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Kim Bum is poised to take flight

It’s been a little while since Dream faded from airwaves, but its star Kim Bum is getting ready to launch his new movie, Flight [비상], which will be released next week. Here’s a recent interview with the actor talking about those two projects and his acting life after Boys Before Flowers:

Dream‘s failure became a chance for me to look back at myself”

Contrary to his “pretty boy” looks, Kim Bum is exceedingly daring and aggressive. Not toward people, but toward his projects.

Of the lead actors who starred in KBS’s popular Boys Before Flowers, nobody has worked as continuously as Kim Bum. He could have taken a long break and worked on managing his image and popularity, but instead he raced on with the drama Dream and movie Flight (Bisang).

With the release of Flight upcoming (on December 10), Asia Economy magazine met with Kim Bum, who, with round-eyed wonder, revealed his boundless love for acting.

“When I’m curious about something, I can’t contain it. When I read a synopsis or a screenplay, there are times when I feel the character fighting with me. I felt that with Lee Dong-chul in East of Eden, and also with Lee Jang-seok in Dream. It’s like the character is taunting me, ‘Try and see if you can do it.’ I hate to lose, so I have to act.”

In the movie Flight, the role Kim Bum plays is of Park Shi-bum, a man who gives up his dream of being a film actor for his first love, and instead enters the lifestyle of a bar host. He had a lot of attachment for this role, which he chose not one week after Boys Before Flowers had ended.

“I was drawn to Shi-bum’s character, who undergoes a dramatic change from the first part of the movie through the end. It’s a role that allows me to show a lot of different emotions, so I considered it good study. I prepared my next project really quickly after Boys Before Flowers, because when I find something to challenge me, I want to keep doing it.”

Kim introduced the character of Park Shi-bum by saying that if placed in that situation, his character in Unstoppable High Kick might act in a similar way. He also said that it was not easy acting as him, since it’s not a character we often come into contact with in real life. He confessed that it was difficult to show him changing dramatically while maintaining a consistency to his character.

Kim said that he approached Flight with a spirit of learning. His explanation that “East of Eden and Boys Before Flowers were projects that I put a lot of study into” shows his studious attitude toward those projects. Dream and Flight could have driven him to overworking, but he said with a laugh that with his personality, if he develops a desire to keep doing something, he isn’t interested in other things.

“I’m on leave from Joongang University. I got an academic warning for taking the shortest terms, but still, I think it’s a good thing for me to meet others at school who are interested in the same work and talk over our worries together. It’s just that it’s too bad that I can’t go to school very often. But it’s rewarding that I’ve become someone whom my friends in the acting department can come to for advice. I haven’t had any regrets in my acting life.”

The drama Dream was pushed aside by its competition, Queen Seon-deok, recording low ratings lower than 10%. However, Kim Bum expressed his satisfaction, saying, “The ratings weren’t high, but I was able to meet good people and learn a lot.”

He says, “If Dream had followed the success of Boys Before Flowers, I wouldn’t have been able to think straight, but it gave me the chance to look back at myself.” It’s a pretty grown-up sentiment. Having just passed the age of twenty, Kim Bum continues on at high speed. His “flight” begins now.

Via Asia Economy

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That's interesting. They sorta quoted him out of context or incorrectly?

Going back to the original article (well translated by JB, of course) I don't think Kim Bum called Dream a "failure" (실패). Kim Bum just implied that it didn't have the same success as Boys Before Flowers, and so the top line "quote" where it seems to say that Kim Bum says, “Dream’s failure became a chance for me to look back at myself”" is sort of... wrong? He didn't say that?

Dream may not have beaten Queen Seon Deok in ratings, but it was enjoyable and why should success or failure be determined by whether a drama can beat out the monster known as Queen Seon Deok, which, by the way, I am getting addicted to?

Apologies to a certain person only known as "X", who calls it Queen Snore Deok, but I am really really liking QSD.

And so, is Dream a "failure" because I happen to like QSD? Silly! I'm not sure whether it is Reporter Go Kyung Seok who added the word "failure" for the tag line or whether it was the publication Asian Economy.... but it just continues the imprecise and overly broad and harmful practice of labelling of dramas as being "failures" if they don't get a certain ratings point when, in fact, they may be really good.

