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07 August 2010 @ 08:49 pm
Interview on Bad Guy Open Set Day  
ELLE's video interview with Kim Nam Gil - Bad Guy open set day  (14 June 2010)


Kim Nam Gil


Kim Nam-gil admitted that this has been his most difficult drama, acting-wise, which is probably because it’s his first leading drama role — he now has to regulate his performances to click with each cast member, and it’s a lot more work than stealing scenes in the supporting cast.

As a 29-year-old, Kim feels the age difference enough to comfortably call co-star Oh Yeon-soo, who plays Tae-ra, “noona.” On the other hand, he generally calls Han Ga-in by her name. (He’s 29, Oh is 38. Han is 28, Kim Jae-wook is 27, Jung So-min is 21.) Kim explained, “I’m a year older than Ga-in-sshi so sometimes I call her ‘Ga-in-ah,’ but most of the time it’s ‘Ga-in-sshi.’”

The reason is that while they’re of a similar age (which would allow them for friendly address), he usually calls married co-stars “sshi” because it’s a little more polite. (It adds a little bit more distance.) In Queen Seon-deok, he likewise called co-star Lee Yo-won “Yo-won-sshi.”

Kim also copped to being incredibly nervous when it was time for his kiss scene with Oh Yeon-soo in an upcoming episode; when the director gave the notice that they were going to shoot that scene, he had to calm himself down for five minutes. He was sweating, “But Yeon-soo noona took the lead and the shoot went fine.”

Regarding ratings: “Ratings are given from heaven,” meaning it’s not something a person can do anything to achieve. He said of competitor Baker King Kim Tak-gu, “Sure I’d like for our ratings to be higher, but when I watched Baker King, personally I thought it was entertaining. I don’t think it’s right to belittle another drama just because it’s competition.”

Q: In MBC's Queen Seon-deok, your character received no love but in Bad Guy your character is loved by three women. How does that feel?
Kim Nam-gil (Kim NG): But Gun-wook doesn't want anyone's love. (laugh) Right now he is acting with purpose rather than actually being in love and he will probably be punished for it later on. I think that at this moment, he is using the purity of the three women rather than feeling love. But it feels like I'm shooting separate dramas because the personalities of Monet, Tae-ra and Jae-in are so different and I like that I have a lot to learn while trying to find my ground. Monet is young and naive and Jae-in is materialistic and individualistic yet someone Gun-wook can become close with on a more honest level. And I feel that I have to create a more sensual and strong atmosphere with Tae-ra, be attractive enough so that she will slowly leave her child and family despite being such a strong and sturdy character.

Q: Are there any seduction scenes you remember in particular?
Kim NG: There is a scene where I ask Tae-ra "Have you ever experienced first love?" That theoretically, everyone knows what love is about but if she had actually felt such emotions before. And there is a reason that I remember such scenes. In Queen Seon-deok, actress Ko Hyun-jung's reactions were more on the stronger side while the reactions from actress Oh Yun-su seemed soft yet were intricate. Oh expresses her character's emotions through slight movements, such as through movement in her eyes or the tip of her nose, by turning her head away or avoiding eye contact, to show that person is being shy or is convinced by my actions. I think that is why Gun-wook is excited in front of Tae-ra and tries to get her even harder.

Q: The mustache and round hat has left a strong impression. How did that idea come about?
Kim NG: The director really likes the round hat. He wanted to use it for when I need to bring out the atmosphere of being alone, hold back on showing my expressions and instead express my emotions just with my eyes. I feel that it suits Gun-wook. I couldn't wear a cap to do that. (laugh) I was worried about the mustache because during the latter half of Seon-deok my character had a mustache so I was in the position where I couldn't break completely away from Bi-dam [my character in Seon-deok] and show another character. So I thought I would bring back the general public’s enthusiasm for him, even if I may be told I'm playing a 'present-day Bi-dam.' And because I am 31-years-old, I thought that if I shaved off my mustache I would look younger and I wanted Gun-wook to seem older than my real age when he is with Tae-ra. As of now we are shooting the ninth and tenth episode and I think he needs to change his physical appearance in order for his revenge to seem more mean and colder. That's why I'm thinking about cutting the mustache shorter.

