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Park Hae-jin portrays Yoo Jung again in 'Cheese In the Trap' movie

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Published : Mar 13, 2018 - 09:34 / Updated : Mar 13, 2018 - 09:34

For actors, playing the same role in the film adaptation of a popular TV show in which they also starred can be a double-edged sword for their career.

They can easily attract viewers to theaters based on the popularity of the TV drama series but cannot avoid negative reviews whether they deliver the role in the same way or differently.

"Cheese In the Trap" star Park Hae-jin said Monday he faced that dilemma when he chose to star in the film version of the 2016 mega-hit series.

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This photo, provided by Mountain Movement Story, shows actor Park Hae-jin. (Yonhap)
"In the film, I wanted to fully show fresh sides of the character, which were not seen in the drama, before it is too late," the 34-year-old actor said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency at a cafe in central Seoul. "This will be my last time to play Yoo Jung, and the movie was like homework to me."

Originally based on the popular webtoon of the same title, the film, set to hit theaters Wednesday, depicts romance between an enigmatic male college student named Yoo Jung (played by Park) and Hong Seol (played by Oh Yeon-seo), an ordinary but charming girl.

The actor himself seemed to bear a close resemblance to Yoo Jung but was different.

Just like Yoo Jung, who is known around campus as a nice, handsome, smart and popular upperclassman that takes care of other students, Park is deemed a "Mr. Perfect" type of man. It turns out that Yoo Jung is a cold person who is indifferent to most things, until he meets Hong Seol.

Far from being reticent, however, Park fluently answered questions from reporters at a fast pace, and looked comfortable all the way through the interview.

"Is Yoo Jung a psychopath? No, he isn't. He is a naive and innocent person whose method of expression is just different from others. He is rather like a child. So, when he meets Hong Seol, he shows his true nature."

Hong Seol was played by Kim Go-eun in the TV series and Oh Yeon-seo in the movie.

"Both Hong Seols are lovely and pretty but have two different charms. Hong Seol in the drama is more frank while Hong Seol in the movie is smarter," said the actor.

He said he usually talks a lot with actresses on the set.

"I'm interested in skin care and cosmetics. So I share information on the field a lot. I also have much interest on what's going on in the world and am very inquisitive. These days, I'm also interested in furnishing, lighting and interior."

Park is now an established actor with 12 years of experience.

Debuting in 2006 with a small role in the KBS 2TV series "Famous Chil Princesses," Park has since starred in many successful TV projects, like KBS's "Like Land and Sky" and MBC's anniversary drama "East of Eden."

In China, Park has become one of the most sought-after Korean stars, starring in three local dramas: "Qian Duo Duo Marry Remember," "Another Brilliant Life" and "Love Relativity." Next month, he will open a video channel called "Park Hae-jin V+" on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, a first for a Korean star.

"The moniker, 'hallyu star' is still awkward and burdensome. But what have changed the most from my rookie years is that I have become better at acting," Park said. "I still feel acting doesn't suit me; I'm finding more interest and fun in the job than before."

Park said he is now filming a new TV series, by producer Jang Tae-yoo, of the hit SBS TV series "My Love from the Star." The fantasy mystery romance features the actor playing four different roles, including the male protagonist.

"I think 'you act well' is the best compliment for an actor. Whatever characters I play, I hope to become an actor who can be seen as the character, not me." (Yonhap)

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