I'm not saying that Dream was superb, but it wasn't a "failure" imo, and I didn't see Kim Bum calling it a failure either. But if you are just skimming the magazine and you read various titles and captions, you'll see this article and you'll think that Kim Bum thought that Dream was a failure and maybe if you have a chance at renting or borrowing or buying the DVDs, now maybe you won't. All because you think that Kim Bum thought his work was a failure, and I don't think he said that.

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...I kinda think Dream was a failure though. NOT because it was low-rated -- many a low-rated project has been a worthy project -- but because it really didn't live up to his hype and was sort of a mess... It may have been enjoyable but it was neither commercially successful nor critically lauded so.... yeah. (Contrast that with, for example, Mixed-up Investigative Agency, which was also in the same ratings range but ended up on Top 10 lists by critics and was expected from the start to not be a huge hit.)

Your point is valid, but I don't really think it's SUCH an abomination for the article to shorthand the point by using the word failure.

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Javabeans I took the article out with credit to you if you don't mind ^.^

I have read in other interviews where Kim Bum said Dream was a failure, although he always said he never regretted acting in it because he learned a lot of things etc. He probably just means a failure in the ratings department... I don't think he thinks the drama was a failure in terms of scripting and execution.

I never got into Dream even though I love Kim Bum. Maybe it's because it's not my type of drama or I haven't watched enough episodes to see the story fully develop.

I hope Bisang will be a success :)

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hmm. okay.

But I guess I am more sensitive to labels like this, because my korean parents used to call anything that I did that wasn't a smashing success "a failure" (*shudder* coming in fourth in a piano competition? ohhhhhh, just disown me now, yes, i am a total failure, a waste of your time and energy to raise, just leave me at the bus station and I won't embarass you anymore, or drop me off at that bridge under which you found me...).

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@samsooki,

truly, my sympathies. and i thought jewish parents were tough. ^.~ themes of success/failure slice through k-dramas like a knife.

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THE BRIDGE! Those stories always crack me up.

I enjoy kim bum in general but Dream made me sleep, I couldn't get past episode 3, I applaude him for his passion though. Perhaps his next project won't be full of the chaos that was BBF or the snooze fest that was Dream.

*on a side note Samsooki I understand your love for QSD I'm addicted too, Mishil has to be on the same level of scary as the guy in Story of a Man. Her song comes on and I get the chills (no wonder its my moms ring tone).

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Thanks for the interview, JB. I really enjoy these in-depth interviews of or stories on a single actor.

I don't know much about Kim Bum. I found him to be an insufferable bore in Boys Over Flowers -- both as a character and as an actor -- and really didn't foresee a long-term career for him.

This interview, though, goes a long way to humanize him somewhat. I like that he is reflective about his two roles.

Flight actually sounds like a really good movie, although I can't help but wonder if a drama about -- what seems like -- wrong paths taken (actor to bar host) might not have benefited from an older actor. I am not convinced that Kim Bum is a good enough actor to carry the gravitas or pathos of a movie like this...

Also...of course...because it is almost mandated at this point: I think Jang Geon Suk would have been a better choice for Flight (and for all movies and dramas, for all times, past and present and future, amen, period). :-)

Off to watch more BTS of JGS on YT.

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I haven't even tried to watch Dream, as a sports drama isn't one of my favorite genres. The Dream ratings weren't much higher than YABs, but I never got the impression many people were watching it. By half way through BOF I was more interested in Yi Jung and Ga Eul than Jan Di, so he was doing well there.

@samsooki - I'm all about QSD, sageuks being kind of my thing. I found it a bit slow and disorienting after episode 50, but it's picked up again a bit. Besides the age appropriate eye candy (Bidam and Wolya!), QSD ticks pretty much all the boxes for my kind of show - boy Mishil was great!

How sad is it that my Dad was just channel surfing and I yelled out "hey, is that Soulmate? It sure sounds like it." Indeed, "this is not a love song" was a dead giveaway. Sorry to say he ended up tuning in Cash Cab.

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Even Kim Bum pretty face and killer smile could not keep me watching "Dream" it made me dream due to the boredom. It had potential if they would have given Kim Bum a love interest that was realistic and a storyline that wasn't pathetic, it could have been a OK drama instead it another "drama". But differently not a failure.....It not like You Are My Destiny and Bad Love those two drama I consider failure.

