Randall Park relished playing Kim Jong Un in The Interview, but when his face was mistaken for the real deal, he wasn’t so sure anymore.
In the midst of the international imbroglio over his role as North Korea’s leader in the screwball comedy The Interview, nothing was quite so jarring for Randall Park as seeing his face on television as newscasters talked about Kim Jong Un.
“It was crazy to turn on the news and to see my face, yeah on CNN,” said Park in his first public remarks since the film’s release at the Television Critics Association gathering on Jan 14. “And they’d be talking about Kim Jong Un, but they’d show my face. And I’m like, that’s not Kim Jong Un. That’s me!”
The 40-year-old Korean American landed the most high-profile role of his acting career in The Interview, the Sony Pictures film that angered North Korea with its fictional assassination of Kim and triggered a devastating cyber attack on the studio. The Federal Bureau of Investigation determined the North Korean government was behind the attack, which North Korea has denied.
Park, known for playing an ambitious governor on the HBO political comedy Veep, says he has not fully pieced together what the experience meant to him. But his safety was never an issue, even after hackers made threats of violence to stop the distribution of the comedy.
The hackers who attacked Sony last month invoked the Sept 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks on the US in an online warning, telling people to stay away from cinemas showing the film. “I was never worried for my safety or for getting hacked or any of that during that whole process,” says Park, at a presentation of his new ABC comedy about Asian Americans, Fresh Off the Boat.
Sony says last week The Interview had earned more than US$31mil from online, cable and telecom sales since its December release. It has made nearly US$6mil at US and Canada theatres. Although many critics lambast The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and was co-directed by him, as hopelessly unsophisticated, Park describes his portrayal of Kim as the most layered character he has ever played in a major film.
The only drawback, he says, was the haircut. Kim has his hair buzzed on the sides, and Park went in for the same treatment. “I felt horrible about it, and I had to walk around like that for a few months, so I wore a beanie everywhere I went.” – Reuters