Q: You have shot kissing scenes with Jae-in and Tae-ra -- what are some of the differences that you felt?
Kim NG: With Jae-in, I would say we briefly locked lips and then stepped away from each other rather than calling it a kiss. My character did it because he wanted to hug her, feeling sorry for her over how hurt she is, and he tries to express 'Will it be okay to show this emotion? Why am I doing this when I know I shouldn't be doing it.' It is completely different with Tae-ra though because he kisses her on purposes and he's trying to appeal to her sexually. In a bad way, he's trying to show, "I'm going to eat you alive. So that you fall. I'm going to bring you down to the point that you cannot free yourself. Let's see if you won't fall for me.' (laugh)

Q: Last week Baker King Kim Tak-gu began its run on KBS and next week Road No. 1 will premiere on MBC. 
Kim NG: I watched Baker King Kim Tak-gu yesterday because veteran actor Jung Sung-mo is in it. The composition and script are good, the same goes for the direction, and the visuals and the level of focus of the veteran actors is great. What's worse is that my family said they liked watching Baker King Kim Tak-gu more! (laugh) As for Road No. 1, we're in unstable times because of the sinking of the Cheonan naval ship and it's the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, so I am interested in it just like other people are. So I'm curious to see how they will portray the pain that our country expressed during the Korean War and the story of love and friendship amongst the characters. Ah, I feel like I'm the one starring in Road No. 1. (laugh) From the many storylines that has already unfolded, Bad Guy will show the thorough measures that Gun-wook takes in order to bring down the female characters and I think it's important on showing the well thought-out revenge. I think giving a legitimate reason for the character's pain that everyone can't help but sympathize with would help.

Q: Bad Guy will not be aired this week because of the broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Africa matches. Did you get a chance to see the Greece vs. Korea match last Saturday?
Kim NG: I did. And I couldn't cry nor laugh about it. (laugh) It was weird because unlike the other World Cup matches I didn't feel anxious. It felt like the neighborhood was under attack because of the uproar of 'WOW~" when they scored the first goal. All I did was clap a couple of times but kept thinking 'They are good but if it continues to the round of 16...we'll have to postpone our show once more' and after thinking of several other circumstances, I just decided to just drop the thought completely. (laugh) Dramas have certain risks and I think that the audience will watch the show again even if it is postponed because they will be curious about the next episode.

Han Ga In


Even though Kim Nam Gil said that he and Han Ga-in agreed to be on “courteous terms” (keeping things professional), Han expressed a contrary statement, saying, “He jokes around a lot, but we don’t stick to formalities.” She added, “When we’re feeling down, Kim Jae-wook-sshi and I support each other. We’re comfortable enough to confide in each other.”

Han married actor Yeon Jung-hoon (East of Eden, Jejoongwon) several years ago, and was asked if he feels jealous of her handsome co-stars. Her friends even tell her, “The drama is really enjoyable to watch” with its eye candy.

She answered, “Kim Nam-gil and Kim Jae-wook are both younger than my husband, and they’re very cool. In the past he never really said much, but these days he frequently mentions visiting the set. It seems to bother him a little to hear comments like ‘Just standing together, the two of them look wonderful.’ He doesn’t really let it show that much, but I can feel it.”

Husband Yeon Jung-hoon also noted that some of her mannerisms in real life come out onscreen, particularly her “aegyo,” or her ways of acting cute or appealing. Aegyo doesn’t necessarily mean a romantic thing — in Han Ga-in’s case she refers to her character’s attempts to ingratiate herself to Madam Shin.

Q: In fourth and fifth episodes of Bad Guy, which aired last week, you had long lines in Japanese during your Japan location shoot. How did you prepare for that? Did actor Kim Jae-wook, who is fluent in Japanese, help you with it?
Han: I wasn't very close to Jae-wook at the time so I didn't get any help. (laugh) I went to Japan with a Japanese teacher who was hired by the production company. I listened to a [Japanese] recording of my lines every morning and night before I went to sleep. I listened to it so much for three weeks that I could automatically start saying my lines if someone poked me. I don't think I will forget them for the next five years.

