The upcoming film “The Beauty Inside” challenges itself to reinvent this time-old statement in a fresh, intriguing way on the big screen.
Directed by the visual artist and advertisement director Zong Baik (who goes simply by Baik), the film is about a woman named Yi-soo (Han Hyo-joo) who develops a romance with a man (Woo-jin) whose appearance changes every morning. Each morning, he may wake up as a man, a woman, young or old, of varying ethnicities. A total of 123 people played the part of Woo-jin for the film, with 21 of those actors playing significant roles in the plot.
|From left: Director Zong Baik, actress Han Hyo-joo, actors Park Seo-joon, Kim Joo-hyuk, Jo Dal-hwan and Seo Kang-joon pose for press at CGV Apgujeong Thursday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
The film has an all-star cast including established actors and rising stars, with names like Park Shin-hye, Lee Yeon-seok, Park Seo-joon, Seo Kang-joon, Kim Joo-hyuk, Lee Dong-wook and Lee Beom-soo rolling in the credits.
“Yi-soo is a woman with a big heart,” said lead actress Han Hyo-joo at a press conference at CGV Apgujeong on Thursday. “It’s not an easy situation to understand, and yet she accepts all these variations of Woo-jin.”
The film is an adaptation of a 40-minute “social film” by the same name that was created as a campaign for Intel and Toshiba. The two companies sent out a casting call for the film via social media all over the world, making it possible for anyone to participate through the concept of a person who changes their appearance every night.
“We talked about whether we would stretch out the original film to feature length, or create a separate story, like a sequel,” said director Baik. “We decided on the latter.”
According to Baik, there were definitely challenges to creating a film with so many different actors playing the same character.
“Each actor came to the set with his or her own interpretation of the character Woo-jin,” he said. “To prevent their interpretations from clashing, I shaped the character of Woo-jin to be very shy and passive. Asking the actors to mute their expression of various emotions to fit that character helped us to give the character more consistency.”
The actors filmed for just a few days each, giving them very little time to develop familiarity and teamwork with Han.
“I knew that it would be stressful for (Han) to have to work with a new actor every few days, but that was intentional,” Baik said. “The character of Yi-soo also had to feel that stress.”
“In the end, the film has a very warm message,” Han said. “No matter what someone looks like, you can still love them. I hope everyone will enjoy it.”
“The Beauty Inside” will open in local theaters on July 2.
By Won Ho-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)