Survival over enmity: Escape From Mogadishu cast discuss making the Korean blockbuster

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 (Left to right) Jo In Sung, Kim Yoon Seok, and Heo Joon Ho in Escape From Mogadishu. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)
(Left to right) Jo In Sung, Kim Yoon Seok, and Heo Joon Ho in Escape From Mogadishu. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)

South Korean blockbuster Escape From Mogadishu portrays North and South Koreans helping each other in a time of need despite their countries being at war. The cast shared with us their thoughts about making the political drama.

Escape From Mogadishu strove to create a unifying message through its actors Kim Yoon Seok, Heo Joon Ho and Koo Kyo Hwan, who play ambassadors and diplomats in this explosive film by director Ryoo Seung Wan. (Read our review of the movie here.)

Actor Koo Kyo Hwan played a gritty, hard-nosed North Korean diplomat who let his fists do most of the talking. 

"As the action showed, I placed emphasis on showing the grit of a man who is uncompromisingly loyal to his country. So I had discussions with the martial arts director and we agreed on the main concept which was to use props to subdue the enemy even though there was a difference in bodyweight," said Koo.

He also faced a language barrier as he had to learn to speak with a North Korean accent. "I was unfamiliar with both the actors and the language, so we made a chat group to learn from each other," Koo added. "I think I was training continuously until the start of filming. Before we started shooting, Heo Joon Ho gave me a lot of advice on speaking skills."

This movie is about people whose survival comes first. Until the incident happened, they even hurt each other in order to survive. But in the face of death, all of them strove to survive.Actor Heo Joon Ho

As the ambassador for North Korea, actor Heo Joon Ho had his work cut out for him as the head of the North Korean diplomats, who ultimately made the decision to forgo his pride and band together with his South Korean arch-rivals to survive violent civil unrest.

Heo Joon Ho and Koo Kyo Kwan in Escape From Mogadishu. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)
Heo Joon Ho and Koo Kyo Kwan in Escape From Mogadishu. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)

"This movie is about people whose survival comes first. Until the incident happened, they even hurt each other in order to survive. But in the face of death, all of them strove to survive. There were moments in the film where I imagined that my body would move before thinking," said Heo.

Acting alongside A-lister Jo In Sung as the ambassador for South Korea, Kim Yoon Seok had only praise to give for his counterparts.

"If there’s something that I want to brag about the most in our movie, it’s the ensemble of actors. Not only us as the three main actors, but all of the actors in the movie were very good at playing each of their own roles. Everyone did a great job," said Kim.

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