Always traveling, building motorcycles or exploring for the last private tasting, this actor is a star that very soon will premiere the movie John Wick 3. During the promotion of the film, we had time to talk to him about his passion for reading and of course if he would speak some Spanish with us.
Q: You are an avid reader from Proust to The Count of Monte Crist from Dumas but have you read any Spanish author
A: Yes, I have read Don Quixote that is phenomenal. I’ve read Borges shorts, and Bolaño and Garcia Marquez. I love the magic of Marquez. I did the movie A Walk in the Clouds with Aitana Sanchez Gijon and Anthony Quinn and I fell in love with the Spanish culture
Q: That was a movie about wine
A: Yes. It was. Since then I’ve been researching about it (he laughs) I wouldn’t say no to a good Tempranillo or to a good Ribera. I know your wines
Q: Did you learn Spanish
A: Of course, you don’t work with Anthony Quinn and give up that opportunity. I can say, “hola, cómo estás” and some words I’m pretty sure you will not print. I do understand more than I speak, that is true
Q: Okay. Okay. Okay. The slogan of the John Wick three trailers, if you want peace, prepare for war, how do you personally find peace yourself?
A: How do I find peace? Um, peace can come when you have a moment to pause and everything is okay. You know, everything's okay personally and with the ones that you love, um, and your world. Uh, so can that be anywhere or do you have a secretary? Yeah, sure. Yeah. I mean, I think it can be anywhere. I think, um, you know, if you can have that moment wherever you are or would be great to be able to take that moment and, but I don't have, um, I mean if I had to pick a destination, we're, maybe I could, I mean, it's wonderful to have peace and, and going into work or to riding a motorcycle or whatever. It's just like when everything's okay, then you can have some peace.
Q: You mentioned the motorcycle. Is that a special place for you?
A: Um, yeah. I mean, I love riding motorcycles and to be able here, certainly in Los Angeles, there's so many wonderful locations to ride in the mountains. By the five, the sea, I'm certain by the ocean. Um, and uh, so yeah, that's a, that's a wonderful thing to have. Um, what did you have to do to prepare to work on this next chapter in the saga? Yeah, so with John Wick, you know, there's a physicality, there's the act, it's an action film. And for us we do, um, in the training I have is in judo, Jujitsu, smart Kido, um, and uh, working with weapons, manipulating weapons. And for this one that was unique to Parabellum was a riding lawn mower and he's constantly being chased.
Q: Have you ever had the feeling yourself, how do, how do you get to enjoy being chased constantly? I don't know.
A: Yeah. So in, in the films and certainly in, in chapter three, Parabellum John is definitely on the run. Um, which is exciting, you know, for me, the character trying to survive, wanting to live, to remember his wife to become free from the world of the high table and the continental and all these rules and consequences. You know, he's lost his wife, he's grieving. I think he just wants to have a moment of peace. Um, and in terms of rest, uh, yeah, I mean with the training and everything and with the filming, you know, you, you'd get in some ice water, ice bath, and try and have a good night's sleep, uh, and then live to fight another day.
Q: The Rapper Logic dedicated a song to you. How did that come about and did he call you for your approval
A: Approval? Um, you know, I've never met that artist, so, um, I have no involvement in the song. What do you think about it? Um, yeah, it seems like a good song. I, uh, um, for me it's, it's just my friends make fun of me. They're like, you were the name of a movie and now you're in a song, you had your said Qiagen mean, you're like, um, and they're like, you know, for me it started with like, oh my God. I mean the New York Times crossword puzzle. So all of those things I, you know, I find it weird
Q: you said when you were shooting the Buddha, you felt the call of the cane, meaning to retreat from society and focus on your inner self. Do you still feel that drive today? What is your personal cave nowadays? What kind of meditation techniques can you recommend?
R: Yeah, I don't practice Buddhism and I'm not a pro. I don't practice really any meditation. Um, it was in a life changing experience to work with Bernardo Bertolucci and to, to work on little Buddha and to play a fable version of Siddhartha and the beginning of a, of, in the story of Buddha. Um, and my personal cave is probably Mike Couch.
Q: John Wick has very sleek, cool costumes. How involved do you get with the looks of your character?
A: Um, I'm not, I mean, I think, you know, we'll go through a process with the costume designer, Luca and the director Chad. Um, maybe sometimes, might have an opinion on the texture of a shirt.
Q: Can you talk a little about what this role has meant to you and your Korean being in three movies?
A: Yeah. Back to have the opportunity to tell a third what we call the chapter for a role and to continue to tell a story. This really comes from the supportive validations and because I was on the ground floor, not quite the ground floor, I was on the first floor of being involved in this story. And so it's very personal to me. I like to be really collaborative on the story that we tell the dialogue and characters what is the story. So it's been really cool to, to develop that, to play it to creatively and then to have the audience respond. I'm really grateful for. And hopefully they'll, they'll love chapter three.
Q: The John Wick franchise has great action sequences. How involved do you get with these scenes?
A: So with the action, there's the vision of the director and I add my flavor. So I'm part of the collaborative process.
Q:. How do you deal with the action scenes? Do you need to prepare in a different way than you're used to?
A: Yeah, so I was introduced to ice pads in the matrix trilogy. Because you have to recover from fighting for 14 hours a day. It's really becoming an athlete or a dancer, you know, you're in that world of rest and recovery training and back to training, definitely being older, I can't jump as high or run as fast and, but I have experienced which makes you more efficient.
Q: How was it to share action sequences with Halle Berry?
A: Oh, Halle Berry's amazing. She threw herself with open arms into Jong muck training. And is demanding. It demands a lot of you personally and your time and how she worked not only with the martial arts and the weapons, but she also, her character has some dogs, so I believe she trained for over seven months.
Q: It's the 20th anniversary of the Matrix and New York magazine dedicated the cover to the films. Did you ever think this day would come and how do you feel about it?
A: I guess. I'm glad you were still around for the 20th anniversary. Is a wonderful movie, Wonderful Trilogy, wonderful is probably not an adequate word. Amazing, fantastic, groundbreaking, revolutionary changing lives. It's probably, not only personally, but artistically for me it's wonderful to be able to celebrate that
Q: in one scene of John Wick three, you're in a desert. What does nature give you?
A: We wanted to open up the world for John Wick. And one of the ideas was for John to go to the desert in search of a character that could maybe help him or save him. It was great to have the opportunity to film in the Sahara, or I've never been there. It was a dream of mine. And so to actually stand in that golden desert in that world was extraordinary. You're standing on a planet that really comes across where the heavens are above you.