“Cannes Film Festival will be a big turning point in my acting career,” Im Si Wan, a K-pop band ZE:A member and actor, said excitedly. “I am honored to be one of the actors to attend the Cannes. I cannot yet imagine the impact it would have on me. I still feel stunned.”

Im Si Wan has starred in well-made shows like The Moon that Embraces the Sun, Incomplete Life (Misaeng), and The Attorney. Soon, he will become the first K-pop star turned actor at the Cannes.

The Merciless (불한당) starring Im and Seol Kyung Gyu premieres in the midnight screenings section of the Cannes Film Festival, which opens its doors on May 17. “When I’m there, I want to relax in the morning sun on the patio of a cafe with a cold draft beer,” Im said dreamily.

When asked whether he had expected the film to make it to the Cannes, Im said no. “I did not. I am still dumbfounded,” he said. “At first I thought The Merciless was just a fun movie, but then I thought the film must have had a unique charm that appealed to the Cannes selection committee … To me, the film feels like a real-life version of a cartoon. I simply focused on acting out Hyun Soo’s sentiments, but the director had been drawing a much bigger picture.”

When asked about his career accomplishments, Im pondered, “I do wonder whether if I had used up all of my luck in the beginning (of my career). But then I can’t help with that. I can say with confidence that the experience of having filmed with great actors is my biggest asset and strength. It’s an experience not many people have.”

Im, who will enlist very soon, got Korea's Military Manpower Association's permission to leave the country to go to the Cannes. His agency is rescheduling The King Loves (왕은 사랑한다), a drama that premieres in July.

On enlistment, Im says he’ll miss the fans the most. “I feel sad about not being able to host fan meetings and produce albums,” he explained. “I wish I would have had the time to say goodbye to fans. I’m not sure what I’d be doing after the military. I think time will tell. What’s certain is that I will still sing and act. I love to sing. I became part of the entertainment industry because I loved music … but after filming, I found it very attractive. It suits me well.”

Have fun at the Cannes and good luck in the army, Im Si Wan!


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