Cho Seung-woo: 'I Want to Break Record of Other Baseball Movies'
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Actor Cho Seung-woo, who has a nickname of "Jo Jekyll" as a musical star, made a comeback after two-year break with the movie "Perfect Game" which is about a baseball, and he said during an interview about his new movie on December 15, "I basically prefer musical work than movie, but I hope that "Perfect Game" could break the record of the other baseball movies". He came back after two years of break since his last movie "The Sword with No Name" that was directed by Kim Yong-gyun in 2009.
"Perfect Game" is about the real story of the last competition between the famous baseball players Choi Dong Won (belonging to Lotte) and Sun Dong Ryeol (belonging to Haetae). Two teams ran until the 15th round with the tie score-two to two without deciding the winner. Cho Seung-woo played the legendary pitcher of the team Lotte Giant, Choi Dong Won, who devoted himself to become the top pitcher with his ceaseless practicing, which was different from the genius pitcher Sun Dong Ryeol (Yang Dong-geun). Cho Seung-woo revealed that he was attracted by the script. He said, "I usually like the story with a clear message. And "Perfect Game" seemed to have a distinct message in it. I could even feel that it could give a blow in this society". He also talked about his old dream. He had reportedly wanted to become a pitcher until he was a middle school student, so he has always wanted to appear in a movie about baseball. When he played his role, there was a huge difficulty of speaking the dialect, but he thought that he might be able to overcome the difficulty if he could learn how to speak dialect from the actor Kim Yoon Seok, who appeared in the movie "Tazza: The High Rollers" (2006) together.
When Cho Seung-woo read the script at first, he naturally thought of his friend and actor Yang Dong-geun for the role of Sun Dong Ryeol. He asked the director to cast Yang for his opposite actor and he received a favorable response from the director. Even though they have known each other for a long time as close friends, they have never worked together before. Asked about the acting competition between them, Jo answered, "Acting is not like competition, it is creating a harmony". He explained that Yang Dong-geun was excellent at presenting natural acting. Cho Seung-woo said, "Yang Dong-geun's acting was not like acting, but like presenting ordinary behaviors. There is no other actor who can present the perfect natural acting like Yang Dong-geun. He has been acting for twenty five years, and I can clearly understand that his acting experience can tell everything. He is such an expert in natural acting".
Cho Seung-woo was provided with the 600 pages of research paper about Choi Dong Won from the director Park Hee Gon when they began filming the movie. Jo said, "According the information, Choi Dong Won was a humane person who has much affection inside. He becomes completely different person after wearing his uniform as a baseball player. I think that we have something in common because I also become completely different person after coming up on to the stage". Jo successfully presented every detailed behavior of Choi Dong Won in the movie, but he could not see Choi Dong Won in person. (Choi Dong Won, who was a coach of the team Han Hwa passed away last September) Cho Seung-woo said, "I had thought that I would invite him to the preview event to have his praise about my acting and I wanted to learn how to hold a ball from him directly, but I could not. When I heard that he passed away, I felt really devastated. But the director met him before, and Choi Dong Won reportedly said to Park Hee Gon to produce the best movie that could be recorded as the great movie in the history of Korean movie".
Cho Seung-woo changed the topic of conversation from a movie to a musical work. He actually regarded as having the Midas touch in the musical industry. He has made the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" as the best musical ever and he had come to have a nickname of "Jo Jekyll". Asked which one he likes more, he instantly answered, "I prefer to standing on the stage. Ever since I saw the musical work when I was a middle school student, I have been dreaming of standing on the stage. I can completely focus on my acting on the stage, but it sometimes becomes very hard to concentrate on my acting due to the camera when I film a movie. I have to present an artificial acting in front of the camera. The filming order is also one of the problems. When I filmed this movie, I filmed the scene of high school days as the last scene. Acting by ascending against the flow of the story is very difficult". But he revealed that he has been trying to change his mind about this perspective. He said, "I think that standing before the camera is like standing on the stage. The first audience of my acting will be the staff member. But still I prefer musical (laugh)".
Cho Seung-woo, who has been an actor for thirteen years, talked about the most important virtue as an actor by saying, "I learned from long time ago that an actor who comes to the practice room first and leaves the room last will become successful. So I have a habit of coming to the practice room early. And when I have to appear in the musical at 8pm, I arrive at the stage before 2 pm to be prepared for my performance". He emphasized for junior actors who want to become musical actors, saying, "Practice makes perfect".
In addition, asked about the turning point of his life, he answered by comparing his story with the baseball game. He said, "I went to the first base when I watched the musical work first as a middle school student, I arrived at the second base when I met my teacher named Nam Kyung Eup at the art high school. When I had come to appear in the movie "Chunhyang" directed by Im Kwon Taek, I went to the third base, and then I came into home base when I appeared in the musical 'Jekyll and Hyde'. I could gain wealth and fame, but my personality became corrupted greatly. I think that I had experienced good and bad at the same time at that time". He revealed that he came to the batter's box for the second time after completing the first round. He said, "My musical works all became successful, but only three of my movies including 'Tazza: The High Rollers", "Marathon", and "Classic" gained popularity. I have appeared in the ten movies, and thirty percent of them became successful. It is like achieving thirty percent of batting average. I am satisfied with the result. But I hope that "Perfect Game" can achieve another huge success and break the record as a baseball movie. I also hope that another Korean movie "My Way" that will be released at the same time can become successful as well". The most successful Korean movie about baseball was "GLove" (1.9 million audience members) directed by Kang Woo Seok. For the last question asking the meaning of acting, he answered, "I might be able to answer for the question after thirty years later".