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밒 Have Chi Coming Out of My Fingertips Now
JUNE 02, 2005 06:42 by Dong-YongMin (mindy@donga.com)

밒 first met Dong-won and saw his sad eyes. And that was that, said director Lee Myung-se.

It didn뭪 take long for actor Kang Dong-won (24) to be cast as the lead in Lee Myung-se뭩 new film 밆etective. After all, the character뭩 name is supposed to be 밪ad Eyes.

At the Seoul Studio Complex in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, on May 27, director Lee Myung-se was shooting the final scenes of his period film 밆etective뵕his first movie in six years since 밡owhere to Hide.

On the 500-pyong outdoor set colorfully decked out as a Joseon-era marketplace, 밪ad Eyes Kang Dong-won stood in a green-tinged black robe with a long sword slung at his side. Although he was 186cm tall and his wig seemed to cover his eyes completely, he looked 뱎retty. So much so that a nearby staff member exclaimed, 밢h dear, he뭩 even prettier than the female lead, Ha Ji-won뀛

Because his character is an assassin, Kang must rely on his eyes and body language, rather than on spoken lines, to express his emotions in many of his scenes, as the name 밪ad Eyes indicates. Known to be shy and reticent, Kang was just as withdrawing and reserved during the press conference that followed the shoot. He lingered over his 뱔mm뭩 and 밶ah뭩 when questioned by the press, and his costar Ahn Seong-gi often came to his aid in answering their queries.

밫his role required me to communicate and express my feelings with my fingertips. The dance and martial arts training I received prior to shooting helped enormously. It allowed my body to move to the rhythm that the director wanted, and I ended up finding my own rhythm as well, Kang said.

Ahn Seong-gi (53), who plays Chief of Police Ahn in the film, praised Kang by saying, 밃lthough his laconic, unhurried ways can be a little frustrating in real life, Dong-won shone all the more in the film by 몊peaking with his eyes. It뭩 deeply appealing.

Actress Ha Ji-won (26), who played a female detective of the Joseon period in the 2003 television series 밆amo, again appears as a female detective, named Nam-sun. In this scene, she was surveying the streets in disguise, so she was wearing the clothes of a 뱆isaeng (similar to the Japanese 밽eisha) and a hat to block out the sun. Her tanned face had a healthy sheen.

밠ovies and TV dramas are separate things. This character was approached in a completely different way from Chae-ok, my character from 멏amo. The thing is, the director even seems to have forgotten that I뭢 a woman, because he keeps telling me to jump off walls without a second thought, Ha said.

Even before shooting began, director Lee emphasized the importance of movement for his principal actors, saying, 밃cting in this film is similar to doing a pantomime. Accordingly, Kang Dong-won and Ha Ji-won studied the tango and Sunmudo (a form of martial arts based on meditation) for three months starting in October 2004. It was hard going: training would begin at noon and continue until 2:00 a.m. the next morning.

Kang Dong-won has appeared in youth films like 밫rue Romance and comedies like 밆on뭪 Believe Her. He declared, 밒뭢 happy to have met director Lee. I learned that shooting a film can be fun. Ha Ji-won echoed his sentiments, saying, 밚ee told me that the harder you work, the more the audience appreciates it and loves you. That has really stayed with me.

밆etective뵕which recounts a tale of love, conspiracy, and confrontation between Kang Dong-won, the right hand of a government official circulating counterfeit currency, and Ha Ji-won, a female detective investigating the case뾵raps up principal photography in June. It opens in theaters September 2005.

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