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Noir movie VIP enlists Jang Dong-gun, Park Hee-soon, and Lee Jong-seok

A-list heavyweights Jang Dong-gun (A Gentleman’s Dignity) and Park Hee-soon (Missing Noir M), and Hallyu star Lee Jong-seok (W–Two Worlds) are in talks to share the screen in director Park Hoon-jung’s much buzzed-about film VIP alongside the “God of Acting,” aka Kim Myung-min (Six Flying Dragons), who was previously considering the project and has since confirmed.

VIP is an espionage noir thriller about the son of a high-ranking North Korean official who commits a murder in South Korea, thus inciting a heart-stopping chase involving North and South Korean police and INTERPOL. Director Park’s last film was the twisty and gripping gangster noir flick A New World, which quickly cemented his status as a skilled noir filmmaker.

Director Park reportedly had Jang Dong-gun in mind for a while and met with him in person to persuade him to appear in VIP. And it seems the persistence is paying off with Jang now undergoing final negotiations to join after wrapping up filming on a Chinese drama. Audience expectations are gradually increasing for Jang, whose latest string of films has yet to match the smash success of 2004’s war epic, Tae Guk Ki: The Brotherhood of War. VIP may be the film that turns the tide for him.

Cameras are set to start rolling for VIP in October of this year.

Via My Daily

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I hope Jang Dong Gun accepts. I hope Lee Jong-seok declines. Why add such a mediocre actor to such fine cast, I wonder...

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You hate him so much, I wonder...lol

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Good one😄

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LOL mediocre? Whatever floats your boat...
majority already ruled the LJS is an excellent actor.
__

Any work LJS picks up is confirmed to be good as he's good at choosing scripts so i'm excited for this!

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Specially Dr. Stranger 😆😆😆😆

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LJS shines the most in DS. In end of the day, that show was good for him, confirming he really can act.

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It's quite funny because consensus was DS's a bad drama, but LJS was brilliant in it. I originally stayed away from DS because of what I read about the story (they totally wasted a brilliant premise), but the good reviews about LJS's acting in it (alone AND with Kang Sora) made me watch it and yeah, viewers were right about his portrayal as Hoon. He did great amidst an incoherent story.

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cause simply they don't see him mediocre like you do, otherwise they woudn't v cast him with such great cast ^_^ that mediocre actor as you called him is Grimae award winner darling, the youngest actor ever to win it.. PDs and cinematographers wouldn't have gave that award if they found him just mediocre.. and btw he already confirmed for that film ..so cheers ^_^

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Don't think he'll decline, Lol. And he has an eye for good projects, so lots of directors seem to love him so I doubt he'll bow out when he was offered the role upfront and exclusively.

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Remember a key rule of Dramabeans people, "don't feed the trolls!"

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i'm not his fan.. seriosusly.. but because i'd enjoy a good drama even the leading actor or actress not my biased or even i don' like them, i end up watch that drama...
i don't know lee bo young back then and i don't like guy with 'pretty' face so the moment i see him i don't like him in school 2013.. but still i like i hear your voice.. then come pinochio, from that i know.. lee jongsuk indeed a good actor.. he can bring the character alive! and now w-two world...
he can act and his chemistry are all awesome... do you watch readers face? him act alongside A-listed such as kim hye soo and lee jungjae...??? go and watch.. still i don't like his pretty boy image but acting? he is indeed superb!

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Oooh! If these actors sign on, I'd be interested in checking this out! =)

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Judging by how Jongsuk's the only one below age 40 so far, people have been guessing that he'd play the serial killer. I really hope that's true lol.

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omo that would be brilliant! i'm thrilled about this! I hope it turns out to be like this: ljs playing the role of the murderer (plz make it happened), i've been wanting to see him doing a very dark role like that for years, like a psycho character, anti-hero or the villain XD I CAN'T WAIT ugh

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And the thing is, Park Hoonjung writes really good serial killers. I loved I Saw the Devil. Crossing my fingers.

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I think he'll play the victim who was murdered.

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I'm keeping my fingers crossed, cause I think he'd make a chilling killer. But out of the cast Park Hee Soon seems most likely to play the killer, and JDG the Interpol cop with Lee Jong Suk playing the victim who was murdered. Maybe we'll get to see lots of him but exclusively in flashbacks. Anyways I'm hoping that he plays the killer, but it seems unlikely. Though I wish they surprise us.

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I hope Kim Myung Min plays the serial killer like Choi Min-shik in I saw the Devil. It's been awhile since he played a real baddie which he is really good at.

