Yeo Jin Gu who turned 18 this year talked about his friends’ teenagehood or dating life, runaway kids stories. It seems like actor Yeo Jin Gu is aware that, compared to his friends of his age, his growth is happening through a different process and in a different place.
You look great!
Filming finished early yesterday, so I slept a lot. Up to 12 hours. I realized that people could sleep this long.
I feel it now that I talk to you. I think your voice is different compared to the time you held an interview with Nylon a year ago.
Really? I don’t know. It’s true that some people say this to me. They say my voice is lower and thicker. Looks like my voice changed a lot in a year.
tvN “Potato Star” is your first sitcom. What did you worry about the most? I personally thought that your voice couldn’t be suitable for a sitcom. I’m only saying this out of concern, but…
It’s something I worried about too. My voice is very low, so the tone I should use is the thing I talked the most about with the director.
You had only done regular dramas, so why suddenly choose a sitcom?
That’s the reason. As you know, I only did regular dramas. My acting kept showing deep emotions like tears or anger. I thought that if I were in a sitcom, I’d be able to diversify my acting. Joking around, laughing, short jokes. This is an image I had never shown until then. I thought it’d be good to show people the Yeo Jin Gu with a side a bit brighter. Before that sitcom, I filmed “Hwayi”. It was the kind of acting hard to watch and hard to play [?].
You were awarded with the “Best Rookie Actor” award at the 34th Blue Dragon Awards ceremony for your role in “Hwayi”. You seemed a bit in a daze when you went on stage to receive your award.
Everybody says this, but I really didn’t think I would win. So when they called my name, my mind went blank. I came back to my senses as I was going on stage. To be honest, I hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech, so I feel like I was out of it.
Are you happy to have received this award? Or do you feel a bigger pressure now?
Instead of pressure, I’d say I have a bigger sense of responsibility. I think I must never forget the meaning behind this award.
I think there was no disagreement about giving you the “Best Rookie Actor” award for “Hwayi” because you’re the child actor who left the biggest impression behind. Hwayi was a character with deep emotions, so you kept receiving psychology counseling even after you were done filming.
The condition was that any actor playing Hwayi must have psychology counseling. Fortunately, the diagnosis said that I was mentally strong. The role could have affected the actor even in his daily life, but I was lucky that it didn’t happen in my case. When I act, I quickly immerse myself in the character, so I don’t have many worries. Hwayi’s personality is different from mine, so I think I was able to maintain a certain distance. I did a lot of research to become Hwayi, but I think I was able to recognize that Hwayi and I are different.
When you talk about acting, you often use the word “research”, but what is this research you’re talking about?
I study the character’s personality or the emotions. My sunbaes go as far as to change the way they speak for each character they play and I think this is something I can’t do yet. It takes time for me to understand a character.
Is acting still fun for you when you must go through this research process?
Yes. Acting is really fun. Acting itself is fun, but I think the research process to find the character is even more interesting. I didn’t know how to do it at first, but the changing feelings you get about the scenario the more you study it are just amazing.
It feels like you were born to be an actor. If you had plans about what you want to do as an actor, are they going well?
This is what I said last year, but I feel like I’m still at the starting point. I just want to be part of projects that you can recommend to others and that even I don’t feel embarrassed about when I watch them.
You still haven’t had this kind of roles yet?
No. Everytime I watch [myself], I have regrets. I tell myself “I should have done better”.
It seems that your own satisfaction standard is set high.
Although a lot of people tell me “you’re good, you’re good”, from the point of view of the person who prepared [this role], I see everything that is missing. So I hope to immerse myself in order to play perfectly the character without missing a thing.
We’ve been talking only about acting for a long time now, would talking about the teenager Yeo Jin Gu be a waste? Since you’re spending most of your teenagehood on filming sets…
I’m getting closer to my dream, so while this comforts me, there are unfortunate things about it too. I’m still young, but I think about how many years of teenagehood I have left. Haha. I think that the number of memories the friends of my age have is a little bit different from mine, so when I rest, I try my best to spend a lot of time with my friends.
What do you do when you’re with your friends?
Sometimes, we go to the PC bang or we spend the day having fun at home, we eat. I like exercising, so we often play basketball and football.
Your friends are hitting puberty now, how about you? Your acting ability, you as a person, it seems like you’re growing pretty well without growing pains.
Hm… To be honest, when I see the huge emotional changes my friends are going through, I think it’s amazing and strange too. I never tell myself things like “I haven’t hit puberty yet”, “Am I going through puberty?”, “I suddenly want to run away like my friends” or “I want to be alone”.
What do you think of your friends who want to run away from home?
I don’t get it.
Because when you leave your house, the weather is hot when it’s summer and it’s cold when it’s winter. At home, you can play at the games you like, you can study, it’s comfortable, so I don’t get why you would want to leave your house. To my friends who run away from home, I try to convince them by saying “just hurry up to go back home. We don’t think deep because we’re teenagers, you must apologize to your parents”.
Still, there must be a reason for them to think there is no other solution, isn’t it sad that you can’t understand why your friends would feel this way?
My friends and I are living in different environments, so it’s not a feeling I personally experience, but the dramas and movies I’ve filmed until now made me experience more things than running away from home. Haha. I never experienced my friends’ emotions, but you should not leave your home anyway. Especially in winter.
You started working at an early age, do you feel like you’re more mature than friends of your age?
I have yet to think like an adult because I like joking and playing around. When my friends worry about college and their future, I worry about acting. It’s the only difference between us.
What do you worry about these days? When we met a year ago, you said you were worried about your high school application, your academic records, and your height.
I did? Haha. My academic records will always be something I worry about. I don’t know how taller I am, but I’m growing well. About my acting ability, there are still many things I haven’t experienced because I’m young, so I think it’s unfortunate that I can’t understand some emotions even when I read the script. My sunbaes and the director help me to understand, but it can only be different compared to what I’d personally experience. I want to go around, I want to experience many things. Like an 18-year-old would do.
But you know you’ll have to go back to a filming set. You’ll film until dawn. How do you manage to endure it?
When the filming takes all night, I think about which late-night snacks I’m going to have. Haha. I’m kidding. I receive my schedule every morning. I get happy when I erase one by one the things listed on my schedule. I feel accomplished like “today I achieved this much”. And when the scripts are piling up, I can’t be happy like this. Right now, the pile of the “Potato Star” scripts of the episodes I’ve already filmed goes up to my knee. Is it okay to be awfully happy about this?
Original article: Nylon
Translation: onesunnylady. T/n: I think this was the February issue.