Kim Nam Gil (Queen Seondeok) who is called “the actor you want to meet the most in Asia” came to Japan for “3rd Japan-Korea friendship Fest”. As he is right before his mandatory military service, the activity outside the country meets with some obstacles. Korean Government allowed to it just because this is a cultural event and he was granted the posssibility to participate in it.
Thanks to this “miraculous visit”, we had the chance to talk with him, before press conference, about his character Bidam he played in Queen Seondeok, his impression on Japan, and his activity as a charity volunteer, despite unbearable heat.
On this time visit to Japan…
KNG: This is my fourth time in Japan, and although every time I think “Next time I want it for fun”, this time is also for work. However, I can participate in the charity event that is known to help the underprivileged children in Asia, so it’s an honor to be here.
How do you feel now?
KNG: I’m happy that lot of journalists gathered here, and I also heard that Queen Seondeok is being broadcasted in Japan, so I’m happy and grateful.
On japanese fans…
KNG: I am very thankful for their interest in Korean dramas, movies and actors. They seem to be more passionate than Korean fans.
How did you prepare physically for Bidam role in Queen Seondeok?
KNG: First of all, I love sports. In Korea there is a school for actors that appear in action movies, so I trained there from the experts. Because I’m interested in action, I would like to play in that kind of productions.
And what about the general take on Bidam?
KNG: Bidam was called “a fresh character” in Korea. It was a character that appeared suddenly in a historical drama and I was a little uneasy whether audience (who watches period dramas) could accept him without incongruity, as someone who speaks living language. And on the contrary, I thought if audience accepts him, it would be a great success. I referred to comics, because the director said that “Bidam is like the animation characters, so you can play him freely”. Because the director and staff watched over me, I was able to play it how I wanted.
What is the challenge and benefit of a period drama?
KNG: I felt uneasy because it was my first work on Korean history, so everything from speech to clothes felt awkward. However, as Bidam is closer to modern characters, I had a lot easier than the rest of the actors.
The most memorable scene from Lovers?
KNG: To let the loving woman into the heart, this left the deepest impression.
Impression on Japan?
KNG: Although I had the chance to take pictures in Nagoya nad Tokyo, the word “city” can be applied perfectly to the whole country. Really developped country. Tokyo has many sky-reaching buildings and is all soaked in “urban” vision, but when I went to Nagoya, I found many quiet places and great nature, so this is thanks to the outside of towns that Japan has so many various faces. The next time I would like to go into unknown places.
Message for Japanese fans?
KNG: I was invited to the charity event that aims at helping those children in Asia who are deprived of any possibilities, and charity work is growing more popular in Korea every year. I didn’t know whether I appear abroad with volunteer work or not. The reason was simple, in Korea there are many places where people live a painful life, so I had this thought why pay attention to other countries instead of my own? However, truthfully, when I went to one of those so called “developping countries”, I saw how people who had nothing more than just what is needed to survive. Both Korea and Japan can culturally lead the Asian countries, and I want to devote all myself to participate actively in charity work as long as I can.
(2010-4-19 16:25 (C)WoW!Korea)
translated by: me, © Ethlenn
And this is the man I want to admire. This is the man I would tear the sky apart for.
Interview is not word-by-word translation, forgive me. But I didn’t translate it as freely as the previous one. I tried to be as close to the meaning as possible.