Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
Veteran actor Kim Young Chul once said that it’s amazing how people in their teens or 20s recognize him after Kim Doo Han and Gung Ye, his characters from dramas Rustic Period and Taejo Wang Geon, saw the light of day once again about 20 years later. The popularity doesn’t end there. He even filmed a commercial for a hamburger company with Kim Doo Han’s signature line, “four dollars.” The line was used in Rustic Period when he called for a raise in salary when negotiating wages with the US military.
Like Kim Doo Han and Gung Ye, certain characters from movies also went viral on YouTube and various SNS. These characters have their signature lines, present a clear personality, either good or evil, and above all, they are all from movies with unique charm. Let’s take a look at some of these characters that gave a new pleasure with various parodies, going beyond reinterpretations.
The War Of Flower – Kwak Cheol Yong (Kim Eung Soo)
Kwak Cheol Yong of The War Of Flower is also known as Iron (Cheol) Dragon (Yong). He saw the light of day about 13 years later when his lines such as “Ask and go to the Blue,” “Hwaran, I, too, have pure love,” and “Did Mapo Bridge collapse?” were made into various parodies. There is a bitter story behind the sudden success. When the third film of the series, Tazza: One Eyed Jack, failed to meet the expectations, interest in The War Of Flower resurfaced. Soon, reevaluation of Kwak Chul Yong, a cold-blooded gangster with love for a single woman, followed. He was reborn as an icon of parody in 2019 as he clearly presented his history of himself since he became a gangster at the age of 17 and showed his “gut feelings” to find Mapo Bridge when the Olympic Bridge was blocked in the ’90s at the time when navigation was not available.
New World – Lee Joong Gu (Park Sung Woong)
Lee Joong Gu of New World is the fourth-ranked gangster in Goldmoon, a corporate-like mob, with the ambition to rise to the top. Met with vicious acting of Park Sung Woong, he is still loved to this day as the best character to come out of the film. Lee Joong Gu’s lines are still a hot topic among movie fans: “I’ll at least spare your life,” as he threatens traitors, “What a perfect day to die,” as he predicts his fate and “Before I go, you can at least give me some time for one cigarette,” his last wish to keep his fashion before he dies.
Nameless Gangster : Rules of Time – Choi Ik Hyun (Choi Min Sik)
Even the common lines of arrogant people, such as “Do you know who I am” or “Do you even know who I have connections with” is different when it comes to Choi Ik Hyun, who always carries a notebook with all his connections worth a million dollars, in Nameless Gangster : Rules of Time. When he was hurled into the police station after having a scuffle with his partner at a club, he slapped a rookie detective, yelling, “Call out your chief!” He then lists his history with the chief as he keeps the attitude of “I’m such person, so don’t you dare mess with me.” Choi Min Sik raised the level of immersion into his shady character through his tantalizing acting with fluent dialect.
The Outlaws – Jiang Chen (Yoon Kye Sang)
In The Outlaws, in which a large number of characters with strong personalities appeared, the popularity of Jiang Chen, played by Yoon Kye Sang, is certainly unrivaled. He is the boss of a criminal organization that moved from Harbin to Busan to Changwon to Seoul and has a very unique dialect. Like “You not answering the phone?” or “Do you know who I am?” he speaks in a relaxed manner and often raises the end of the sentence. Also, a new trend started as people used the screenshot of him saying, “You not answering the phone?” as a wallpaper for received calls.