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Preparation is key for Kim Woo-bin

‘The Con Artists’ actor talks playing a rebel, how he picks his roles

Jan 02,2015
Model-turned-actor Kim Woo-bin has been gaining attention ever since he made his film debut in “Friend: The Great Legacy” (2013).

The star, who is also well known for his role in the SBS drama “The Heirs,” has returned to the big screen for “The Con Artists.”

He plays a talented safecracker and thief who works with a bomb expert to steal 150 billion won (about $140 million) from an official’s slush fund.

To act out the role of con artist Ji-hyeok, Kim shows off his action skills and his mischievous side.

In a recent interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, Kim said he practices multiple reactions to ensure his acting fits the overall scene.

Q. You look very skillful when picking locks. Is there a secret to this?

A. I was debating whether I should really learn how to pick a lock on a safe, but I gave up because I was worried I would actually use that skill in real life. I just decided to create my own moves to make the act look real.

Did you start to get more job offers after “Friend: The Great Legacy” became popular?

Thankfully, it’s true that I now have more options to choose from than before. But at the same time, I feel more pressure to meet expectations. To me, the most important thing to consider before choosing [work] is that the script needs to be interesting. I think that’s more important than the character [I’m asked to play].

How do you manage to look so confident on screen?

I think I feel a bit more comfortable in front of the camera than before. Being on set is exciting. When I first started acting I was very nervous and wanted to get the OK sign. But now, those worries are gone and I just want to be really good.

Is it true that you always come prepared to the set?

I was taught from the beginning that I need to prepare at least 10 different reactions for the same line to ensure the best fit with the actors I work with on set. There is no definitive answer to acting, but I think I need to start with the basics at least.

But don’t you also have natural instincts or talents?

I’m not inherently talented. The more time passes, the more I’m assured of this. In fact, my unique and strong mask has helped me until now, I think. I was fortunate enough to get roles playing very attractive rebels, which made it easy to get attention from the public even as a novice in the acting industry.

Do you think it would be hard for you to act as a down-to-earth character because of your unique look?

I would just need to show how I am at home because that’s when I’m really casual - a lot more [casual and comfortable] than anyone could imagine.

Do you ever dream of drastically changing the roles you tend to play?

I don’t want to draw a line on anything. I don’t think I won’t do any more rebellious characters just because I have acted as these characters many times. I think I just need to do my best within the conditions that are given to me. In my next movie “Twenty,” [which will be released next year], I act as a very ordinary man in his 20s. I just want to take on characters who move my heart at the time.

BY LEE EUN-SUN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]




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