Perhaps Ji Jin-hee figured he`d try his hand at a comedic role for a change after his most recent thriller, "Parallel life," tanked at the box office.
The 39-year-old TV and movie star unveiled his latest project - a road trip comedy - at the CGV Apgujeong in southern Seoul yesterday.
Delayed by a shoot for his upcoming MBC television period drama "Dongyi," the conference began with his two co-stars Lee Moon-sik and writer, actor and director Yang Ik-june talking about the forthcoming April release.
In "Searching for My Wife," Ji plays a music critic and radio show host who one day decides to grab headlines by announcing his divorce on-air.
He later finds out his wife had already packed up and left the day before, and sets off with his best friend (Yang) on a cross-country road trip to find her.
For Yang, this is his first film since his award-winning directorial debut "Ddongpari" for which he took home the Tiger award at the 2009 Rotterdam International Film Festival.
"The character I played in (Ddongpari) and the one I play in this film only have one thing in common," he said.
"They`re both pretty filthy as far as personal hygiene goes, but that`s where the similarity ends."
Yang is part of a double act with veteran character actor Lee Moon-sik, who portrays yet another sleazy and disreputable character with a heart of gold. Not too much of a stretch for the popular funnyman who has gained plenty of fandom for his roles as bumbling simpletons and con artists in such blockbusters like "Mapado," and "Public Enemy."
"This role wasn`t too difficult for me," he said and added "but I do play a sort of casanova-like gigolo, which is strange because with a face like mine, that`s not very realistic."
On acting alongside Ji, Yang said: "His character is always cleaning up my personal mess throughout the film because I`m always being irresponsible and doing stupid things."
"So before the shoot, (Ji) took me out a lot and bought me a lot of food and drinks to get more familiar and build up a rapport to get a good chemistry going between each other so that helped."
About 15 minutes into the press conference, Ji showed up in a smart suit sporting a bow-tie as if to make sure people knew his latest movie was a comedy.
He opened with a series of one-liners and punchlines that won the crowd over and even took a jab at his recent box office stinker, saying he had been offered countless roles and television advertising opportunities after the "huge success" of the film.
With six years of marriage, Ji was asked whether he had ever thought of running away from home, as his character`s wife does in the film.
"I`ve never thought of it even as a child. I`ve always thought why leave the comfort of your home when you`re fed and given a roof over your head," he said.
"As far as my life now, I always want to be out when I`m at home and I always want to be in when I`m out."
In 2004, Ji grabbed headlines by marrying a graphic designer he had met before his acting debut, when he was still working as a photographer.
"Searching for My Wife" is set to roll out in theaters nationwide on April 8.
By Song Woong-ki