In a recent interview, Jeong-min Hwang, who play a real-life character Hong-gil Eom in the upcoming film 'Himalaya,' unfolded an honest story about the burden of making a film out of a true event, and the messages which he wanted convey though the film.
"I started by asking myself, what is the theme of this film? I felt it was more than just a mountain film sugarcoated with human elements. " Having thus started his story, the actor went on to describe his experience. "The most difficult and burdensome part of the project was that we're dealing with a true story, not to mention a documentary film had already been released about it. I did not think we could possibly surpass the power of the event itself. If we don't do something different, I thought, people will have no reason to pay for our film when they can just watch the documentary. "
Without finding a satisfying answer, he "had to go back to the set to shoot the film. In the course of making this film, I could find bits of the answer I was looking for. " "What the director and the actors kept saying was 'a man is more important than the mountain.' There are some things only the realm of gods, inaccessible by humans, can offer. And I came to think that those things are even greater than the mountain itself."
The making of the film took the production team through a journey as tough as that of the Human Expedition led by Hong-gil Eom. Despite the obvious difference in terms of location and the degree of pain involved, the painstaking efforts by the actors to transform them into professional climbers should not be underestimated. Repeatedly stressing that the difficulties experienced while shooting the film went beyond his wildest expectations, Hwang confessed that "while walking the same paths as the Human Expedition, I felt the same thing as they did. Through the experience, I could deeply identify with the pain and loneliness Eom must have felt. "
Hwang originally did not read the book on the event to prepare for his role. "By reading the book, I felt that I would let myself be dictated by what I read there. I am not Hong-gil Eom, although it is my job to portray him. I had to create MY version of Eom, and I didn't think reading a book about it would help. " Then, Hwang recounted an episode during shooting. "About half way into filming, I was so stressed out that it was unbearable. I kept thinking 'what am I doing here, exactly?' Then, I accidently stumbled upon the book. "
'Himalaya' is a touching story based on a true event, which follows Hong-gil Eom, one of the most well-known mountaineers in South Korea, and his "Human Expedition," and their journey into the 'realm of gods,' an area 8,750 meter above sea level on Mountain Everest in the Himalayas to retrieve the body of Mu-taek Park, a junior climber who lost his life on the mountain. The members of the Human Expedition were played by Jeong-min Hwang, Woo Jeong, Sung-ha Jo, Mi-ran Ra, In-kwon Kim, Won-hae Kim, Hae-yeong Lee, and Bae-su Jeon.
2016-10-30 ~ 2016-11-5
2016-10-30 ~ 2016-11-5
2016-11-7 ~ 2016-11-13