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Oh and Kim Myung Min will play the politician whose son killed the victim. That's just my guess though, but maybe they'll end up surprising us with the casting and do something interesting!

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It's fun guessing :).

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@Strand

"Park Hee Soon seems most likely to play the killer."
"Kim Myung Min will play the politician whose son killed the victim."

Park Heesoon, age 46
Kim Myungmin, age 43

*squints*

(I'm just busting your balls)

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@soapbox Lol!!!! I know I wasn't really paying attention to the age, but based solely on their looks, since in Kdrama's/movies they have actors playing roles decades younger all the time. Anyways, now that you pointed it out, it does look stupid. Hey, who knows maybe LJS will be the killer!

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Park Heesoon could still be the killer too. Maybe they haven't announced who was cast as the high rank North Korean official yet, maybe the dad's supposed to be like 70-80 years old.

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i read it somewhere... he will play the villain... the north korea son or something

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I'm not a fan of Jang Dong-gun in films but I like some of Park Hoon-Jung's films. New World and Unjust mainly (hi there Hwang Jung-min).

Glad to see Kim Myung-min in more serious films. Hope he'll stay in Chungmuro for a while. There are more projects there that are more challenging.

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Speaking of The Unjust whatever happened to Ryoo Seung-Bum.

Only seen JDG in Dangerous Liasions - quite underwhelming.

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Ryoo was supposed to be in a Kim Ki-duk movie. I'm not sure what happen to The Net.

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Ah Ok, thanks!

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The Net has finished filming and I believe it is going to premiere at the Venice International Film Festival early September along with Kim Ji-woon's new film, "Age of Shadows."

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Woot, thank you! I'm looking forward to both.

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Honestly a Gentlemans Dignity ruined JDG for me forever. That drama left such a sexist taste in my mouth, I don't know why it was so popular I Korea!!!

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I really liked Park Hee-soon in some of his films but every other K-film these days seems to be stuffed with male actors and revolving around espionage, North Korea and/or Japan. The glory days of South Korean films with different themes seem long gone.....still waiting for a film that might pique my interest.

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Yes, let's hope this one will break that paradigm...

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Sadly that is true. Makes me wish Park Chan-wook and Lee Chang-dong would make a movie every year.
They are not afraid of having the women as the main focus and the leading men taking a backseat and supporting the women.

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Lee Chang-dong imo is one of the greatest. Peppermint Candy had very few women but its such an amazing film in its deconstruction of Korean society and masculinity.

There was The Silenced, Coin Locker Girl, Madonna, Right Now Wrong Then etc last year I guess. But these are all indies probably and perhaps not near the greats of the early 2000s.

I wish DB would do a piece on Korean women directors since they seem pretty thin on the ground.

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PS: "They are not afraid of having the women as the main focus and the leading men taking a backseat and supporting the women." Agree!

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Love Poetry and Yoon Jeong‑hee. Secret Sun-shine and Jeon Do-yeon.

I don't mean that the men took a backseat as disrespect to Song Kang-ho and Ha Jung-woo etc great talents. They basically paved the way for lesser experienced actors and balance out what they have to offer. I believe Song Kang-ho kept Jeon Do-Yeon's performance grounded in Secret Sun-shine.
I wish I could explain it better.

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I got that, its not a disrespect thing. Secret Sunshine does have a great performance from SKH that balances JDY's as you say. But the film has JDY as the protagonist and it maintains this unlike some movies I have seen where female parts get derailed. Similarly Happiness has HJW as the protagonist but Im Soo-jung grounds it and her role is not trivialised. I think the film as a whole is what makes them great directors, the being unafraid to do what it takes to make a film great.

I guess we are sort of on the same page:)

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It's so good to run into another K-movie fan around here :).

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:-) I check the chungmoro posts often (did a lot of lurking) and yours and a few others comments were always so informative.

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Madonna and Right Now Wrong Then were certainly aimed at the arthouse crowd, but I think The Silenced was meant to be a mainstream picture. Not sure about Coin Locker Girl though.

I do agree that there aren't many female-centric films from Korea, but the same goes for almost any other country. Anyway, this year we've already had The Truth Beneath (with Son Ye Jin); The Last Princess (ditto); The Handmaiden; Love, Lies; Familyhood; The Bacchus Lady; The World of Us; and Spirits' Homecoming. (Though, admittedly, at least 4 of these films have something to do with Japan.)

