Thanks to "The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil" Ma Dong-seok is once again in the spotlight as possibly the most distinctive recognizable South Korean actor working today, at least as far as body type goes. In interviews Ma Dong-seok has also been talking about just why that is, that he's such a major action movie icon.
Ma Dong-seok says his physique is no accident - he got this big and tough looking because he wanted to do action movies. And he's had to overcome weaknesses to pull this off too. Ma Dong-seok had spinal surgery when he was younger, and consequently, lost all the cartilage in his knees. So while Ma Dong-seok may film his own action scenes, he can't go down stairs- and so is never filmed performing that oddly specific action.
Ma Dong-seok has also talked about how laborious this action scene process is, and how he's always inhaling dust. Ma Dong-seok says it takes hours to film even a solid minute of usable action scenes. It's also done a number on his voice, although Ma Dong-seok seems resigned to the negative side effects of his work.
Lest we worry about him too much, Ma Dong-seok also noted how the nature of his surgery was such that he actually needs to maintain his massive physique just to avoid pain. That's why he only rests at home, and is constantly doing boxing practice, weightlifting, and arm wrestling.
Ma Dong-seok was also critical of the sentiment that he only does one kind of movie. He highlighted how "The Outlaws" and "The Villagers", though superficially both action movies, had very different themes and tones. Ma Dong-seok stated that he believes even just with action movies there are very many new things he can show people.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] Ma Dong-seok on Why He Does Action Movies"
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