We met Kim Woo Bin while the last episode of “The Heirs” was airing. We all sat down on a sofa and watched the finale. It was the time to let go of Young Do. Kim Woo Bin’s “Act 2, Scene 1” starts now.
Vogue Girl: It’s amazing to look at you watching the last episode of “The Heirs”. Now you’ve said goodbye to Young Do, how do you feel?
I have mixed feelings. On one hand I feel sad about some things, on the other hand I’m relieved. Now that it’s over, I feel less pressure.
V.G: You filmed “The Heirs” for nearly four months. Do you realize that it’s over?
In fact, we filmed until yesterday which was the day before the final episode aired. After I heard the director shout “cut” for the last time, we all thanked each other for the hard work, but somehow I felt like I’d still have to get up this morning to go on the set. So when I opened my eyes this morning, I told myself “no more lines to memorize” and that was what made realize a little that it was over. (laugh)
V.G: Young Do is a bit different from the other rebellious characters you’ve played until now.
You’re right. Starting with his environment itself, he was different from my other rebel characters. Writer Kim Eun Sook worked hard, so I worried a lot because I wanted Choi Young Do to leave the most vivid impression.
V.G: Playing evil or rebellious characters seems easy for you. As you know, Young Do was also a complicated kid. He was mean and nice at the same time.
At first when I was given the role of Young Do, I wondered about what could have made him so twisted. I think the biggest cause was a lack of affection. Even to express minor emotions, I think there’s a clear difference between him and his friends who grew up being loved by their parents. Unlike Young Do, I grew up with my parents giving me so much love. My family really lives in harmony. We even have our own chatroom on Kakaotalk. (laugh) My sister is three years younger than me and we’re very close. Simply put, I never had to think about the lack of affection and problems Young Do had to deal with. That’s why I worked even harder to show Young Do in his most Young-Do style.
V.G: Do you see your family often?
My parents still live in Jeonju. I’m on my own in Seoul, so I can’t see them often. I haven’t had a day off in more than a year. Besides, my sister is in college, so she’s busy too.
V.G: Your sister and you seem quite close. I only have two daughters, so they’re jealous of their friends who have older brothers.
And I was jealous of my friends who had older sisters (laugh). Even if my sister complains about it, we’re still close. Acting like the older brother was natural to me, but as my sister gets older, she sometimes acts as if she’s the older sister. She’s very mature. She takes care of me more. But since she’s nonchalant, she takes care of me while she pretends she doesn’t. I’m more delicate than her. She’s kind of like a female warrior.
V.G: So you have this kind of bright personality, why do you play rebellious roles so often?
I think it goes with my looks. I did play nice characters. When I was filming a sitcom, I had the role of a very innocent guy. (laugh) However, I think that I received more love for the strong characters I played. I feel like people don’t really remember the nice ones.
V.G: So how were the non-rebel Kim Woo Bin’s, no, the real Kim Hyun Joong’s school days?
I’ve wanted to be a model ever since I was a kid. I think I didn’t wander much because I’ve always had a clear idea of what I wanted to do. My parents respected my opinion and always had faith in me because they knew that I’d work even harder if I saw the trust they had in me. Thanks to my parents, I managed to do the job I wanted to do.
V.G: Model Kim Woo Bin also seems a bit different. Do you still go on stage during your spare time?
I have no intention to keep missing on this. This is a job I really love. It gives me that thrilling sensation that makes my heart beats like crazy. I like doing photoshoots, but I specially enjoy walking the runway. I want to do it as long as possible. Like Cha Seung Won-sunbaenim who is an actor and still walks the runway. I really want to follow his example and take care of myself to show a real good image.
V.G: So you feel great when you look at your pictures from when modelling was your main activity?
I feel great right now too. (laugh) I was a bit younger back then and there were a few things I had to give up. Should I speak with more freedom? [?] I was watching “Infinite Challenge” not long ago, Yoo Jae Suk told Noh Hong Chul that “as you grow older, there are many things you need to give up on”. It’s not about getting old, it’s about the many things you must let go of as time goes by. I can relate to this. In my case? I realize that the fact that I was able to accept all these changes without constraint isn’t a bad thing in the end. I used to be an introvert and to blush very easily. I was very shy, but it’s amazing how these things about me are changing nicely. While learning how to let go, I felt more comfortable in my own skin.
V.G: When I look at the celebrities who went into their career so early and in such a hard way, I feel like they all look more mature than their age.
I’ve often been called an old soul [t/n: the word he uses means a kid who acts like an old person] ever since I was young. (laugh) That’s why I spent more time with older guys rather than my peers and I was always the maknae wherever I went. On the set of “The Heirs”, I was the second oldest hyung after Minho-hyung. So I unconsciously felt a sense of responsibility. I tried my best to show the younger actors a good image.
V.G: They were all born in 1993, 1994, right? Was it easy to keep them under control?
There was no need to. They’re all very nice and adorable. They worked very hard and looking at them gave me strength. If it weren’t for them, I think I’d have run out of energy during this filming. I was very thankful.
V.G: Will 2013 be a big turning point for you?
I think I’ll always remember everything that I did in 2013 because I received so much love and so much support. At the beginning of the year, I received a lot of attention through “2013 School”. In the second half of the year, there was “The Heirs”. Do you know it? The first time my CEO saw me, this is what he told me. “You’re the face of the next generation. Right now it’s not the case.” (laugh) To be honest, I was thinking the same. So I promised myself to gain experience meanwhile and prepare myself slowly. And then I suddenly received all this attention that I wouldn’t even have dreamed of, so it’s a year I can only be thankful for. Because of that, I want to measure up to the fans’ support, so I must be harsher on myself about some aspects.
V.G: This year, you overcame your mid-20’s (his Korean age was 25 in 2013). By any chance, is there any small things you’d like to try?
There are a lot of things I want to try. I want to learn a foreign language. Ah, I want to learn how to sing. Not being able to sing is a real stress for me. When I go karaoke with my friends, I never touch the mic. When I have no confidence in doing something, I just don’t do it at all.
V.G: Is there something you’re not good at?
I’m not good at dancing. I can’t dance and I can’t sing either. While I was preparing to become a model before, I took jazz dance and ballet lessons for a year in order to find a sense of rhythm, but there was zero progress. (laugh)
V.G: So there are things you can’t do! It makes you sound more human.
There are many things I’m not good at. I look like I’m very good at sports, right? I’m really not good at all. Especially ball games. I don’t really know the rules.
V.G: Is that how the article should be published? Like “Kim Woo Bin really can’t play any ball game”?
It’s already been out there a lot, so I’m fine with it. (laugh)
Original article: Vogue Girl