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Upcoming crime flick ‘Master’ hits close to home


Star-studded film features immoral villain, criminal group and dogged detective 

The hotly anticipated crime flick “Master” features three characters, played by a trio of top stars, who are each “masterful” at what they do. 

Lee Byung-hun portrays a criminal organization’s maniacal leader who dons a myriad of disguises; Kim Woo-bin is an unpredictable genius hacker and the mastermind behind the organization’s operations; and Kang Dong-won stars as the head detective of a white collar crime investigation unit who doggedly pursues elusive villains. 

A still of the upcoming film “Master” depicts Kim Woo-bin as a criminal genius hacker. (CJ Entertainment)

“Things that shouldn’t happen, happen” in Korea today, according to director Jo Eui-seok, who was speaking at a press conference for the upcoming film in Seoul on Monday. 

“Master” is the latest in a series of crime flicks that do not feel too far from reality. It depicts the messy tangle of corrupt politicians and criminals. 

Last year’s “Inside Men” exposed backdoor ties between a ruthless presidential candidate, a gangster and a journalist who manipulates public opinion with his pen. 

“Veteran,” also released last year, focused on a psychopathic chaebol heir who buys his way out of murder and equates “ordinary folk” with dogs. “Asura: The City of Madness,” which opened September, portrayed a demented world of power-mad politicians and corrupt cops.

In “Master,” the criminals -- dubbed “One Organization” -- funnel astronomic sums of money by lobbying high-ranking public officials and through online manipulation. 

From left: actors Kim Woo-bin, Lee Byung-hun and Kim Woo-bin pose for a photo at a press conference for their upcoming film “Master” at CGV Apgujeong on Monday. (Yonhap)

In an obvious reference to the ongoing political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil, the film’s tagline reads: “The biggest ‘gate’ since the country’s founding.” In Korean, the scandal has been dubbed “Choi Soon-sil gate” after the Watergate scandal that rocked the US in the 1970s. 

Jo said he paid meticulous attention to the characters and the setting to add depth to the film. The organization’s hacking headquarters, for example, is filled with “endless, parallel rows of hackers typing away mechanically,” while the detective’s office is an “open space, with lots of lighting.”

Parts of the film were shot in Manila, where the Jones Bridge Highway, the city’s largest, was closed down for the shooting of a high-speed chase scene. 

Filming also took place in Tondo, the largest slum in Manila, which added to the movie’s atmosphere of filth and squalor, according to Lee. 

“There was a pig slaughterhouse nearby. It reeked of the smell of blood and rapid decay, due to the humidity,” said Lee. “And we filmed there for over a month, eating lunch in those streets.” 

A photo depicts Lee Byung-hun monitoring his performance on the set of the upcoming film “Master.” (CJ Entertainment)

The actor, who recently starred in Antoine Fuqua’s “The Magnificent Seven,” is no stranger to depicting morally ambiguous characters, but this new role provided a different kind of challenge, according to Lee. 

“I think these kind of people operate on a different kind of logic. They have their own, very stubborn philosophy of what’s acceptable and what’s not that’s different from common reasoning. I had to convince myself of that.”

The film seeks to deliver a sort of catharsis that “so many Koreans seem to (be in) need of right now,” Lee added. “There will be parts that are very satisfying.” 

Director Jo previously helmed the 2013 thriller “Cold Eyes,” which follows a special surveillance unit as it tightens in on a most-wanted criminal organization.

“Master,” currently in the last stages of filming, is expected to hit theaters in December.

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)

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Kim Woo-bin Creates Character Full of Emotion For Upcoming Movie, "Master"


The main teaser photos of Lee Byung-hunKang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin have been released for the upcoming movie, "Master".

On November 14, the main teaser revealed the captivating pursuit between fraudulent criminals and the head of the intelligence crime investigation team.


The main teaser begins with Lee Byung-hun being cheered on as he hints at the largest fraud case to unfold.

Kim Woo-bin plays the role of a hacker who assists Lee Byung-hun while Kang Dong-won plays the role of the detective.

"I focused on interpreting my character in a different way", said Kim. Director Jo also revealed that Kim had suggested numerous ideas for his character throughout filming. "His ideas helped in creating a role that was full of emotion", said Jo.

The movie features a talented supporting cast including Eom Ji-wonOh Dal-sooand Jin Kyeong.

