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Action and Love Story, Ahn Takes on New Character

Posted May. 12, 2003 22:18,   


Ahn Jae-mo was initially planning to take a rest after his role in the hit series `The Age of Outcasts.` The 24-year-old young actor wanted some time to shake off his image as the legendary Kim Doo-han. After reading the book `the Scent of The Man,` however, he felted tempted and changed his mind.

What does Ahn thinks of the scent of a man is? ˝It must be about passion for love and friendship. A man could be a fighter for his love (or friendship), even at the expense of his own life….˝

Ahn will play Gwon Hyeok-soo, a gang member fighting for his love, in a new MBC series `The Scene of A Man (aired at 9:55 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday).` The adaptation of a best-selling book written by Lee Byung-moo in 1996 will begin to be aired on May 14. The book, in fact, was made as a movie in 1998, in which Kim Seung-woo and Myung Se-bin played leading roles.

Ahn is now dealing with a big challenge – making differences between Kim Doo-han and Gwon Hyeok-soo, two charismatic gang members. Ahn will feel bad if someone says he just looks like Kim Doo-han with the new character. The production team said he looked `pretty and gentle` as he played a high school student at the beginning of the series.

˝(With cold looks) It is done when it is done. I just move over to the next. I imply to myself that I am Gwon Hyeok-soo. There was a scene in which I was fighting hard. Then, someone told me that I looked like Kim Doo-han. I got very angry.”

Ahn pointed to that Kim Doo-han and Gwon Hyeok-soo are two charismatic gangsters but they are poles apart. He said he was determined to create a new image of what he called `cold-blood charisma` unlike Kim Doo-han`s manly charisma. The character must look cold even when smiling, and carry messages even when making jokes.

˝It was the love story not the action part that drew me to this project,˝ said Ahn. Gwon becomes a brother and a sister with Eun-hye (Han Eun-jung) whom his father brought when she was young. He loves Eun-hye and is willing to give his life for her. It is a tragic story.

We asked a few questions and from his answers, we could sense that he was getting out of the Kim Doo-han image.

-What do you think of Gwon Hyeok-soo (Kim Seung-woo) in the movie?

˝I just can`t judge the act of Kim. He is a more experienced actor than I am.˝

-How will you differentiate your Gwon from the one in the book?

˝Should I make some differences? I do not want to get obsessed about making a new image. What counts in the drama is Gwon Hyeok-soo, not Ahn Jae-mo.˝

-What do you mean by that?

˝I believe that TV viewers are now as critical as experts when it comes to reading a drama. What they want from main characters are strikingly the same as in the past. That is the key. It might be seen as a cliché but it appeals to viewers.˝

-This is the second time that you works for a violent drama since `The Age of Outcasts.` Do you mind about often playing violent characters?

˝Acting always comes first. When I have to be violent, I must be violent. When I become hesitant, it only makes things difficult for other actors, staff and viewers. My image was not for a `boss.` It was more about `integrity.` But things just did not unfold that way.˝

Ahn said that he had little time to take care of himself as he released his first album and sang for four months after `The Age of Outcasts.` He is, however, set to release the second album later in the fall despite some problem with his vocal chord.

Seung-Jae Lee sjda@donga.com