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Kim Nam Gil :Interview on Bad Guy Open Set (Elle Korea)

Kim Nam-gil admitted that this has been his most difficult drama, acting-wise, which is probably because it’s his first leading drama role — he now has to regulate his performances to click with each cast member, and it’s a lot more work than stealing scenes in the supporting cast.

As a 29-year-old, Kim feels the age difference enough to comfortably call co-star Oh Yeon-soo, who plays Tae-ra, “noona.” On the other hand, he generally calls Han Ga-in by her name. (He’s 29, Oh is 38. Han is 28, Kim Jae-wook is 27, Jung So-min is 21.) Kim explained, “I’m a year older than Ga-in-sshi so sometimes I call her ‘Ga-in-ah,’ but most of the time it’s ‘Ga-in-sshi.’”

The reason is that while they’re of a similar age (which would allow them for friendly address), he usually calls married co-stars “sshi” because it’s a little more polite. (It adds a little bit more distance.) In Queen Seon-deok, he likewise called co-star Lee Yo-won “Yo-won-sshi.”

Kim also copped to being incredibly nervous when it was time for his kiss scene with Oh Yeon-soo in an upcoming episode; when the director gave the notice that they were going to shoot that scene, he had to calm himself down for five minutes. He was sweating,
“But Yeon-soo noona took the lead and the shoot went fine.”


Regarding ratings: “Ratings are given from heaven,” meaning it’s not something a person can do anything to achieve. He said of competitor Baker King Kim Tak-gu, “Sure I’d like for our ratings to be higher, but when I watched Baker King, personally I thought it was entertaining. I don’t think it’s right to belittle another drama just because it’s competition.”

Q: In MBC's Queen Seon-deok, your character received no love but in Bad Guy your character is loved by three women. How does that feel? 

Kim Nam-gil (Kim NG): But Gun-wook doesn't want anyone's love. (laugh) Right now he is acting with purpose rather than actually being in love and he will probably be punished for it later on. I think that at this moment, he is using the purity of the three women rather than feeling love. But it feels like I'm shooting separate dramas because the personalities of Monet, Tae-ra and Jae-in are so different and I like that I have a lot to learn while trying to find my ground. Monet is young and naive and Jae-in is materialistic and individualistic yet someone Gun-wook can become close with on a more honest level. And I feel that I have to create a more sensual and strong atmosphere with Tae-ra, be attractive enough so that she will slowly leave her child and family despite being such a strong and sturdy character.

Q: Are there any seduction scenes you remember in particular?
Kim NG: There is a scene where I ask Tae-ra "Have you ever experienced first love?" That theoretically, everyone knows what love is about but if she had actually felt such emotions before. And there is a reason that I remember such scenes. In Queen Seon-deok, actress Ko Hyun-jung's reactions were more on the stronger side while the reactions from actress Oh Yun-su seemed soft yet were intricate. Oh expresses her character's emotions through slight movements, such as through movement in her eyes or the tip of her nose, by turning her head away or avoiding eye contact, to show that person is being shy or is convinced by my actions. I think that is why Gun-wook is excited in front of Tae-ra and tries to get her even harder.

Q: The mustache and round hat has left a strong impression. How did that idea come about? 
Kim NG: The director really likes the round hat. He wanted to use it for when I need to bring out the atmosphere of being alone, hold back on showing my expressions and instead express my emotions just with my eyes. I feel that it suits Gun-wook. I couldn't wear a cap to do that. (laugh) I was worried about the mustache because during the latter half of Seon-deok my character had a mustache so I was in the position where I couldn't break completely away from Bi-dam [my character in Seon-deok] and show another character. So I thought I would bring back the general public’s enthusiasm for him, even if I may be told I'm playing a 'present-day Bi-dam.' And because I am 31-years-old, I thought that if I shaved off my mustache I would look younger and I wanted Gun-wook to seem older than my real age when he is with Tae-ra. As of now we are shooting the ninth and tenth episode and I think he needs to change his physical appearance in order for his revenge to seem more mean and colder. That's why I'm thinking about cutting the mustache shorter.

Q: You have shot kissing scenes with Jae-in and Tae-ra -- what are some of the differences that you felt?

Kim NG: With Jae-in, I would say we briefly locked lips and then stepped away from each other rather than calling it a kiss. My character did it because he wanted to hug her, feeling sorry for her over how hurt she is, and he tries to express 'Will it be okay to show this emotion? Why am I doing this when I know I shouldn't be doing it.' It is completely different with Tae-ra though because he kisses her on purposes and he's trying to appeal to her sexually. In a bad way, he's trying to show, "I'm going to eat you alive. So that you fall. I'm going to bring you down to the point that you cannot free yourself. Let's see if you won't fall for me.' (laugh)

Q: Last week Baker King Kim Tak-gu began its run on KBS and next week Road No. 1 will premiere on MBC. 
Kim NG: I watched Baker King Kim Tak-gu yesterday because veteran actor Jung Sung-mo is in it. The composition and script are good, the same goes for the direction, and the visuals and the level of focus of the veteran actors is great. What's worse is that my family said they liked watching Baker King Kim Tak-gu more! (laugh) As for Road No. 1, we're in unstable times because of the sinking of the Cheonan naval ship and it's the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, so I am interested in it just like other people are. So I'm curious to see how they will portray the pain that our country expressed during the Korean War and the story of love and friendship amongst the characters. Ah, I feel like I'm the one starring in Road No. 1. (laugh) From the many storylines that has already unfolded, Bad Guy will show the thorough measures that Gun-wook takes in order to bring down the female characters and I think it's important on showing the well thought-out revenge. I think giving a legitimate reason for the character's pain that everyone can't help but sympathize with would help.

Q: Bad Guy will not be aired this week because of the broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Africa matches. Did you get a chance to see the Greece vs. Korea match last Saturday?
Kim NG: I did. And I couldn't cry nor laugh about it. (laugh) It was weird because unlike the other World Cup matches I didn't feel anxious. It felt like the neighborhood was under attack because of the uproar of 'WOW~" when they scored the first goal. All I did was clap a couple of times but kept thinking 'They are good but if it continues to the round of 16...we'll have to postpone our show once more' and after thinking of several other circumstances, I just decided to just drop the thought completely. (laugh) Dramas have certain risks and I think that the audience will watch the show again even if it is postponed because they will be curious about the next episode.

english translation : from KNG LJ community :