Jo Eui-seok, who previously directed the movie, "Cold Eyes", in 2013, will be sitting in the director's chair for "Master".

"Master" is set to premiere this December.

Sources: StarnewsKpopherald

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Kim Woo-bin was nervous working with Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won

At the presentation of the movie "Master", Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin showed up together with their director Cho Ui-seok

(Seoul November 14, 2016) At the presentation of the movie "Master", Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin showed up together with their director Cho Ui-seok.


In the film, Byung-hun plays a swindler who talks to people to give him money. He said, "I have played many semi-bad roles, but it’s the first time I played a guy who is bad through and through after ‘The Good, The Bad, The Weird.’" Dong-won plays a detective with high intelligence and he said, "It is a character with a strong sense of justice, and it is quite like the person I am." Woo-bin played the brains who helped Byung-hun to build a criminal network, and he said, "I feel excited and nervous when working with them. I worked hard to avoid bringing them down."





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[TRANS] 161114 Kim Woo Bin interview at 'MASTER' press conference
MC Kyunglim: "There are more scenes when you get beaten, how was it?"
Woobin : "As you can see (in teaser), I looked weak(?) so I get hit a lot. I almost never get a scene when I get to hit people."
MC Kyunglim : "In those kind of scenes sometimes you really need to get hit. It must be hard for you."
Woobin : "I'm so thankful because everyone did it really well so I didn't get hurt on the process. As you can see (in teaser) I got dragged a lot and get beaten, but actually I feel more at ease than when I hit people because I don't need to feel uncomfortable by hitting others."
MC Kyunglim : "How was it when you see Kang Dong Won got hurt?"
Woobin : "I thought the sky has fallen. He shed a lot of blood, but still he drank a lot that day." [t/n Kang Dong Won got hurt when filming a car stunt, he was actually prohibited from drinking alcohol]

[TRANS] 161114 Kim Woo Bin interview at 'MASTER' release event
MC Kyunglim: "The directors said that you gave many ideas on the Park Jang Geun character so the character can be portrayed realistically, what do you think about it?"
Woobin: "Firstly, I tried not to disappoint many people because I acted with so many big names. At the filming set I've also received great help from the sunbaenims, Lee Byung Hun and Kang Dong Won." [ video link https://twitter.com/PEACH716_S2/status/798028775464128512 ]
[TRANS] 161114 Kim Woo Bin interview at 'MASTER' press conference #2
MC Kyunglim : "What do you think about the scenario when you first receive it?" 
Woobin: "I had a fun time reading it, and it also has many interesting lines that made me want to do this movie".
MC Kyunglim : "You got casted later than Lee Byung Hun and Kang Dong Won, you must've heard the news about those two will act in Master. What do you think about it?"
Woobin: "Of course I heard about it, and it made me so nervous."



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[TRANS] 161114 Kim Woo Bin interview at 'MASTER'
MC Kyunglim : "It must be hard shooting overseas, the fans could disturb the filming process especially with hallyu stars like you. How was the filming in Manila?"
Woobin : "It went rather smoothly- (he got interrupted by KDW)"
Kang Dong Won : "I'll explain how was the situation back then. These two are so famous overseas, so many people recognize them, it was so tiring. I stand at the back telling them not to take pictures..."
MC Kyunglim : "You blocked them from taking pictures?"
Kang Dong Won : "Yes. They didn't recognize me of course. The fans secretly took pictures of Woobin, so I told them 'Don't take a picture~'."

(t/n ㅋㅋㅋ our oppa is the real hallyu star there)

[TRANS] 161114 Kim Woo Bin interview at 'MASTER' press conference 
MC Kyunglim : "How do you think on filming with them? (the veteran actors)." 
Woobin : "I feel so burdened to act with so many big names. I was also the second youngest among the casts, so they makes me feel even more burdened."



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November 14, 2016

Three top actors team up for Korean film 'Master'

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) -- "Master," a Korean crime action film set to open next month, is one of the most-anticipated movies of the winter season for its star-studded cast.

It has Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin, top actors who represent three different age groups in the Korean film industry.

The movie revolves around a multibillion-dollar heist plotted by Chairman Jin, a notorious swindler, and the head of the police's intelligence crime unit who chase him. Jin's right-hand man, who is an expert computer programmer, also has a big role.

Lee plays Chairman Jin, a charismatic businessman and master con artist who is good at changing his appearance and persuading others with sweet words.

