By Lee Hyo-won
The economic crisis is chilling the winter weather, but South Korea's first stock market movie "The Scam
" is expected to turn the temperature up a notch.
A hotel ballroom was crowded with over 300 reporters in Seoul Tuesday for the appearance of top Korean talent, including hallyu star Park Yong-ha
. He plays the role of a jobless, self-taught trader who hits the jackpot. But little did he know he disrupted a big stock market scam led by a gangster trying to reinvent himself as a financial mogul (Park Hee-soon
"I mostly played suave roles in melodramas, so I was drawn to my disheveled, desperate character. Also, the script was so gripping, despite my zero knowledge of stocks", said the "On Air"
star, who is also a popular singer in Japan. He sported a semi casual look with a crisp white T-shirt and gray suit. The 31-year-old plays his first prominent film role ever since starring in an obscure project 10 years ago ("When It Snows on Christmas") and a supporting role in "Again".
Continuing the recent Korean film industry trend, the crime story is written and directed by another newcomer, Lee Ho-jae-I
. "I focused on characters to express the human desire for money. I tried my best to make a truly entertaining film rather than a futile one ― only possible in fiction", the director told reporters.
Park appears opposite charismatic actor Park Hee-soon
, screen beauty Kim Min-jung
and musical star Kim Moo-yul
. In the movie, the four form a dream team to pull off a 60 billion won scam.
"Before, my co-star was a `world star' (Kim Yunjin
) and this time it was a hallyu star (Park Yong-ha
)", said Park Hee-soon
, the critically acclaimed actor of "Seven Days"
, drawing laughter from the crowd. "I wondered how he would approach me. But he came to me first, and said `I wish we can become close' over a bottle of soju", said the actor, imitating his co-star's voice in a babyish way.
Kim, looking sexy in a black keyhole dress, stars as a snobby private banker. The "New Heart"
star said she was strongly attracted to her character's soft charisma, despite her wish to avoid playing another conceited professional.
, who plays the character who is the brains behind The Scam
squad, expressed nervousness about his screen debut but appeared confident before the press in his edgy, double-breasted jacket.
" is slated for release Feb. 12 and is distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex.