On October 5, the short film Boy Meets Boy held an open discussion at the Pusan International Film Festival with its stars Kim Hye-sung (Jenny, Juno) and Yeh Ji-won (Mixed-up Investigative Agency) and director Kim Jo Kwang Su.
I remember being intrigued when I first heard about Boy Meets Boy [소년, 소년을 만나다], which marks Kim Hye-sung’s departure from his family-friendly image in Unstoppable High Kick. His early career had been marked by an emphasis on his pretty face more than anything (he rose to fame as an internet uljjang with thousands of fans, got a couple movies, and then the hit sitcom High Kick), but he seems to have a grounded perspective of his fame (as he explained in the interview linked above).
Not only is he portraying half of a gay romance in the short film, the narrative is expressed without dialogue — the director opted instead to tell the story mostly in the characters’ gazes.
While most young stars labeled with the tag “pretty boy” (or kkot-minam, 꽃미남) usually opt to emphasize their masculinity as they grow out of their adolescence (see: Jang Geun-seok), Kim Hye-sung is taking a riskier approach in the queer indie romance, wanting to challenge himself: “Although it was difficult to communicate not through dialogue but through a look in the eye, I took up the challenge thinking this would allow me to learn more about acting.”
He continued, “A lot of people think that I’m very effeminate, but that’s not actually true. But toward the end of shooting this film, I thought I might really be able to like hyung [male co-star Lee Hyun-jin].” He joked that people would see his co-star, who’s more masculine, and say, “Kim Hye-sung must be the girl and Hyun-jin the boy.” He added, “Whenever that happened, I’d get the feeling that I was a girl [laughs].”
Director Kim also disclosed that the actors weren’t paid for their work, and expressed his gratitude.
The film gets an official release in November.
Via News Open World
- While you were sleeping, Yeh Ji-won was drinking
- Pretty boys grow into pretty men
- When Boy Meets Boy
- Unstoppable High Kick
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency