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Yoo Ah In Talks About Tough Choices In "Tough As Iron"

BY Joan MacDonald | Oct 08, 2013 03:07 PM EDT


He's played a king and a Joseon-era rich man's son but now he's looking at acting roles from another perspective.

Yoo Ah In recently played King Sukjong in the saeguk "Jang Ok Jung" and captured hearts as the elite scholar and troublemaker Moon Jae Shin in "Sungkyunkwan Scandal." But playing a king once is enough. Now he's interested in characters that have to struggle to survive.

"I have played a king in TV dramas but in movies, I often play ordinary roles," said Yoo Ah In at a talk at the recent Busan International Film Festival.

He plays one such role in his new film, "Tough As Iron," which was released on Oct. 2. In that film he's Gang Chul, a poor Busan high school student who must find a way to pay for his mother's medical bills. She has Alzheimer's disease. In his desperation to raise the money, he becomes involved with a gang. His role in "Tough As Iron" is similar to the one he played in the 2011 film "Punch" and it's the kind of role he is interested in playing more of.

"Rather than play a character who is in the top one percent, I would rather take roles that represent the lower one percent," said Yoo Ah In. " I want to portray characters in stories that are closer to reality."

Kim Hae Sook, who plays Yoo Ah In's mother in the film, said that she found the actor to be very charming and he gave her a warm hug.

But his enemy in the film, Kim Sung Oh was not fooled by any of that nice guy behavior.

Kim Sung Oh, who plays Whi Gon, joked that the actor is really not such a nice guy.

Kim Sung Oh, who was recently seen as Lee Chang Hee in the drama "When A Man," said, "Yoo Ah In is not as gentle or as nice as she thinks. He's a tough guy at heart. I think he just softens up around his mom."

But that may be because Yoo Ah In was looking for the tough guy within himself when he acted in "Tough As Iron."

"I tried to faithfully portray the character," he said.

The film also stars Jung Yu Mi as Soo Ji, Kim Jung Tae as Sang Gon and Lee Si Yeon as Jong Soo.

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