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Line Producer, Assistant Director, Actor
KIM Eung-soo, born in 1961, never thought of becoming an actor until he started high school. As he enjoyed telling the stories of his favorite novels to his classmates during break times, he started writing his own stories just for their pleasure, much to their appreciation. However, he was feeling uninspired by the limitations of the written form and thought he could better depict emotions physically, and so decided to be an actor. Despite the fierce opposition of his father...More
KIM Eung-soo, born in 1961, never thought of becoming an actor until he started high school. As he enjoyed telling the stories of his favorite novels to his classmates during break times, he started writing his own stories just for their pleasure, much to their appreciation. However, he was feeling uninspired by the limitations of the written form and thought he could better depict emotions physically, and so decided to be an actor. Despite the fierce opposition of his father who hoped he would become an engineer, KIM entered the prestigious Seoul Institute of the Arts in 1981 to study theatre. Soon thereafter, he began performing on stage, and made a sensation when he perfectly portrayed a shaman, a role that involved playing traditional drums and pansori, in O-gu: The Pattern of Death. A theater critique, upon seeing him, recommended his teacher to quickly bring him to the Mokhwa Repertory Company. Almost directly after he joined his new troupe, he was cast as the lead in Unsanggak, thus disregarding a long tradition of training newcomers for years before they even get a bit role. In 1989, frustrated and ashamed after losing the Best New Actor award of the Korean Theatre Festival for 4 votes and feeling limited, he resolved to give up acting and go to Japan to study filmmaking at the Japan Institute of the Moving Image, under the supervision of the founder and famed director Shohei IMAMURA, who he has admired ever since he watched <The Ballad of Narayama> (1983). There, he his graduation project, <The Season of the Lion>, a documentary about a Japanese of Korean descent who founded a theatre company in Japan. IMAMURA told him he could stay in Japan and that he would gladly recommend him to any director he wanted, and upon KIM’s request, recommended him to Kazuo HARA. However, in 1995, KIM heard that the crime action film <The Rules Of A Gangster> (1996), about a Korean gangster learning the trade among yakuzas, would be filmed in Japan. Another student of the Japan Institute, LEE Sang-guk, was first assistant director on the project and helped him join the film crew. A scene in a club needed a waitor, and the director gave KIM that small role just because it so happened the waiter costume was suiting him perfectly. Although he only had a couple words to say, he improvised with an additional sentence that made the director laugh out loud. Since HARA’s film project was being delayed, KIM eventually moved back to Korea and the people he met on the set of <The Rules Of A Gangster> gave him more film roles. He was mainly playing small roles, like in <Two Cops 3> (1998), but IM Sang-soo, who was a big fan of Mokwha, contacted him and gave him a bit part in <Girls’ Night Out> (1998), and later a more important role in <Tears> (2000). His experience in Japan led him to play many roles of Japanese and even serve as a language advisor on other productions. As of today, KIM has been credited in more than 60 films, most of them thrillers and gangster comedies, and remains best known for his role of a crime boss in <Tazza: The High Rollers> (2006), with many of his lines becoming cult. More recently, he was seen in <The Spy Gone North> (2017), and starred in <By Quantum Physics: A Nightlife Venture> (2019).