By Kim Tae-jong
When actor Park Yong-woo
showed up last Sunday at an indoor set in Taejon, he looked different. Gone was the soft image he had shown in previous roles. Instead, he was slimmer, which gave a sharp and sad impression, and most noticeably, he wasn't wearing his trademark warm smile.
For his new film "Beautiful Sunday"
, Park said he had to get rid of his "good guy" image.
"When a person is pushed to an edge, they become keen and lose weight. I wanted to deliver such impression", Park said Sunday during a news conference followed by the shooting of the film at the set.
"I think my face doesn't give audiences a strong impression, so I tried to lose weight to give my face a sharper outline", he added.
He lost about eight kilograms for the film by adopting an intensive diet and also because of his demanding schedule. His schedule was so tight that he had to get an injection of Ringer's solution, or nutrient shot, several times while filming.
Directed by Jin Kwang-gyo
and co-starring Namgoong Min
, "Beautiful Sunday"
is a thriller about two men who put themselves in danger for their loved ones.
In the film, Park plays veteran detective Kang, who makes a dirty deal with a criminal gang to save his wife.
The scene that Park shot on Sunday involved his character meeting Min-woo (played by Nam) who visits Kang to confess that he killed his wife.
Park made his debut as a television actor in 1994 but had mainly played minor roles of a handsome man in numerous typical melodramas in TV and movies until he starred in last year's hit historical piece "Blood Rain
In "Blood Rain
", which the 34-year-old actor refers to as a turning point of his career, he challenged himself by playing a complex character who holds the secrets of a serial murder case.
Thanks to the success, he took more chances to show off his other charms and talents by playing comical characters in this year's hit romantic comedy "My Scary Girl
" and melodrama "My Piano
But the drastic change from comic characters to serious roles don't seem to make things harder for the passionate actor.
"There is not much difference between `happy' and `gloomy' characters. It's just a matter of different genres. I don't think my comic characters can appeal to the audience forever", Park said.
Due to his impressive performances in recent movies, Park has become one of most-sought actors in Chungmuro, the Korean equivalent to Hollywood.
But Park thinks that his "popularity can disappear any time", and tries to do his best in what he does.
"I just want to take a `leading' role in a movie. It's different from the distinction between main and supporting roles. Even if you only appear in a few scenes, if you can successfully offer the audience impressive performances, you are a leading character in the audience's mind", Park said.
Park has completed another thriller film "Choyonghan Sesang ("The World of Silence
")", which will open later this year. In the film, he is also a tough and wild detective, who investigates a case of a missing girl.
Regarding the different roles that he has played, he said that self-conviction is the most important factor for him in choosing a film.
"Even though a film is so good, my first question is if I can do it or not. Without a firm conviction, I can't play my character in the film". Park said.
has been in production since June, and the production will be completed in September for release early next year.