Villains can easily be misunderstood. Sometimes they’re doing a warped form of good that most people don’t understand. Kang, played by Rick Yune in Olympus Has Fallen, is one of those villains. He leads an attack against the White House and holds the President hostage to further his personal/political vendetta. We briefly spoke to Yune about playing such a chaotic character and working with Antoine Fuqua.
We heard you were a fan of Antoine Fuqua prior to being cast. Therefore, you must have been thrilled when you got the call for this film.
Rick Yune: He understands these types of characters. You saw what he did with Denzel [Washington]‘s character in Training Day. This guy knows how to make a character like this human. Working with him it was pretty interesting because it’s always about the human motivations, and that’s the way for me as well. I believe that every human, all we really want is a sense of connection and love. So some guys out there might just try to focus on being bad and how to be tough. I think that’s two dimensional. It has nothing to do with what we have in the real world today. That’s why we were able to present to you something that’s both exciting but keeps you on the edge of your seats because you know this could be a possibility.
Do you believe it’s easier to step into the character because you’re playing the bad guy? Is it fun playing the villain more than a hero?
Rick Yune: I watched a guy like Daniel Craig and I love what he’s doing with Bond. But if you step back and this guy was not working for MI6 but working for some ex-Eastern block government, then you’d think the way he’s approaching it, or his role in a movie, could be the bad guy. You can’t ever judge. There’s a duality to everything. There’s a light and dark. Actors aren’t supposed to judge. That’s the role of the audience.
Your character represents some political hot topics; where we stand in the Middle East, our troops over there. The movie’s rather realistic in that sense.
Rick Yune: We’ve seen this type of stuff from the Germans, then the Russians, then Al-Qaeda. It’s always going to change.
You got to spend most of your time on set working with a good chunk of the cast. I’m sure you got to bond with some of the folks. What was it like working with them?
Rick Yune: This was a very… it was a theater atmosphere on a film set. It’s the first time I’ve ever worked in this way, where people were trying to create that environment that was very reality-based. A lot of these actors stay [in] character before cut and after action. So it made it easy. Everybody has their own process and some people try to stay in their own space and not interact with other actors. Other people they’re just kind of living in the moment so it’s different. What we try to do is present to you the most sort of real situation that we could.
Olympus Has Fallen hits theaters on March 22.