t/n: jaerim means resurrection in Korean.
If you think that this actor whose androgynous and particular charm draws attention is cold and sensitive even in the way he speaks, you’re wrong. The Song Jae Rim who speaks in a slow way as he distinctly shares his thoughts is a very clever man.
I think you show good poses because you’re a model.
Aye, but my manager told me earlier to show better poses…
We said everything you did was great and “as expected, models are different”.
(to the manager) This should be a phone memo.
(laugh) You’re currently filming “Flower Boy Ramyun Shop”. What kind of role do you play?
Jung Il Woo plays a character called “Cha Chi Soo”. Cha Chi Soo has a group of friends who are flower boys. I’m one of them. My character is called Hee Gon. He has this chic personality but knows how to have fun.
You also did some modelling in Japan this year. Are you still active as a model right now?
No. I don’t do modelling for now. I’m focusing on the drama.
There are a lot of models turned actors. There are times when they do well, but it also happens that they’re being distinctive as models but don’t get to shine as actors. Aren’t you worried about that or don’t you feel any kind of pressure?
It’s something I do worry about, but I think it’s a worry shared by any person who wants to become an actor. “What is my personality?”, “What is my style?”, “Can I show it this way?”. It’s basic worry.
How would you describe your personality?
More than knowing what my personality is… I know how I look in other people’s eyes.
And how would that be? (laugh)
People don’t find me gentle the first time they meet me. That’s why I want to play city guys or chic guys because they match my looks. That’s because people who choose me see the exterior first. When I go to an audition, I must appeal to them by matching the image they had in mind, but I go in there knowing what they want. It’s what I do now and I want to show what’s inside of me later on.
If you get to choose later on, what would you like to try?
In the comedy genre, I like dark comedies. If I get this opportunity in my 20’s, it will be about the 880,000 won generation and the problems people in their 20’s have nowadays. I want to play a character dealing with problems you see in our society. A drama that can be funny, entertaining, a source of comfort because it would show exactly with honesty and calm the life we all live.
Your cameo in 2NE1’s music video was a hot topic. You played a bad guy who was violent toward CL.
It was only to stay true to what the director requested.
How was filming with 2NE1?
More than the fact that I got to work with 2NE1, it was an opportunity to show what I could do, so it was even more exciting.
Are you greedy?
I am. Greedy. I’m more than greedy.
I want to pass all the auditions I take. (laugh)
Do you go through specific practice?
I’ll become a good actor if I do well. (laugh)
What is a good actor?
When you go “ah, he/she’s definitely made for this” and when you think about me and you get to associate me to specific things. For instance, what do you think about when you see Choi Min Su-sunbaenim? (I think about toughness, virility) And I want to become an actor like him who is associated to codes that are only his. That’s what I want when someone hears the name Song Jae Rim. I’m keeping searching for what will make it happen.
Are there things you particularly make efforts on to make it happen?
I’m always thinking about what can help me with my acting, be it the words or looks people give me. I like observing people. I like watching people acting. When I’m on a set, I don’t really miss on the opportunity to watch the other actors act, I constantly watch them. When someone says they’re going under because they’re lonely, it’s hard. That’s why I meet and talk to people to build a connection. After that, I take time for myself. I go back and forth a lot.
Back and forth?
When I meet people, if I want to see them a lot right after meeting them, I keep being on my own. I’m training myself to take my distances after being close. I don’t get swayed here and there and that’s how I can find myself.
What are your hobbies?
I’ve been into swimming lately. And playing the guitar. I like reading books about philosophy.
You read philosophy books?
I really enjoy psychology and Schopenhauer.
What is the latest book you read?
“자유 죽음”. [t/n: The Korean title is quite short compared to the translations. I know it is by Jean Amery, so I assume the English title is “On Suicide: A discourse on voluntary death”] There’s the glamorization of suicide by saying you can think of it in a noble way, but our society rules consider it as a bad thing. You’re not born through your own will, but death can be something you choose. It’s the book I’m reading right now.
Do you agree with this?
I agree. There’s nothing completely good in this world and there’s nothing completly bad either. What you think was a virtue before can become evil. It’s like tattoos. During the Goryeo days, it was part of a ritual, but it wasn’t something accepted by the generation before ours. When I read a book like this, it becomes a poison. If I get to medidate, it can also become the remedy. I use it as a remedy.
