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Monday, August 01, 2005

. . interview . .

An interview with the owner of a dining car

Credits: Soil posted on quilt freeboard
Source: Japanese magazine, (2005. 7.26)
Translated into Korean: anemone
Translated into English: soil
Shared by D'May in SoKorean.com forum

In Korea shooting a film often continues till late night or even until the dawn. So, it is a very important mission to take a good care of the people related with shooting and to have them keep fit under harsh conditions. Here is the couple who has been running a dining car. They had worked for the location team of , and now they reveal the behind-the-scenes story !!!

"Yes, Yongjoon-ssi is the man with a good appetite. He is not choosy about food. Generally he seems to love fish. He loves various kinds of ordinary side dishes, but
particularly dried anchovy boiled with soy sauce and glutinous starch syrup. said Mr. and Mrs. Song, who were in charge of cooking meals for actors including Bae Yongjoon and all of the staff."

The couple runs a dining car, having accompanied the shooting team of for 120 days from February to June both in Samcheok and in Seoul and helping the team to keep fit.

"Bae Yongjoon-ssi has been concerned about his healthcare. The only thing that people around him asked us to be careful about was cooking food with less salt. And he seems to keep light eating in mind. Well, sometimes he ordered salad or fruit, which seemed to be related to his diet, his body project."

The dining car, the pride of the couple, is a one-ton truck that was renovated so that it could have a cooking facility. It is also ready to become a dining space with 15 tables to accommodate up to 80 persons at once, which takes about 20
minutes of preparation. Bae Yongjoon also had his meals there.

Sometimes, Japanese fans came here to eat what Bae Yongjoon eats and they asked us to take a photo with them. The couple smiles, saying they picked up several Japanese words then.

Actually this is the first dining car, in Korea, exclusively for location sites. They said that they had troubles in their business, then one of their acquaintances who knew well about movie industry told them the existence of dining cars abroad and suggested them to run it.

The couple went on an excursion to a cafeteria of a shooting place, and on their way back home his wife, who has a relative that has an experience of running a restaurant, blurted, "Let's do it".

Mr. Song said, "I still don't know how, why I decided to jump in this business, at the very moment I heard my wife's words. I guess that I was somewhat overpowered by my wife's confident spirit." He threw us a peaceful smile, and his wife also smiled. They had accompanied most of the locations of . The day before a shooting day they went to the place in advance and visited the local market to investigate the materials to set the menu for the
next day. They tried to cook with local specialties.

At Samcheok which is located in the sea side, they provided the shooting team with fish every day, and received favorable comments from all of them including Bae Yongjoon. Mr. Song said, "We prepared a meal three times a day, breakfast, lunch and supper, and sometimes four times, including night snacks."

"Generally we cooked a meal for 100-150 persons at once which consisted of 7-8 side dishes, soup and rice. Sometimes the location site would change here and there and we should follow the team without having time to do the dishes. Well, it was the most embarrassing time when we had to do the dishes and prepare the next meal at the same time."

He continued to say that his motto is to serve the meal that's just been cooked. In Korea, the most important thing is to serve meals fresh, right after the moment it's been cooked.

Therefore, timing is everything in order to serve food in the best. But, needless to say, it is unpredictable what happens in shooting sites. When director Hur said , "let's have our meal after finishing this scene." they had no clue when it would be, either 10 minutes later or 1 hour later! They didn't want to set the table with cold dishes, and..

Bae YongJoon seemed to know the couples' passion and devotion to food, too. After the shooting was over, Bae Yongjoon prepared MP3s, PSPs (portable game machine), or digital cameras for all the members of the staff, saying he wanted to give them something as a souvenior, because all of them had a hard time together for the same purpose. Mr. Song said, "When Yongjoon-ssi handed out a present to each of the staff, he didn't forget to give it even to us, and I felt really grateful for his considerate heart."

He continued to say, "For your reference, the numbers of the staff members were 80. Accordingly the present would have cost about 24 million won. (approx. 2.6 million yen). Yongjoon-ssi who is known for taking special care of his Family, gave presents to the people around him in a big way, too."

I asked them about the behind-the-scenes story, And they answered, "It was really pleasing for us to play with all the members of the staff. When there was no shooting, we enjoyed spending time together, playing baseball or survival game. It was really interesting."

"But Yongjoon-ssi is the man who always draws all attention. He seemed to consider other staff members' position and restrain himself from having a chance to play together. He tried to be low-key, and seemed to keep from going out. You know, some wild fans came to the shooting sites to collect even the cigarette butts that he had thrown away, while he took a rest."

The couple said that they were sorry as they saw lonesome Yongjoon. "But, while there were few fans, hm... in the deep night, he would spend time with them, playing a practical joke. When a member of the staff played with an air gun, he said to him, "Let me be in, and make a bet on who wins!" and had a pleasant time to play together with him. When we saw him at the scene, we thought he might want to play with others happily."

As for Son Yejin who co-starred, he said, she is a quiet woman. "She is polite and always smiles. She eats well and is a very sound and healthy girl."

And he also added, "Both Bae Yongjoon and Son Yejin seemed to have prepared around
10 posters of themselves for presents. When we asked them to give us a poster, each of them gave us one with their signature written on."

In fact, the couple also appeared in the film as extras. "We were in the scene
when Yongjoon-ssi was talking with Yejin-ssi in front of the Motel. There was another couple who could not enter the motel because of Bae Yongjoon and Son Yejin, and we acted that couple. We are anticipating whether we could appear in the movie without being cut."

The release of the movie is supposed to be on September. When I asked them about his schedule, they said "Till early September, he is likely to join the promotion activity for in several Asian regions. And the shooting of is scheduled to start on the end of October. And between he is likely to start another body project in order to fit in with a Great King Gwanggaeto who is shooting an arrow on a horse."

And one member of the staff said "After finishing the filming, he had broken down with overwork, and I think that he's taking a rest now." I visited the health club where he belongs to then asked them about him, and they answered, "Lately he never came."

He seems to have been leisurely enjoying some days off.


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