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[Herald Interview] Kim Woo-bin talks about right to be happy, loved

May 18, 2023 - 13:52 By Kim Da-sol
Kim Woo-bin (Netflix)

Netflix's dystopian drama “Black Knight” is actor Kim Woo-bin’s third project since he returned to acting in 2022 after being diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and ceasing all activities in 2017.

It was director Jo Ui-seok who, having filmed the 2016 action flick “Master” with Kim, led the actor to star in his first-ever Netflix project. The two reportedly exchanged ideas during the planning stage for “Black Knight.”

“I was thinking about taking a bit of a break after shooting the 2022 sci-fi film, “Alienoid,” and the 2022 drama, “Our Blues," (when) Director Jo told me about this project. I simply became interested to see how the story would unfold,” Kim told The Korea Herald in an interview on Wednesday.

“I try to choose a project by looking at it from the audience’s point of view. The priority is whether the story is interesting, then I look into whether I agree with the overall storyline, and then the casts and the characters,” he added.

“Black Knight,” which is set in a post-apocalyptic era of Earth in 2071, centers on the story of a refugee-turned-legendary deliveryman and knight called 5-8 (Kim). Filming for the drama involved a lot of action scenes.

“Although I had completely recovered from cancer when I shot this project, I did worry whether I'd be able to do it without getting hurt. Many of the staff and action actors helped me,” he said.

Kim, who actively communicates with his fans on his Instagram, uploaded several posts appreciating his fellow actors and staff from “Black Knight,” writing out each of their names to show his gratitude.

“Without their help, this project could have not been successful. I wanted to remember them, but also wanted others to remember those young actors who receive relatively less attention. I would say that I was giving a hint to those who want to know more about the actors,” Kim said.

Kim also had some help from sophisticated computer graphics, which supported his acting.

“Director Jo cautiously asked me whether I could act out a smoking scene using CGI. So I did act using a real cigarette but the smoke was a computer-generated image. It was an interesting but challenging experience for me because I had to act as if the cigarette smoke was hurting my eyes and frown,” said Kim.

For Kim, “Black Knight” is a project that made him think more about how to appreciate life.

“The story of 5-8, who was once an abandoned refugee but becomes someone who helps others to notice how important they are as individuals, was a meaningful message itself. I want everyone who watches this drama to know how valuable they are,” Kim said.

“I know that not all of us are put into the same situation. But I think we’re all born to be loved and have the right to be happy.”

The Netflix series “Black Knight” was released on May 12.

Kim Woo-bin stars as 5-8 in "Black Knight" (Netflix)
Kim Woo-bin stars as 5-8 in "Black Knight" (Netflix)