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Kim Myeong-min: 'I Just Run After Skipping My Meals'

2012/01/06 | 493 views |  | Permalink | Source

Actor Kim Myeong-min will appear in the new movie "Pacemaker" that will be released during the Lunar New Year holiday by playing the protagonist named Joo Man Ho. Kim has become a star actor as his previous dramas such as "Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin" (2004), "White Tower" (2007), and "Beethoven Virus" were hits, but his appearances in the movies have not achieved great recognition. The melodrama movie "Closer to Heaven" (2007) attracted about two million audience members, but the results of other movies such as "Open City" (2008, 1.63 million audience members) and "Man of Vendetta" (2010, 1.03 million audience members) were far below expectations. But he achieved his greatest success after eleven years since his debut movie "Sorum" (2001) with the movie "Detective K" that attracted almost 4.78 million audience members last year during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Kim Myeong-min will challenge himself again with the movie "Pacemaker" that will be released on January 19. It will be about a story of Joo Man Ho, who belongs to the national athletic team as a Pacemaker in the marathon race, and how he came to run the full marathon race of 42.196 kilometers. Kim Myeong-min came to a café located in Samcheongdong to give an interview about his movie on January 5.

Kim Myeong-min reportedly ran several kilometers a day on average while filming the movie. He had to run more than 800 meters for one shooting. He revealed that it would have been better to film the scene at one time, but he had to repeat running and taking a rest depending on filming conditions on the film set. He said, "I went crazy when we had to have a meal in the middle of filming. I could not have a meal because running after eating something was too painful on my stomach. Controlling those small details was the most difficult". Keeping the face of a marathoner who almost finishes a full marathon was even more difficult.

He said, "I had to make the face by actually running". When he had a filming schedule at 7 am, he woke up at 5:30 in the morning to run before filming the movie. His intensive hard work was not something totally new and surprising for him as he strongly believes that actors have the responsibility of providing genuineness and reality in any work. According to his theory, an actor who has to play a marathoner has to become a real marathoner. When he first read the script, he reportedly could expect the tough process of filming, but he felt deeply touched by the story. He also sympathizes with Joo Man Ho, who experiences difficulties due to an injury on his leg as he already experienced the same situation. He likes jogging, and he had participated in a marathon before, but he could not complete the full marathon after he injured his leg while filming a movie in 2002. Kim Myeong-min learned how to run a marathon from the coach at Samsung Electronics athletic team named Oh In Hwan. Kim could present perfect running posture after practicing running a marathon for a month. He said, "It was amazing. I practiced running 20 kilometers during training and ran 14 kilometers more after coming back home. Once I could keep my pace, my legs did not look like mine any more (laugh)".

Kim Myeong-min appeared with actor Ahn Seong-gi, who plays a coach of the national athletic team named Park Sung Il. Kim said, "He was my teacher, friend, and close colleague. I could learn many things from him not only about acting, but also about the attitude as an actor. It would have been very boring on the film set if he did not appear together with me. He always shows patience when talking to people even in a bad situation. I want to become an actor like him. There are many things that the protagonist has to take care of on the film set. Acting was not all. The actor has to take care of the production staff members, director, and other senior and junior actors on the film set".

When Kim Myeong-min appeared in the movie "Closer to Heaven" directed by Park Jin-pyo three years ago, he lost almost twenty kilograms for the movie to present a character who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease. This time, he plays a marathoner who has to run several kilometers for every filming schedule. Those two characters that he played were very similar in the point that he abused himself. He said, "There will be no other hard work like 'Closer to Heaven' in my life. It was too harsh to lose weight by skipping meals. This time, I just tried to become a real marathoner. I did not exploit myself. If Man Ho does not look like a marathoner, what he says in the movie must have sounded like a lie. I did not abuse myself, it was something that I had to do to play the character". In the movie, Man Ho asked which one you should choose between what you like and what you can do very well". About the same question, Kim Myeong-min answered, "Now I am doing what I like. I do not know whether I am very good at it or not, but I am trying to be good at it. I will be great if I am doing what I like and do this very well". He has been rated an excellent actor, but he personally thinks that he needs to do better. He revealed that he felt really embarrassed when he could not completely immerse himself in playing a particular character in a work. He said, "Even though Man Ho is a fictional character, I sometimes want to go inside his heart and find out how he really feels. I have always agonized over how to present his feelings and I often met him in my dreams".

Kim Myeong-min is now in Busan to film the movie "Yeongasi", which is directed by Park Jeong Woo, after finishing "Pacemaker". It is about a mutant worm that controls the brain of infected people. Kim Myeong-min will play a head of family named Jae Hyuk who strives to save his family members from the mutant worm. Kim explained about the movie, "It will be a story of sudden attack by the mutant creature, which is a new subject in Korean movies. I do not appear in many scenes. It looks like a science fiction movie or a zombie movie. But I think that it could be a hit if it can be produced thoroughly". Before, he felt complex emotions about his voice that sounds like a reverberating sound in a bathtub, but he now thinks that he has benefited from his voice, acknowledging that an actor who is highly praised can be bitterly criticized someday.

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