I also agree that the early 2000s were a sort of golden age for Korean cinema. However, I think there are many talented younger directors doing amazing work in Korea today. Besides the ones who get invited to festivals (Na Hong Jin, Bong Joon Ho, Shin Su Won, July Jung, Yeon Sang Ho etc), there are also less internationally known names like Ryu Seung Wan and Lee Kyoung Mi, and solid filmmakers making interesting films like Lee Ho Jae (Sori: Voice from the Heart), Lee Won Suk (How to Use Guys with Secret Tips) and Yoon Jong Bin (The Unforgiven, Nameless Gangster). So I'm still quite optimistic about Korean cinema at the moment.

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Oh yes it is definitely above average when you look at world cinema, Cannes and other festivals always have a few Korean films on. I guess this is a drama site so they tend to feature films that star actors who have name recognition through dramas. Unfortunately these films are the usual box office fare and very male centric. Fair enough given the readers, I guess there are enough dedicated K-cinema sites around that provide a more comprehensive and complete review of films.

I suppose one is spoiled by the heyday of K-cinema and those foundation films that made all the film making of today possible stand the test of time and are still greats.

The Bacchus Lady; The World of Us - films to add to my list! I am assuming this site skews towards women writing and reading which is why I mentioned female directors. I kind of feel that someone like Lee Kyoung-mi would have made more films elsewhere? If I think of it there are female-centric films with some great actresses, I guess its just the overall impression of overly macho films with loads of actors. Like right on the heels of this post was Asura.

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@Karuna: that's very true; I agree that this site, and K-drama in general, skew towards women, which seems at odds with all these macho films. But I also get the impression that female viewers are not always that sympathetic towards genuinely female-centric films and dramas. Sure, we want our strong heroines, but we also want them to be adorable, to land the cute guy, and to generate the cuteness and the "feels" and whatnot. This is especially true of K-drama: shows like Angry Mom and Assembly, anchored by strong female characters concerned with things other than romance, don't seem to do as well as those with love interests. Alternatively, we'll settle for macho films with hunky, angsty men that we can swoon over. An angsty woman, on the other hand, tends to be labelled as arthouse, e.g. A Girl At My Door, Han Gong Ju, Crush and Blush, Madonna. My guess is that The Last Princess has broken out of this ghetto only because it also appeals to nationalist or at least patriotic instincts.

As for Lee Kyoung Mi, I wonder if she'd really have made more films elsewhere. Female directors in the west, for example, seem almost equally marginalised unless their films conform to the Hollywood norm of either macho thrillers or anodyne rom-coms, e.g. Kathryn Bigelow, Nora Ephron.

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"But I also get the impression that female viewers are not always that sympathetic towards genuinely female-centric films and dramas."

@knewbie I so agree. We had a discussion on this on another non-K site. On how its kind of impossible to find any media aimed at women that does not feature a man or a love line. And that this may be because everything else seems to get a lukewarm response from women auds and is certainly a factor in why such films remain small indie films on the festival circuit. Unless it is a historical figure like The Last Princess as you write. When this came up for discussion there was a LOT of hostility - why deride women's choices, what is wrong with romance or having a male actor bias etc. Judging by sites like DB I feel this is further heightened in K-ent since they seem to do romances+handsome boys well.

I feel bad for actresses though, the tone seems harsher when they are discussed. And for writers/directors who do try to do different things within the tropes. Often I might like something in a drama with regard to an actress or gender issue and then when I check a site I am surprised that its all about the guy.

Yes on second thoughts you are right - the output tends to be low everywhere....unless you are Naomi Kawase I suppose. I guess I was thinking of Kelly Reichardt - a movie now and then. Crush and Blush was so singular that I really wanted to see more of LKM...(it was also my introduction to drama via GHJ).

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Word to everything you said, @Karuna. Nothing wrong with love lines and cute guys -- I love them as much as the next fangirl (as long as the love line is intelligent and the guy doesn't resemble a plastic doll). But I get quite annoyed when people complain about the lack of romance in a drama like A New Leaf or Assembly, as if there aren't already a zillion romantic dramas out there to satisfy their preferences. I suppose I should be grateful that DB recapped Punch, A New Leaf, Wanted and Angry Mom, and that Beanies are mostly supportive of women in K-ent.

Funnily enough, GHJ was in the very first K-drama I ever watched: Ruler of Your Own World (2002). She was sensational in it, and I loved how her character and Lee Na Young's were as well-developed as the hero. IMO it's been downhill drama-wise for GHJ since then, not least because of her association with the Hong Sisters.

