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[Herald Interview] Jin Sun-kyu hopes viewers enjoy ‘Bargain’ without a frown

Jin Sun-kyu (Tving)
Jin Sun-kyu (Tving)

Since making a name for himself with the hit crime film “The Outlaws” in 2017, Jin Sun-kyu has been mesmerizing the Korean audience playing charismatic, hard-boiled characters in various projects, including “Dark Figure of Crime” (2018), “Extreme Job” (2019) and “Confidential Assignment 2: International,” released in September.

While many fans already consider him one of the nation's go-to actors with an impressive filmography and a long list of hits, Jin has added yet another unique character to his list by donning red underwear, a raincoat and rain boots in Tving's crime-thriller “Bargain.”

“I really liked my character Hyung-soo, who leads the entire series wearing only underwear. But I was more concerned about the viewers,” Jin said in an online interview with a group of reporters Thursday, adding that he hoped viewers would be comfortable watching "Bargain," despite the half-naked man leading the series.

Alluding to one of his favorite animation series “One Piece,” Jin explained that he wanted his character to be perceived as "normal" like Franky, a cyborg character decked in an open shirt and a pair of briefs in the Japanese animation.

“I have tried different types and colors of underwear. And the director and I chose the red trunks. I wanted the character’s outfit to be some sort of a signature costume, making the viewers think that that is how Hyung-soo is dressed,” the actor added.

Adapted from the short film of the same title by filmmaker Lee Chung-hyun, the Tving series revolves around Hyung-soo, a middle-aged man who goes to a remote motel to bargain for sex.

But, unbeknownst to him, he has been lured to the motel by people attempting to harvest and sell his organs.

Jin Sun-kyu plays Hyung-soo, who goes to a remote motel to bargain for sex in
Jin Sun-kyu plays Hyung-soo, who goes to a remote motel to bargain for sex in "Bargain." (Tving)

The veteran actor, who has a rich experience in theater, shared that shooting “Bargain” was like performing in front of a live audience.

“The series was shot in a single take. A lot of time was spent rehearsing the scenes and checking the camera works. The worst-case scenario was making mistakes more than halfway through a shoot. Everything needed to be prepared from the beginning. This put huge pressure on both the actors and the staff," Jin said, looking back on his “Bargain” experience.

The actor was satisfied to hear from viewers that the single-take shots heightened the thrill and suspense of “Bargain,” allowing them to feel the excitement of the characters’ experience.

Asked about his thoughts on his latest thriller series, which is to premiere globally via Paramount+ next year, the actor said he is excited to showcase the fascinating stories of “Bargain” to a global audience.

“I wish for more Korean content to be enjoyed by a wider audience. We are proud to present our series, which is created with our utmost efforts,” Jin said, adding that he is curious to know how foreign viewers will enjoy “Bargain.”

The six-part crime-thriller is available on local streaming service Tving.



By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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