Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kim Nam-gil reports for military service

With just one day of rest after wrapping up filming on his drama Bad Guy, actor Kim Nam-gil began his military life on July 15. He reported to the Chungnam, Nonsan, training center on Thursday afternoon, where he will undergo four weeks of training.

In addition to recent injuries (such as the hernia he was reportedly suffering), Kim was in a car accident in 2003 and suffered significant injuries including a ruptured ligament in his right knee. As a result, he has been assigned to work in the public sector for the duration of his service, which is a less physically strenuous assignment than active duty.

It’s a little jarring to see him looking so different when his drama is still ongoing — especially when the character he portrays has such as strong image. With all his hair shaved off and dressed down, he looks like a dorky little boy, not the suave, calculating mastermind.

As a result of Kim’s draft notice, the drama production scrambled to complete filming on time but in the end opted to cut the length from 20 planned episodes to 17.

(There were frustrated comments in previous posts asking why the army wouldn’t just grant Kim an extension of a few days or weeks, but keep in mind that there’s already a lot of criticism in Korean society — and an ever-present undercurrent of discontent — about the draft system, and the military would hardly want to open themselves up to more criticism over celebrity special treatment. There’s also dissatisfaction that the rich and the famous try to bribe their way out of duty or into plum assignments, and the citizenry doesn’t respond well to that kind of unfair disparity. See, for example, how harshly they reacted when certain celebrities tried to fake medical excuses, were caught, and reviled. The actors then repented in big public gestures and completed their service, and all was forgiven.)

Kim Nam-gil debuted in 2003 and initially acted under the screen name Lee Han. He’s credited as that in Lovers, Goodbye Solo, and a few other early projects, but decided to revert to his real name a couple years ago, which he felt was more true to himself. He shot to fame as Bi-dam in last year’s Queen Seon-deok.

credit : javabeans@DB

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