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Daniel Dae Kim on Wearing the Producer's Hat

By Flora  /  17 Dec 2018 (Monday)

Photo Credit: Digital Spy

Many will recognise Daniel Dae Kim as Kwon Jin-soo in Lost and Chin in Hawaii Five-0, which he recently departed from the series. Now, the 50-year-old actor is not only excelling in front of the camera, he is also carving out a career as a producer. 

His most recent work where he served as the executive producer, is the medical drama television series, The Good Doctor, based on the 2013 award-winning South Korean series of the same name. The Freddie Highmore-starrer series was one of the most-watched shows for 2017-2018. 

“I think I see more of the business side in the industry,” shared Kim. “In the industry, we say ‘how the sausage gets made’ and sometimes it can get ugly. Sometimes the sausage is one you don’t want to eat and somehow when its all made together it tastes pretty good. It’s not necessarily a genteel business but it’s the one you have to be in if you want to make content.”

Photo Credit: SGIFF

Kim was in Singapore for the annual Singapore International Film Festival 2018 (SGIFF), as a member of the Asian Feature Film Competition Jury. At our interview with Kim, he shared about his life after the much talked-about exit from Hawaii Five-0, his thoughts on representation, as well as future projects in the pipeline. 

The actor sang praises for the nominees in the category, said: “I was impressed by the films that were screening. Not just by the fact that they were representing all different parts in Asia, but also by the fact that these were beginner filmmakers. A lot of the movies that were screening are first-time or second-time filmmakers and to have them be accomplished as they are, it’s really good.”

As an executive producer and the founder of his production company, 3AD, Kim is actively sourcing for projects as well as actors around the world. “I think the globalisation of entertainment excites me and (it is) something I am betting on through my company,” he explained. 

“I went to Seoul looking for Korean actors who could speak English for an American project and I tell actors to get ready because people like me are looking in Singapore too! I am looking and I am not the only one.”

Photo Credit: TheStar

He added: “What is changing is we are taking talented people who didn’t have the opportunity to do what they are able to do and give them the chance. And another part of that equation is that if you are talented in any activity - you might have all the talent in the world but if no one lets you play the game, you are not going to get better. It’s the same with show business. There have been many Asian-America actors, directors, writers I’ve experienced in my career who have had many talents as anyone else I know regardless the race, but they didn’t have the chance to get any better.”

“I think there are a number of stars that are aligning in our worldwide culture that is bringing Asian awareness to a peak level. I hope it’s not the highest level; I hope this is just the beginning… I think this is the start of something good.” 

The next confirmed series that Kim is taking on is ‘Exhibit A’, a legal drama based on the South Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo. When asked about his decisions when choosing projects for his company, Kim shared that he is “keeping my eyes opened everywhere”.

“These are the two shows that are prominent. My company has eight shows in development right now, and they range from adaptions from Korea, Japan and Italy, as well as original ideas and ideas based on plays and books. There is no limit where you can find good ideas.” 

While he is open to producing and hopefully star in any of his 8 shows, Kim can be seen next in Neil Marshall’s Hellboy and Netflix’s ‘Always Be My Maybe’, which also stars Keanu Reeves, Ali Wong and Randall Park. 

But there’s one role Kim hopes to play in the future - Henry V. “My training has been in Shakespeare and there’s something about his leadership, charisma and the obstacles he faces that I can relate to. I love the political elements of that play. It’s just a matter of who’s going to give me that chance.”
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