BERLIN - Hallyu singing superstar Jung Ji-hoon, better known by his stage name Rain, felt much relief in coming to Germany for the Berlin Film Festival and for once not being at the center of screaming groupies’ attention. The 25-year-old star of Park Chan-wook’s competition entry “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK” might have been listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, but he still remains unknown on European soil. Rain’s stop in Berlin is a detour from his 12-country tour “Rain is Coming.” He shared some of his thoughts in an interview Sunday.
Q: What was your reaction when director Park asked you to make a film with him?
A: Working with director Park would be the No. 1 choice for all actors in Korea. Based on his previous films, I had preconceived ideas about Park: I thought he’d be a bit dark, cold, or unapproachable, living in a somehow different world. When I read the script, I discovered that this project was a romantic comedy with a lighter tone than Park’s previous works. I found the story of “Cyborg” cute and romantic, something that I could enjoy acting in. When I met director Park, I realized he is a very friendly and gentle person, very different from the image emanating from his most successful films. In real life, he is closer to this film, very child-like and creative.
Q: In “Cyborg” you play the part of a loony who’s kept in an asylum. Did you hesitate in accepting a part so distant from your habitually cool and glamorous persona?
A: I really liked the project of the film; I liked it because it is a moving love story, with a touching finale. Playing the loony, somebody you never know what’s passing through his mind, really intrigued me, also because this would offer me the opportunity to get rid of my usual image, and thus become a real actor.
Q: How was director Park on the set? Did he allow you freedom or was he strict?
A: Director Park respects actors a lot, and always puts them first. He always cares about the actor’s feelings during the shooting, and he is able to dig up and find hidden talents in you. Things that you don’t even know about yourself, so that you can deliver a performance that’s 120-150 percent of what you thought you could deliver.
Q: What was it that he made you find about yourself?
A: For the first time, I found that I have this sort of psychotic side to me.
Q: What was your impression in watching your performance once the film completed?
A: Seeing myself on the big screen, I felt quite bowled over. It’s difficult to describe, but I thought of the things I could improve, of the direction I should take in my acting career. Here in Berlin, at this big international festival, it feels even more impressive and overwhelming.
Q: So you think you will pursue a movie career parallel to the one in the music industry?
A: I love film and want to continue my experience as actor. It was a great honor to play in director Park’s film. He gave me a lot of support and help, so I can only thank him for all that I learned. I’d love to have more opportunities as actor, and if I’m offered something interesting, I would accept.
Q: Here in Germany, the yodeling skills you display in the film made quite an impression. Did you learn yodeling expressly for the film?
A: The character I play in the film believes he can steal other people’s skills. We see him stealing someone of his skills at playing table tennis and a girl of her skills at yodeling. Actually, I had no experience in table tennis, and it took me three months to learn. So now I’m a pretty good table tennis player. Yodeling was also difficult and totally new for me. I may not be modest, but I think I did a good job yodeling in the film.
source: korea times