Kang Hyung-suk talks about his experience in his first overseas production “AJOOMMA” at Singapore press conference

The press conference for the first-ever Singapore-Korea co-produced feature film “AJOOMMA” took place recently, with producer Anthony Chen, director He Shuming, cast members Hong Huifang, Kang Hyung-suk and Shane Pow present. 

Unfortunately, veteran actor, Jung Dong-hwan was unable to make the trip to Singapore due to a long running stage show in Korea.

“AJOOMMA” has received 4 nominations at the 59th Golden Horse Awards and has held its world premiere at the 27th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) on 7 October.

During the press conference, director He Shuming mentioned that Kang was a very good actor. He also added:

He Shuming: When we met, there was some form of chemistry. I’ve watched some of his previous dramas and his Mandarin has improved a lot. He is very hardworking and importantly I felt that he made the character his own. To be honest, when I wrote the script, the appearance of his character was quite different, so when I saw him, I was thinking that he’s too handsome!

During their interview with Kang before the filming, producer Anthony Chen felt that Kang was unreal. Director He Shuming has asked Kang if he could gain slightly more weight and grow a moustache, to which Kang said he will try his best. He added that Kang did a lot of homework, and it was a great pleasure working with him.

When asked was it very hard to prepare for this role, especially when He Shuming and Anthony Chen said that Kang might not be the image they have imagined for this role to be:

Kang Hyung-suk: Acting in a foreign language is a very big responsibility to me, but during the auditions I had to tell myself that I will speak (the language) well. I can do it, and that was how I managed to overcome it. During the filming period, I received a lot of help from many people, so I could present myself speaking well in Mandarin to everyone.

When asked how long it took Kang to memorise his lines, he added:

Kang Hyung-suk: Before filming, we did a lot of practising during video calls. During my free time, I will continuously practice. It’s hard to say how much time I’ve spent, but I can say that even when I went to the toilet, I was also practising. When I’m alone, I also talked to myself, to memorise the lines.

As this is Kang’s first time participating in an overseas production, he was worried about the language and cultural difference. During filming, he realised how everyone has the same goal which made them warmed up to one another quickly and easily. These made him feel more relaxed and he hoped there will be more of such work opportunities. 

Kang personally wishes that “AJOOMMA” will do well and achieve great success, so there will be more opportunities of such cultural exchanges for work in the future. 

“AJOOMMA” opens in Singapore cinemas from 27 October 2022.

Article & Photography: Fira @ KAvenyou
Translation: Zhen/Shawna @ KAvenyou

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