Model Discovers Acting Is His Cup of Tea

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Model Discovers Acting Is His Cup of Tea

David McInnis, a Korean-American fashion model and actor based in New York, has made a brief stop in Korea, his mother's homeland, to appear in a few television commercials, including one for SK Telecom.

Last April, Mr. McInnis caught the attention of young moviegoers when John H. Lee's film, "The Cut Runs Deep," was released in Korea. Mr. McInnis made his acting debut in the film, which is about the frustrated wanderings of two Korean-American gangsters with little hope for the future. He tackled the role of J.D., a gangster leader who listlessly fills his days with sex, violence and drugs, seeing no way out of his dead end life.

"J.D. was hard to play for the first two weeks, because there were so many emotions going on. However, I eventually found the role very appeal-ing and attractive," said Mr. Mcinnis in an interview in Seoul with the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition.

Mr. McInnis was born in 1973 and raised by a Korean mother and a German-Irish father in Wisconsin. In 1997, while working at Indochine, a restaurant in New York City popular with the film industry and known for its model/bartenders, he met the film's director, John H. Lee, a fellow Korean- American. Mr. Lee was at the time looking for someone to play the lead in his film. What came out of the meeting is a classic Hollywood discovery story.

"I got the feeling that he was the right person for the role of J.D. It was an instant feeling, as soon as I made eye contact with David," said Mr. Lee. "I was so excited that I couldn't say anything for a few seconds. I came up to him right away, and said 'I'm making a film for you.'"

Blessed with a handsome face and a tall (190 cm), lean figure, Mr. Mcinnis had some success as a fashion model before his fortuitous encounter, posing for labels such as Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan.

"I was kind of lost right before I started acting. I thought I wanted to go into business, so I went to business school. But later I realized that's not what I wanted. When I did the movie, it kind of changed my life, because playing this character for almost eight weeks, almost two months, there were so many ideas and emotions to work with. You know, it changed my life," said Mr. Mcinnis.

He now considers it his fate to go back to the United States after his business trip in Seoul to pursue seriously a film career. Mr. McInnis is returning to New York and will enroll in acting classes this February, not only to further his own ambitions but to encourage a generation of young Korean- Americans around the world that their image is acceptable and should be celebrated.

"I grew up in a small town with a population of about 9, 000, and I was the only Asian in the whole town. I was discriminated against my whole childhood, all the way through high school. I want to be someone who can bring other Asians hope, showing them that 'If I can do it, you can do it, too,'¡± said Mr. Mcinnis.

by Kim Jae-seon

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