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I agree knewbie, this site is generally supportive but I also share your frustration! And I wouldn't have heard of A New Leaf if DB hadn't done a recap so bless them.

I love GHJ to bits and give her a pass on everything but agree on the Hong sisters. I like parts of their dramas but on the whole not impressed. GHJ needs to move beyond that template, I agree. And Ruler of the World - so hard to find a good copy where I live, still trying!

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I think the purpose of having young actor to join is to reach out to younger demographic as well. True, there are many good young actors nowadays. But LJS is actually a good choice. I'm in.

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In all honesty, I am watching W and I just can't understand why people find LJS such a good actor. His weird nose and plastic features really are distracting and his acting is probably adequate at best. Yes, he has the height (I will give you that) but he is lanky... He is neither good eye candy nor does his acting stand out in any of his dramas.... so please someone tell me why he is so popular????

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I think the answer is obvious. Beauty and attractiveness is subjective, and sometimes acting is also subjective.

If he is popular like you said and you have a different opinion, then you might just happen to be in the minority about him. What is so hard to understand that?

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Perfect response.
We all have different tastes when it comes to eye candy. For instance, I see LJS as an awesome, multicolored lolly-pop :D.

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A multicolored lollipop?? Haha.

After seeing that, I HAVE to ask-
Why? 😝

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This is a Noir Film, they don't cast with looks in mind or they would have gone with KSH as the safer bet.

LJS seems to have the Midas touch, everything he stars in always is a hit and receives great praise, I don't get it myself. But that's the way it is.

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Koreans have labeled him as a hit maker because his works have been successful and acclaimed. I was confused myself when people were talking about School 2013 and I Can Hear Your Voice. I didn't know him back then. I decided to check him out because people were praising him. After seeing him in those dramas, I finally understood why. He may not be the best actor out there but there is something in him and his acting that makes writers, PDs, and directors seek him out. He is privileged to be an actor that is being sought after. I hope he does not lose his dedication and love for acting.

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LJS's weird in the way that he's at the age and of the displacement where he appeals to both younger and older audiences so he has many hits, and directors always seem to love him enough to recast him in subsequent works and have nothing but good stuff to say about him so he's had more opportunities and been the recipient of national and state awards, and even though there's always the odd person out who doesn't find his looks their cup of tea he doesn't seem to pick projects superficially based on looks (alpha male leads, with the token shirtless scene thrown in) so he's equally acclaimed by critics, fans and colleagues.

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Well Park Hoon Jung generally seems to cast with substance over style as a rule, so his stuff is already not going to be your cup of tea if that's what you look forward in a film. Aesthetics are always subjective, some of the most famous and acclaimed actors aren't typically known for their looks e.i Benedict Cumberbatch, Edward Norton, Eddie Redmeynne

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Waa you mentioned Eddie!!! hehe! I just had to reply! He's a brilliant young actor!

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well he's only gotten better with each role, I think Park Hee Jung takes actors who have good chemistry within the ensemble cast and LJS always seems to click better with the older generation of actors. (Jin Kyeong, Lee Bo Young, Kim Eui Sang). And he's one of the few actors his age who has an appeal both domestically and internationally.

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@LAYLING
I do agree that LSJ face looks so unnatural, he has Michael Jackson nose and Angelina Jolie lip, and he is not manly at all. However both kdrama and jdramas fan grow up watching anime and he looks very much like anime heros ... so he is somehow like school girls fantasies that came to life, exactly like W where he was created by a school girl fantasy of his ideal namja...

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He has unconventional looks. You don't find him handsome at first glance but the more you see him the prettier he gets! The only actor like that who comes to mind right now, would Adrian Brody. And people seem to have a problem with his nose as well..

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LJS actually said in an interview that he wanted to do grittier, darker roles but that he knew that he had a "pretty" face, and wasn't likely to be cast in those types of roles. He actually wants to look more masculine but doesn't think he will even when he ages. At the time of the interview, he seemed to have accepted that rom-coms were his fate based on his appearance.

I'm happy for him. I think he's got what it takes to evolve into a great and versital actor and not just a pretty (subjectively) face.

I think maybe his acting style in W seems stiff or off to some because of the speaking patten that he is using for his KC character. I believe he's doing it to emphasize that KC is a manga character. Kind of like how Christian Bale speech pattern was different when he acted as batman.

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"he seemed to have accepted that rom-coms were his fate"

And yet he never really had a romcom. lol. I mean, Prosecutor Princess & Secret Garden don't necessarily count since he wasn't a lead character in those.

