EXO’s Suho re­turns to big screen

‘Present’ avail­able to watch through on­line stream­ing plat­forms

The Korea Times - - CULTURE - By Lee Gyu-lee [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

Leader of K-pop group EXO, Kim Jun-myeon, who per­forms un­der the stage name Suho, re­turned to the big screen on Mon­day with short film “The Present,” which tells the story of young startup founders and their strug­gles.

Aside from his singing ca­reer with the pop­u­lar boy band, Suho has been build­ing his act­ing ca­reer. Start­ing with on­line se­ries “EXO Next Door” in 2015, he has since taken lead roles in sev­eral dra­mas and films.

A year after his last film “Stu­dent A” (2018), he took on the role of a young en­tre­pre­neur Ha-neul who at­tempts to in­vent small-sized ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras for fire­fight­ers and starts his own busi­ness.

“I was drawn to the story be­cause it’s a story of youth and sends a pos­i­tive mes­sage to them,” Suho said dur­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence held at Lotte Cin­ema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Mon­day.

The com­edy film in­tends to take a close look at young peo­ple strug­gling to start their own busi­nesses. Ha-neul and his friend Bo-ra (Kim Seul-gi) en­thu­si­as­ti­cally try to es­tab­lish their busi­ness but as they con­tinue to fail in mak­ing the fi­nal prod­uct, they strug­gle to hold onto their lab and their project.

They are about to be evicted by the land­lord.

Then, one day, Ha-neul en­coun­ters mys­te­ri­ous man Sang-goo (Shin Ha-kyun) who claims he leaped through time from 1969 and is the orig­i­nal owner of Ha-neul’s lab.

His pres­ence helps the young en­trepreneur­s turn the tide. Suho and Shin shared how much they en­joyed work­ing on the film with each other, even if it was for a short pe­riod of time.

“I’m a big fan of Shin and when I heard that he would be in the film, I got very ex­cited,” Suho said.

Shin said Suho “is full of en­ergy and such a pos­i­tive, hard-work­ing per­son” to work with. He added that he would like to work with Suho again on a longer project.

The film is di­rected by Hur Jinho, who has a huge rep­u­ta­tion from di­rect­ing melo­drama and ro­mance movies.

He has di­rected nu­mer­ous award-win­ning ro­mance films, in­clud­ing “Christ­mas in Au­gust” (1998), ”One Fine Spring Day” (2001), and “Dan­ger­ous Li­aisons” (2012).

The direc­tor said this film al­lowed him to test a new genre that he has never done be­fore. “This was an op­por­tu­nity to try a new genre, and I re­ally had so much fun work­ing on this.”

The film is based on a real startup — “Team Ig­nis,” a group of peo­ple who in­vented ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras for fire­fight­ers. “After I was of­fered to make a film about young startup en­trepreneur­s, I found the story about ‘Team Ig­nis’ who helped fire­fight­ers with their in­ven­tion,” Hur said.

The ac­tors ex­pressed how hon­ored they were to work with such a rec­og­nized direc­tor. Shin said he has known Hur for al­most 20 years and is glad to fi­nally get to work with him for the first time.

Suho also ex­pressed that he was thrilled to work with the direc­tor, as he has en­joyed Hur’s films since he was young.

“My par­ents are also a huge fan of Hur, so they were very ex­cited for me when they heard I’d be in one of his movies,” he said.

The film was re­leased Mon­day and is avail­able to watch through on­line stream­ing plat­forms, in­clud­ing the film’s spon­sor Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics’ so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

Yon­hap

Ac­tor Shin Ha-kyun, left, and EXO mem­ber Suho laugh dur­ing a news con­fer­ence for the film “The Present,” held at Lotte Cin­ema in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Mon­day. The short film tells the story of young startup founders and their strug­gles.

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