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Actor Inspired by Hungry Spirit
DECEMBER 04, 2007 04:15  

Actor Kim Kang-woo, 29, must feel like flying by now.

Although 밚e Grand Chef, in which he played the leading role, opened in theaters during the slowest season (November), it has attracted more than 2.6 million movie goers nationwide. Moreover, he won the Best Actor뭩 award on Saturday (local time) at the 25th Torino Film Festival for his role in 밫he Railroad, which was directed by filmmaker Park Heung-sik and opened in Korea in May. Simply put, he earned recognition as an actor who can garner both critical acclaim and box office success.

Although many Korean actresses won the Torino Film Festival, only a handful of Korean actors won this prestigious international award. Surprisingly, his voice was calm when he was asked on Sunday about winning the award.

밒 couldn뭪 imagine this could happen when I came here. I was nervous when the announcement was made, but I felt rather composed when I walked up to the platform. When I gave a few words in both English and Italian, the response was really great. It perked me up, Kim said.

Kim, however, said that there was a moment that seemed more thrilling than when he received the award: the moment when he realized that Italian audiences responded exactly the same way to some of the scenes in 밫he Railroad as the Korean audience did, either laughing or shedding tears. At the beginning, he suspected whether foreigners could also understand the movie, but his suspicion changed into the conviction that the 밙orean sentiments and their sincerity worked! Although 밫he Railroad received rave reviews in Korea, it did badly at the box office.

밒t opened in about 10 theaters. Although I was upset because the public did not even get a chance to have access to the movie, I diligently appeared on the stages of theaters all alone as I believed that I had to do my best, Kim added.

What뭩 more, he was hurt when he heard rumors about 밚e Grand Chef, such as 밫he film could not attract investment because there is no star actor, and 밫he filming has been postponed because there is no money to pay for food.

When asked whether he felt pleased to get revenge on those critics with its box-office success, he just kept smiling. However, he pointed out that the secret behind its success was the 밾ungry spirit which helped the director and actors bond even stronger, despite all odds.

On December 27, 밫he Mask, a psychological thriller directed by Yang Yoon-ho, the director of 밐oliday, and Kim starred,, will also hit theaters. Kim plays a detective who finds out an unexpected secret during his investigation into a mysterious serial murder case. In order to play a more convincing role, he stayed closely with the detectives of the Jung-bu Police Station in Seoul. He almost lived with them at the police station for a while.

밒t is easy to imitate a detective. You can see a lot of them in movies. However, I wanted to know their inner side. I drank soju with them and listened extensively to their difficulties. I also read a lot of materials about crime cases.

His low tone is almost monotonous when he speaks. He also has the image of a serious man like that of Seong-chan, the main character of 밚e Grand Chef. However, director Yang told the audience at a recent press conference, 밒 thought Kim was a gentle man, but he is good at dirty jokes. He is truly a third-rated person. Director Lee뭩 comment made the audience burst into laughter. Although Kim has not even turned 30, he has a lot more to show.

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