This short hairstyle really suits you.
I get hot easily, so I wanted to cut my hair short. This time, I got to do it because of a role. I felt awkward at first, but I got used to it now.
As you’re working out for the movie “Western Front” you’re currently filming?
It’s not just me. Seol Kyung Gu-sunbaenim is working out too. I play a North Korean soldier. The story takes place in the middle of the war, so I hope to give off this thin body vibe rather than looking healthy with a muscular body. Personally, I think that losing weight to look cool wouldn’t be easy (laugh). Gaining or losing weight isn’t hard when it’s for a role. The character makes me change, so it’s fun.
How’s the set of “Western Front”? I saw a couple of stills and you seemed having a hard time because you were wallowing in a forest.
It’s hard, but the movie set is fun. We’re shooting on a Chungju island. It’s a beautiful place with ivy that gives this dreamlike atmosphere. It’s a war movie, but it’s a touching movie with many comic elements. That’s why the atmosphere on the set is quite bright. Director Cheon Sung Il personally wrote the scenario, so he gives me a lot of detailed advice. And more than that, he shows great consideration toward each actor and staff member. Seol Kyun Gu-sunbaenim is so funny and friendly. He always takes care of me, I called him sunbaenim but he told me to call him hyungnim. (laugh)
If you could ask him that, you could have had a father-son relationship with him. (laugh) Were the actors in “Hwayi” your “hyungnims”? (laugh)
I called the sunbaenims of “Hwayi” “dads” just like I did in the movie. They’re all people I’ve been seeing on TV ever since I was a little boy, but they were comfortable around me, so I wondered if it was okay to call them hyungnims. (laugh) I always learn many things from the sunbaes in each project I do. Of course, it must take some time for me to perfectly undestand some things. After getting more experiences, I think I’ll be able to understand and see what they’re teaching me now. I’m so thankful for all the valuable stories they share with me today.
I think “Hwayi” was quite an important movie in your career. It’s a movie that made you unforgettable for the viewers.
It has a big meaning to me. Besides the fact that it was my first time getting the lead role, it was also a big challenge for me. Hwayi was a special character. He was completely different from me, so I felt that he was next to me but also totally far away. Acting made me understand him. More than having his emotions finding a resolution, things get more and more complicated. However, it’s the charm of this character. We all tried our best to keep this feeling of ever-growing tree roots.
You played many strong roles. I feel like it must be hard to lead an ordinary life when you play such roles.
I learned a lot about that while filming “Hwayi”. My “dads” often told me that I must make a clear distinction between acting and real life. It’s good to be immerse in a role, but they said it’s hard if you can’t detach yourself from the character.
If you look up “Yeo Jin Gu” on the internet, you can read that many people say you were born to be an actor. I think the same.
It’s flattering. I still have many things to learn. I must look up my name if I want to see things like this. However, it’s embarrassing, so I can’t do it. If people talk to me about it, it’s okay. Looking up my own name is quite embarrassing. My friends tease me about it, looking it up with them around is impossible. (laugh)
How would you describe your regular self?
I like being with my friends. I joke around a lot. When I’m with my friends, I feel like I’m being 18.
What kind of movie or music do you enjoy these days?
Like guys my age, I enjoy action, heroes movies. However, I also like movies that my friends would consider embarrassing. As for music, I listen to a lot of hip-hop these days. I listen to it before going to bed, I listen to it whenever I have time. I’m being a guy, right? City guys talk about things they never think as “embarrassing”, it’s fun. (laugh) I’m blunt, but I like melo movies too. I still feel awkward to say it out loud, though. (laugh)
The movie “Shoot My Heart” you shot this summer is about to premiere. How was it to work on this movie?
I just called (Lee) Min Ki-hyung “hyung”. He often told me to use informal speech, so I talked to him with a mix of both. (laugh) Min Ki-hyung likes joking around, so the atmosphere on the set was fun. It’s too bad he had to go to the army right after. This character is so different that you wonder if it’s the same person when you compare the first scene and the last scene. That allowed me to learn in detail about how to change a character’s psychology, no matter what reversal situations is going on. It’s a movie based on Jung Yoo Jung’s novel. However, I think the atmosphere is a bit different from the book. Unexpectedly, it’s a bright movie, it’s a movie about youth.
How are you spending your youth?
“Youth” itself is a beautiful word. It’s a time when you get strong feelings that move you more than at any other age. You’re happy, then you’re sad. For some reason, you’re in a bad mood, then you feel happy all of a sudden. However, since I get to feel all these emotions while acting, I feel like the impact is lessen in my daily life. I feel like I’m enjoying a quiet youth.
The difference between other young men and you is that you started working early in the movie industry. You can grow through each project. Do you ever think that you’re going through many experiences too fast?
What I can clearly say is that I got to find something that I really enjoy doing. Anything that would change because of that means nothing. I really love acting, so I’m good because I do something I like. Acting is fun. I enjoy doing it. It’s fun to feel something when I look at myself afterward. I get so many feelings. I can feel embarrassed or I can have regrets, but the feeling of accomplishement and the joy are big. I think that acting keeps making me learn some things. I keep learning from my sunbaenims. I must get even more experiences and explore various emotions as I live my life.
What are the words you’d like to tell yourself the most today?
You can do well. I hope I can keep this kind of confidence. I don’t want to be anxious or pessimistic about the roles I will get or the things I must do. Be it good, be it bad, I hope I’ll be able to deal with everything that comes my way. No matter what, I want to live with a smile on my face.
T/n: He turned 17 in August… I kinda hope he’ll do like Yoo Seung Ho and go to the military early because he already looks like an adult, so he can take 2 years off and come back to enjoy playing characters in their early 20’s when he’s actually in his early 20’s. And I’m waiting for that director who will bring together Kim Yoo Jung, Kim So Hyun, Yeo Jin Gu, Kim Sae Ron and Kim Hyang Gi in the same movie when they’re all 20+. I wouldn’t know who to ship, but all I know is that it would be epic.
Original article: Marie Claire
Translation: @onesunnylady – thesunnytown.com