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Director Lee Byeong-heon says ‘Dream’ brings both social message and joy

By Kim Da-sol

Published : March 30, 2023 - 16:16

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Actors Park Seo-joon, IU, director Lee Byeong-heon of “Dream” pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap) Actors Park Seo-joon, IU, director Lee Byeong-heon of “Dream” pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

Director Lee Byeong-heon behind 2019 hit comedy “Extreme Job” has returned with “Dream,” a sports comedy, which is being released eight years after the film was initially set up.

The film tells the story of a Yoon Hong-dae (Park Seo-joon), a professional football player-turned-coach who is put on disciplinary probation after becoming involved in an unexpected incident and tasked with coaching the South Korean national soccer team for the Homeless World Cup.

“There was not too much to think about in deciding to make Homeless World Cup into the film, specifically the year 2010 when the Korean team debuted in the competition, because the purpose of this event was very meaningful,” director Lee Byeong-heon told reporters during a press conference held in Megabox Seongsu in Seoul on Thursday.

“The competition was created to break the social bias against vulnerable social groups such as alcohol abusers, and the film also contains that message, as well as joy as a comedy film.”

He added that it took more than 10 years to finally bring the film to audiences.

“When ‘Extreme Job’ became a hit, I felt relieved to finally be able to make this film (in terms of both investment and preparation),” said Lee.

Park said to look and act like a professional soccer player, he worked on bulking up and went through intensive training sessions. He added that he can now understand how his best friend and soccer player Son Heung-min is at “another level” after playing this role.

Park is returning to the big screen for the first time in four years. The 34-year-old’s most recent film project was the multiple Oscar-winning “Parasite” (2019). He recently finished shooting for an upcoming American superhero film "The Marvels.”

In a way “Dream” is IU's first-ever film, as it was shot before Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Broker,” which opened last year.

“I wished to play a character that has lived a less eventful life after playing a character with a difficult life (in drama “My Mister”) so when I received the script, I wanted to play the role. Especially with director Lee, I had a conviction to participate in this comedy project,” said IU.

IU stars as a documentary show producer Lee So-min who spends time with Hong-dae’s team and follows its journey to the Homeless World Cup tournament in Budapest, Hungary.

Lee Hyun-woo, Ko Chang-seok, Heo Joon-seok, Kim Jong-soo, Yang Hyun-min, Jung Seung-kil, Lee Hae-woon and Hong Wan-pyo also star as soccer team members.

“Dream” hits local theaters on April 26.

Actors IU and Park Seo-joon of “Dream” pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap) Actors IU and Park Seo-joon of “Dream” pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)
Actors “Dream” and director Lee Byeong-heon (far right) pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap) Actors “Dream” and director Lee Byeong-heon (far right) pose for a photo during a press conference held in Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)