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BTS’ RM Needed Stitches After ‘Come Back To Me’ Video Accident That Had Director Worrying About Getting ‘Deported’

Lee Sung Jin was seriously worried that he might get deported for causing an injury to a national treasure while shooting the video for BTS singer RM‘s new solo single, “Come Back to Me.” The writer-director and Beef creator spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about assembling what he called the “Korean Avengers” to shoot the mini movie for the first single from RM’s upcoming second solo album, Right Place, Wrong Person (May 24).

The director said he was pleasantly surprised by how game RM was to rehearse, take notes and put in long hours to get the visual’s tone just right, especially after the potentially disastrous incident that unfolded during the shooting of the very first scene.

“He [RM] bent down and his head hit the camera and it was a giant gash on his eye and immediately I thought, ‘Oh great, I’m going to be deported immediately because I’ve just scratched this national treasure,’” Lee said he worried. “To his credit, he went to the hospital, got stitched up, came back and he was ready to go. He was so versatile and open to direction and I think he was also pushing me. He would come and check the monitor and be like, ‘Oh, I think we can get that one a little bit better.’”

Lee said RM bounced back and was on set again that same day for the video that shot over three days in Paju, South Korea, which is near the border with North Korea. The shoot marked the first time Lee had been back in South Korea since elementary school, recalling that his Korean came back to him pretty quickly as he got “so comfortable” with the “amazing” crew he’d assembled.

Lee was so excited he pulled together an all-star team to film the clip, including art director/production designer Ryu Seong-hie (Oldboy), cinematographer Kim Woo-hyung (Assasination) and actress Kim Minha (Pachinko), Emmy-nominated Beef star Joseph Lee and Kang Gilwoo (The Glory).

“I think everyone really came together for the idea and it really felt like we were assembling the Korean Avengers,” Lee told THR about the clip that originally had some elaborate dance numbers. “I am so thankful to them for taking the time. I know music videos are always a little bit tough and a little bit of a grind, and the fact that they showed up and gave such incredible performances, I’m really thankful.”

And, not for nothing, the team were rewarded with some tasty treats “They were just working so hard on this thing and I’m not going to lie, the food in between takes — in America, we got some good crafty over here, but the Korean crafty just hits on another level because I couldn’t wait to go on break and get some of that [Korean food],” the director said. “I was just like, ‘Dang, got to bring this over to America.’ Just every aspect of it felt really comfortable. I’m really excited to shoot something again in Korea. I’m eager to go back.”

Lee took the gig after being pleasantly surprised by the “sneakily catchy” vibe of the song that floats on a bed of acoustic guitars, whistling and the singer’s hushed vocals. “I heard it once and then all day long I was humming it to myself. I’m like, ‘Man, that is an earworm. It just gets in there,’” Lee said. “I was really surprised because it [had] such a different aesthetic and tone and a different side of RM that I hadn’t seen before,” he noted of the BTS member best known for his skills as a rapper. “It was so refreshing and unexpected and I got so excited at the idea of coming up with a music video for a song like that.”

Once the song got stuck in his head, Lee ditched his more traditional original dance-heavy treatment after realizing “they want to really go for it” on the clip by telling a layered tale, which made sense since RM, 29, was a big an of the onion-like storytelling in Beef. “I think he was really interested in trying something new, [and] we just kind of putting aside the dance aspect, almost even putting aside the music and tapping into what the themes of the song actually are and what kind of story that we can tell that feels true and relatable, but also kind of mysterious and open to interpretation at the same time,” Lee said of the visual in which RM plays several characters, including himself as a baby man in order to tell the “strange story about a man that is trapped in the past, present and future and seems to not be able to leave his own home.”

Watch the “Come Back to Me” video below.

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