Osawa Takao (37) is to become possibly the first Japanese actor to headline a South Korean film after signing up for director Bae Hyo-Min's (not sure of the spelling) romantic comedy "Far Away to Love."
The film focuses on a romance between a former mafia chief who is targeted by assassins after being betrayed by the don of his old gang, and his strong-willed Korean interpreter. 99% of Osawa's lines will be in Japanese.
Osawa already enjoys a degree of fame in South Korea thanks to his performance in the 2004 mega-hit "Crying Out Love in the Center of the World" (Sekai no Chushin de Ai o Sakebu) which was seen by around 180,000 filmgoers, and in February of last year he appeared in a music video for popular singer Jo Sung Mo. "Far Away to Love" producer Kim Jun-Jong subsequently offered the lead role to the actor in spring last year.
Filming begins in early March in both Japan and South Korea. The actress who will star opposite Osawa is yet to be named.
Osawa, who last year lent his voice to the Japanese dubbed version of "March of The Penguins," has several films lined up for release in 2006 including "Helen the Baby Fox" (Kogitsune Heren, opening on March 18th), "A Cheerful Gang Turns the Earth"(Yoki na Gyangu ga Chikyu o Mawasu, opening on May 13th), and Shinohara Tetsuo's "Metoro ni Notte" which opens in November.
"Far Away to Love" is scheduled for a September release in South Korea, while Japanese audiences will have to wait until 2007. (source: Sanspo)
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