On May 3, following the successful finale of tvN’s “Vincenzo,” lead actor Song Joong Ki took part in an interview to share his thoughts and experiences while filming the drama.
Regarding the popularity of the show, the actor commented, “Every time an episode aired, I heard from our company staff, and the young staff members on set immediately told us which scenes were being talked about on the internet, so I could feel the popularity.”
He began, “First of all, it was the first time I felt such little pressure about my role. It’s not that I didn’t feel any burden, but because I filmed many episodes with the Geumga Plaza people, I felt a bond with the actors who played the Geumga Plaza tenants and didn’t feel lonely or pressured. In short, I could say, ‘We all had fun together.’”
He also mentioned the viewer reviews saying that the villains in the drama were punished too brutally. He remarked, “People were divided on whether it was too violent or not. [Even while filming], I thought, ‘People will have mixed opinions.’ Personally, I didn’t think it was cruel. On the contrary, I thought we needed to go stronger on them. I think heinous people like them should be punished that way. I think that the characters who committed evil were punished righteously for the characters they were.”
Song Joong Ki talked about the action scenes he pulled off for the drama, revealing that he didn’t have a hard time with them. He explained that the martial arts director Heo Myung Haeng created scenes that focused less on the movements and more on the emotions. “Normally, we film the lines and the actions separately, but I thought of them as one, so it wasn’t that difficult,” he added.
Song Joong Ki took on new challenges with “Vincenzo,” one of them being the comical aspects of the drama, and the other being the Italian language.
“I’m not sure if my acting in comical scenes were received positively,” he shared. “Personally, I wasn’t satisfied with my Italian lines and my comic scenes. Through this production, I felt once again that acting in a comedy is the most difficult type of acting. In that aspect, I think I did a very bad job. I’m personally not pleased.” He added that the actors playing the Geumga Plaza tenants were experts at comedy and helped him out a lot.
On acting in Italian, Song Joong Ki stated, “I think it would have been better if I had practiced for a long time ahead of it. I believe acting in a foreign language gets better the more time you put into it, so I was personally not satisfied.” He also revealed, “I kept practicing and memorizing with my Italian teacher, and I tried my best to get my pronunciation as close as I could. At first, Vincenzo was a character who came from Southern Italy, and it was hard to get the pronunciation right when we changed him to a character from Central Italy. I focused on that kind of detail.”
Asked to choose an actor and character he had the best chemistry with, he easily picked Jeon Yeo Bin in the role of Hong Cha Young. He elaborated, “You might think that I won’t choose anyone in case anyone gets upset since Vincenzo interacts with so many characters, but I pick Jeon Yeo Bin’s Hong Cha Young character no matter what. The character of Hong Cha Young was so lovable that it can’t be helped if the other actors are disappointed. I personally thought she was a very charming character, and I grew attached to her while acting together. Both Jeon Yeo Bin and the character Hong Cha Young have really grown on me a lot.”
Song Joong Ki touched on the way he changed through “Vincenzo.” Although he didn’t feel confident in taking on the comedy genre at first, he eventually overcame it. The actor described, “The change is that my thoughts were shattered. ‘What would I have done if I hadn’t taken this project?’ is how my thoughts changed.”
About viewers considering Vincenzo a role of a lifetime for Song Joong Ki, he agreed, sharing, “It’s true that I had the most fun while acting. In that aspect, I’d say it is a role of a lifetime.” He said about the Mafia concept, “It could look like a display of bravado, and some people wondered if we used the Mafia concept because there weren’t any other concepts left, but I didn’t think of it that way at all.” He explained that he was amazed when he read what screenwriter Park Jae Bum wrote in the synopsis to explain the purpose behind the show. “I could immediately feel his pent-up anger at society. That’s why I could understand why the idea of the Mafia was used, and I thought it was a very charming concept.”
Vincenzo is an antihero who carries out bad deeds to win against those who are even more evil. Song Joong Ki expressed his sadness about the fact that a “villain” like Vincenzo received so much love from the viewers. “When I got the script, I knew Park Jae Bum’s productions often had an image of comedy, but I thought this was a sad genre. The reason is that viewers had to cheer for Vincenzo, a villain.”
He continued, “I think the events that take place in ‘Vincenzo’ are close to reality, while the character Vincenzo is the only surreal part. There are so many bad people in real life. The writer used a lot of those people as reference, so there were many cathartic scenes.” He mentioned the ending scene in episode 16 where Vincenzo visits the four villains, explaining, “We were rehearsing, and the two characters Choi Myung Hee (Kim Yeo Jin) and Jang Han Seok (2PM’s Taecyeon) kneeled in front of me right when I walked in. That felt strangely cathartic.”
In regards to a potential second season, Song Joong Ki said, “There are no discussions about season two at all. I’m thankful that there seem to be many people who want it. It is unlikely that there will be any internal discussions about season two in the future.”
He said about his future plans, “I haven’t decided on my next project. ‘Bogotá,’ which came to a halt due to COVID-19, is likely to begin filming in Korea starting this month. Since I can’t go to Colombia, I’ll have to hear what they’ll do using technology. The producers and investors must be feeling devastated after it was paused during the difficult times, but I will wrap it up as best I can as the lead actor.”
The actor also revealed, “I will be attending the Baeksang Arts Awards ceremony. I’m thankful that I was nominated, but I will go enjoy the ceremony. I’m focusing more on ‘Vincenzo’ director Kim Hee Won’s nomination for Best Director.”