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[Movie 2020] Secret Zoo, 해치지 않아


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Actor Ahn Jae-hong plays polar bear in film 'Secret Zoo'

By Lee Gyu-lee

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Actor Ahn Jae-hong plays Tae-soo who is assigned to revive a bankrupted zoo to get his permanent position at a prestigious law firm, in the upcoming comedy film 'Secret Zoo.' Courtesy of J,WIDE-Company


Actor Ahn Jae-hong says he grasped what it feels to be a "caged animal" when he played a human disguised as a polar bear in the upcoming comedy film "Secret Zoo," which hits local theater on Jan. 15.

"I worked with over 200 background actors, and when I stood in front of them as a polar bear, it felt very strange," Ahn told The Korea Times. "We often use the expression 'animal at a zoo' and when I really became one, I had mixed feelings."

Known for his appearance in the 2019 TV series "Be Melodramatic," the actor, 35, took on the role of temporary zoo owner and a lawyer in this upcoming movie with a unique concept: a zoo without animals.

Based on the webcomics of the same name by HUN, the comedy revolves around Ahn's character Tae-soo who is a temp lawyer at a prestigious law firm.

To get his permanent position, he is assigned to revive a bankrupt zoo where the animals have been sold to pay debts. To save the zoo from falling apart, Tae-soo becomes a temporary owner and persuades zookeepers to pretend to be the animals by wearing suits.


The plan does not seem to rescue the zoo until a visitor sees Tea-soo in a polar bear suit and drinking a coke. Word about the polar bear with special talent spreads, putting the zoo in the spotlight.

Although the main story centers on how zookeepers get in an animal suit to revive the zoo, the film also created a subplot about the zoo's mascot polar bear "Ggamanko" suffering mental health from living its whole life in the zoo.

Director Sohn Jae-gon revealed during film's media showing last week that he added the subplot to express his stance on wild animals put to live with humans. And this was one of the things that attracted Ahn to take the role of a polar bear.

"On the surface, the movie is about reviving a bankrupted zoo, but the story could also be about animal rights," Ahn said. "I liked how the director sends the message in nuances rather than a straight forward assertion. It offers a question (of issues on zoo) that makes you stop and think for a second after watching the film."

Spoiler

Actor Ahn Jae-hong plays Tae-soo who is assigned to revive a bankrupted zoo to get his permanent position at a prestigious law firm, in the upcoming comedy film 'Secret Zoo.' Courtesy of J,WIDE-Company

In the film, Ahn takes on three characters ― an ambitious lawyer, a goal-driven temporary zoo owner, and a polar bear. At first, Tae-soo's sole goal is to successfully revitalize the zoo to become a permanent lawyer. However, because he works in a team with fellow zookeepers, he learns a new meaning of "us."

"Tae-soo feels accomplished and satisfaction (from reopening the zoo) with zookeepers," he said. "Then, when he comes back to the firm, it's a whole other story … I thought it would be more compelling if Tae-soo seems happier to be at the zoo."

The actor added that the story was in a sense a coming-of-age for his character, saying, "The meaning the story has is that the whole incident brings changes in Tae-soo."

He said he tried to emphasize the difference in Tae-soo's gestures and actions when he is at the law firm to when he is at the zoo. He even turned his attention to even the tiniest detail of motions as a polar bear.

"I looked up a lot of videos and clips of animals to get used to them at first," said the actor, adding that he decided to look awkward in mimicking a bear.

"Instead of trying to perfectly portray a bear, I thought I should put a focus on how Tae-soo would move and express the bear in that suit, such as what he would do to convince visitors to believe he's a real bear."

The actor has hopes for the film at the box office. "My hope for the new year is the success of this film," he said. "The film has such a fresh and brilliant concept, and the development of its story is so sophisticated and refined."
 

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/art/2020/01/689_281835.html

 

 

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[USA] "Secret Zoo" - South Korean Comedy Premieres 1.24

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Secret Zoo-a South Korean Comedy- Hits Theaters in Los Angeles and Buena Park on January 24th
 
Heartwarming and hilarious... See what happens when a failing zoo tries to become successful with humans pretending to be animals
 
"Secret Zoo", a heartwarming and zany comedy about a zoo struggling to stay afloat while not having any actual animals will open on January 24th at CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles and Buena Park. A further nationwide release is being planned for February 7th.
 
When a young lawyer, Tae-su (Ahn Jae-hong), eager to lock down a full-time position at his prestigious firm, is tasked with revitalizing a failing zoo in only three months all seems lost because of one glaring issue-the zoo has no animals. Not to be defeated, the zookeepers and Tae-su concoct the crazy idea to dress humans up as animals and make it believable.

The film is distributed by capelight pictures.

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"Secret Zoo" is directed by Son Jae-gon, and features Ahn Jae-hong, Kang So-ra, Park Young-gyu, Kim Sung-oh, Jeon Yeo-bin, Park Hyuk-kwon. Release date in Korea: 2020/01/15.

https://www.hancinema.net/usa-secret-zoo--south-korean-comedy-premieres-1-24-137840.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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