|Actor Jin Goo / Courtesy of Fine Story|
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Jin Goo, who has worked closely with some of the big-name directors and writers like Bong Joon-ho in thriller film "Mother" (2009) and Kim Eun-sook in tvN's romance series "Descendants of the Sun" (2016), is back with a tear-jerker about a difficult subject: deafblindness.
His upcoming drama film "You're So Precious to Me" tells the story of a man named Jae-sik (Jin) who runs a small entertainment company and lends money to his employee Ji-young. After Ji-young's sudden death, Jae-sik visits her home trying to get his money back. However, he finds a child all alone there named Eun-hye (Jung Seo-yeon), who is both deaf and blind.
Jae-sik initially pretends to be her dad with an aim to intercept housing deposits, but grows fond of the child as he spends more time with her.
Describing "You're So Precious to Me" as an authentic story of human connection, Jin said the story's emphasis on the value of empathy resonated with him.
"To be honest, it wasn't a sense of social responsibility that made me want to take part in this film. It was actually my intense desire to star in a feel-good, warm movie," he said during an interview with The Korea Times via Zoom, Monday.
|Actors Jin Goo, right, and Jung Seo-yeon in a scene from 'You're So Precious to Me' / Courtesy of Fine Story|
Jin confessed that although he was aware of the needs of blind and multi-disabled children, he lacked the compassion to do voluntary services.
"To be honest, I only had vague thoughts about deaf or blind people. By appearing in the film, I feel like I'm finally participating in the activity to spur greater awareness of deaf-blindness and encourage more support for those who are suffering due to lack of social protection," he said.
The 40-year-old actor added that the well-intentioned film also invites audiences to ponder whether blood relations is more important than emotional bonds.
"I think emotional bonds are much more important than biological relations," he said.
"In the film, Jae-sik is determined to stay with Eun-hye because he sees part of himself in her. Jae-sik is also underprivileged and he doesn't have any family or close friends. In that sense, the two have only each other to navigate the difficulties they face."
As a father of two children, Jin said it was fairly easy to befriend Seo-yeon, the child actor. "In the past, it would have been awkward to spend so much time with a child actor. But after spending seven years as a father, it feels natural to be around them. I talked a lot and bought her delicious meals to build a relationship with her," he said.
"Seo-yeon did an incredible job of bringing Eun-hye to life. She remained open-minded and focused for the entire filming period so it was a pure joy to act alongside her."
Regarding whether he intentionally sought to transform himself into a more familiar, conventional character as he has played strong, masculine characters in the past, Jin said, "I don't think I'm confined to a certain image yet. And I realize that it's not easy to shed the image I have even if I try hard to," he said.
"You're So Precious to Me" will hit local theaters, May 12.