Ju Ji-hoon is returning to the screen for the first time in four years with the comedy film, “Gentleman,” alongside his close friend and fellow actor Park Sung-woong who gets to become a different type of villain.
“At first, I refused because I have played so many similar bad guy roles before, but it was Ju Ji-hoon who persuaded me to team up for this film, rather than appearing in each other’s movie for brief cameo parts,” Park said during a press conference held at Megabox Seongsu in Seoul on Thursday.
Ju said he asked Park to join the project while on the set of “Hunt” on Jeju Island. Both Ju and Park appeared as cameo in the film directed by star actor Lee Jung-jae.
Directed by Kim Kyung-won, “Gentleman” revolves around a story of Ji Hyun-soo (Ju), a private detective who pretends to be a prosecutor in order to find his missing client, fight evil crimes and track down outlaws masterminded by Kwon Do-hoon (Park), the head of a large law firm. Together with the merciless prosecutor Kim Hwa-jin (Choi Sung-eun), Ji works on solving a murder case to prove his innocence after he is falsely accused of being the killer.
Director Kim said Ju, Park and Choi showed 100 percent integration with the characters he had mapped out.
“Ji is a relaxed, composed character who does not forget wittiness, even in hodgepodge situations, and it came into my mind that the role has to go to Ju Ji-hoon,” said Kim.
“Park Sung-woong can really maximize the catharsis of the moviegoers with the vicious character he plays,” he added.
Actress Choi Sung-eun, who appeared in the hit fantasy series “The Sound of Magic” earlier this year, fully understood Kim Hwa-jin, taking up a clear, calm tone of voice and speaking articulately, according to director Kim.
Despite Park’s strong villain image based on his characters in previous films including “New World” and “The Swindlers,” Park said Kwon in “Gentleman” is a “different type of villain.”
“I would say that he is a luxurious type of villain, who cares about how he is viewed by others -- that’s why he also cares a lot about his fashion and uses honorifics to people around him. Kwon seems gentle on the outside but is filthy on the inside,” said Park.
Park said much of what he suggested to director Kim concerning Kwon’s fashion has been reflected in the movie to add a luxurious feel to his new villain character.
Park also lauded Choi’s performance, touting her as a rookie with charisma.
“I am not only physically small (compared to Ju and Park) but I am also at an entry level point in my career, so I tried my best to convey the energy through Kim. I believe Kim is a character who exudes great energy and presence as an elite prosecutor with a desire to hold sway over others,” said Choi.
“Gentleman” hits theater on Dec. 28.