[HanCinema's News] Director Son Jae-gon Discusses Han Suk-kyu, Kim Hye-soo and "Secret Zoo"
By William Schwartz | Published on
Director Son Jae-gon is having a big weekend. His new movie, "Secret Zoo", is currently leading the South Korean box office going into the weekend, giving Son Jae-gon a notable success in his first movie since his 2010 film "Villain and Widow". The film starred Kim Suk-kyu and Kim Hye-soo in the leading roles. The former actor is now appearing in the title role in "Dr. Romantic 2", while the latter will lead "Hyena" next month.
But with "Secret Zoo" director Son Jae-gon is working with actors who don't have quite such a beautiful reputation. Director Son Jae-gon has had strong praise for his lesding man, the somewhat homely Ahn Jae-hong. Son Jae-gon mentioned seeing nearly all of Ahn Jae-hong's movies on the independent film circuit. Son Jae-gon thought of Ahn Jae-hong as a very funny actor from these roles - but also wanted to show a different side of him in a mainstream release.
Ahn Jae-hong has also taken "Secret Zoo" as an opportunity for a rebranding, altering his physical appearance via a diet. Son Jae-gon has insisted that this was entirely Ahn Jae-hong's idea. When Son Jae-gon explained his hopes for the young actor he came up with it himself. "Secret Zoo" was filmed before "Be Melodramatic", in which Ahn Jae-hong starred last year, and Son Jae-gon observed that even after "Secret Zoo" was complete, Ahn Jae-hong continued to lose weight.
Jeon Yeo-bin, another performer that also appeared in "Be Melodramatic", also appears in "Secret Zoo". Director Son Jae-gon did not know her personally, although he had heard nice things about her secondhand. He was impressed with her comedic talents, and observed that other people were also drawn to her.
In terms of past relationships, Son Jae-gon still keeps in touch with Han Suk-kyu and Kim Hye-soo as well. He emphasized that it always has to be all three of them at once. He calls the three of them the third floor, an untranslatable pun related to the three musketeers and multi-storied buildings. Son Jae-gon has also had multiple projects in differing stages of development, and has no plans on giving up on any of them.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.