What did you think of this “Cosmopolitan” photo shoot?
I’ve already done photo shoots, but it’s true that I’m still awkward and I’m embarrassed. However, I think it’s interesting that photo shoots can allow me to show sides of me that I can’t show in dramas or movies. Today, I wanted to show more of the real me.
I think you’ve been quite busy since the premiere of the movie “Obsession”.
I spent the month of May doing PR work. I was with the staff I worked with on this movie and I personally went to meet the audience in movie theaters and I felt it was a different kind of promo activities.
Well, you did get to do variety programs like “Witch’s Hunt” and “Radio Star”, right?
To be honest, I did say at first that I’d rather die than go on these shows because I’m shy. However, the movie director said he wouldn’t go and I wanted to have more people hear about the film. Besides, Dong Yup-hyung is in “Witch’s Hunt”, so that put me more at ease when I was there, but it wasn’t easy in the beginning. Yet, the reactions were really better than what I expected. Even better than for the movie. Haha. Fans said they have a brighter image of me as they see Song Seung Hun the man.
Doesn’t this mean you’d even do comedies, dress up as a woman?
Actually, I receive many scenarios for comic roles. Serious talk is going on these days. It seems that this movie gave me some kind of confidence to do so as I started wanting to do another kind of roles. I want to try cloak-and-dagger stories, I want to play a villain, but I want to play a role like a cyborg or a vampire. Haha.
What were the reactions around you about “Obsession”? A lot of people said you were different.
If you talk about the comic genre or adultery, people used to say “but can Song Seung Hun actually do something like this?”. I think this movie was the opportunity to make this prejudice disappear. I even think that “Obsession” makes the before-after separation in my career. It’s true that I always wanted to play upright, nice and charismatic characters before this role. However, even if it’s a supportive character or a small role, when you just do well now, people don’t point fingers at you becase you play a villain or a murderer, they compliment you. It’s something I couldn’t understand before. All I wanted to do was upright characters. It wasn’t just the people around me, my own mindset changed a lot too.
So you must have been worrying a lot when you first read the scenario of “Obsession”?
To be honest, the nude scenes weren’t that much of a pressure for me. The director said it was about the first love of a married man, but since it was set up as adultery, having bed scenes was natural. When I decided to shoot the movie, I didn’t even ask the director what the level of nudity would be. On the contrary, the fact that it was an affair put pressure on me because it was a role I had never tried before. Until then, I had this upright and stereotypical image. I have the feeling that this movie broke this fixed image and it feels good.
You uploaded on Twitter a picture taken in New Zealand not long ago. Do you enjoy traveling?
I went to New Zealand because I had to shoot a CF. I’ve never traveled just for the sake of traveling. I’ve always traveled because I had to go overseas for a photo shoot or to shoot a movie. I had to go to Turkey not long ago for work. I thought to myself “I didn’t get to travel because all I did was working since early in my 20’s”. It’s not just about going overseas, there are many good places to travel to in Korea.
It seems that you really think about traveling. Which place do you want to visit the most?
There are many places overseas that I think it would be great to visit and I want to try to visit all of them. India, Egypt… But the place I definitely want to go to again is the Insubong Peak of Dobongsan Mountain. You can do rock climbing by following an 8-hour trail. I was shooting the movie “Ice Rain” with Lee Sung Jae and Yoo Hae Jin and the three of us went over there. It’s already been 10 years! There are up to 10 places where you can take a break. We talked while looking at the stars and being in a bivouac on our way down. I can’t forget the wonderful night scenery of Seoul. I thought that if I got a girlfriend later on, I definitely wanted to teach her rock climbing and bring her over there, but that didn’t turn out well. Haha. I haven’t been able to make this dream come true, but I definitely want to go back to this place. I think it’s a memory I will keep for the rest of my life.
The announcements and pictures you upload on Twitter are impressive. You know they say you’re the first Hallyu star. When you started getting recognized overseas, how did you feel?
