wife of his subordinate.

Song Seung-heon plays a role of a married soldier who falls in love with the wife of his subordinate in "Obsessed."

He said that the movie itself was a great challenge for him.

"It is the first time I played a villain in my entire career, not to mention hot bed scenes," said Song during a press meeting held after a preview at CGV in Wangsimni, Seoul, last Wednesday.

"If it were a few years ago, I wouldn't have considered playing a man cheating on his wife since it runs counter to my image as a well behaved gentle guy," he said.

"Then I realized that I've locked up myself, acting only within the boundaries that I've created. Now I want to break that fixed image."

Since debuting in 1996 with the popular sitcom "Three Guys and Three Girls" as a handsome yet shy guy blindly chasing a girl, he has appeared in various romantic dramas including "Autumn in My Heart" (2000) and "Summer Scent" (2003), which catapulted him to stardom all across Asian countries.

Jang Dong-gun turns into a cold-blooded professional killer Gon, who was left alone in America to survive in "Crying Man."

Set in 1969 at the end of the Vietnam War, "Obsessed" portrays the secretive and tragic love story between a Vietnam war hero Kim Jin-pyeong, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and his subordinate's mysterious wife, within the enclosed military family housing for high-ranking officers.

For the 130 minute movie, to be released Wednesday, some movie critics say that it is similar to the Chinese film "Lust, Caution."

He said his new movie has opened his eyes to a diverse genre of films. "Thanks to the movie, I now see more characters that I want to challenge to act in the future."

The film was directed by Kim Dae-woo, who was acclaimed for his risque love scenes in previous movies like "Forbidden Quest" (2006) and "The Servant" (2010).

Backed by his global popularity, he starred in the Hong Kong movie "So Close" with Chinese actress Qi Shu in 2002. His movie "A Better Tomorrow" was screened in Hong Kong and Japan as well as Seoul in 2010, while the Japanese movie he starred in, "Ghost: In Your Arms Again," was released in the same year.

Compared with his global success on the small screen, however, his performance in big screen was judged to have fallen short of viewers' expectations.

During the press meeting, Song wished the film could be the one that represents his 20-year acting career.

Jang Dong-gun, 42, is also full of hopes and expectations while he waits for his upcoming action thriller "Crying Man" to be released in June.

Fans welcomed Jang, who will be returning to the silver screen in two years after "Dangerous Liaisons" (2012).

Jang has been focusing on making a foray into overseas film markets, appearing in a series of movies, including the joint Chinese-Korean-Japanese action movie "The Promise" (2005), his Hollywood debut movie "The Warrior's Way" (2010) and "Dangerous Liaisons" (2012) where he played opposite Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung.

Like Song, ticket sales of Jang's movies haven't lived up to his fame, an embarrassment for an actor of more than 20 years. Mindful of this, Jang said, "I'm personally thirsty for commercial success," during the press showcase held at CGV in Sinsa-dong in southern Seoul, last Thursday.

"However, while I was shooting the film, the director and I have been determined to make a great movie rather than a money-making one. I hope this movie would be the one that would be remembered and loved for long," he added.

In the movie "Crying Man," the star of 2012 SBS drama "A Gentleman's Dignity" will turn into a cold-blooded professional killer Gon, who was left alone in America to survive. He will be facing a dilemma of falling in love with his target Mo-gyeong, played by actress Kim Min-hee.

It was directed by Lee Jeong-beom, who previously made "The Man from Nowhere" staring Won Bin, and sold some 6.2 million tickets. It will be released June 5.

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