iKON’s Ju-ne makes cinematic debut in fantasy comedy “Again 1997”

From left, actors Jo Byeong-kyu, Han Eun-Su, Koo Jun-hoe, Choi Hui-seung, Kim Da-hyun, and director Shin Seung-hoon pose during a press conference for the fantasy comedy film “Again 1997,” held at CGV in Yongsan District, Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

Singer and actor Koo Jun-hoe, popularly known as Ju-ne from the K-pop group iKON, has stepped into the world of cinema with his debut in the fantasy comedy film “Again 1997.”“I had mixed feelings and it felt interesting. I was grateful throughout the movie,” Koo, who forayed into acting last year, said during a press conference of the film at CGV in Yongsan District, Seoul, Monday.”I love watching movies, so I felt thankful to see my face on the screen. It made me think I should continue to work hard to have more opportunities like this in the future.”The upcoming film, set to hit theaters on April 10, follows a stuntman in his 40s, Woo-seok (Kim Da-hyun), who gave up his dream of becoming an actor after suffering an injury that left a scar on his face.One day, he encounters a monk, who sells him five talismans, claiming they can alter his destiny. When he gets into a lethal car accident during a film shoot, Woo-seok is transported back to his high school days in 1997. Slipping through time to the high-school version of himself, Woo-seok (Jo Byeong-kyu) is on a mission to revamp his past life, reuniting with his best friends Bong-kyun (Koo) and Ji-Sung (Choi Hui-seung).The film also marks the directorial debut of filmmaker Shin Seung-hoon, who was the assistant director of the 2014 action film “The Divine Move” and the 2012 comedy film “I Am the King.” Sharing excitement over his debut, the director said he infused his own life into the movie.

“It took me 19 years to get here since I got into the film industry. Directing a movie after 19 years hits differently,” he said.“I decided to pursue filmmaking in my senior year of high school, which was 1997. I was going through a difficult time when I was developing this movie. When I think about ‘what if I hadn’t done movies,’ or ‘if I can change my decision,’ 1997 seemed like the most appropriate time.”The director wanted the film to incorporate different genres.“There’s romance, comedy, and drama, but I wrote the script thinking I don’t want it to be defined by one single genre,” he said, adding that he focused on the chemistry of the three friends when directing.“I paid the most attention to showing the harmony between the three lead characters. Woo-seok is in his 40s in spirit. So I wanted him to be more mature than the other two friends, so I had a lot of discussions with actor Jo and he did a fantastic job.”Actors Jo and Koo shared that the three actors spent time together to get to know each other better and create the chemistry for their role as friends.“On the day we first met, we drank until 5 a.m. in the morning. It made our bond stronger and about three weeks before filming, we hung out at each other’s houses to build our friendship,” Jo said.Koo shared satisfaction with seeing how their effort played out on the screen. “Living together in Gwangju for a month (for filming), we spent a lot of time drinking together and having conversations. And seeing our chemistry authentically portrayed in the film, I felt proud that we’ve had meaningful time drinking and 슬롯게이밍 chatting,” he said.

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