Korean actor Ha Jung-woo debuts as a film director with ‘Fasten Your Seatbelt’

The most bankable actor Ha Jung-woo who played the serial killer in The Chaser (2008), and the hapless petty gangster in The Yellow Sea (2010), made his directorial debut as a writer-director with the comedy film Fasten Your Seatbelt.

“I just love joking,” Ha said at the Busan International Film Festival. “So I made the film just for fun.”

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The film follows the story of a Hallyu star, Ma Joon-gyu (Jung Kyung-ho), who has a huge success with a film called Mr Profanity but whose private life is a mess. He flights back from Tokyo to Seoul with absurd crew members and passengers such as an all too flirtatious newlywed couple, a vegetarian monk, and a paparazzo. In the aftermath of the typhoon, the plane is on the brink of crashing.

The running of 94 minutes features the ensemble of characters loosing jokes in an insouciant way and at a faster clip than other recent comedy films.

Ha reportedly wrote the script based on a nightmarish flight experienced by a friend, fellow actor Ryoo Seung-bum.

The film was shot in 20 days, and producer Kwon Nam-jin described Ha as a director who makes quick and rational decisions while making the atmosphere on the set bright and funny.

“I have met many directors, and the difference between them and Ha was ambiance,” said Choi kyu-hwan, who plays a paparazzo in the film. “Ha would play music appropriate for a scene over these large speakers so that the actors could easily focus on acting. Also, he would set up monitors for the actors to look at their own acting. I guess this was all possible because Ha himself is an actor.”

Ha was previously in charge of the production including planning, acting and casting in the documentary 577 Project—a cross-country walking trip from Seoul to Haenam, South Jeolla Province. And following Fasten Your Seatbelt, Ha will direct and star in Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, a 2014 film adaptation of Chinese author Yu Hua’s 1995 novel.

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Fasten Your Seatbelt was released in theaters on Oct 17, 2013.

 

Source: Korea Joongang Daily