He most recently co-starred with Vin Diesel in the blockbuster hit “Fast Five” and appeared on “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “Fast & Furious.” Now, Asian-American actor Sung Kang joins Sylvester Stallone in a quest for revenge in Buena Vista International's hard-hitting action-thriller “Bullet to the Head.”
Directed by Walter Hill (“Streets of Fire,” “48 Hrs.”), the film is based on the French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tête. Stallone stars as Jimmy Bobo, a New Orleans hitman who forms an alliance with Washington D.C. detective Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) to bring down the killer of their respective partners.
As the man on the right side of the law in this pairing, Kang observes, “They’re like oil and water: no matter how hard you try to shake them together, they are constantly splitting apart.”
Continues the actor, “My character figures out that there’s a connection between the deaths of our former partners. Taylor lives by this real rigid code of honor and a moral integrity that’s been ingrained in him. He wants the entity behind the hits, so he’s willing to team up with Jimmy to chase down the bad guys, even though he knows Jimmy is a criminal himself.”
Taylor is willing to compromise on his values for the sake of the greater good, but there’s still a limit to how far he’ll bend. Stallone adds, “Jimmy is confronted with something he’s never been confronted with before—a betrayal from within and a complete reliance upon a detective who hates his guts. Not exactly a strong support system.”
Kang asserts, “Generationally, they’re completely different; morally, they’re completely different; and ethnically, they’re completely different. Jimmy Bobo comes from a time where there was no political correctness, so he’s the type of guy that just says what’s on his mind.”
Producer Kevin King-Templeton offers, “There’s just a great juxtaposition between the two characters. Jimmy is bombastic and like a bull in a china shop; he’s tough as nails but, at the same time, wears his heart on his sleeve. Taylor Kwon is more reserved, although once he teams up with Jimmy he does begin to adopt more of the hit man mentality. He’s always been a by-the-book cop, but Jimmy’s underworld approach begins to rub off on him.”
Adding to the discord between Jimmy Bobo and his new “partner” is the fact that the hit man is a bit of an anachronism. “He doesn’t even know how to use a smart phone,” says Stallone, “and that makes him a great foil for Taylor.”
Coming into the project, Kang says that he was excited about the opportunity to work with both Stallone and director Walter Hill. “I pretty much grew up watching Sylvester Stallone movies. One of the first movies my father took me to was ‘Rocky.’ So getting to work with him was a pretty amazing experience, definitely one of those things on my bucket list,” he smiles. “And from the get-go, Walter Hill was so open to ideas; he was such an ally for me as an actor in that respect.”
Kang was previously featured in “Ninja Assassin,” directed by James McTeigue and Len Wiseman’s action hit “Live Free or Die Hard.” His other film credits include roles in Denzel Washington’s “Antwone Fisher” and Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbor.”
Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Kang began acting at the Los Angeles-based experimental theater group F.A.T.E. (Friends Artist Theater Ensemble).
Opening across the Philippines on Feb. 6 2013, “Bullet to the Head” is distributed by Buena Vista International through Columbia Pictures.