The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Park Seo-joon, Park Bo-young see selves in ‘Concrete Utopia’ roles

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Aug. 4, 2023 - 17:06

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Park Seo-joon stars as Min-sung in “Concrete Utopia.” (Lotte Entertainment) Park Seo-joon stars as Min-sung in “Concrete Utopia.” (Lotte Entertainment)

Actors Park Seo-joon and Park Bo-young said the characters they played in upcoming disaster thriller “Concrete Utopia” are similar to their actual personalities.

Park Seo-joon plays Min-sung, a reliable, seemingly good-hearted neighbor who is sometimes shy and reserved. He is one of the residents of Hwanggung Apartment building No. 103, the only building to have survived a major earthquake. Min-sung quietly supports Young-tak (Lee Byung-hun) to keep things in order and establish a system after the devastating earthquake hits Seoul. Min-sung never strides ahead in the film, always standing next to his wife Myung-hwa (Park Bo-young) – until he bursts into anger at one point.

“I used to be a person who couldn’t make orders at a cafe and my heart would beat so fast when speaking in front of others. That nature is still in me. I’m still timid and shy and still don’t like going up on the stage or attending ceremonies. That part of me just didn’t change up until now,” Park told The Korea Herald in an interview on Tuesday.

“It’s ironic that I have become an actor who receives all this attention from public. The funny thing is, I forget everything about my characteristic and nature when I’m acting. Maybe I think too much inside me so the thoughts are expressed through my acting,” he said, adding that he and Min-sung in “Concrete Utopia” are similar, as both normally control their temper patiently, but at some point could explode.

The 34-year-old said he was attracted to Min-sung because he thought he was a very realistic person who seeks harmony with the residents.

“He is a character who I thought shouldn’t express extreme feelings. I interpreted his role in the movie that -- while the center of movie is Young-tak -- Min-sung is in the center of the film’s perspective,” he added.

Park Bo-young stars as Myung-hwa Park in “Concrete Utopia.” (Lotte Entertainment) Park Bo-young stars as Myung-hwa Park in “Concrete Utopia.” (Lotte Entertainment)

Park Bo-young, who stars as Min-sung’s wife Myung-hwa, said her character also embodies parts of her.

“Myung-hwa, who is a nurse, is willing to help out others but also sometimes is very stubborn in some situation when she needs to be, very determined in what she trusts, which makes her break through the wall to find the truth about Young-tak in the film,” Park told The Korea Herald in a separate interview Wednesday.

“Myung-hwa is a person I really want to become. In fact, I’m getting closer to that kind of quality after years working as an actor. Before, I was very careful about everything, especially speaking in front of others about my opinion, but I have become less afraid and accept who I am, just being myself,” Park said.

The 33-year-old actor, perceived as someone with loveliness, charms and a girl-like demeanor, said she used to dislike being viewed that way. However, she now feels thankful for the audience’s attention.

“Isn’t it thankful how you, as an actor, have at least one signature image that makes people remember you? So I’ve come to accept public’s perception of Park Bo-young now,” she added.

“Concrete Utopia” hits local theaters Wednesday.