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Seol Soldiers on to Make 'Silmido' a Blockbuster

2003/12/19 | 197 views | Permalink | Source

by Jeong Hyeong-seok

His latest incarnation is a bit different, even hard to imagine. Yet in Kang U-seok's upcoming big-budget film "Silmido"(Shilmido) , Sol Kyung-gu has been transformed. Shilmido tells the story of a secret unit that got the "training from Hell" on the West Sea island of Shilmido from 1968 to 1971. The unit's objective was to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, but the men revolted, and instead planned to attack Seoul.
Seol plays the role of Kang In-chan, who leads the recruits of the 684 Brigade. In describing the tragic life of his character, Seol said simply that Kan was an unlucky man.

Seol said he usually plays dimwitted characters, but in this role, he's playing a rather complex character.

Shilmido was shot in several locations, including New Zealand, Malta, and Puan County in North Jeolla Province, and took seven months to film. Seol's next project is "Yeokdosan", -- he's gained 10 kilograms for the role -- but still hasn't dropped the soldierly habit of glaring at people.

All 31 cast members lived like they were in the army, and Seol said he could "taste death" during their daily eight kilometer runs.

It's natural to develop feelings of brotherhood, as if the other actors were comrades-in-arms, he said. Even after the shooting was over, Seol, playing the most senior of the recruits and therefore the bill-payer at parties, found his wallet empty.

Perhaps because of the film's background, Seol said he lost himself in the part; he felt that he really was a member of the 684 Brigade.

It really doesn't matter who's in the film, or who made it, he said, the true heroes and creators of the movie are the real members of the 684 Brigade.

Every time Seol visited Shilmi-do for the film, he said he felt an odd spirit, as if the spirits of those who had died there unjustly can't escape. But thanks to those spirits' protection, he said, there were no serious accidents during the often dangerous shooting of the film.

Seol wondered what he would have felt and said on the bus carrying the 684 Brigade on its way to attack Seoul; at times he wanted to cry, and at others he simply wanted to make ordinary jokes.

The film should solidify Seol's position as one of Korea's hottest actors. The film, which has other top stars such as Ahn Sung-ki and Heo Joon-ho, is set to be a blockbuster.

After enduring seven months of pain to make the film, Seol's decided to challenge himself to another tough role, this time as a legendary wrestler in Yeokdosan. He's been sweating away this winter working out four hours a day at the Boramae Action School and learning Japanese, and said he plans to slake the thirst of his fans by following up that movie with a sequel to "Public Enemy".

Source : www.chosun.com...

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