Since you’re talking about tattoos, you have a sentence tattooed on your shoulder. Is it your life motto?
“There’s nothing I can overcome among the hardships given to me.” It’s a phrase of the Bible. It’s a good belief, but I don’t really know about it today.
Do you go to church?
I do, but it’s something you should just talk about freely. I think I lost this belief.
So do you have a different motto today?
“Have fun”. Having fun, meeting people, I think I must find fun when I do these things to be able to enjoy them. It goes for acting too. It’s exhausting to say “I must convince people with the way I express this”. When you make something really meaningful to you, you’re oppressed. I think being able to have a easy life for anyone is about finding your own satisfaction, your own enjoyment and finding freely something interesting in anything you do.
Have you been wanting to be a model or an actor since your school days?
I wanted become an actor before becoming a model. I often get asked why I wanted to be an actor. I thought about it a lot. I got asked this question in a recent interview and I thought about the answer a couple of days ago. “Why did I want to become an actor?” To be honest, why I wanted to get into acting, when I started wanting to be an actor, I forgot the reason.
Did you want to do it since high school?
No. I don’t think I did.
Ah, so when you were in college, then?
I was a major in computing and information systems when I was in college. My plan was just to work in a company. When my father was young, he had his business, but it didn’t turn out well. So I thought “if I become an office worker, I’ll get a salary every month”. When I was in high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know a job like being an editor existed. When I was young, the career choices that were listed on the back of the workbook supplement in the college entrance preparation private academy were nurse, doctor, lawyer…
There was this supplement?
Ah, you didn’t know.
It’s the first time I hear about that.
Not even knowing this makes you even comfortable to find a job. I couldn’t think I could just see this written in an Excel sheet made by someone else and decide the college I’ll go to by telling to myself “I like this job, so I must go there”. I thought it wouldn’t be okay for me to go through the school life by the book.
I think we’re not given time to find our own values, to organize our own thoughts. Our society goes very fast, so when you’re in high school, you learn only about how to study, you learn nothing about how to live. Except when it comes to worrying about SATs, we can’t really know how enjoy life. How did I get here? When did I want to become an actor, what did I want to become… When I first got into college, I wanted to work in a lab. I told myself, “I must wear the white coat and do research because I joined the Animal Resources department” because I had failed at my major exam.
What’s the Animal Resources course about?
You do research on proteins and things like that.
So you must have studied really hard.
If it had become my major, I was planning to study hard. (laugh) However, I didn’t work hard and I failed. That’s how changes are about. How someone’s life changes. You must go to college to study the things you want to study, but your grade is also based on other things… We don’t have many options.
You’re still a rookie actor. Do you think you have the “star quality”?
Hm, any actor has his own mannerism at some extent. I think of it at some extent, but I don’t brag about it. There are many people who soar and crawl, but thinking “I will make it” is a shameful thought for a rookie. I think you’ll get good results if you do. It only goes up to thinking about it.
If one word could sum up your personality?
I always say the same thing. “Feather”.
Birds have feathers. When birds flock together, wherever one goes, all of them go. However, if a feather gets lost, even if it doesn’t go to the place it wanted to go, the wind can bring it up or down and it’s free, it’s light. When it’s not restricted by space, it floats around in the air. It is pretty unstable, but if your heart can adjust to this unstability, you can feel at ease and actually find your own stability. I think it’s a good way of thinking.
Even when you’re in water, if you float, you just float. However, if you keep telling yourself “what should I do? what should I do?”, you will sink. So it’s the same. Finding stability in an unstable situation. Acting is just the same. When I don’t know which line the other person will say, if I worry only about myself, we will be disconnected. Balance is about forgetting about yourself. That’s why I hate being restricted when it comes to acting or in my interactions with other people. That’s why I want to be a feather. Because I’m a feather.
(laugh) So it means you’re finding your own balance within instability right now?
Yes. I’m doing a good job. I’m working hard. I’m struggling. I’m putting efforts into it. It will turn out great.
Original article: Nylon
Translation: @onesunnylady – thesunnytown.com