By Kim Boram
SEOUL, Sept. 1 (Yonhap) -- Hyun Bin's recent hit projects, like the action comedy film "Confidential Assignment" (2017) and the TV romantic comedy "Crash Landing On You" (2019), have something in common: Hyun played a North Korean character.
In "Confidential Assignment," the actor took the role of Chol-ryong, an elite North Korean agent who is sent to Seoul to join an inter-Korean cooperation to capture a criminal. It drew a total of 7.81 million admissions in 2017, becoming the third most-watched film of that year.
His other North Korean soldier role, Jung-hyuk in "Crash Landing On You," became a global heartthrob as the rom-com gained larger-than-expected popularity at home and abroad through Netflix.
In the upcoming "Confidential Assignment 2: International," Hyun will reprise the role as the trained and handsome North Korean agent, raising expectations for another box office success.
"I've done three North Koreans, and I got used to North Korean accents, especially Pyongyang accents," Hyun said in an online interview with Korean media. "When I meet my North Korean teacher during filming, I speak North Korean automatically."
But he did not intend to take North Korean roles for three projects in a row, or was not conscious that such characters have played a bankable role.
"That's not my intention. I think people are just saying that because of the two previous hits," he said. "I got an offer for 'Confidential Assignment 2' after the TV series, and its storyline and cast were satisfying. I just wanted to do it."
In the sequel of the 2017 film, which features a special trilateral investigative project of the two Koreas and the United States to catch a villainous criminal, the 39-year-old actor said he did not want to simply repeat the role.
He said the North Korean broke away from his tragic past, and becomes brighter and more relaxed in performing his second multinational mission with Korean detective Jin-tae (Yoo Hae-jin) and FBI agent Jack (Daniel Henney) in Seoul. Chol-ryong even reacts to flirting by Min-young (Lim Yoon-a), Jin-tae's sister-in-law.
"He now has an easygoing and cool attitude. He even makes some jokes with Jin-tae's family," said Hyun. "Also, he feels jealous of Jack when Min-young has a crush on Jack."
"Confidential Assignment 2" is Hyun's first official project after he got married to co-star Son Ye-jin in March. He is going to be a father soon and will be 40 later this month.
"As Chol-ryong changed a bit between the two series, I think I also have some points that can change my life," he said. "I got married and will have a child. I think I was given fresh momentum to work more enthusiastically as the head of a family."
"Confidential Assignment 2: International" will hit local screens next Wednesday.
Why did BTS decide to pause group activities at peak of career?
S. Korean cinema comes up with successful collections of awards from renowned film fests
Park Chan-wook's cinematic investigation of human instinct in stylish frame
Song Kang-ho wins best actor on his 7th visit to Cannes
New girl groups ready to heat up music market in 2022