Q: The male characters Shim Gun-wook and Hong Tae-sung, the two men standing by [Han's character] Jae-in, are very different. Who would you choose to be with in real life?
Han: I am not saying this because I play the role of Jae-in but I think that is something one would have to mull over a lot. I think she is attracted to Gun-wook because they have a lot in common and they say things like, "You are me, just a separate person" or "Do you think you are so different from me?" On the other hand, I think Tae-sung is a little adorable, perhaps because he is the son of a rich family. But more than that, I think something about him stimulates her maternal instinct and makes her want to take care of him like a mother would. But if I choose one over the other, somebody is going to get very upset so I am not going to answer that. (laugh)

Q: Surprisingly, Jae-in is a character who sometimes appears easygoing and wild. The scene where she cleaned Gun-wook's house and did his laundry and imagined herself getting angry was funny.
Han: Shooting the imaginary scene was a little hard on me. Because it is closer to the real me in real life. (laugh) And up till now, my Japanese-speaking tone was a bit high when I was talking to Lady Shin (played by Kim Hye-ok) or Tae-sung. But I think my voice will gradually go lower as the show progresses. My original voice is actually so low that I worry whether I should really use it on television. But the director told me that he wants to use my usual way of speech so I think there will be some changes after the seventh or eighth episode. In the beginning, Jae-in is just vaguely thinking that she wants to marry into a conglomerate family but after she goes through some incidents, she makes up her mind to go further in that direction.

Q: What kind of changes will we be seeing in Jae-in in the future?
Han: Through some upcoming incidents, I think the way Jae-in heads toward achieving her desire will be depicted in more details rather than its current vague description. I don't know how the viewers will see it but I hope it is not the lovely, pretty female lead characters that I have previously shown. I want the story to be a bit more clear, however it may end. Either she charge forward toward her desires or fall in love and go through conflicts during the process. Jae-in is a character who is going through an inner battle because she has her desires and the emotion of love keeps creeping up on her. So I would like the producers to express her as someone who gets hurt more and lives more intensely. When I tell the director, "Sir, I would like this to be more intense," he would say (Han impersonates director Lee Hyung-min's voice) "Ga-in, you don't like pretty, lovable characters? The viewers could hate you." But I want my character to have a clear, definite motivation as to why she has to go her way, even if means viewers might hate me a little. Even the director told me that Jae-in is a character who changes and grows up in the story and that she will have more force in the latter part of the drama. I too worried a lot about how I can express such aspects and I think I will be able to grow up a lot more. So I want to show people a different image and personally hope that Jae-in will be a more memorable character.

Kim Jae Wook


Kim Jae Wook became famous after taking supporting roles in Coffee Prince and Antique Bakery, and said, “In previous projects, I’ve played androgynous characters. I didn’t intend to suddenly take on a character who was different. It’s just that I’m working to express Hong Tae-sung’s inner character appropriately.”

He’s also looking pretty rail-thin in this drama, and explained that it’s because he gets sensitive (to stress) when he’s filming a project. He has lost 2 to 3 kg since beginning, because his appetite shrinks as he focuses on work, but he stated that he’s trying to take regular meals so he’s not skipping too many.

Kim also took the optimistic look at the interference of Bad Guy‘s schedule: “Because of the World Cup, we got two weeks [of time]. I think the drama can use this time to become stronger.”

Q: The scene at the beginning of Bad Guy where you cry at the spot where your girlfriend dies, was quite impressive. And it has been called 'the world's ugliest crying scene' because of how your whole face becomes distorted but I think that's why your emotions were able to be delivered more directly. What was it like shooting that scene?
Kim Jae-wook (Kim JW): I felt a lot more pressure with this one scene because it was where I would show a completely different side to my character after having shown his general disposition so far, such as his violent and immature actions. However, I shot the scene without rehearsing for it because I felt that I might lose the important emotions if I practiced. But honestly, I didn't know I would look like that. I also didn't know that I had knelt down while crying. I think the whole staff must have been surprised when I did quite unexpectedly. I am thankful to them because they must have had a hard time filming it. I hurt a lot while shooting that scehe. So did my knees. (laugh)

