[December 2014 – Nylon] Yeon Woo Jin – Everything is alright – Interview

Nylon - Yeon Woo Jin

People often say that you’re cold and quiet during interviews. You’re even called “The Scholar”.

I really have no idea why everybody says that about me. It’s just that I’m shy sometimes and I try to be careful. Especially when I’m doing an interview. I have this obsession that I must be sure of what I say because I’m worried that my words might be interpreted in a different way that I intended to, so I think that makes me even more cautious.

There are many cold and quiet people. So why would you get the “Scholar” nickname…

I’m really not as quick as people think. I’m a calm and gentle person. If you want to say it in a positive way, can I say I’m free? I hate restrictions and I go with the flow, so it seems that when people see me, they think “what is he thinking? Seems like he has no worry” (laugh). Is it why I look like a scholar?

Are you scared to show yourself?

It’s not to the point that I’m scared, but letting people know who Yeon Woo Jin is as a man makes me a bit shy. I hope to show who I am a little bit more through my image as an actor and the roles I play. I’m still determined in my desire to portray the character well, but my real life image is nothing important. Showing my true image has no charm. (laugh)

Why do you think so?

Well… Like I have this feeling that there’s always something about me that isn’t important? I feel like I show more what I’m lacking of… I’m still not comfortable with showing my true self.

There are actors who carry this image that is attached to them. For instance, Kim Yoon Suk is someone who hit rock bottom, Jung Woo Sung has this rebel image. Have you ever wanted to carry one specific image that would represent you?

Well… Putting the acting perspective aside, it’s something I never thought about. What does the audience think about me? Right now, they’ll probably remember Gong Ki Tae, the warm-hearted guy who pretends to be mean in “Marriage, not Dating”, right? Ah, I want to break this image with each project. (laugh) If I get to play a villain, I don’t care if people see me as evil. I think it will be sad if I get limited to one type of role. I want to become an actor who creates expectation and makes people say “let’s see how he will change this time” when I say I accept a role.

In 2013, you showed great acting with the KBS drama special “Just An Ordinary Love Story”. It’s the image of the ordinary man that can be seen in the street.

I was exhausted because I was in the last stage of filming “Ojakyo Brothers”. However, I read the scenario and I just couldn’t let pass this on. It was a role I really wanted to try. I had Yoo Da In as a partner, so I was thrilled while filming. I was happy while doing this. I still can’t forget what I felt back then.

If you could make your own drama special from writing to acting, what kind of drama would you create?

I want to create something that doesn’t cater to the experimental or commercial side of things. I want to create something that would mix the feeling of peeking into someone’s life and the documentary genre without following one specific theme. Could it be possible with the one-hour drama format? As an actor, I wonder about how other people live. Like “what does this person think and how does this person live?”… Isn’t that what everybody think?

Interesting. Wouldn’t it be great if you really did it?

I have no writing skills. I was a member of a film club when I was in high school. What do you do in a film club? You watch movies. Haha.

What kind of movie did you watch?

I like movies dealing with trivial things and with a soft side. Between paintings, music and movies’ themes, I like movies that make you think a lot afterwards and you can talk about on your way home. I like movies like “The Life of Others”, “Josee, The Tiger and The Fish”, “Knocking on Heaven’s door”.

The reactions to “Tunnel 3D” weren’t as good as you thought it would be.

It’s a meaningful project in many ways. It’s the first movie I did after my debut with “Between Friends”. It had been a long time since I had done a movie and it was my first time trying the horror genre and filming in 3D. That’s why I was quite enthusiastic. I received good energy from the people I worked with. Of course, there are things that could have been better, but still I’m not disappointed. I’m accepting the judgment about the final result.

You grew up in Gangneung until you started college. What do you talk about with your childhood friends when you meet them?

I often see my friends from Gangneung. It’s a way for me to release the stress. Althought we talk about old memories, it’s fun. We all went to college in Seoul, we lived away from our families and we enjoyed this freedom. On each bookcase shelf, we pinched in 10,000 won for our living expenses and we’d take one banknote every day, we gathered and had a lot of fun. It was the best moment of my life. Gangneung is now a place that represents so many feelings for me. It’s great. I still go quite often to Gangneung.

I feel how much you love Gangneung.

When I was a kid, my father often brought me to the beach and to the moutain. I was able to like it more and more. If it’s possible, I want to go back to this time.

Don’t you like what you have going on today? Why do you want to go back to your childhood?

I could achieve anything when I was a kid. I could have everything. Back then, when I made efforts, things would work out. I studied hard and I played hard. I was always successful whenever I joined a competition. I felt like I could become the best, even in sports. My father taught me oratory, calligraphy, sports, painting. He brought me here and there. I felt like I owned the world. Now, when something doesn’t work out, I remember my childhood. I think to myself “why can’t I find the same energy I had back then? Why can’t I defeat the Kim Bong Hee of my childhood?”

[t/n: his real name is Kim Bong Hee]

During this interview, you used a lot of time the word “alright”. Is there anything that you hate?

Hm… I don’t know. Can I think about it and tell you another time?

Original article: Nylon
Translation: @onesunnylady – thesunnytown.com

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One Comment

  1. OMG onesunnylady thanks sooo much for translating this, I love this interview!! He sounds really thoughtful and earnest. I especially loved his answer about his hometown, really resonates. Thanks 🙂

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