Go to contents

Movie: “Those People At That Time’s” Baek Yoon-sik

Posted January. 12, 2005 23:15,   


Those People at That Time, a movie about the 10/26 crisis when former president Park Jung-hee was assassinated, is being criticised even before its planned release date of February 3. Former president Park’s son Jee-man has filed a showing ban suit to the court due to the possibility of the movie defaming his father’s name. Baek Yoon-sik (58 years old) acts as director Kim, a memoir of Kim Jae-gyu, former director of the National Intelligence Service who murdered Park. Baek said, “I was troubled with whether to take this role, but I took it for the acting.” We met him on January 10.

-What do you think of 10/26?

-“I actually lived in those days. At that time, I had been acting for 10 years. I knew about it only by reading the newspapers. I was very shocked. We cannot and should not forget about it. I realised how unwell our country was.”

-There are controversies over movies taking account of our situation of division between conservative and reform…

-“The fact that the movie was about recent history troubled me. However, I had to throw that away. If I was conscious of these things, I could not act. I even hate listening to the word ‘politics.’”

Baek Yoon-sik, unlike actors of his age, has been seen in music videos and portal site advertisements, making him a “refreshing and odd” actor among young people. The reason for this, he says, is: “The reason I can be a nutritious and healthy ingredient (to movies) is because of my optimistic character. I was good with time and met clever directors who produce delicious food with ingredients.”

-There is an argument that this film defamed Park…

-“That is not a question for an actor to answer. I only participated as an artist doing creative work and did not take into account any records of the time. Furthermore, I am not following any model. I just took the subject and created a character existing only in the movie. Clean, honest and adventurous were the words that came into my mind on reading about my character. However, the role of director Kim confused me as time went by. Nobody could give me any answers and so I gave the role a nutritional jolt by myself.”

-How did you interpret Kim? Now that you have acted the part of director Kim, do you understand him?

-“There must be a reason for him acting like that, but he also must have felt reckless. A bad, but unhateable character, that’s Baek Yoon-sik.”

There are two similarities among his recent roles and characters in movies like, Save the Earth (alien role) and Restructuring the Crime (swindler role). One is that he never acts as a father, and the other is the point that although he is a bad character, at that time he was sincere.”

To this Baek says, smiling, “In conclusion, I am not a mainstreamer. However, I describe a character who is bad, but cannot be hated. In reality, I live without laws and always am on the disadvantaged side.”

Seung-Jae Lee sjda@donga.com