‘The Tooth and the Nail’ Go Soo / Photograph: by Cineguru Kidari ENT

Go Soo is called ‘Govid’. It is a nickname given to his chiseled looks derived from combining his name to the sculpture of David. But Go Soo always challenged himself from a different perspective. He wanted his works and character to stand out rather than his appearance. The same goes for in the movie ‘The Tooth and the Nail’ (director Jung Shik Kim Whee). He acted feverously ‘breaking himself down’, instead of adhering to his ‘good looks’. Amidst of his acting, it is still fun to find his shining looks here and there.

“I played characters that went through changes. But this is the first time playing a role that has these many differences. I wonder how the audience will look at this character.”

‘The Tooth and the Nail’ takes place in Kyung-sung after the independence of South Korea. It is a suspense thriller about a murder that left only a finger as evidence, involving the wealthiest man in Kyung-sung, Nam Do Jin (played by Kim Joo-hyuk) and a mysterious driver whose past is in the veil, Choi Seung Man (played by Go Soo).

Go Soo was successful in acting as a magician and a driver. Of course, there is a big change physically and psychologically. Due to Choi Seung Man’s shabby looks, he had to shave his hair to get a M-shaped hairline and added eyebrows. His transformation stood out with the addition of a scar on his face and fake silver teeth.

“I was inspired because it was a challenging character. Actually, I was only thinking about altering my appearance, but more ideas came out as we were shooting. I had to change my voice to match my disguise. I discussed a lot with the director and studied how the human voice worked to be able to talk with a gurgling voice.”

This movie is an adaptation of Bill S. Ballinger’s classic, ‘Teeth and Nails’, a thriller published in 1995 in the United States. Go Soo said, “I did not read the book on purose because I was afraid I would say that the movie is not like the book.” He added, “The director said that I didn’t have to read the book so that I could be more focused in the movie scenario. The structure of the scenarios is different from the others.” It is different from other movies. He was confident when he said, “I was sure that if I could use those differences, it could become a very fun movie.”

At first, Go Soo wanted Nam Do Jin’s character. But he smiled and said, “The director did not allow it. Choi Seung Man’s character needed many transformations, which I wanted to portray well.”

‘The Tooth and the Nail’ Go Soo / Photograph: by Cineguru Kidari ENT

Go Soo was cautious throughout the interview. It was coming from a sense of responsibility being the lead actor and that his words could become a spoiler. He said, “I don’t know where to start and to stop, ‘The Tooth and the Nail’ is ambiguous because the characters have many secrets.” He added, “When I was acting, I never thought Choi Seung Man should be a fixed character because I wanted to leave some room for flexibility.”

“You will have lots of things to debate about after watching the movie. I also felt attracted to the strong and well plotted suspense. It will be a good story for the audiences who are interested in that.”

Go Soo is not afraid of challenges. He was unsuccessful in the comedy field, but he worked with an unusual subject in his previous work, ‘Lucid Dream’. It was a about a person with supernatural powers, a science fiction movie that is difficult to handle in Korea.

“I try not to think of the genre when I pick a new movie. I focus more in the content and the character itself. The genre comes after. But sometimes I jump into it too quickly with no fear. Strangely, I think I’ve done lots of different genres. People say an ignorant person is brave.” (Laughs)

Then Go Soo shared a belief saying, “Whatever it is, an actor should do lots of different movies”.

“At one point, it crossed my mind that I had to do lots of different movies. An actor’s color is not set by just doing one or two movies. It is important to build a filmography through many movies.”
On April 23, he finished filming the movie ‘South Han Mountain Fortress’ starring Lee Byung Hun, Kim Yoon Suk, and Park Hae Il. Go Soo said, “I had lots of fun filming that movie. It was cool to shave off my head.” as he took off his hat with a big smile.

“I want to go on a trip. It’s been too long since I went traveling.” Contrary to his words, he expressed greed for his next movie, “I am considering either a movie or a drama. I don’t know what’s going to be, but I am still reading the scenarios.”

“More new items should be released, but it is sad that there is a trend to go after masterpieces. I hope more new writers come out, it is unfortunate that there has been less of that compared to the past.”

‘The Tooth and the Nail’ Go Soo / Photograph: by Cineguru Kidari ENT

Translated by Choi Na Ri