This marks his first villain since director Kim Jee-woon's "The Good, The Bad, The Weird," released in 2008.

Actor Lee Byung-hun speaks during a news conference for "Master" at CGV-Apgujeong theater in southern Seoul on Nov. 14, 2016. (Yonhap)

Actor Lee Byung-hun speaks during a news conference for "Master" at CGV-Apgujeong theater in southern Seoul on Nov. 14, 2016. (Yonhap)

"I have played roles close to bad over the past several years. But this is my first time to play such a character who is evil to the bone since 'The Good, The Bad, The Weird,'" Lee said during a news conference for the new film at CGV-Apgujeong theater in southern Seoul.

He excluded the T-1000 robot assassin he played in the Hollywood action film "Terminator Genisys" last year because it is not a human character.

Even for the veteran actor with more than 25 years of experience in his career, it was a challenge to play the Chairman Jin character.

"When actors play a character who is evil to the bone, it is difficult for them to have empathy with such a character. So they desperately strive to make themselves be persuaded by the character," he said.

After many hours of study and discussions with the director, he reached the conclusion that Jin is a person who thinks differently from ordinary people and isn't even aware that he is doing bad things. "I was able to act only after that," he said.

"Master" also stars Kang as Kim Jae-myeong, a righteous police officer who tries to track Jin as the head of the intelligence crime team at the National Police Agency and Kim Woo-bin as Park Jang-gun, Jin's closest associate who is in charge of the company's computer room.

It was helmed by Cho Ui-seok, best known for "Cold Eyes," which drew over 5 million viewers in 2013, and has actress Uhm Ji-won and actor Oh Dal-su in supporting roles.

The film is set to open in local theaters in December.


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November 15, 2016

Actors Lee, Kang, Kim talk about roles in film 'Master'

Source: Yonhap (clip with English subs)

SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- Top South Korean actors Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin introduced their characters for the upcoming crime film "Master" at a news conference held Moday in southern Seoul.

The movie revolves around a multibillion-dollar heist plotted by Chairman Jin (Lee Byung-hun), a notorious swindler, and Kim Jae-myeong (Kang Dong-won), the head of the police's intelligence crime unit who chase Jin and Park Jang-gun (Kim Woo-bin), Jin's right-hand man in charge of the company's computer room.

The movie is set to reach theaters in December.


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Thanks to Barbara at LBH soompi for the translated article

November 16, 2016

“Three generations of god-liked actors gather together” Lee Byung Hun, Kang Dong Wan and Kim Woo Bin attended the “Masters” press conference. (a translation) 
Today (November 14) morning, “Master” held its press conference in  CGV Apgujeong, Seoul.  
Master is a crime movie with both action and entertainment elements.  It tells the story of a large-scale fraud in the trillions, criminals and the conflict between the criminals and the investigation team.   Cho Ui Seok, who directed “Cold Eyes” is the director of this movie.
Lee Byung Hun plays the role of Chairman Jin, who uses his eloquent speech to defraud a large sum of money from tens of thousands of his members. He said:  “I have acted in a lot of close to bad guy roles before, but it is the first time for me to play a character who is evil to the bone since “The Good, The Bad And The Weird”.
Kang Dong Wan plays the character Kim Jae Myeong, a highly intelligent team leader who is investigating Chairman Jin.  This is the first time that he played Interpol.
“This is a righteous character not because of an inferority complex but is doing what he feels is appropriate,.  It’s just like me.”
Kim Woo Bin plays Park Jang Goon, Chairman Jin’s brains who built the crime network.  Kim Woo Bin said, “ Working with (Lee Byung Hun and Kang Dong Wan) is very exciting and tense. In order not to drag down anyone, I worked extra hard.”  He added that to perform well the part of setting up the network “I practiced typing a lot”
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Thanks to Barbara at LBH soompi for the translation

November 16, 2016

Excerpt of a Q & A from "Master" press conference ( A translation ) 


Q:  What is the most difficult in overseas location shooting?
LBH:   "The area where shooting took place always has an indescribable odor which is most difficult to endure.  However, because of enviromental impact, we often ate breakfast very early in the morning.  Next to our location is a pig slaughterhouse where there is always a pool of pig blood.  Due to  high humidity and temperature the blood turned rancid quickly.  Since we could only eat our lunch bento in that enviroment, we got used to it.  Although the weather was very hot, all the film crew had to wear masks when working."
Source: koreastardaily
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