«Money Heist: Korea's Denver is the most Korean character in the whole show»
Kim Ji-hun, the multi-award-winning actor playing the role in the remake of the series, revealed it in a talk with Panorama
That Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area was a project of almost epic proportions; we could tell from the very first moments of the first episode, observing the attention to the details and cinematography. Confirming the magnitude of this project is Kim Ji-hun, class of 1981, a veteran in the world of K-dramas. After being cast as Denver in the Korean remake of La Casa de Papel, Ji-hun admitted that he devoted an entire year to studying and doing this project.
Kim Ji-hun, with his long hair, pulled back quite naturally, and that somewhat naïve air perfectly represents the role of Denver. Helping him in his more profound understanding of his character is a degree in psychology and a stellar career in some of Korea’s most popular shows, such as Flower of Evil.
Panorama interviewed him a few days before the release of Money Heist.
Let’s start with your character: who is your Denver? How did you prepare for the role?
In Money heist Korea JEA I play the role of Denver who is the most uniquely Korean character among all the cast. He is pretty similar to Denver in the original Spanish version, but I think he became more koreanised, and Korean colors were added to him. I also felt that I would be doing a lot of action scenes, so I trained for boxing; I did a lot of weight training as well to prepare myself for the action scenes. And also, Denver speaks a southern dialect of the Korean language, so I tried hard to learn the south dialect because I thought that it was essential in portraying Denver’scharacter.
Denver also has a deep storyline. He joined the heist with his father. How do you think this impacted your character?
Just as you said, he joined the gang without much thinking, he joins the gang together with his dad, and I think that shows who Denver is; Denver is a very simple-minded soul, he doesn’t think much before he acts, and he really acts on the spur of the moment, and he trusts people really easily. It wasn’t his idea or his plan to join the gang, but after he joins the gang, I think various charms and various sides of Denver can be seen inside the Mint.
At some point, you were put in a bad position and had to shoot a woman. But still, your instinct to save her was stronger. Is Denver being dominated by his feelings a weakness or his strong point?
In a nutshell, I think this situation shows a human side of him, so I think it’s a strength. Of course, the same happens in the original Spanish version, Denver needs to shoot a hostage but he couldn’t because he didn’t want to kill the woman. I think it feels different because it’s set in Korea; the reason is that in Korea is very hard to shoot a gun or even to see a gun, even to find a gun, there are really a few guns in Korea, so the mere fact that I had to hold a gun in front of a woman and, you know, by the snap of a finger I could have killed her in an instant, that brought a lot of emotions inside me and I think that’s when very uniquely Korean sentiments were added to the show.
The whole series is based on a question: ““ho are really the bad guys?”” Which side do you think your character lay? Good or bad?
Of course, I would say Denver is a good guy, of course, he robs the Mint and he holds people hostage, and that is a bad action and even though he has good intentions we can’t justify his wrongdoings, but I think in the heart all the cast were very good people.
You worked in many productions and played a lot of different characters; which one would you like to be remembered for and why?
I think it changes every time I go on a different production, I always hope my last role is remembered the most among people, so for now I wish people remember me as Denver in Money heist Korea JEA.
If you could describe Money Heist Korea in one word, which would it be?
IIt’svery difficult. Uhm AWESOME.