Actor brings personal touch to husband role

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Actor brings personal touch to husband role


Kwon Sang-woo plays a comic book rental shop owner, Dae-man, who dreams of being a crime-solving detective. [NEWSIS]

“I wanted to give a peek into my married life through this film,” Kwon Sang-woo says of his latest role in the upcoming film “Accidental Detective,” directed by Kim Jung-hoon.

“Although there are inevitable discrepancies with Dae-man and my own life, people will get the idea of me as a father,” Kwon said in a recent interview at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, central Seoul.

In the upcoming comedy movie, which marks the actor’s return to Korea’s silver screen for the first time in four years, Kwon plays Dae-man, a misfit comic book rental shop owner who still clings to his failed childhood dream of being a detective.

He runs a blog on unsolved murder cases as an outlet for his passion, but all he gets are complaints from his wife (Seo Young-hee), who is annoyed by her incompetent and irresponsible husband. As Dae-man tries to accept his fairly pathetic reality trapped in a comic book shop, he comes across a serial murder case, and his long-forgotten passion reignites. After Dae-man volunteers to be an assistant for the detective in charge (Sung Dong-il), the duo sets out to solve the case.

Kwon says the compelling mystery drama wasn’t actually what drew him to the film. Rather, it was the struggle Dae-man goes through to do what he wants while cleverly and goofily evading his wife, something that he himself does in reality.

“The number one reason why I picked the film is the childish behavior of Dae-man, who is striving to achieve his dream no matter what,” Kwon said.

“The solving process of the mystery case in the latter part of the film can be taken on by any actor, to tell the truth. But that immature father and husband demeanor was more open to my own interpretation, and I thought I could make it work by using my own personal experience,” he added.

Kwon, who debuted in 2001, shot to fame when he appeared as a rebellious high school boy in the 2003 rom-com “My Tutor Friend.” His stardom was solidified when he hit another jackpot with the TV drama “Stairway to Heaven,” becoming a major Hallyu star.

However, after the not-so-successful romance flick “Pain” (2011), his main stage shifted to China and Japan.

In the meantime, Kwon also married a model-turned-actress Son Tae-young and had two children.

“I want to grow old along with my characters. It would be impossible for me to do a high school character, but on the bright side, I can now do a father role,” he said.

“If I hadn’t gotten married, I might not have selected this script. Or even if I had taken on Dae-man’s role, it would lack that last 2 percent,” he said.

In the film, Dae-man is without a doubt an irresponsible breadwinner. He habitually closes his shop to snoop around the crime scene, lying to his wife about his activities. Nevertheless, it’s hard to hate this character, knowing that he doesn’t have bad intentions. The way Dae-man tries to make up for his childish behavior makes the audience laugh rather than feel angry at him.

When asked about the similarities between him and Dae-man, Kwon said he “can’t say there are none.”

“Dae-man is a character that any married man can sympathize with. In my case, for instance, one of my biggest pleasures during the weekend is playing soccer with friends, but when my wife seems particularly tired, I feel guilty about it. So when I return, I try to make it up to her such as by giving her a massage.

“One way to prevent the problem is to put the gym bag into your car the day before so your wife won’t notice,” he said, laughing.

While it’s not easy to take on both roles - a devoted husband and father as well as a successful actor - Kwon is still ambitious about his future.

“I want to be a versatile and flexible actor who any filmmaker wants to work with,” he said.

“When looking back on my filmography, I want to have a representative work for each genre such as heart-wrenching romance, comedy, action and thriller. I think I will be doing many Chinese films in the near future, but next year I will make sure to take my time to choose a good Korean production,” he added.

“Accidental Detective” is slated to open nationwide on Sept. 24, joining the highly competitive race at the box office for the Chuseok holiday.

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