‘Gyeongseong Creature’ Youngjun Choi “Losing 15kg, filming while struggling with being underweight for a year” [Interview M]

I met Choi Young-jun, who played the Japanese sergeant Kato in the Netflix series ‘Gyeongseong Creature’. ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ is a story about two youths whose survival was everything in the spring of 1945, when the darkness of the era was deepest, confronting a monster born of greed. Among these, Gato uses Rajin to kill the Creature. Appeared as a scientist and soldier.

iMBC entertainment news photo
iMBC entertainment news photo

Choi Young-jun, who said he enjoyed watching the work from a viewer’s perspective when it was released, said, “I could see that he was trying to be faithful to what he had discussed with the director. “And when I did this, it came out like that,” he said, adding, “I saw it while studying.”

Revealing that when this character was first proposed, the writer and director said in unison, “Gato must be elegant,” Choi Young-jun said, “I was careful when I acted or made an expression.” “It’s not that he doesn’t have emotions, but he is a person who refrains from expressing a lot of emotions, and he took care to show that he is not a psychopath but a different type of human being,” he said, talking about the part that focused on Gato’s expression.

Regarding the fact that Gato’s glasses were reflecting light and his eyes were not clearly visible, making him look like a curious character whose true feelings were hard to discern, he said, “It was an accidental scene. I liked the way it looked so much that when I tried to do it again, it was difficult to find the angle and direction. “I managed to find the right angle by moving a little to the left, or a little less to the left, and from then on, I deliberately used more scenes like that to express the characters,” he explained.

The person who creates the creature that is the core of this work, and the person whose goal it is to conduct such an experiment is unknown, was Gato. Youngjun Choi described Gato as “a person who wants to become a god.” “He tried to create a new human race, saying that even though he was a human being, humans were weak and would die anyway, so a stronger being was needed. He creates other creatures, isn’t he a person who will do what God can do? He guessed Gato’s desire by saying, “He probably thought he was giving a new human being to the world.”

iMBC entertainment news photo
iMBC entertainment news photo

When I first saw the scene where Gato, played by Choi Young-jun, appeared, I was curious and asked, “Who is the actor who played Gato?” It was so slim and sharp that it was instantly unrecognizable, but the atmosphere was so different. Youngjun Choi said, “I lost 15kg. After finishing ‘Our Blues’, I started filming the Manju scene for the first time, but there was a long time after that until my next filming. But during the holidays, I got a call from the director. ‘Looking at the edited version, I think I need to lose some weight. He said, “It would be nice to look like a person who has completely lost all fat.” I was worried that if the situation was so urgent that they would call me during the holidays and tell me this, I starved myself for 8 days from that day and lost 6-7kg. “Afterwards, I went on a diet and lost weight little by little, but in fact, what was more difficult than losing weight was maintaining that state throughout the filming period.”

Originally, Choi Young-jun worried about how to make a first impression when meeting a new character and thought a lot about voices, expressions, and visuals that were even slightly different, but the director’s request to lose weight continued even though he thought he had lost a certain amount of weight, so he gritted his molars and said, “I’m losing it.”He went on such a strict diet that he sometimes said, “The hardest thing was living underweight for about a year. It was physically difficult to film scenes where I had to stand for a long time. But when I saw the finished product, it seemed like I did a good job losing weight. “It wasn’t a matter of being pretty or handsome, but I immediately felt visually that I was a lean and oil-free person,” he said, adding that it was a difficult process, but he was satisfied with the end result.

Losing weight while playing ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ wasn’t the only thing that was difficult. Kato, as a Japanese soldier, had to act in Japanese from beginning to end, never having a single line in Japanese. “There is a saying that in Chinese, you crawl in and then walk out, and in Japanese you walk in and then crawl out, and it felt real. ‘Arigato’ I only knew about ‘Sumimasen,’, but I started off thinking it was easy and found it very difficult. It was difficult to pronounce it, and they say there are no consonants in Japanese, but they had to use the consonants anyway. “I took classes two months before filming, and while filming, I took classes via Zoom 2-3 times a week and checked the script to practice,” he said, confessing that speaking foreign language lines was difficult.

Another difficulty in acting was that it was a creature film. Choi Young-jun, who said it was his first time acting while imagining an insubstantial being, said, “I was worried about the way I looked because there were many times when I was acting into the air even though there was no picture. When he was filming a scene where a group of Japanese soldiers fight against creatures, everyone was scared, and when they cut to shooting while shooting, they were hit. I did a lot of plays and performances, so I always acted face to face with people, but it wasn’t easy to act in situations where there were no people around. “After trying it this time, I think the actors working for Marvel are amazing,” he joked.

iMBC entertainment news photo
iMBC entertainment news photo

Viewers who enjoyed ‘Gyeongseong Creature’ would have been curious about Gato’s role and this character’s psychology. Kato was not interested in Japan’s national interests or victory in the war, but was only interested in creating new life forms. Choi Young-jun said, “I was a person who was not interested in the current situation in Japan or the outcome of the war and just had to do my job.” So, he couldn’t help but look evil, but he thought he shouldn’t try to be evil himself,”he said, talking about what part he paid attention to in expressing the character.

He said, “Kato is a person who works independently and is in some ways a workaholic. He may not be a psychopath, he may be a sociopath, but he is not devoid of emotions, and on one hand, his heart is burning, so I thought he was continuing to do this. It’s not that he can’t empathize, it’s that he is a person who doesn’t, but he seems to have mistaken himself as a person who does something that is essential to the world.”was the interpretation.

What did you discuss about Kato with director Jeong Dong-yoon, who directed it, and writer Kang Eun-kyung? “Writer Kang Eun-kyung told me that she is a person who puts her work first before the class she is in. The director had an accurate image of Kato, but she couldn’t express it in clear words. One day, he explained Gato in a very long KakaoTalk message, and at the end he said he wished it was like the top from the movie Inception. “After reading it, the image struck me in a more specific way,” he said, talking about director Jeong Dong-yoon, who gave the direction, which I had never heard of before.

Without specific and clear direction from the beginning, the process of creating a character through conversation with the director while filming must have been difficult. “After filming was over, the director said he was sorry for the trouble I had caused, and I found it amusing. Kato was a person who looked like he had no passion but had great passion, and who looked like he had no will but had great will. So, I didn’t move much and expressed it by nodding my head. I tried to express that I am a person who does not look at things the same way as other people by setting up a setting where no matter what I look at, I do not look straight ahead but slightly tilt my head. “So, although he was a smart person, the results were bound to be bad,” he said, explaining the gate he created through a long period of worry and trial and error.

Youngjun Choi said, “I actually liked this kind of work. If I had acted in a predictable and easy-to-read character, there would not have been this kind of result or reaction. “That kind of acting is not the way I want to work, and it wouldn’t have been my style of acting,” he said, recalling his work with director Jeong Dong-yoon.

Although Gyeongseong Creature had generally satisfactory results, Choi Young-jun said that the setting showing Gato’s space was a bit disappointing, saying, “It would have been better expressed if Gato had done all the giving and dissecting of Najin.””It seems like he’s a person who just gives instructions for everything,” he said, expressing his thoughts on the art and setting in the early days when it wasn’t clear whether he was a scientist, soldier, or doctor.

‘Gyeongseong Creature’ is a story of two young people whose only goal was survival, confronting a monster born of greed in the spring of 1945, when the darkness of the era was deepest. Season 1 is currently available on Netflix.

iMBC Kim Kyung-hee | Photo provided by Netflix, Ace Factory

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