|Singer and actor Park Jin-young / Courtesy of NK Contents
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Singer and actor Park Jin-young has had a busy year of music, TV and film in 2022. Beyond filming "Christmas Carol," he has been booked with a multitude of projects, including making new music with his band, GOT7, and starring in the second season of Tving's "Yumi's Cells."
In "Christmas Carol," Park takes on an intense dual role as a rebellious teen who is placed in a juvenile detention center as well as his twin brother, who has a mental disability.
Adapted from the novel of the same title, the film revolves around Il-woo (Park) who deliberately gets himself sent to a juvenile detention center as part of a plan to avenge his brother's death. Il-woo suspects his twin brother, Wol-woo (also Park), was murdered by youth gang members on Christmas Eve.
Park revealed that he read the original book written by Ju Won-kyu first and then read the script. "The novel was repulsive and deeply disturbing. The script, on the other hand, was a more refined version of it. It's good that I read the book first, because otherwise, I would have thought the script was too intense and brutal," he said.
The film contains foul language, extreme violence and sexual innuendo. Park recalled that many of the gruesome scenes required high energy.
"After filming intense scenes, director Kim Sung-soo and the film crew checked on me to see if I was okay. Most of my co-stars set in the juvenile detention center were of my age, so we instantly became friends. I relied heavily on them," he said. Director Kim is best known for his previous works such as "Save Me" (2017) and "Running Wild" (2006).
He further revealed the challenges of playing twins in the action thriller.
"It was a weird challenge, but I imagined it like playing a game where I get to control two characters. Instead of taking turns playing the roles during alternating performances, I did all of the Wol-woo stuff and then I went back and did all of the Il-woo part," he said.
|A scene from the film, "Christmas Carol" / Courtesy of NK Contents
Park revealed that he was extremely careful that the film's depictions of violence may invite imitation, especially from children, because film and media inevitably affect people. Il-woo is at the center of bloody violence as inmates and authority figures fight their way to the top of a hierarchy.
"I agree that this film can leave the audience feeling unsettled and even uncomfortable. Actually, that is our intention. By showing characters devoid of morality, we wanted to shed some light on such intractable social problems," he said.
Despite garnering acclaim for his hit dramas and films, Park still considers himself a hardworking musician first.
"I started off as a member of K-pop band GOT7. Our fans love GOT7 and its members. I'm happiest when people compliment my performance on stage. However, I have no intention of choosing one over another. I would love to pursue both singing and acting careers for as long as I can," he said.
Park also hinted that he is considering enlisting in the military next year. "Before I begin my mandatory military service next year, I plan to release my solo album," he said.
"Christmas Carol" hits local theaters, Dec. 7.