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Hwang Jung-min returns to big screen as himself in ‘Hostage: Missing Celebrity’

Actor Hwang Jung-min (right) and director Pil Gam-seong pose after an online press conference of upcoming movie “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” held on Thursday. (New)
Actor Hwang Jung-min (right) and director Pil Gam-seong pose after an online press conference of upcoming movie “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” held on Thursday. (New)

Veteran actor Hwang Jung-min returned to the big screen playing himself in the upcoming movie “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” directed by Pil Gam-seong.

Hwang said he did not feel pressured playing the character based off his own life.

“I actually enjoyed it. I thought that the audiences would take the situation in the film as being more real,” Hwang said during an online press conference held on Thursday.

The actor added that it was interesting to read about his own kidnapping in the script.

“I thought that audiences would be confused, wondering to what extent the film is a documentary or a fictional story. This made me become curious and want to do the film,” Hwang said.

In “Hostage: Missing Celebrity,” famous actor Hwang Jung-min (played by Hwang) is kidnapped in Seoul without any witnesses or evidence left behind. At first, the actor Hwang thinks it is a prank but soon realizes its seriousness. He tries to escape from the kidnappers who demand a huge ransom within 24 hours.

“It was difficult to play the Hwang Jung-min character that somewhat reflects the real me,” Hwang said. “I was not sure how much of myself I should put into the character. I had lots of discussions with the director.”

Another difficulty Hwang faced was not being able to move freely.

“I was tied up after being kidnapped in the movie, so there was not much movement that I could make. Still, I had to deliver detailed emotions,” Hwang said. “Also to monitor my performance, the staff had to untie me and then tie me back again. We also considered tying me loosely because of this, but I thought that it would show on the screen. Also, I could not concentrate that way, so I asked them to tie me up tightly.”

During the conference, the director listed two reasons why he selected Hwang as the main character.

“Hwang in the film is in an extreme situation. He is kidnapped and goes through diverse emotions such as fear, anxiety and feels that the situation is unfair. I thought that Hwang Jung-min is the one that can pull this off in limited space and time,” Pil said.

The other reason was because of Hwang’s widely known lines from his previous movies, which are also referenced in the upcoming film.

“He performed lines that moviegoers are familiar with. I thought that this can make audiences feel that the situation in the movie is real,” the director said.

The selection of the remaining cast was also a conscientious effort to make the film more realistic, Pil said.

“Since Hwang Jung-min appears in the film with his own name, I tried to make it as realistic as possible. So besides Hwang Jung-min all the other actors in the film are not widely known to the public,” Pil said. “We held an audition for over three months and meet 1,000 actors.”

“Hostage: Missing Celebrity” will hit local theaters on Aug. 18.

By Song Seung-hyun (