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Yoo Teo Recalls the Bittersweetness He Felt the First Time He Visited Cannes

Credit: JTBC

Yoo Teo recalled the first time he visited Cannes while Kirill Serebrennikov was put under house arrest.

The recent episode of JTBC’s Movie Room, which aired on Dec 13, featured two films, Yoo Teo’s Leto (The Summer) and director Hong Ji Young’s Will You Be There?

Talking about Leto, the emcees brought up director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house detention. Director Serebrennikov was detained in his home for a year and 7 months in 2017 while filming for Leto for embezzling public funds from the theater he was running. Director Byun Young Joo explained, “His 2016 film The Student headbutted the Russian Orthodox Church and Viktor Tsoi (the main character of Leto) symbolizes resistance and freedom. Some say that he was believed to have been branded as a dissident by the Russian government and detained for political reasons. Eventually, he couldn’t attend the Cannes Film Festival.”

Yoo Teo recalled the time and said, “I was surprised. At the time, all filming stopped for 6 months. We did the final shooting in winter.”

When asked about how he felt when he was nominated for the Cannes Best Actor Award, Yoo Teo replied, “The day I heard the news, I was thrilled. You know, being nominated for the Cannes Best Actor Award is every actor’s dream. But to be honest, I was bittersweet. The director was still detained in his house, so I was both happy and sad.”

He continued, “The director couldn’t be there, so I had to do all the interviews. So I prepared for them as if I was acting. I studied how to flexibly answer piercing questions. And I just thought I had to do him (the director) proud.”

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