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The thought that LJS may play a serial killer gives me giddy chills. My long time wish is about to come true?

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LJS would kill it (no pun intended. lol) playing a serial killer. Hopefully both of our wishes come true!

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I think Lee Jong Suk touched his darker side a bit in W when he went about shooting people, but this has been a long time coming since Min Jong Gook failed to seduce him to the dark side in I Hear Your Voice. Here's hoping that his acting chops will be showcased among these heavyweights.

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he said something similar in his recent interview for W korea and I quote:

"The drama W is just in the middle – so even though I can't become fully macho, I want to use this drama to see how far I can go."

translation by hitoritabi on tumblr

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I know how you feel, I've been thinking he'd make an amazing serial killer ever since IHYV. Nice to get our wish, even if it's three years later.

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LJS in a movie by the A New World director?
*throws confetti in the air* Christmas came early this year.
Man, A New World was a really slick gangster movie.

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Wow! That's one heck of a cast. Seems like too much star power to go around!

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KMM the 'God of Acting'? Its so true but he'll forever be the King of Dramas in my heart~~~ Im not that into this kind of movies but the actors are great so Im curious

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I'm so happy for the news!! Lee Jong Seok in a Noir movie?!! that looks AWSOME!!! I can see him giving a marvelous acting performance for his role!! *jumping of happinss* I read that he's confirmed!! can't wait for it!! :D and I love Jang Dong Gun...the 1st Kdrama I watched ever was his in our broadcast!!

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This might be a stupid question but I'm really curious- what makes an actor a "hallyu star"?

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He's massively popular in all the major Asian markets i.e Korea, Japan, China

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Also Taiwan, Singapore, Philipines as well. He's more popular in chine than some of their domesticated stars.

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so this will be LJS's third project touching on south-north relations that I know of. first I saw him in "as one". his character was a minor one, but I'll never forget his hotblooded in-how-many-ways-I-can-kill-you-with-chopsticks threat. "doctor stranger" was a mess. still, that scene when he revived the baby... touching.
hope he confirms.

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Man, LJS already signed on to do a film? He's on a roll with projects I see. It's been quite a long time since he last did a film. I enjoyed his last role as a casanova. haha! This is a brilliant cast! I cannot wait!

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His agency has said several times (once in June and again yesterday) that he is not confirmed yet. Though I think he's likely to accept, or maybe he had already accepted but they need to iron out the contract details before it's official.

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Oops read your comment wrong. I've just seen people all over the place saying he's already confirmed so I thought people would be confused. Nevermind me.

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Guys, YG just confirmed that LJS will play the son!!!

*jumps to the ceiling*

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Whaa what??!! Really? My dream for LJS to play a dark role is going to happen??!!! Yesssss!!

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Omg. It's finally *happening* I am speechless. I've always imagined him doing a dark role like this!!!!!

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Yes.

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My first LJS drama is W. Before this I never interested to watch him in any drama. Maybe because I'm not really like 'flower boy' or maybe his drama not interesting for me but I can say he is good actor. I dont bother with his face.

Btw, I'm more happy to have Park Hee Soon back! I really love him in most of his movies. My guess is he will play one of North Korean people.

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there's no way LJS would decline this golden opportunity of starring in his dream role and with acclaimed sunbaes. I never expect anything less from LJS. Yay! for Chungmuro :)

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Read news today that LJS has confirmed for the killer role!! Woohoo!!

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YESSSSSSS I've been waiting since episode 8 of IHYV for LJS to play a villain, and he finally is!

I dig this cast too- Kim Myung-min, Park Hee-soon AND Lee Jong-seok sounds like a perfect combination. LJS gels great with older actors, anyway - I loved him in The Face Reader with Song Kang-ho and Jo Jong-seok.

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I've been waiting for Jongsuk to play as a villain as well! Especially as a serial killer. His glare & look can be cold & deadly (despite the fact that I still want to kiss him so bad LOL). Does anyone remember his photoshoot for Nylon mag? #nosebleed

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All his photoshoots are gold tbh

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Yess.. He shows various styles & looks super good in every one of them ❤

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Are you me? I just posted the nylon bts in the new W post!

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Ah you did? He looks deliciously dangerous there right... ^^ i need the film to happen soon

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I was hoping he will get to work with seniors in a meaty role...Us fans have wanted him to do bad guy character for a while. So, this news is perfect!!

So happy!!

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YAASSSSSSSS LJS!!!!!!! Please GOD make it GOOD!!!

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