“Age is just a number”

November 23, 2013

Veteran Korean actor featured in BMW TV commercial 

Peter Kim is still going strong at 77

Peter Kim, right, in BMW television commercial.

Peter Kim, right, is featured in a BMW television commercial.

Just in case you were curious – yes, the man who plays the Asian father character in the latest BMW 3 Series commercial on TV is indeed a Korean actor. Peter Kim (whose Korean name is Kim Kwang-tae) is 77-years young and still going strong.

Kim is actually a veteran actor from Los Angeles with over 30 years of experience, and the commercial, which started to air just recently, is garnering attention as ‘the first car commercial on television to feature a Korean family.’

The humorous piece starts with an upper-middle class Korean family gathered in the living room. As they are talking and laughing, the daughter’s Caucasian boyfriend, who’s been somewhat nervously abiding his time, gets up to approach Kim, as if he’s going to ask for permission to marry his daughter.

Not quite brave enough, he changes the subject at the last second to say, “We bought a diesel,” and points to their BMW 3-series vehicle parked outside.

The father, who was worried that his Korean daughter might be marrying an American, lets out a big sigh, as if he just dodged a bullet, but ends up going for a test drive with his son-in-law to be.

Kim actually has no line in the commercial, but he says that was not the case originally. He was supposed to say, “You can call me daddy,” but it was decided that a ‘smile of approval’ would be more effective.

Kim was said to be casted because he looked young enough to handle the role of a father in his 50s and because of his capabilities as an actor, particularly with regards to the emotions he’s able to convey with his facial expressions.

A Korean model from New York played the role of his daughter.

As far as his background goes, Kim immigrated to the United States in 1970. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), he has appeared in many television dramas and hundreds of commercials – including for McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Northwest Airlines.

How he became an actor was purely by chance, however. He was working at gas stations, shoe repair shops, construction sites, and so on when he first came to America, but thanks to his fifth degree black belt in Hapkido, he was able to land a job as a bodyguard and driver for one of the most successful Hollywood producers – Quinn Martin.

That led to a minor role in the television detective series Barnaby Jones three years later, followed by appearances on MASH, Ellen, and Wise Guys. Most recently, Kim appeared in popular FOX drama Bones and CSI on CBS.

 

One Comment

  1. Ruci

    November 23, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    good story, thanks

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