By Kim Boram
SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- Star actor Kim Woo-bin said Monday that he feels so excited about the upcoming release of "Alienoid," his first big-screen project after a six-year hiatus.
"I'm so delighted and excited. This is my first public meeting with the press in six years," Kim said during a media interview. "I've waited for this for a long time. I started to realize this excitement last night."
Kim, a former runway model who made his acting debut in the television drama "White Christmas" in 2011 and rose to international fame with "The Heirs" (2013), took a respite after he was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in 2017.
Six years later, he has returned to the silver screen with the sci-fi action fantasy "Alienoid," saying that he completed his treatment plan for cancer and fully recovered.
"Last week, I received the result of my treatment. The doctor said it's all clean and I'm better than before," he said. "Thank you everyone for supporting me."
In "Alienoid," written and directed by Choi Dong-hoon, Kim takes the role of Guard, an alien in charge of managing alien prisoners confined in mortal human brains on present-day Earth with his robotic colleague Thunder.
While carrying out his duty on present-day Earth, he faces some high-profile alien prison-breakers, and the portal that links the 14th and 21st centuries opens.
It is one of the most anticipated titles in the summer season for its all-star cast of Kim, Ryu Jun-yeol and Kim Tae-ri and crew members, including director-writer Choi, one of the most bankable filmmakers in the South Korean box office, best known for "Tazza: The High Rollers" (2006), "The Thieves" (2012) and "Assassination" (2015).
Kim said "Alienoid" was the top priority for his return project as he dropped out of Choi's 2018 project titled "Wiretape," which has been suspended indefinitely since he fell ill.
"Director Choi told me to take care of myself first and focus only on recovery," he said. "When my health was getting better and I started wanting to go back to work, I hoped to work with Choi again if he still needed me."
For "Alienoid," the director helped the actor concentrate solely on his acting, suggesting that he replace some tough action sequences with stunt doubles.
"The director first wanted me to do some necessary scenes and others would be shot by stunt performers," he said. "During the filming, I felt I was getting healthier and I could do them by myself. So I asked the director to let me try."
The 33-year-old actor said he first felt so scared and fearful of starring in a sci-fi film as an alien character that he could not even watch titles of the genre after he decided to join the project.
"I was overwhelmed by the fact that it's an alien and there's nothing that I can refer to," he said. "But later, I thought what I do is the answer and reference. Then, I felt relieved and could enjoy the work."
In some scenes, he plays four roles when Thunder transforms itself into four Guard-like persons. One of the characters is nicknamed "romantic" Thunder, dressed in a hot pink suit with a colorful scarf.
"I thought the four characters have different vibes and energy. So I needed to feel the difference and have different rhythms and expression," he said. "My favorite is romantic Thunder. When I wore this hot pink suit, I felt free and could do anything."
The model-turned-actor said he thinks the six-year hiatus was not a waste of time in his decadelong career and helped him reach a turning point that changes his view of life.
"Before, I used to live up to the future. I struggled to do better, make more efforts and become a far better person," he said. "During the break, I found it so sad that I was too strict to me. Now, I'm trying to compliment myself and cherish things that I have now."
"Alienoid" will hit local screens Wednesday.