Q: You spoke fluent Japanese in the fourth and fifth episodes. I know that you lived in Japan when you were younger so did you continue to study the language?
Kim JW: I didn't know how to speak Korean because I went to Japan at such a young age and came back to Korea when I was seven years old. It's hard to forget Japanese. I think it's because it was the first language that I learned. I didn't speak it as much when I was in high school but at home I still use Japanese to communicate with each other. That's why my ears have always been open but no matter how much I wanted to speak in front of new friends who were Japanese or Korean-Japanese, I wasn't able to because the words wouldn't come out. When I was in my early-twenties, I was finally able to speak Japanese freely because of the continuous efforts I put into trying to get along with those friends. What helped the most was still having the pronunciation.

Q: How did Tae-sung's short hairstyle with the middle parting come about? It is quite unique.
Kim JW: I worried a lot on how to visually portray a son of a conglomerate like Tae-sung and while the clothing and his line of movement are important, I felt that hairstyle would be quite important. The middle parting is something that most guys in the country don't try out even though it may seem like you've seen it a lot and I thought that if I pull it off, it could look luxurious. It began with my greed to be the first one to try it out because it seemed that not even many actors had tried it out yet. I kept on insisting and said I would put up with the high risks on pulling it off. I have gotten cursed at a lot too because it. (laugh) I don't have that many people around me who give me compliments. 

Q: Besides the hairstyle and clothing, are there any other parts that you worked on in trying to look like a son of a conglomerate?
Kim JW: Primarily I focused on the outer appearance but I honestly didn't study up on other factors other than that. When it comes to clothing, even the smallest differences such as the material or a handkerchief can make a person look luxurious so I consulted with my stylist on this a lot before the shoots. An actor being able to act well and be loyal to his character is a basic condition to be fulfilled -- I think his expressions, clothes and hairstyle can also express his character. I also work in fashion so I didn't want to miss out on those factors.

Q: Tae-sung seems like an impulsive and destructive person. Were there any scenes that you acted out in which you thought to yourself 'He is really an idiot'?
Kim JW: There were no such scenes. I rather wanted to amplify his sensitivity or actions. When it came to scenes where his actions were destructive or violent I requested to add onto it. And many times I thought that I wanted to be even more dramatic in showing how he breaks apart at one point. The scene on the yacht where Tae-sung falls down after being slapped in the face by Jae-in was made up on set after talking with the director. Up until now regarding Gun-wook and Tae-sung, I think it will be a lot easier for the audience to watch the series if the two showed how they contrast in terms of their characteristics.

Oh Yeon Soo


Oh Yeon-soo plays the tightly wound Tae-ra, who finds herself attracted to Gun-wook, who is by now (sorta) her sister’s boyfriend. Oh expressed her own curiosity to know how the relationship between Tae-ra, Mo-nae, and Gun-wook will develop.

With the reportedly passionate kiss scene approaching, Oh explained that her two children (grades 1 and 5) go to bed before the drama airs. The younger child doesn’t know about the kiss, but the older one scoffed, “Do you think I’ve never seen you do a kiss scene?”

Oh Yeon-soo recently found herself at the center of some gossip when another actress, Park Joo-mi, made comments about turning down the Tae-ra role. Oh tweeted a few disgruntled comments and the producers leapt to her defense, asserting that Oh was always their top choice, which caused the other actress to make her official apology.

Oh clarified the intent behind her original comments, saying that she hadn’t meant to cause such a stir. She had reacted out of annoyance because she was trying to film scenes on the Bad Guy set, but all day had been bombarded by phone calls from curious people asking her how she felt about Park’s statement. She added, “I wasn’t largely bothered by it, but it came off like I was furious.”

Q: You are playing another version of a married woman who falls in love with a younger man, after playing one in MBC TV series Sweet Life. Are you particularly attracted to such roles?
Oh Yeon-soo (Oh): It is not that I am attracted to that kind of roles but I have reached the age where I can pull off such characters, and so I am getting offers to play them.

