South Korean actor Song Joong-ki attended the 76th Cannes Film Festival for the first time in his 15-year acting career with action thriller Hopeless, in which he appeared without pay.
Invited as part of the Out of Competition category, the low-budget movie is director Kim Chang-hoon’s debut feature film.
Rookie actors Hong Sa-bin and Kim Hyeong-seo, better known as singer Bibi, were next to Song during the film’s world premiere and the red-carpet event before the screening on Wednesday.
Song, 37, was expected to walk the red carpet with his pregnant wife, Katy Louise Saunders, 38, in their first public appearance since their marriage in January.
However, she reportedly decided to skip the event due to the violent nature of the film.
In an interview, Song said: “I came to Cannes with my wife even though there’s only a month left until the child is born, as pregnant women are encouraged to walk and move about more. I’m at the film festival, but my mind is all over there (with her).“
After the screening, the actors, as well as director Kim, received a four-minute standing ovation.
Song told the audience that he is satisfied with his performance and is glad he starred in the film.
Prior to the premiere, he had told reporters in Cannes that he joined the project without pay because he knew it would be difficult for this kind of film to get funding and that his unpaid appearance would help the movie.
“I love challenging myself with uncertainty. This may sound a bit bold, but I’ve been successful so many times that I wanted to give myself time to do something fun,” he said.
Hopeless revolves around a young man (Hong) who seeks an escape from his struggles. When he meets the underboss of a criminal organisation (Song), he becomes entangled in risky situations. The Korea Herald/Asia News Network