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Han Ji-min, Nam Joo-hyuk team up again in romance remake ‘Josee’

Nam Joo-hyuk (left) and Han Ji-min pose after an online press conference to promote the romance film “Josee,” Tuesday. (Warner Bros. Korea)
Nam Joo-hyuk (left) and Han Ji-min pose after an online press conference to promote the romance film “Josee,” Tuesday. (Warner Bros. Korea)

After the trailer of the romance film “Josee” was presented during an online press conference Tuesday, the two lead actors -- Han Ji-min and Nam Joo-hyuk -- began crying.

“Watching the trailer brought back all the emotions that I felt when filming,” Nam said.

After fixing their makeup, Han and Nam shared their experiences of teaming up again in “Josee” after working together on the 2019 TV drama “The Light in Your Eyes.”

“Even when we were filming the TV drama, we often became emotional and cried every time we had eye contact,” Han said. “This time it was even easier to work with him since we did not have to spend time getting to know each other.”

“Josee” is a remake of the 2003 Japanese romance film “Josee, the Tiger and the Fish” directed by Isshin Inudo.

In the remake, university student Young-seok (Nam Joo-hyuk) bumps into Josee (Han Ji-min), who uses a wheelchair, and falls in love. Young-seok finds out that Josee lives with her grandmother and barely leaves her house. As he develops feelings toward her, Yeong-seok approaches her slowly and also attempts to show her the real world.

“I wanted to show the humanity that I saw in the original version of the movie,” said the director, Kim Jong-kwan. “To be honest, since the story is based on a successful original novel and movie, it was like a difficult homework (to remake this movie). The original story has its value. I also had to reflect on the current society’s perspective and make a commercial film.”

Kim said he decided to change the plot of the original film to show his own perspective.

“Also for the title, I could have kept the original title. But since there are different routes that our movie chooses to take and we talk more about the world of Josee, we decide to name it ‘Josee,’” Kim said.

During the conference, Han said playing Josee was difficult because the character had been disconnected from the outside world for a long time.

“Josee experiences the world through reading books and imagination. And expresses everything differently,” Han said. “She talks in written Korean rather than spoken Korean. I had to discuss the character a lot with director Kim to understand.”

Although Josee is different from ordinary people in many ways, Han thinks the audience will be able to connect with her through the love story.

“Josee slowly lets Young-seok into her world, and that slowly turns into love. I think many audiences can connect with this story,” Han said. “Also, she does not feel fully happy when she is in love. She has mixed feelings.”

Han also added that she tried not to exaggerate the fact that her character couldn’t walk and had to rely on a wheelchair.

“I did not want people to see the movie as a love story with a disabled character but as a love story between Josee and Young-seok.” 

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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