[ENTERTAINMENT]2 Brothers Find Rare Kinship in Movies

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[ENTERTAINMENT]2 Brothers Find Rare Kinship in Movies

Ryu Seung-wan and Ryu Seung-beom are, as you could ascertained from their family names, related. But these two brothers have more than just blood in common. Each is making sure his name becomes well known - Seung-wan as a movie director and Seung-beom as an actor.

The elder brother, 27-year-old Ryu Seung-wan has directed two movies so far, "Jukgeona Hogeun Nabbeugeona" ("Die Bad") and "Dachimawa Lee." Both were popular releases. But for his 21-year-old brother, "Die Bad" was a particular boon. His starring role in this film won him best new actor at the 38th Daejong Film Festival.

The brothers protest suggestions that their family ties might prove an obstacle to working together professionally. Seung-wan said, "We collaborate as harmoniously as John Wayne and John Ford. When working, I don't consider Seung-beom my brother." According to Seung-beom, there are merits in being related: "We don't have to exchange a word at work, because we know exactly what we want just by looking at each other."

Their success is extra sweet because it follows some extremely difficult times. Ten years ago they lost their parents - an event so traumatic, they said, that even being alive was painful. The elder brother came to terms with the blow and tried to support his brother and grandmother, working a variety of jobs that included day laborer. But he did not abandon his childhood dream of becoming an actor. He concentrated on earning money for the first half of the year and spent the other half in low-paying jobs in film. During his many long nights, he watched as many as 2,000 videos, dreaming of becoming the next Jackie Chan. As he gained experience in film, he found himself more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front.

While his elder brother tried to reconcile himself with their fate, Seung-beom attempted to fight it, dropping out of high school and pursuing a musical career. He practiced dance moves in a subway station at night and worked as a DJ at clubs.

And then came "Die Bad," and his life was transformed after his brother persuaded him to take the starring role in this story about gangsters. Ryu Seung-wan said, "In fact, I wrote the script thinking of Seung-beom, and he looked so natural acting it, as if it were his own story."

Currently, the two are collaborating on a comedy and action movie, "Pido Nunmuldo Eopsi" ("Without Blood and Tears"). This time, the director, whose previous films were all low-budget, is prepared to risk 2 billion won ($1.5 million). He remarked, "It's a burden, of course, to make such a big change. But I would like to experience everything from mainstream to non-mainstream."

Ryu Seung-wan now dreams of becoming a renowned director like Akira Kurosawa. His little brother, who was once so lost, has now matured, saying, "I will do my best to become a professional. Even if I am offered a guarantee of just 100,000 won, I won't care, if I feel I am the right person for the movie."



by Park Jeong-ho

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