|Actor Ma Dong-seok poses during an interview at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, last Friday. / Courtesy of Mega Box|
By Kim Jae-heun
Actor Ma Dong-seok is finally ready to become a guaranteed box-office star on the Korean film scene with the upcoming action crime movie "The Outlaws."
Ma, also known Don Lee, has starred in 58 films since his screen debut in 2004 with a small role in the film "Dance with the Wind." But he has been better known for training American martial arts fighter Mark Coleman and late Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman for a long time.
He began to grab people's attention with his overwhelming physique in movies as there is barely any male actor who can beat him in a fight. Ma rose to stardom with scene-stealing appearances in hit-movies like "The Neighbor," "Nameless Gangster," "Rule of the Time," "The Unjust," and "Train to Busan."
He feels happy with the mere fact that the movie is finally opening Tuesday, after four years of working on it with filmmaker Kang Yoon-sung,.
"I've prepared for this film with Kang for a long time and I am only happy that it is opening. I've already watched the movie several times and I am very excited to hear what viewers think about it," said Ma during an interview with The Korea Times at a cafe in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, last Friday. "I hope this movie thrills audiences and helps them relieve some stress."
|Scene from 'The Outlaws' / Courtesy of Megabox|
Q. How did you come to plan this film?
A. I've always wanted to become a police officer and now that I've become an actor, I wanted to play the role. I wanted to make crime action movies rather than a detective series. Director Kang wrote the scenario and I only helped him by sharing stories and researched that I did.
Q. How much did you dedicate to this film?
A. I poured out many of my ideas into this film from doing research for the scenarios and meeting with close police officers to hear their actual combat experience with gangs. I also showed my knowhow and combat skills that I learned as a fighter. I was a boxer when I was a middle school student
Q. What makes the film "The Outlaw" different from other action crime movies?
A. "The Outlaws" shows wild action scenes. We wanted to avoid talking about one character's personal history and his issues with family, which could make the story boring. Kang and I wanted to push this film with strong and simple scenes. The story constitution is simple. It's Ma Seok-do versus Jang Chen. And there is humor in-between to entertain viewers in a movie containing brutal fight scenes.
Q. Many of the atrocious scenes have been moved or blotted out. Why?
A. I personally hate violent scenes with blood everywhere. I like comedy and action. I did not want this film to contain too many cruel scenes. Still, considering that this is a crime action genre based on a real incident, we had to have some scenes but we decided to blot some of them out.