Actor Kim Woo Bin Films A Smoking Scene In “Black Knight” After Battling Nasopharyngeal Cancer — But It’s Not What You Think
Actor Kim Woo Bin plays the main character, 5-8, in the new Netflix series Black Night. He explained the behind-the-scenes story of filming a smoking scene—without necessarily having to smoke.
Kim Woo Bin was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in May 2017. He stopped acting for a while as he focused on treatment. Fortunately, his condition improved,, and he returned to good health in 2019 and returned to the big screen in 2022 with the sci-fi film Alienoid and the K-Drama Our Blues alongside actress (and his real-life girlfriend) Shin Min Ah.
While filming for Black Night, Kim Woo Bin had to film a smoking scene because his character is someone who smokes often; however, this was a concern for many because he of his past with nasopharyngeal cancer, a cancer that affects hat sits on the upper part of the throat, behind the nose.
The director, Choi Ui Seok, suggested they remove the smoking scene for Kim Woo Bin’s health, but the actor thought smoking suited his character well. Therefore, he suggested an alternative idea: CG.
In fact, director Choi Eui Seok suggested moving the whole smoking idea because it’s not good for my health, but I thought smoking really fit with 5-8’s character. So I told him I would try to express it with CG, if possible.
— Kim Woo Bin
Thus, the scene where 5-8 smokes while driving is made with 100% computer graphics (CG). Because it looks so real, Kim Woo Bin said he was concerned that people would be worried while watching the show. Check out how real—or fake—it looks in the scene.
Kim Woo Bin also explained how the process worked. He said he had to imagine the whole situation as if he were really smoking.
While filming, I acted thinking and calculating that the smoke would touch my eyes at this point, and that the ash would fall by this point. I had fun fiming the process.
— Kim Woo Bin
Based on the webtoon of the same name, Black Knight is a Netflix series about the dystopian future of Korea, where people cannot live without oxygen respirators due to extreme air pollution. Kim Woo Bin’s character, 5-8, and refugee Sa Wol (played by actor Kang Yoo Seok) fight against the group that dominates the new world.