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'Promise' Takes Korea's Jang Dong-gun to the World

2006/01/20 | 106 views | Permalink | Source

Sometimes thought of as Korea's premier actor, Jang Dong-gun is partnered with Japanese star Hiroyuki Sanada and Hong Kong's Cecilia Cheung in the pan-Asian epic The Promise, where his performance stints nothing to his formidable co-stars. Jang appears in tattered rags and a tangled mass of hair as Kunlun, an obedient slave who dutifully complies with his master's every command, in the Chen Kaige-directed martial arts extravaganza. Of course, as the film progresses Kunlun becomes a formidable man, casting aside his bonds as he finds true love.

"I watched the film in the U.S. and in China; in every country the response is different", Jang told reporters in Seoul on Friday. "In China the audience clapped and whistled during the film". He says although the film was made in China, he considers it "Asia's movie". "Recently, many Korean actors have been taking part in movies abroad, but I think I am the first Korean actor who has taken a leading role in an international film", he says.

Chen Kaige (54), who is in Korea to promote the film, speaks highly of Jang. "Both Chinese and American audiences felt that the Kunlun that Jang brought to the screen was the strongest character in the film", Chen says. "That shows the depth of his fantastic performance and proves that we were right with our casting choice. People seem to have been moved by the breadth of expression in Kunlun's eyes". According to the director, flocks of middle-aged Chinese women who saw the movie are united in their infatuation.

"Jang Dong-gun emits a unique power from his inner core ? it's hard to find words to describe it", Chen adds. "Now Jang is emerging not just as a Korean actor but as an actor with a strong influence all across the Asia".

Source : www.chosun.com...

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