THE WARRIOR'S WAY
JANG DONG GUN (Yang) has starred in two of the highest-grossing box office hits
the history of South Korea. The first, Friend, earned Jang widespread critical
kudos for his
portrayal of a troubled high school kid who turns to a life of organized crime.
Jang took home
the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2000 Asia Pacific Film Festival for the
role. The second
of Jang's seminal hits came in 2004 with Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, a
groundbreaking Korean epic that found him portraying one of two brothers drafted
service. Jang's powerful performance landed him the coveted Best Actor prize at
Blue Dragon Awards.
Having conquered his native land, Jang next set his sights on other parts of
breaking into Chinese cinema in a big way with a lead role in the 2005 martial
Promise. The $30 million, Golden Globe-nominated production, directed by the
filmmaker Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) required the actor to deliver all
lines in perfect Mandarin. Jang also starred that same year in Typhoon as a
betrayed by both North and South Korea.
With his dashing good looks, screen charisma and athletic build, the Seoul-born
quickly emerged as a teen idol after making his acting debut in the 1993 Korean
series Our Heaven. By the late 1990s, Jang was one of the most popular film
Asian soil, his fan base and appeal extending far beyond South Korea's borders.
It led to his
starring in such well-regarded features as The Anarchists in 2000 before making
breakthrough in Friend. That was followed in 2002 by the action blockbuster 2009
Memories—which required him to speak Japanese—and that same year, by the
Coast Guard for controversial director Kim Ki-Duk (The Isle).
Jang recently provided Korean narration for the documentary feature Earth, which
released by Disney in the U.S.
The Warrior's Way marks his U.S. film debut.
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