Exclusive Interview: Sung Kang on Fast & Furious 6
After three whole movies of the Fast & Furious franchise, is there any particular moment on the production that you could come back to, and say “This was my Fast & Furious experience?”
You know, I have to go back to that conversation I had with Justin, in his office, after we walked through the halls of the production office at Universal. When we just started to laugh. To be able to share where we came from, coming from and independent film that was made with credit cards and favors, and actors sharing each other’s clothes to make sure the characters have a wardrobe. To go to an Imagine studio project where they pretty much provide everything you need, and being able to share that with a friend, and knowing where the both of us came from, is the dream of trying to get into the gates of the studio. Being able to do that together, I always go back to that, and it makes me really grateful that I’m not on this journey alone.
You had a really fun starring role in Bullet to the Head earlier this year. You’ve gone from working with your old friend to working with this legend, Walter Hill. How was working on a Walter Hill movie different from the stuff you’ve done before?
Well, Walter, just as a man, he taught me so much on set. Getting to know him… At the end of the day he’s a true gentleman, and to withstand this business and hold onto his integrity like that, you know? I definitely learned a lot from him. You realize why he is so iconic as an American director. I think, in a way, it’s funny because I would always see similarities between Justin and Walter. You know what I mean? They both love actors, they set a positive tone, they’re the first ones there and the last ones to leave, so in many ways Walter’s from a different generation, but I think what made him a successful director is what Justin has. Similar characteristics. And I feel as Justin gets older he will become a Walter Hill in his realm.
With Justin now no longer on the Fast & Furious franchise, are you guys talking about doing something else together sometime soon?
Yeah! You know, we’ve always hoped that we can reunite and do another project together, because we have developed a shorthand, and we do love working together. But I think we respect our friendship so much that, if I’m the right actor for the project, it would be a privilege to come and go on another journey together, but if he’s just casting me because I’m his friend, it probably won’t work out. I think that’s unfair to the audience. I think we [would be] cheating the audience, and that’s how we approach our friendship, and that’s how we approach our career on a professional level as well. I think you have to respect, your boundaries. If he goes off and does other films and I’m not in it, I’ll never take that personal. I’ll just be there rooting for him.
What’s coming up next for you, outside of that working dynamic?
I just finished a pilot with the writer of the Fast & Furious movies, Chris Morgan. He did a pilot called “Gang Related” for Fox, and we’ll find out tomorrow if we’ll get picked up or not, so I’m really excited about it. It’s my first TV show.
That must be so exciting.
Yeah, and it shoots in L.A.
Oh, that’s convenient.
So yeah, I’m ready to put down some roots and start a family, and not be so transient. So I really, knock on wood, I hope it works out. [Editor’s Note: It got picked up!]
You’re an L.A. native. You’re a resterateur here.
Yes, well, it was actually my wife’s restaurant. She’s the brains behind the operation. I was just kind of the janitor, the maintenance man. [Laughs] And the pretend dishwasher. But she gets the credit for the restaurant. She did all the heavy lifting. But we did have a restaurant for about nine years.
Wow, that’s nice. Would you want to do that again?
Never. Again. In my life. Will I ever, ever, ever do a restaurant again. Or her.
What have you guys moved on to? Do you have other projects on the side?
Yeah, she actually… She’s a clothing designer in Korea, so she opened a little shop in L.A. […] She gets to play dress up. I call it The Princess Factory, where all her friends get to come over and put on makeup and dress up. [Laughs] And hang out.
Fast & Furious 6, is this a send-off for you? Do you think they would ask you to do another one at some point?
Yeah, I think it’s time to end it. Have you seen it yet?
I have seen it yet. It’s Fast and the Furious. They could find a way to bring you back.
Yeah, but I think it [would be] disrespecting the legacy, too. It’s disrespecting the fans. There’s a time to kind of throw in the towel. It was a great ride. I’m ready to move on. The day after we wrapped, I cut my hair. [Laughs] No more long hair, ever again!
Aw… You look dapper with that shit, man. You look good.
Well, thanks, but the hair belong to Han, and he moved on to bigger and better places somewhere, in Hollywood heaven.