Jung Woo Returns To The Big Screen As A Gangster In Film Noir “Hot Blooded”

“Hot Blooded” cast members Ji Seung-hyun, Jung Woo, and Lee Hong-nae pose before a press conference at Yongsan CGV in Seoul on Wednesday. (Kidari Studio)

Jung Woo, who shot to fame with the tvN drama “Reply 1994,” returns to the big screen as third-rate mobster Hee-su in the film noir “Hot Blooded,” directed by Cheon Myoung-kwan.

“’Hot Blooded’ has its own vibe. When I read the script – it’s hard to describe it in words – but I felt a kind of attraction,” Jung said at a press conference held at Yongsan CGV in Seoul on Wednesday.

He explained that what sets this new movie apart from other Korean crime action movies is that it doesn’t try to glorify the tenacity of gangsters.

“The film shows them as human beings. I also tried to show the humanity he (Hee-su) has instead of playing as a member of a criminal group,” Jung added.

The film is based on a popular novel of the same title written by Kim Un-su. It is set in 1993 in Kuam, a small port town just outside of Busan where Hee-su (Jung) was born and raised. Hee-su is a third-rate mobster from the area who has acted as a hotel manager under Don Son (Kim Kap-soo) for 20 years. One day, Yong-kang (Choi Mu-sung), who fled the country as a murder suspect, returns home and begins to stir up trouble.

Jung said it was meaningful to film in his hometown of Busan, but he couldn’t fully enjoy the city.

“I’m always happy to shoot in Busan. I always get positive energy from the city,” Jung said. “Before I started shooting, I thought that since my family and friends are in Busan and I’m staying for two months , I was going to have fun. But after filming started, I had to focus on the character, so I couldn’t think of anything else.

Director Cheon also explained why he chose to shoot the film in Busan.

A picture of

A still from “Hot Blooded,” directed by Cheon Myoung-kwan (Kidari Studio)

“When you think of Busan, you can easily find many black Korean films, so it might seem obvious. But our film is different. The gangsters in the film don’t always dress in costume, and they also fight for this small, undeveloped port city of Busan,” Cheon said.

He added that the city seemed ideal for showing the desperate survival stories of gangsters.

Ji Seung-hyun, who played Cheol-jin, a childhood friend of Hee-su who would later turn on him, said that one of the things that sets “Hot Blooded” apart is that it’s based on a novel.

“I think it brought the 600-page novel pretty well to the big screen. You can feel the emotions you feel while reading our movie book,” Ji said. “Plus, if you like literature, you can have fun comparing the book and the movie.”

Towards the end of the conference, Jung briefly talked about the films of two “Reply 1994” co-stars — Yoo Yeon-seok and Son Ho-jun — which will also be released soon.

Yoo’s thriller “Vanishing” will be released on March 30, and Son’s comedy “Stellar” will be released in local theaters on April 6.

“What a coincidence. I hope all three films do well. They all belong to different genres and have their own charms,” Jung said.

“Hot Blooded” hits local theaters on Wednesday.

By Song Seung-hyun ([email protected])

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