Eight young stars from around Asia met the media at the Star Summit Asia press conference on Monday — and made a plea for their artistic creds over their star appeal.
“Am I a product to be sold?” asked South Korea’s Hwang Jung-min.
Answering his own question in the negative, he said he found it more important to concentrate on “what I’m doing as an actor,” with a focus on “quality and authenticity,” than marketing himself.
Having swept local acting prizes for his work in the 2005 Park Jin-pyo drama “You’re My Sunshine,” Hwang knows what he’s talking about.
Also stressing professionalism over star power was Guo Xiaodong, who made an international breakthrough at Cannes in May with his perf in Lou Ye’s “Summer Palace.”
“I prefer film work and hope I can continue it throughout my life,” he said. “But I am an actor by profession and television is an alternative route to acting, so I am interested in those roles as well. But most of all I want to work with new minds and new talents in film.”
It’s no surprise that all the young stars are interested in working in foreign co-productions, given that Star Summit Asia is a showcase for young thesps with international potential, presented in coordination with the talent-scouting Pusan Promotion Plan.
Several are already well known on the international festival circuit, such as China’s Zhou Xun for her turns in “Suzhou River” and “Perhaps Love.”
“I hope that I can appeal to audiences as an actor not only in China, but the outside world,” she told the press, a sentiment echoed by Japan’s Yu Aoi (“Hula Girls”) and Yu Kashi (“The Pavilion Salamandre”). Vietnam’s Do Thi Hai Yen (“Pao’s Story,” “The Quiet American”), the only thesp to speak in English, pitched not only herself (“I hope my acting can give the people of the world pleasure”), but also the Vietnam biz (“I hope that more Vietnamese films can be successful and do well at Pusan”).
In Vietnam, it would seem, country still has a claim over careers.