BUSAN: South Korean Thesp Cho Jin-woong Anticipates Fest’s Closing Night

Cho Jin woong Busan FIlm Festival
Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

BUSAN — If you’ve seen a Korean blockbuster this year, chances are you experienced Cho Jin-woong’s fine acting. A Japanese feudal lord in “Roaring Currents,” a drug-dealing detective in “A Hard Day,” and a medieval gang member in “Kundo: Age of the Rampant” are some of the roles Cho took on recently. He will be emceeing BIFF’s closing ceremony, a recognition of his belated rise to the spotlight.

You’ve been in several major films, but people say they don’t have that impression.

I take it as a compliment. It means I did a decent job for those characters.

Since your first role as a gang member in 2004, you’ve played many violent characters.

I prefer conversations to fights in real life. I think I get cast in those physical roles due to my build. There is a certain epiphany when you shoot fight scenes, though.

You play a Japanese feudal lord, in “Roaring Currents.” That can’t have been easy for a Korean.

I didn’t speak a word of Japanese before the shoot, so I asked a Japanese actor to record the lines. I practiced like crazy.

Your next film, “We Are Brothers” is a comedy. What other genres do you want to try?

I want to play a romantic lead. There must be an avant-garde director out there who’d do that with me.

Ready for the closing ceremony?

Busan is my hometown and BIFF began when I was a kid. It’s like returning home having finally achieved something.

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