Actor Byun Yo-han / Megabox Plus M
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Byun Yo-han doesn’t mind playing brash and hilarious or brooding and charismatic characters on screen. He skillfully steps into the shoes of any character and brings to life the role he plays. Through varied roles in a mixture of genres, he wishes to tell human stories and portray the depth of the characters he plays.
The 35-year-old actor said crime action film “On the Line” helped him see his potential as an action star and learn about voice phishing and phone fraud crimes that manipulate people into giving away money or revealing personal information through their phones.
In the upcoming film, Byun plays former police officer Han Seo-joon, who falls prey to a voice phishing scam and loses most of his money. He goes to China, the epicenter of cybercrime, to seek revenge against the criminal gang led by Mr. Kwak (Kim Mu-yeol).
Byun performed most of his action sequences himself without the use of a stunt double. “Our martial arts director created elaborate fight sequences. All I did was build my stamina to showcase fighting skills in the way he choreographed. I’ve never done anything so raw. The intensity of it was physically demanding,” he said.
“Because everyone was well rehearsed before the combat scenes, I didn’t get seriously injured. I’d like to try out bigger, more intense fight sequences and action.”
Byun Yo-han in a scene from the film, “On the Line” / Courtesy of CJ ENM
Kim, who spent a lot of time with Byun on set, shared an incident when he recognized Byun’s passion for action roles.”When we were shooting together, we stayed in the same accommodation. One morning, I was woken by a loud noise. I later found out it was Byun punching a sandbag. I could just feel his passion for the character. He’s a reliable actor with whom I’d like to work again in the future,” he said.Byun opened up about why he didn’t attempt to meet victims of voice phishing to play his character.
“I thought it would be inappropriate to ask victims about their phone fraud cases because it could bring up painful memories. Even if I acted on behalf of them, I will never understand their anger and grief. So, I just stayed closed to the script without allowing room for improvisation or change,” he said.
Byun finds it meaningful to be releasing his second film during the pandemic following “The Book of Fish” in March.
“Before COVID-19 hit, everything was fixed and scheduled in advance. But the pandemic has changed us. It is fortunate that we can release films in the middle of the pandemic, but it still hurts sometimes,” he said.
“On the Line” will hit theaters, Sept. 15.Internet Explorer Channel Network