Pandora's Box is open. "Pandora" was released on the 7th and an estimated audience of 1.5 million went to see the movie over the weekend. In the middle of it all is actor Kim Nam-gil. He plays Jae-hyeok who throws himself in the middle of a nuclear explosion to save his family. He's no Hollywood hero. He's just an ordinary man.
As we met Kim Nam-gil for an interview, he didn't look sophisticated or comical. He just wore a black shirt with a cap and we listened to what he had to say about the movie.
Q: We heard you didn't hesitate about this one
Kim Nam-gil: I wanted to do it because I knew it was going to be a good movie. There was no reason to hesitate. The man in the movie doesn't want to be a hero and that's what I liked the most.
Q: It took a while for the movie to come out
Kim Nam-gil: It took over a year. I was alright as I had other work to do, but I was worried about the staff. I was anxious for them and I wanted the movie to come out quickly.
Q: When you filmed the movie, did you for once think that an earthquake was going to happen in Korea?
Kim Nam-gil: We edited the intensity of the earthquake that happened in real life and the earthquake that happened in the movie. We heard that people even had traumas about earthquakes so we wondered if it was the right time to be releasing a movie on earthquakes. I didn't believe it at first. I didn't have a lot of information about earthquakes. But they are real and I'm scared. It's become a reality.
Q: Apparently the movie talks about the harmful consequences of nuclear plants
Kim Nam-gil: This is something we weren't aware of. It's scary to think the movie visualized the dangers of a nuclear explosion. Director Park Jeong-woo eased the movie a lot so that people wouldn't disapprove the movie.
Q: Compared to your previous movies, your role is quite simple. Sometimes the actor of a disaster movie doesn't get much spotlight, even if the movie is successful.
Kim Nam-gil: I don't think the actor has to stand out all the time. The actor should blend into the movie. The director gave me a part and I did what was given to me. I don't expect something great to happen, but I just wish for no problems.
Q: What's your favorite part in the movie?
Kim Nam-gil: I wanted the part where a speech is made about restoring the plant. It made me want to cry. The situation itself was appalling but I wanted to talk about family. There was a scene where the president appeared, then apologized, and I ask, "Can you explain this?" but the scene was cut out. The director did that because the scene might cause misunderstanding.
Q: You changed your name and became famous
Kim Nam-gil: I used the name Lee Han because a single name seemed cool. Then director Kang Woo-seok told me my real name is better and it matched the way I look. He put 'Kim Nam-gil' in the credit for "Public Enemy Returns" and I started using that.
Q: What is your current interest?
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 email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
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"[Interview] Kim Nam-gil, "My current interest is the Blue House""
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