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  • Cho Seung Woo: 'I Want to Break Record of Other Baseball Movies'
  • [2011-12-19]
  • Actor Cho Seung Woo, who has the nickname of "Cho Jekyll" as a musical star, made a comeback after a two-year break with the movie "Perfect Game" which is about baseball, and he said during an interview about his new movie on December 15, "I basically prefer musical works than movies, but I hope that 'Perfect Game' can break the record of other baseball movies." He came back after a two-year break since his last movie "The Sword with No Name" that was directed by Kim Yong Kyun in 2009.




    "Perfect Game" is about the real story of the last competition between the famous baseball players Choi Dong Won (belonging to Lotte) and Sun Dong Ryeol (belonging to Haetae). The two teams played until the 15th inning with a tie score of two to two, without deciding the winner. Cho Seung Woo played the legendary pitcher of the team Lotte Giants, Choi Dong Won, who devoted himself to become the top pitcher with his ceaseless practicing, which was different from the genius pitcher Sun Dong Ryeol (Yang Dong Geun). Cho Seung Woo revealed that he was attracted to the script. He said, "I usually like a story with a clear message. And 'Perfect Game' seemed to have a distinct message in it. I could even feel that it could give a blow to this society." He also talked about his old dream. He had reportedly wanted to become a pitcher until he was a middle school student, so he had always wanted to appear in a movie about baseball. When he played his role, there was a huge difficulty of speaking the dialect, but he thought that he might be able to overcome the difficulty if he could learn how to speak the dialect from the actor Kim Yoon Seok, who appeared in the movie "The War of Flower" (2006) together.




    When Cho Seung Woo read the script at first, he naturally thought of his friend and actor Yang Dong Geun for the role of Sun Dong Ryeol. He asked the director to cast Yang for the part and he received a favorable response from the director. Even though they have known each other for a long time as close friends, they have never worked together before. Asked about the acting competition between them, Cho answered, "Acting is not like a competition, it is creating a harmony." He explained that Yang Dong Geun was excellent at presenting natural acting. Cho Seung Woo said, "Yang Dong Geun's acting was not like acting, but like presenting ordinary behavior. There is no other actor who can present the perfect natural acting like Yang Dong Geun. He has been acting for twenty five years, and I can clearly understand that his acting experience can tell everything. He is such an expert in natural acting."




    Cho Seung Woo was provided with the 600 pages of research about Choi Dong Won from the director Park Hee Gon when they began filming the movie. Cho said, "According the information, Choi Dong Won was a kind person full of affection inside. He became a completely different person after wearing his uniform as a baseball player. I think that we have something in common because I also become a completely different person after coming up on to the stage." Cho successfully presented every detailed behavior of Choi Dong Won in the movie, but he could not see Choi Dong Won in person (Choi Dong Won, who was the coach of the team Han Hwa, passed away last September). Cho Seung Woo said, "I had thought that I would invite him to the preview event to have his praise about my acting and I wanted to learn how to hold a ball from him directly, but I could not. When I heard that he passed away, I felt really devastated. But the director met him before, and Choi Dong Won reportedly said to Park Hee Gon to produce the best movie that could be recorded as the great movie in the history of Korean movies."




    Cho Seung Woo changed the topic of conversation from the movie to a musical work. He is actually regarded as having the Midas touch in the musical industry. He made the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" the most successful musical in Korea and he came to have the nickname of "Cho Jekyll." Asked which one he likes more, he instantly answered, “I prefer standing on the stage. Ever since I saw a musical work when I was a middle school student, I dreamed of standing on the stage. I can completely focus on my acting on the stage, but it sometimes becomes very hard to concentrate on my acting due to the camera when I film a movie. I have to present artificial acting in front of the camera. The filming order is also one of the problems. When I filmed this movie, I filmed the scene of high school days as the last scene. Acting by ascending against the flow of the story is very difficult.” But he revealed that he has been trying to change his mind about this perspective. He said, “I think that standing before the camera is like standing on the stage. The first audience of my acting will be the staff members. But still I prefer musicals (laugh).”

    Cho Seung Woo, who has been an actor for thirteen years, talked about the most important virtue as an actor by saying, “I learned from a long time ago that an actor who comes to the practice room first and leaves the room last will become successful. So I have a habit of coming to the practice room early. And when I have to appear in the musical at 8 pm, I arrive at the stage before 2 pm to be prepared for my performance.” He emphasized that for junior actors who want to become musical actors, “Practice makes perfect.”

    In addition, asked about the turning point of his life, he answered by comparing his life story with a baseball game. He said, “I went to first base when I watched my first musical work as a middle school student, I arrived at second base when I met my teacher named Nam Kyung Eup at my art high school. When I had come to appear in the movie 'Chunhyang' directed by Im Kwon Taek, I went to third base, and then I came home when I appeared in the musical ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ I could gain wealth and fame, but my personality became corrupted greatly. I think that I had experienced good and bad at the same time at that time.” He revealed that he came to the batter’s box for the second time after completing the first round. He said, “My musical works all became successful, but only three of my movies including ‘The War of Flower,' 'Marathon,' and 'Classic' gained popularity. I have appeared in ten movies, and thirty percent of them became successful. It is like batting 300. I am satisfied with the result. But I hope that ‘Perfect Game’ can achieve another huge success and break the record as a baseball movie. I also hope that another Korean movie ‘My Way’ that will be released at the same time can become successful as well.” The most successful Korean movie about baseball was “Glove” (1.9 million tickets sold) directed by Kang Woo Seok. For the last question asking the meaning of acting, he answered, “I might be able to answer the question after thirty years.”

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