Photos: Lee Wei Lin, 27th SGIFF, Ho Choon Hiong
Video: Vina Chia
“My parents watched the film and told me that I did well, saying that they now believe that I can make a living as an actor,” Baek Sung Hyun grinned.
This was not the answer we expected from the 27-year-old former child actor, who stars in upcoming gritty noir film, Walking Street.
Set in Pattaya, Thailand, he, together with leading cast mates Lee Si Kang and Lee Song Lee, spent a good 15 days at the start of the year filming the movie, which premiered on November 25 as part of the Singapore International Film Festival. This also marks the second film that director Lee Sang Woo has worked on with Sung Hyun; their first collaboration was 2015’s Speed.
With its R21 rating, it was unsurprising that nude scenes, along with intimate moments and love-making, were some of the biggest pivoting moments in Walking Street. “Usually, people might not want to show movies like this to their parents but for me, I want to show my parents all sorts of projects that I work on and they felt that I worked really hard for this film. They understood how much I thought and worried about the role and (their reply really encouraged me a lot,” Sung Hyun explained.
“I watched it with my parents and other family members, and instead of focusing on the (nudity), they actually gave me feedback that my acting has improved and tried to point out areas in which I could have done better,” Si Kang, who plays Sung Hyun’s reel-life troublemaking younger brother, added.
L-R: Baek Sung Hyun, Lee Song Lee, Lee Si Kang
28-year-old model-actress Song Lee, who plays a prostitute trapped in a love triangle between the two brothers, shared, “My dad and friends have watched the movie. To be honest, I found it a bit strange for my dad to watch it because I’m a girl after all; he called me afterwards and told me that I did really well and that I looked really beautiful. I received a lot of strength from what he said.”
She continued with a chuckle, “My friends only said that I could do more (steamy scenes) than that.”
Apart from peeling off their clothes for their provocative scenes, the actors had to push their boundaries in order to portray their characters.
L-R: Baek Sung Hyun with Lee Si Kang in Pattaya, Baek Sung Hyun while on-set for his drama, Doctors
Sung Hyun’s character, Tae Sung, is mute, which meant that the actor had to put a lot more effort into his body language and expressing emotions with his eyes in order to convey the complexity of his role. “At that point of time, it was really difficult and tiring (for me), but now that a few months have passed since we wrapped filming, I look back to this movie with fond memories,” he mused.
Meanwhile, playing his hot-headed brother, Tae Gi (played by Si Kang) posed a challenge to the 29-year-old actor, who had to learn how to drink and smoke convincingly. While filming, he sheepishly admitted that he accidentally set a sofa on fire when he let a cigarette burn up.
While we initially wanted to ask the trio if they experienced any awkwardness after seeing each other in the buff, we shelved it after witnessing the easy banter and endless ribbing during our interview with them. This, coupled with their loved ones’ positive responses to the film, had us wondering if they would be keen on pursuing another raunchy film.
The unanimous response? “Perhaps, if a good script comes along – but probably not in the near future.”