“There was a common density in the different stories of all characters surrounding the money bag. I loved that composition.”
At a cafe in Samcheong-dong on Feb. 6, actor Jung Woo Sung recalled his first impression of his latest work Beasts Clawing at Straws. The film, based on the same-titled novel written by Sone Keisuke, depicts a story of extremely ordinary people trying to take a money bag to get out of their own desperate circumstances.
Tae Young, the male lead played by Jung Woo Sung, is an immigration official suffering from loan sharks because of his ex-girlfriend Yeon Hee, who left behind a private loan debt and disappeared. Jung fairly relaxed himself in this movie. Only dreaming of hitting one jackpot, Tae Young is a good-for-nothing, indecisive and sloppy person with vain faith. This kind of character is far from the gentle and charismatic images Jung has shown so far.
“I thought Tae Young was the one who should be caricatured in this story, so I tried to maximize his weaknesses in filming. It was the piece that spoiled wishes of others, who were hoping like this, ‘I want him to do this because he is Jung Woo Sung.’ I’ve chosen and piled up those images so far. My fellow actors and staff members in the field were quite shocked when watching my attempts at first, but they quickly accepted it and supported it. That’s why I became confident in portraying Tae Young,” Jung explained.
Jung Woo Sung and Jeon Do Yeon, who acted Tae Young’s ex-lover in the drama, made headlines together even before shooting the film. How did he feel about co-working with Jeon Do Yeon? “I wanted her to take me easy. I also wanted her to acknowledge me as a colleague and show her own concentration on the field. While it’s important for the actors with long careers and their own world to induce a communion among the characters when bumping into each other, I think it’s also important for them to prove what type of actor he/she is in order to make a good mood on the ground. I was able to communicate with Jeon Do Yeon on that front and our work was exiting,” He said.
Jung called Beasts Clawing at Straws as the special one of his filmography. “I think the long-term efforts, which were made by the actor Jung Woo Sung over the past 25 years to break away from his own superficial images, have come to fruition through this film. In that sense, it’s a meaningful piece of work,” He added.
Jung Woo Sung has been active in many fields. Director Yang Woo Suk‘s next film Steel Rain: The Summit, starring Jung and Kwak Do Won, will be released in the first half of the year. Moreover, The Guardian, Jung’s debut work as a director, started filming on Feb. 10. It is an action movie about a man’s desperate fights to protect one person who remains with him, starring Kim Nam Gil, Park Sung Woong and Kim Joon Han. Jung has also participated in the Netflix original thriller The Silent Sea as a producer. Against the backdrop of the fictional future lacking water and food, the story is about a group of scientists who go to a research station abandoned on the moon to retrieve questionable samples.