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Park Yong-ha Returns as Scam Artist

2009/01/07 | 331 views | Permalink | Source

By Lee Hyo-won
Staff Reporter

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.

Kim Moo-yul, 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.

"The Scam" is slated for release Feb. 12 and is distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex.

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