“I’m here in Cannes with my wife. She’s only a month away from giving birth, but your culture encourages pregnant women to walk and move around more, so even though I’m at a film festival, my mind is all over that. I can’t wait to finish work and take care of my wife….”
It’s strange to see words like “wife,” “childbirth,” and “baby” coming out of Song Joong-ki’s mouth, who is still smiling with a boyish face. Perhaps it is equally unfamiliar to meet the actor through the movie “Hwaran,” which was selected for the Palme d’Or at the 76th Cannes International Film Festival.
His character, “Qi Gun,” a mid-level boss of a gangster organization, appears on screen with a dry, hollow voice and a shadowy, barren expression. “I wanted to do a dark movie, and when I first read the script, it was dark and chewy, like chewing gum stuck in a basement room, and in a weird way I liked that, so maybe it was the right time for me to do something like that.”
We caught up with him on the 23rd (local time), the day before the official screening of ‘Hwaran’.
Song Joong-ki “Have a lot of success…uncertainty is fun”
Hwaran is a movie with a low budget, a rookie director, and a cast of rookies, including Hong Sa-bin as the main character Yeon-gyu. “It’s so fun to be uncertain,” he says.
“It might sound arrogant to say this, but I’ve had so much success (laughs) that I wanted to try something fun. It came at a time when I was tired of the pressure of commercial success, and I wanted to try something new in terms of acting. For the audience, it might be a little suffocating to see the difficult realities of the main characters, but ‘Hwaran’ gave me some breathing room.”
Actor Song Joong-ki, who entered the Cannes Film Festival for the first time with his starring role in “Hwaran,” is seen on the beach in Cannes, France, the day before the official screening of the film on March 23 (local time). Photo by Plusm Entertainment
“His eyes are very cold,” said Kim Chang-hoon, director of “Hwaran,” even before he met Song Joong-ki.
“Of course, he’s showing a lot of opposite images, but if you take away those things and reveal the hidden side, which I felt was very similar to this character, I thought he’s not an evil person, but a person who is forced to live a life he doesn’t want, and from that point of view, I thought Song Joong-ki’s ambivalence could be very helpful. However, as a director, I was very worried about whether I could express it well, but when he was standing in front of the monitor on the first day of shooting, all my worries disappeared, because he was already Chi-Gun, himself.”
Co-star Kim Hyung-seo (Bibi), who plays Ha-yeon, also witnessed the moment when Song Joong-ki’s “super handsome, super charming” eyes, which he had seen in the media, “turned into a deadly glow when the camera rolled.” “I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the look of an actor.
“A missed call in the middle of a dawn shoot, it was Khan”…with a pregnant wife
Actor Song Joong-ki (left) with British actress Katie Lewis-Sounders. News1토토사이트, Katie Lewis Sounders SNS
The first time Song Joong-ki heard about Hwa Ran’s invitation to the Cannes Film Festival was in Hungary, where he was filming his latest movie, Logiwan. “When I finished shooting, I saw that I had a lot of missed calls, and I thought something was wrong, because it was like 5 a.m. in Korea, so I had to concentrate on my emotions because I was shooting a sad scene that day, but I felt really good inside. (Laughs) It’s an honor to be invited, but it’s also a good opportunity for the festival to promote the film because it’s a low-budget film, so I felt really good in many ways.”
He will be accompanied to the premiere by his wife, Katie. “She used to go to festivals when she was an actress, so she’s been giving me a lot of advice. She’s been telling me a lot about European festival culture, like the names and locations of theaters that I’ve only heard about, like Lumiere and Debussy, and how they do interviews and parties.”
The film will premiere at 11 a.m. local time on Sept. 24. Audiences at the Cannes Film Festival will get a brief respite from the scorching Mediterranean sun under the shadow of Song Joong-ki’s face.