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[Interview] Ha Jung Woo Says He Loves Korean Food a Lot

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2013.02.13 02:00 Mwave Oh, MiJung Translation Credit : Erika Kim

Ha Jung Woo proved he′s a big fan of Korean food.

In a recent interview with enews, Ha Jung Woo talked about how he wrapped up quite a few Korean foods when he had to travel overseas to shoot The Berlin File.

He said, "I went overseas for The Yellow Sea, Never Forever and Boat. I thought about what was the most important in overseas shoots, and I concluded it was space in which I could jog and my electric rice cooker. That′s why I took my cooker with me this time."

[Interview] Ha Jung Woo Says He Loves Korean Food a Lot

"I didn′t take rice since I could get that overseas, but instead I took grains, dried anchovys, gochujang, dwenjang and many different kinds of kimchi. Han Seok Gyu sunbaenim (senior) brought seaweed for broth and kelp. I borrowed it from him," he said.

Ha Jung Woo even stayed in an apartment, not a hotel, and cooked there. Han Seok Gyu also stayed in an apartment.

"Ryu Seung Bum and Jun Ji Hyun said they were going to stay in a hotel, but when we had to go to Latvia from Berlin they ended up living in apartments too," he added. "Ryu Seung Bum told me I was an ′ugly Korean′ at first after seeing all the food I had brought, but later he said I was ′the king′. In the end the staff all used Han Seok Gyu sunbaenim and my home as headquarters."

In a press conference for the film held previously, Ryu Seung Bum had commented, "I saw Ha Jung Woo at the airport when we were leaving, and he had brought his electric rice cooker along with a few ingredients in a giant bag. At first I thought he was overdoing it, but later I realized he had done the right thing."

Ha Jung Woo even made kimchi himself overseas. Because the shoots went on for months and actors and staff kept eating his food, he started to run out of kimchi. He wanted to purchase some from local markets, but it was too expensive.

"I first started making kimchi then," he said. "I gave the kimchi I had made to the staff, and I ate the kimchi I had brought from Korea."

"I attended the shoots, came home and cooked, and then fried the remaining rice to make nurungji. I lived a very strict life," he said.

Even in Korea Ha Jung Woo said he enjoys cooking rather than getting food from outside.

"I used to buy food a lot from outside because I had been living alone for so long. When I was in my 20s I bought all my food. I realized that restaurant foods didn′t seem to be good for my health, though. I′m very sensitive to MSGs, so I try to eat at home when I can help it."

The Berlin File is currently scoring a great success in the box office.

Photo credit: Kim Byung Kwan

Reach reporter Oh MiJung on Twitter @isyutar!

Ha Jung Woo 20130213 The Berlin File 20130213
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