Q: In the first episode, the scene where Gun-wook was taking a hair off Tae-ra's chest area caused a stir. But it felt a bit awkward too.
Oh: We thought so when we were shooting the scene. (laugh) If a stranger tries to take something off the way he did, normally people would either shake it off or run off and we said, 'Why is Tae-ra standing still?' But we kept it the way it is for the next development in the story.

Q: The trailer for next week's episode showed a kissing scene between Tae-ra and Gun-wook.
Oh: In the script, it only led up to the moment they were about to kiss. But right before the shooting, the director said that there should be a kiss around this point in the story so we suddenly had to kiss. There weren't any big bloopers but we shot it several times to get it from different angles. Kim Nam-gil is a younger actor but he is so talented. I learn a lot from him and there shouldn't be any problems in the future if we keep working well together. Melodramatic elements are often seen in a drama so I don't think it is too racy, but I don't know how the viewers would feel.

Q: I think you are one of the people that younger actresses look up to because you have worked in various genres and played a variety of characters. But getting older must be quite a burden for an actress.
Oh: You can't do anything about time passing. You can't stop time and it is not so great to take medical procedures to fight the aging process. These days, images are shown in HD [high definition] and particularly, I get very nervous when I have to appear in a scene with young actresses like Monet. Because the difference in the skin tone and face is very clear. (laugh) Photographs and screens cannot lie. When you do a commercial, they do post-production stuff but there is no such thing in a drama. But when you start caring about things like that, you get frustrated and stressed so I am trying to feel satisfied about how I look at my own age and getting through it by staying positive.

Q: But your appearance barely feels like it ages. People envied you when you appeared on a TV show and said that your stress level is zero. Is that your personality?
Oh: You can't have zero worries in life so I tend to worry for a short time and forget about it. I wasn't like that way from the start but I started thinking, 'What can you do but forget? Worrying is not going to solve anything.' Then my mind gradually changed positive and now I worry for just a little bit and not worry at all. I am surprised myself. In a way, it may look like I live my life thoughtlessly. (laugh) I think my personality has changed to one that can shake things off quickly.

Q: You are communicating with fans through Twitter. How did you come to start using Twitter?
Oh: A lot of people around me use Twitter so I first started for fun. I am not the kind of actress who goes on a lot of variety show, so I didn't have much interaction or communication with fans. But when I was shooting MBC's Sweet Life, I communicated a lot through my mini-hompy [on social networking site Cyworld] and this time I am talking to fans who like Bad Guy through Twitter. It is fun because Twitter is faster than mini-hompy.

Q: You have worked with a lot of actors over the years. Is there one that you would like to work with on your next project?
Oh: There are many cool, talented and handsome actors but I would like to work with Park Hae-il. Watching his movies, I think he has a very unique color to his acting.

Jung So Min


Newcomer Jung So-min, who plays ingenue Mo-nae, has gotten a lot of comments on her resemblance to Yoon Eun-hye. She says that in the past, she’d been told she looks like her in the lower part of her face (around the mouth), but this is the first time she’s heard that she looks like Yoon overall. 

Jung studied dance in her childhood, which actually led her to acting: “I started acting because it was supposed to help me in my expressions in dancing, and I fell in love with it. I was preparing for my entrance exams while sneaking to the hagwon [academy] without my parents knowing. After I got into university, I told my father I was an acting major, and for a while he didn’t speak to me.”

blueocean80: *OMG*blueocean80 on August 7th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really like Bad Guy and KNG is fantastic in it. So many pics! *swoons* He's so cuuuute in the clip *__* What are we going to do without him for two years?
emi_avinn: pic#103250263emi_avinn on August 8th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
Hi Belva...

Thanks for the interview's stuff. Hmm.. that's quite a lot to read so I guess I might just focus on our Nam Gil then...^^
Belvabelleva on August 8th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
I especially love the pics from 10asia <3
Guess I'm just gonna rewatch Bad Guy and QSD 2391834018 times. Till his return. haha.

You guys are most welcome. Just compiled them from the many sources around :)