Actor Gong Yoo said he came to think a lot about life and death while filming "Seobok," a sci-fi film about the relationship between a terminally-ill man and a human clone.
"Through this film, I was able to look back at my own life and pose questions about what kind of human I want to be. I think how you live is more important than living a long life," he said during an interview with The Korea Times via Zoom, Tuesday.
Directed by Lee Yong-joo, "Seobok" tells the story of a Ki-heon (Gong), a former intelligence agent who is suffering from a terminal illness and is given a final mission to secretly transport the world's first human clone, Seobok (Park Bo-gum), to a safe haven. However, they find themselves in a number of life-threatening situations as other forces seek to take possession of Seobok.
The 41-year-old actor revealed that he initially turned down the role. "I read the script and at first, I rejected the offer because I couldn't give a clear-cut answer to the film's big question," he said without giving away too much of the plot.
But he said he changed his mind because he liked the fact that the movie made him think.
Gong explained that he has been drawn to the sci-fi genre over the years. "I had never been that attracted to sci-fi. However, I recently experienced a surge in interest in the near future. 'Seobok' is set in the near future, but it is essentially about life and one's choices," he said.
The actor elaborated that he is drawn to stories that pose fundamental questions about life. "I'm not interested in films with flat characters or weak narratives. As I get older, I prefer thought-provoking films," he said.
The heartthrob actor shared that he lost a lot of weight to play the terminally-ill agent. "I had to lose a lot of weight to play Ki-heon, who has less than a year to live. However, I didn't want him to feel like an outsider. I imagined that he was quick witted fellow before being diagnosed with the illness," he said.
In fact, Gong's penchant for ad-libs arouses laughter in between serious scenes.
The actor said he got a call from Park after the press conference on Monday. Park is currently fulfilling his mandatory military service in the navy. "Park was relieved that the film is finally getting its release this month. I told him that I felt lonely without him," he laughed.
Regarding the onscreen chemistry, Gong said he was able to immerse himself in the role when acting opposite Park.
"It's hard not to like him, because he's so well-mannered and friendly. It was easy to concentrate when looking into his eyes because he has such a compelling gaze," he said.
Apart from the exploration of human-clone friendship, the film features strong action scenes. "The action scenes weren't that tough. Of course, my body feels quite different because of my age. But I try to keep exercising and stay in shape," Gong said.
"Seobok" will simultaneously hit theaters and the local streaming service Tving on April 15.
source: EonTalk & The Korea Times