Sung Kang stars in the upcoming “Fast and the Furious” sequel “Fast Five”. Movie Mikes had chance to speak with Sung about how he got into acting as well as how he became involved with the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Adam Lawton: Had acting been something you had always wanted to?
Sung Kang: I had really wanted to be a mime. When I was in school every once in awhile they brought in a mime to perform for the students. I found it amazing that another human being could make me laugh or sad and take my mind out of the small town that I lived in growing up. I was always attracted to that idea of performance. I had started performing in plays in high school but I never really told anyone because all the cool kids were athletes. It wasn’t until after I finished college that I really went for it.
AL: Can you tell us about your work in “Mystery Men”?
SK: It was a real treat for me. That was the first time I was ever allowed into the big studio. It was really great getting to see people like William H. Macy and Geoffrey Rush work and interact with the crew. That was my first introduction as to what an actual working actor does and how they should treat their peers. It was a really great because Geoffrey Rush is one of those guys that would come and eat lunch with the other cast and ask us how we were doing. He really understood what it was for us being actors that were just starting out. It was very inspiring.
AL: How was your experience working with Bruce Willis and Justin Long on “Live Free or Die Hard”?
SK: Bruce acted very similar in the way Geoffrey Rush did. The first day I was on set he came over and welcomed me to the team. It was really nice to be around that type of person and crew. Justin really brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy to that set. Those guys as well as my other cast mates really exemplified for me what a movie should be and that’s fun.
AL: How did you get involved with “The Fast and the Furious” franchise?
SK: That evolution came about with the director Justin Lin. He and I did an independent film together called “Better Luck Tomorrow.” That movie is why he and I are in the business today. Justin had paid for that film with his credit card. We really had no money at the time and it was a passion project. That is really where the character I play in “Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift”, Han was born. In that first film Justin and I did I played an over achieving high school kid in Orange county. After “Better Luck Tomorrow” had its success at Sundance, Justin got courted by a lot of the big agents which led him to do the Disney picture “Annapolis.” Once he was done with that film the “Tokyo Drift” project came along. There originally wasn’t a part for me. Justin convinced me to come in and read for the lead even though he told me I wasn’t going to get it. However it was a chance for me to meet the casting directors. There was a small part which was being developed which originally was going to be for an African-American actor and Justin had the idea of why not make it an Asian-American role. I went in and the casting people remembered me from my previous audition so after that it was a little bit of an easier fight for that role.
AL: Can you tell us about “Fast Five”
SK: All the characters from the previous movies come back together for one final heist. Dom and his family are in need of help as they are being chased by a bounty hunter played by Dwayne Johnson. This movie I think will give the fans everything they want while really elevating the game. Each character definitely gets there due. I think the fans are really going to enjoy it.
AL: Is there one role you have played that sticks out as a favorite?
SK: I did a movie with Justin Lin called “Finishing the Game.” It takes place in 1973 right after the death of Bruce Lee. It focuses on the studio attempting to finish Bruce’s last movie “Game of Death” by using a stand in with a paper cut out of Bruce’s face. Justin had this great idea of making a film about them finding the guy who would play the stand in. That was a really great time.
AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
SK: I have a few independent projects that will be coming out soon. I am always looking for the opportunity to do good work. Maybe “Fast and the Furious 12” will come along. (Laughs)