Kim Yun-seok shows a softer side in ‘Classified’

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Kim Yun-seok shows a softer side in ‘Classified’


Kim Yun-seok

Actor Kim Yun-seok has taken on a more humane role in the film “The Classified File” after playing a variety of villains lately, including a man who raises a child to become a killer, and a merciless gambler.

In his role as a detective searching for a kidnapped child, in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, Kim said he was happy to finally be able to act out the emotions an ordinary person would feel.

The movie, which is scheduled to open June 18, is based on a true story about a girl who was kidnapped in Busan in 1978. The case was kept out of the public domain for as long as possible to protect the child’s life.

Q. Why did you choose the investigative genre?

A. I thought about how hard it would have been to undertake a confidential investigation without any outside help back in 1978 when there was no Internet. I thought if the story were made into a movie, the film would be more focused on the power of the tale itself rather than relying on filming or editing gimmicks.

Weren’t you living in the area when the actual case happened?

I was 10. I still remember it vividly as it was a big case. Almost all the children in the neighborhood wore a whistle around their neck as self-defense. Thankfully, the child came back home safe, and the fact that what really happened ended on a good note helped me decide to do the movie. As a father of two it’s difficult for me to check out a script on a kidnapping with a miserable end.

Did the movie do justice to how Busan’s landscape looked in the 1970s?

It’s very similar. Since the director and I are both originally from the area of Busan, we shared ideas. We also worked on what Busan dialect to use to make the movie contain the feel of Busan.

There are different types of Busan dialect?

There are different intonations used within the Busan area, depending on what neighborhood you go to. The language in Seo District is smoother as many wealthier people with a higher educational background live in the area. We excluded phrases that would not be understood by outsiders.

Is there any belief or idea you have stuck with as an actor?

I’ve tried to be in movies by new directors making a debut, or films many actors usually avoid due to low investment. I think actors who have better recognition in the scene need to take the lead in order to bring pieces to the world. I think I have a unique filmography because of my choices.

What do you consider when you choose which movie to take on?

There have been many commercial movies and, naturally, individual writers have been losing their spot. These days many actors discuss over drinks that we may be stepping backwards as it seems we only film commercially driven films. Of course, movies that make money have their own virtues, and I’m not saying I won’t be taking on such films. But the movies that reflect our real lives, that talk about what attitude we should have towards life and that present another direction to live life are what make me feel most rewarded.

What kind of father and husband are you?

I grew up with a father who is a chef, so I feel happiest when I cook for my family and spend time with them. I become happier when I see people enjoying my food. I’m trying to develop a positive nature as a human.


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