I started getting overseas fans after the drama “Autumn in my Heart”. I went to Taiwan and it was amazing to have people recognize me, it was overwhelming. I think people like me a lot because of “My Princess” these days. Ah, and it was great to have people recognize me when I was in Turkey. They said they watched “Doctor Jin”. To be honest, fans are the reason that makes me feel acting is something worth to do. One day, I received a letter from a foreign fan telling me “because of you, I get to love Korea, I’m interested in Korea”. It’s something I’m used to hear, but strangely, this letter made me more emotional. I even get this sense of responsibility that I must find a way to thank the fans.
You seem rational and cool-headed, but you seem to be quite delicate.
True. I’m in touch with my emotions and I’m delicate.
What do you think was the turning point of your life?
When I debuted? I never dreamed of being an actor. However, when I debuted, my life definitely took a 180 degree turn.
What do you think has changed the most about yourself between today and when you debuted?
I’m more comfortable with myself. When I shot the drama “You and I”, the sunbaes often told me not to cling to popularity. Actors are supposed to be good at acting and shoot many good projects. To be honest, I didn’t know what they meant back then. Wherever I went, people liked me and I thought this popularity would last forever. Then one of my projects didn’t do well, and that gave me a lot of stress. But I think I understand now what my sunbaes told me when I debuted. Now I’m not afraid of being critized for any role I’d play. I’m more confident instead and think people would even go “Song Seung Hun challenged himself with this kind of role”.
I feel like your growth as an actor was quite stable.
I was lucky. I’m not good at maintaining myself, you know? My friends who know me since middle school and high school know this very well. When I was with my friends, I was quite reckless and I just didn’t have the right behavior, I usually walked around wearing comfortable clothes. Some of my friends gave me my life’s breakthrough and I think I lead a true happy life. To be honest, I like my friends so much that I even got into a fight with my girlfriend because of that. I stick to my friends like glue. Haha.
Do you have a lot of married friends? I’m curious to hear your thoughts about marriage.
I really want to get married. It’s something that feels close and far away as if it wasn’t meant to be for me. To be honest, I do have some worries like “will I ever get married? Can I become an awesome husband and father?”. When I babysit for my friends, I sometimes feel like I want to get married.
You played many times the man falling in love in an instant? How is it for you in real life?
I always have this “I will love this person” feeling. This is what happened for my first love. It almost never happened to me to date someone I felt absolutely nothing for at the beginning. I usually fall in love at first sight.
What’s your definition of a sexy and charismatic man? What about a charismatic woman?
Isn’t the sexiest and the coolest thing for a man is to be a hard worker? I used to think that a sexy woman was about being a woman with a great body, now I’m interested in mature women. Women like my sunbaes Kim Sung Ryung, Kim Hee Ae, Kim Hye Soo. They were women who were already charming in the past, but they stand out even more today.
You’re famous for maintaining a muscular body, do you have any personal tip to share?
I love working out. I sometimes even say that I must work out for my health until the day I die. Steven Spielberg said in one interview that the most important thing to become a great director is health. He said you must be in good shape to shoot a good movie. And it’s true. I usually go to the gym and I run in a stadium. I exercise to match the character I play when I start a project.
It’s the consequence of constanly taking care of yourself from your 20’s until now. If you could go back to your 20’s, when was the happiest moment for you?
After shooting a Storm commercial, [So] Ji Sub and I went to the Storm store in front of the Sungshin Women’s University. We stared at our pictures in front of the store that had already closed its shutters. At that time, I had gone to college with no plan about my future, I was out of it. Looking at these pictures made me feel great. That moment when we talked and wondered “will things work out well for us” was a true happy moment for me. Can I say it was like a dream?
If you were to go back to your 20’s, is there something you’d like to do?
I think I’d just enjoy everything. If I could go back to the days of innocence.
This is already the middle of the year. I’m curious to hear about your plans for the second semester of 2014.
I’m planning to shoot movies. First, I’ll shoot a Chinese movie and I’m currently choosing my next Korean project. I want to work harder by showing more of the real me than the me I showed in my 20’s.