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Media Falls All Over 'April Snow' Set

2005/03/18 | 456 views | Permalink | Source

Local, International Reporters Gather to

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

SAMCHOK, Kangwon Province - The normally peaceful and quiet park Chuksoru in Samchok was crowded on Thursday with unusual visitors. Some 400 international and domestic reporters along with about a hundred of tourists flocked to the park to see popular local actor Bae Yong-joon, a leading figure in "hallyu," or Korean Wave, in neighboring countries.

"I really appreciate it, but it's a little stressful for me to see that so many people showed up here to see me," said Bae, who seemed overwhelmed by the number of reporters and fans, during a news conference held later on the same day. "But I believe that their affection and support have made me who I am now and encourage me to do my best."

Bae, who is affectionately known as "Yonsama" by his Japanese fans, is currently shooting his next film "April Snow" in Kangwon Province, a main location of the film. Although the press was only allowed to enter the park under tight security by the film crew, a number of international tourists wandered around the area and stayed in the hotel where the news conference was held in hope of seeing the star.

Directed by Heo Jin-ho and co-starring Son Ye-jin from "A Moment to Remember," the film tells the story of a man and woman who fall in love with each other after they find their spouses have betrayed them. The scene they filmed on Thursday involved the two main characters realizing the chemistry between them.

"I chose this film from among others because I've wanted to work with Hur for a long time and have strong confidence in him. So even before I read the scenario, I decided to star in the movie, which was very unusual and took a lot of courage," Bae said.

Hur also said he wanted to work with Bae since he needed an actor like Bae who portrays an image of both "tenderness and roughness inside." Hur made melodramas such as "Christmas in August" and "One Fine Spring Day."

Well known for successfully changing his image by going through intensive physical training, as shown in a recently released photo album, Bae found this movie to be a chance to learn new skills and styles of acting from the director.

"The most difficult part of working with Hur was coping with his unique working style," Bae said with a big smile of his face. "He always tries to come up with lines on the spot. He is very impromptu, emphasizing the expression of real feelings rather than using logic. That's very interesting and something I can learn."

Since Bae is popular throughout Asia, the movie will be released simultaneously in 10 different Asian countries for fans as a way to help minimize illegal downloading and pirating of DVDs throughout the nations.

As the actor has been enjoying immense popularity in Japan since the runaway success of local hit drama "Winter Sonata," Bae and the film company were careful to avoid talking about the conflict between Seoul and Tokyo over the controversial Tokto issue.

"I'm also very concerned about the issue as a Korean, but I don't think this is the proper place and occasion to talk about that," Bae said.

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