Two years after Illang: The Wolf Brigade, Kang Dong Won has returned to the big screen. He finally met the audience with Peninsula, his first zombie movie.
In a round interview held on July 14, Kang Dong Won showed his confidence, saying, “I was actually worried that the theaters might be empty. But I’m glad that it got released. I think it’s a really great movie. The audience who visited the theaters after a long time will not be disappointed.”
What was the motivation for him to star in Peninsula, the sequel of Train to Busan?
“The sequel should be better than the prequel, but it’s not easy. The director’s vision impressed me, and it was different from Train to Busan. Just in time, I wanted to work on a post-apocalypse movie. I read the script as I imagined the details, and it was a lot of fun.”
Kang Dong Won said that he usually enjoys scary movies, especially the occult genre. And he laughed as he said that he finally got to try a zombie movie, but it turned out to be more of an action film than a horror film.
“I usually watch the occult films, so I never really watched the zombie movies. They feel less scary for me. But when I filmed Peninsula, it felt more like an action movie than a horror movie. Working on The Priests, psychology took a big part, but this time, it was more about the physical actions. I kind of understood why Train to Busan attracted 10 million viewers, and why people loved the movie so much.”
The speedy car-chasing scenes stand out in Peninsula. Kang Dong Won mentioned that it was hard to imagine car-chasing scenes while reading the script and that he was most curious about whether it would be possible technically.
“I thought for sure that the live-action would be impossible and wondered if the visual effects would even be possible. But it was possible. After seeing it in person, I felt sorry for the visual effects teams. Technology has advanced a lot. The visual effects team was always present at the scene.”
Jung Seok, played by Kang Dong Won, is not a character that stands out clearly in the play.
“The character is important, but this time, I really wanted to participate in the movie itself. I talked a lot with the director to make the movie more fun. Especially, we discussed a lot about Jung Seok’s emotions. Rather than making myself stand out, I thought there should be a device that makes the audiences feel more, and I came up with lots of ideas.”
Peninsula has been named in “Cannes Official Selection 2020.” However, no offline events will be held in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a bit disappointing, but I received a lot of congratulations. Of course, it would be more amazing if we got to walk on the red carpet, but it’s an honor in itself to be selected.”
Kang Dong Won picked SF and the horror genre as the projects he wants to challenge in the future.
“To be honest, I chose the films if they are interesting, regardless of the genre. The technology has developed tremendously, and I want to challenge my first SF film. Personally, I want to make a horror film that would leave a footmark in history for shocking the entire world with its one of a kind terror.”