I can’t believe I’ve known Sung Kang for over a decade. And neither can I believe that we have worked together multiple times and have not inflicted grievous bodily harm unto each other. I jest, I mean I think we’re both pretty laid back and calm and we must have a lot of common ground after all these years.
I met Sung while working on Better Luck Tomorrow, I remember that after his audition, there was no question in any of our minds, he was Han – little did he know that he would be HAN for over a decade. What I sparked onto with Sung was how his personality is really different from the brooding, silent types that he portrays on screen. In person, he’s really lighthearted, goofy and love to laugh. Our conversations usually centered around how we both loved and hated what we did (acting and filmmaking) and just wanted to somehow capture those moments of what we love the most and make a career out of it – all on our own terms (kind of a pipe dream, I know). Our paths continued to cross over the years and we always discussed working on a project together, but things never really got off the ground. I (co-)wrote Sunset Stories with Sung Kang in mind. I remember him telling me that he wanted to do something different. The character of JP in Sunset Stories is an East LA musician who is on the verge of big life changes. Should he cash in his dreams and start a family and be resigned to be a wedding singer? I knew that both Sung and I had talked about trading in the dream for reality, so I knew even if this character was far from him, he could identify with that central question.
I was hesitant in asking Sung to be in the film. I knew that this would probably be a very difficult and demanding schedule, and the budget is probably the lowest of any of the films he’s been involved in. On top of that, he was set to work on a studio feature and was on a tight schedule so we had to rush and finish without delay. I asked and he said yes without reading the script. The rest, as they say, is history.
I was so excited to finally present an interview with Sung Kang on his experiences on Sunset Stories. I mean I’m pretty sure it’s the best experience he’s ever had, and will ever have in his whole career – hands down. I know I will cherish these memories like he did. I had a long list of questions but he said he would only answer five. But I snuck in a bonus question.
ERNESTO: How did you get involved in Sunset Stories (let’s pretend I don’t know…)? What made you agree to do it?
SUNG KANG: Temporary lunacy, I kid. Actually it was because of my history with Ernie. We started this crazy adventure together back in the day with BLT, so I wanted to be there with him on the first film he directed. Even though only two people will ever see this film, it was a great time making this film with him. Also, because of Monique (Sunset Stories’ lead). She is a wonderful actress to work with and we always share a lot of laughs when we work together. I think we share laughs…maybe she was laughing at my hair.
E: What do you like about micro-budget films?
SK: Nothing. Uh well I like…We do have some funny stories to tell at least. Well it’s funny to a few of us.
E: Aside from the whole lack of proper hair styling and care, what do you hate about micro-budget films?
SK: The list is too long to finish in time for your deadline. For me and other lunatics, it’s really about the memories and experience with old friends and new ones. Well… I think they are my friends, might have just pretended to be so I didn’t leave.
E: If for some inexplicable turn of events made you do another micro-budget film, what kind of roles are you looking for?
SK: I would only do the role of- ‘Serial killer of Micro-Budget Director’.
E: If you weren’t in the film world, what would you be doing?
SK: I would be a Serial Killer of Micro Budget Directors.
E: When you drive are you fast or furious? Or is this question like a bullet to the head?
SK: Go to hell. For this question, when I retire from acting you will be the first Micro budget Director I serial kill.
Sung Kang, five words: Sunset Stories 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Be sure to check out Sung Kang’s hair in Sunset Stories playing this Saturday, May 12 @ 6PM at the DGA (click here for ticks) as part of the LAAPFF and TODAY is the last day to tweet for a chance to win ticks to the screening compliments of YOMYOMF and Visual Communications. Click here for info on how to enter, deadline is tonight at 11:59 PM PST.