‘Sinkhole’ Cha Seung-won talks humor despite disaster

Actor Cha Seung-won

“Sinkhole” broke Korea’s record by garnering a million viewers on its big screen in record time among all the films that debuted this year.

The film crossed the million mark on the sixth day after its August 11 release.

“That number really means something,” said Cha Seung-won, an actor who plays a main character in the film, in an online interview with Ilgan Sports, a Korea JoongAng Daily affiliate. “There aren’t many Korean films that have garnered over a million viewers. This is the remark when you start to see people who have seen the film around you.

The film tells the story of a house that collapses into an abyss hundreds of meters underground. An office worker named Dong-won eventually bought his own house in Seoul and invited his co-workers for a housewarming party. Soon after everyone gathered, the whole building sank into the ground and Man-su, played by Cha, another tenant of the building who didn’t have the best relationship with Dong-won. , are all left underground together to find ways to get out unharmed.

While this is a disaster flick, the film also tries to add a few comedic elements to soften the tone. Cha, who has played comedic characters in other dramas and entertainment shows, explained how he felt about incorporating his style into the film. Below are edited excerpts.

Q. Have you ever felt overwhelmed that the audience might expect you to do more funny scenes?

A. No. I don’t feel overwhelmed by this. If they’re not laughing, they’re not laughing. I cannot bear any burden or responsibility to make them laugh.

Have you ever debated continuing to appear on entertainment shows where you show a more comedic side of yourself?

I debated whether I should continue to participate in such shows. If I appear in commercials and take part in entertainment shows, some kind of wall seems to be falling apart and I don’t know what to do with it.

Does that mean you’ll keep your distance from comedy movies?

Of course, I know comedy is a category to watch out for when [people talk] about actor Cha Seung-won, because fans love this category. Personally, I love comedy movies, but I can’t just do what the audience wants me to do. I have to keep showing how I refine my style. It is difficult to find this meeting point. The comedy we do today may not be so funny the next day. That’s comedy, and that’s why it’s so difficult. This is something I have to work on.

A scene from "chasm" with actor Cha Seung-won [SHOWBOX]

A scene from “Sinkhole” with actor Cha Seung-won [SHOWBOX]

What was it like being on KBS’s morning talk show “Achim Madang” to promote the film? Isn’t it rare for actors to be on such morning shows?

I am not the first. Even Richard Gere was on this show. But I rarely went to such morning shows, even right after making my debut. I actually really enjoyed this time.

What was it like being on a very different show than the reality shows you were on?

It had been a while since I had been to a TV show where there was a pre-curated stream and everything was already settled. After all this time, organized styling seemed so new to me.

Would you like to start appearing in other longtime TV shows?

I told my fellow actor Lee Kwang-soo that we should go to “My Hometown at 6 PM” on KBS if the film is going well. How the actors promote the movie really depends on the style of each actor. I have my own way of doing things. I don’t know if this is the right way to do it, but I find my own way to promote the movie I’m in.

How is the upcoming eight-episode drama “One Ordinary Day” going on Coupang Play?

The general tone is very different from “Sinkhole”. Since this is a legal drama, there are a lot of things I need to memorize and I need to control the amount of emotion I show. But it’s fun to film; it has its own charm. Filming will be completed in September, so you can see it in November.

BY JUNG-SUN PARK [[email protected]]

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