Cho Dal-hwan, who plays a down-on-his-luck music producer in the film "The Box," said he tried to express subtlety in his acting and let his fellow actor Chanyeol of EXO upstage him.
Directed by Yang Jung-woong, the musical film is a coming-of-age story of an aspiring musician (Chanyeol), who can sing only when he is behind a box. He meets once-popular music producer (Cho Dal-hwan) and busks to overcome his fear and come out from behind his box.
Cho said Chanyeol was part of the reason he chose to star in "The Box." "By the time I was cast in the film, Chanyeol was already a global music star and I've always had a desire to take part in a musical film like Begin Again or Once. I was also excited about the idea of traveling across the country and trying regional specialty dishes," he said.
As to how he related to his character Min-soo, who believes in the nameless singer and would do anything to help Ji-hoon overcome the fear of singing in front of the audience, Cho said he got major help from the director.
"With my character, I somehow wanted him to be serious and funny at the same time. However, director Yang said my character is supposed to be stoic. He didn't like spontaneous ad-libs. Occasionally, I disagreed with him because I was concerned that my character would be too flat. But I respected his decision," he said.
Cho said he learned a lot from Chanyeol, who just made his film debut. "There was a lot to learn from his attitude ― the way he takes care of the staff, passion for acting and artistic talent," he said.
"The Box" features new takes on familiar tunes such as Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy," Mariah Carey's "Without You," Pharrell Williams' "Happy," Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
"I heard that the film studio's head and employees sent handwritten letters to original artists, asking for copyright permission to use music in our film. They kept on knocking on doors until those artists approved. In the end, we were able to use their music at a lower price," he said.
The film focuses on the issue of trauma and overcoming trauma. Cho shared that his trauma was linked to poverty.
"If it wasn't for my mother's love, I wouldn't be who I am now. My father passed away when I was young, and so our family had to move around a lot ― to 50 different places. From an early age, I was exposed to violence. I still did not get rid of my wild and selfish personality, but I'm trying to overshadow negativity with positivity," he said.
The film will also premiere in 11 countries around the world, beginning with Singapore (April 1), Indonesia (April 7) and Malaysia (April 8). It will also be released in Japan, the U.S., Vietnam and Australia.
"The Box" hit local theaters, March 24.
source: The Korea Times & EonTalk