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FWIW, I thought Dream -- significant flaws (namely the fighting bits and Flower Fighters) and all -- was a gem of a slice-of-life show, and it's maybe the best Bromance of the year. The show didn't bother in developing a serious romantic storyline (KB's adoration of the girl was done mostly for laughs . . . but it also illuminated his character's youth and gruff naivete), and in doing that, they really got to focus on the dynamics between the two men. And even the villain was interesting; first of all, he was truly ruthless. Not in a cheesy sort of way, but in a really nasty, vicious sort of way. Like you're thinking to yourself "this guy is truly evil and petty." Second, the way they developed all the manipulations and ambivalent characters and so on had the density of a court intrigue drama.

Dream is set up to be a Cinderella sports drama, but it's really set up to be a kind of tragedy. The ending was bittersweet and well done.

"Mishil has to be on the same level of scary as the guy in Story of a Man."

Oh, Mishil is Love. I already told my mom that when I grow up, I wanna be just like This Mishil. She just kinda nodded and called 911 . . .

"I think Jang Geon Suk would have been a better choice for Flight (and for all movies and dramas, for all times, past and present and future, amen, period)"

Ehhhh . . . the only young actor that I know who could pull this off without pause is Yoo Seung Ho. He's truly special.

"I’m all about QSD, sageuks being kind of my thing. I found it a bit slow and disorienting after episode 50, "

Yeah, it was slow at first, but after Episode 53, the momentum is at peak level right now. The "Yushin in Jail" archas done a kick-a$$ job in establishing Deokman as a person with Mishilian like foresight into her court. Also I love how the story's given us a such a twisted perspective on love. Because Bidam loves her too much . . .he has to die!! :D

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i agree with momosan.

there are only two reasons that made me watch BOF:
1. i have to watch all Hana Yori Dango version (Japan, Taiwan, and Korea) (but i think i can't take it anymore so I won't watch the China version, thus I failed in watching them all)
2. Yi Jung and Ga Eul

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i'm with momosan and dee, only watched bof for yi jung and ga eul.. who btw they messed up at the end anyway ._.

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oh how i love kim bum.

even though i didn't have enough patience to watch Dream.

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me tooo i love kim bum so i watched this for him.... i also like son dam bi but i think this drama lacked spark by the middle of the series...its not a drama i'd watch again!

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@8 nom_kitteh

Also…of course…because it is almost mandated at this point: I think Jang Geon Suk would have been a better choice for Flight (and for all movies and dramas, for all times, past and present and future, amen, period).

- highly unlikely given that no one can be considered a perfect actor who can do each and every role.. But i SO get your point!

Long live JGS!

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Thanks for the article! You know I love me some Kim Bum! The pictures are amazing! Especially the first one.

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dream has its own way to please people.. it's just that, people tend to raise their expectations especially when they get to see better dramas,also, the man behind dream's lead role is well-known and people just cant contain the high expectations. i believe it's a good drama.

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@ nom_kitteh BOF is the only drama youve seen him so far? Then youre sure biased!

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I've been meaning to watch the first couple episodes of East of Eden so I can see what everyone means about Kim Bum's acting potential...

All this QSD talk is making me want to just take a peek at the later episodes...I had dropped it around episode 30 because the reason why I started (UTW) had the most boring role in the drama. I loved Bidam, I thought Mishil was awesomely evil, and Alcheon was *heart*, and the child actors were great. The whole Deokman-Yushin love angle (was I the only one who didn't see the chemistry? Only when she told him they couldn't be together...I thought that was probably one of their best scenes romantically). I missed Cheon-myung (PYJ) because she was a good foil to Deokman. I don't know...and I haven't seen a single YSH project, so I was looking forward to seeing him as Chunchu, but the plot was kind of frustrating...and after reading thundie's tweets on the project I decided to stay away...but maybe I could just take a small peek to see how things are...

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I like Lee Min Ho and Kim Bum after watching BOF. So I tried to watch "Dream" as Kim Bum and Joo Jin Mo (who I also like) are in this drama. I really had high expectation to begin with, but I dropped this drama after watching 4 episodes. Similar to the others, I really fell asleep when watching the drama.

Whether a good drama is successful or not depends on a lot of elements. I think Dream's script was no good. The story pace was too slow that it failed to stimulate viewers' interest to continue watching it even though you got all the popular stars in this drama.

But I do think that there is room for improvement for Kim Bum's acting. He should be more careful in picking his role. Dream's role is really not suitable for him. This role should be played by a muscular boy but Kim Bum is so thin that you find it hard to believe in the story.

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Oh, samsooki, you never fail me!

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hello.......................................

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I liked Kim Bum in BOF but after "The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry", i've become a fan. He is just Superstar quality.

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