I recently got the chance to talk to Nick Dong-Sik about his role in Nazi comedy spoof, ‘Iron Sky’. Here, Nick talks about how he got involved in the project in the first place and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Nick. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Iron Sky’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘Iron Sky’ is a dark science-fiction comedy directed by Timo Vuorensola. It tells the story of Nazi Germans who, in the last moments of World War II, fled to the Moon. In 2018, they return again with a massive space fleet to conquer Earth.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play the UN representative of North Korea. I take a lot of pride in representing my country. Until at one point in the movie I make an unexpected confession that surprises the entire congregation. If you wanna know what I’m confessing watch the movie.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
It did come as quite a surprise for me, when I received the call from my agent telling me about ‘Iron Sky’. Before I first heard about this project, I would never had thought, that I – as an Asian looking guy – was ever going to play in any “Nazi movie”. But my thinking obviously was wrong, because in a trash comedy like this one, pretty much everything is possible. So, I went to Frankfurt for the audition, and a few days later the producers and th director let me know that I booked it.
In your opinion, what makes this film different and unique? It really is a unique idea isn’t it?
First of all ‘Iron Sky’ stands for a true success story within the crowd-funding community. The movie never would have been made without $1 million contributed by fans over the Internet. The production, after the first round of financing, faced a shortage of capital. So they turned to their fans for funds, offering them to also contribute to the script, sounds, extras and creating all the marketing buzz around the film. That sum, $1 million, was then used to convince the “traditional” investors to add up to the final amount of 3 million euros needed to finish the film, and proving that crowd-funding is a very effective way to raise capital, even during a period of an economic crisis.
Secondly, the storyline of the movie: the director says that the idea of putting Nazis on the moon came to him in the sauna. As I looked into that idea and got more and more intrigued by this seemingly very outrageous fantasy, I actually found out that there are even some documentaries out there about conspiracy plans of Nazis thinking about building space ships during the 3rd Reich. So the whole idea, even though it clearly is a persiflage, does have a SMALL bit of relation to reality. Crazy, huh?
The film stars Julia Dietze, Udo Kier, Peta Sergeant, Kym Jackson, Gotz Otto, Stephanie Paul, Christopher Kirby and Monika Gossmann – with Timo Vuorensola onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
First of all I have a lot of respect for determination and perseverance of Timo and the producer Tero Kaukomaa for promoting the movie for the last several years. Also you felt the entire time of shooting that this project was a matter of the heart to everyone involved. I loved to work with the other actors and the crew, and during some scenes we were really losing it and just laughing like crazy.
Let’s talk a bit about you Nick. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
Initially, I wasn’t really interested in becoming an actor. At school I was really into sports and I was spending way more time hanging around with the other athletes than with those “weird creatives” and actors. After graduating and studying laws for two years a huge tragedy happened in my family. That blow of fate made me rethink all my plans and entirely change my life’s journey. I figured that in the long run I would feel way more satisfied entertaining people rather than judging them. And so instead of becoming a lawyer I became an actor.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
Wow, there were so many very good actors/actresses who have inspired me and who I had a lot of fun with. But I have to say that working with Emily Watson was really outstanding. At that time she was being one of my favourite actresses. And suddenly I was standing next to her in front of the camera, that was quite a “legendary” moment for me. And then…I had the first complete black out in my acting career. At that moment I realized that I was actually on set with wonderful Emily and Ulrich Tukur, a very famous German Actor, known from ‘Solaris’ by Steven Soderbergh, directed by Academy Award Winner Marleen Gorris. During our scene, I had a very long monologue while the two of them were supposed to fall in love with each other. So according to the script they weren’t listening to me at ALL which didn’t really make it much easier for me to remember my lines. But somehow I made it through, and in the end it turned out nice. But boy, was I sweating bullets.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three ‘personal’ things could you not live without?
The first one is a practical thing, an axe, for building and hunting stuff. I can’t live without music, so I would definitely take my guitar. And hopefully there would be some nice waves around that island, so I could make use of my last favorite thing: my surfboard. Hang loose!
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Jamie Oliver, someone has to cook and that guy REALLY knows his shit. Heath Ledger, I would love to see him alive again. Yeah… And the last person would be a nice and good-looking stranger from some far country, preferably a woman. I love meeting new people and getting to know more about different cultures and lifestyles. There is a lot of adventure in discovering our planet. Hence one of my favourites books is “1000 Places To See Before You Die”.
What is your favourite word?
During off-shoot days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
Meeting friends, making music, surfing, sitting in an outdoor cafe while the sun is shining, etc.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
Finishing my book. I am also an acting coach. For the past six years I’ve been working on a book about film acting techniques. Currently my co-author – actress Claudia Dalchow – and I are adding the final touches. We are looking forward to publishing the book, because it explains a completely new technique that I have developed over years of experience. Stay tuned!
Thanks for the interview!