You’ve been working all the time since you got discharged from the military. You must have been dying to act again?
Because acting is the only thing I know how to do and it was a 2-year break. I think I was lucky to find good projects. “Rollercoaster”, “Heartless City”, “Endless Love”, “Manhole”… I really worked a lot, right? I also shot two music videos. However, there were many times when I worked for free, so I didn’t earn a lot of money. Haha.
From playing a foul-mouthed star in “Rollercoaster” to playing a murderer in “Manhole”, you didn’t play ordinary roles. It eveen feels like “Falling For Innocence” is just a pause.
Indeed. I was really planning to rest for a while, but the drama gathered people I know such as director Ji Young Soo, Hyun Min, the assistant director and FD, so I thought it’d make things a bit more comfortable. Truth is, no project is easy.
Don’t you feel the burden of the lead who must capture the heart of female viewers?
I don’t know about that because it’s been quite a while since I’ve been in a romantic comedy. I have no thought like “I must be charismatic all the time”. What I think is that I must be funny because the script is funny. I didn’t know the drama would have such comedy in it.
Filming started in February. How is it to play Kang Minho?
It’s fun. Kang Min Ho isn’t a regular guy. He’s diagnosed with a terminal illness and after he put his life on the line to get revenge for his father, he undergoes a heart transplant surgery and he survives… What happens next? As he goes through the “cellular memory syndrome, he sees So Yeon-nuna and his heart will start beating for her, right? And So Yeon-nuna hates him at first, but then she’ll love him, right? And what about Hyun Min? He’ll probably interfere, right? If we’re going for the obvious, he’ll pay for his evil deed, but the process should be interesting, right?
Your star image was strong during your rookie days, and with the roles you portrayed after being discharged with the army, I thought your masculine beauty was even more highlighted. However, now that I see you today, you’re a very bright person.
This was all a lie. Haha. As people say, it is “acting”. If I feel different from before, it’s because I’m older.
I heard you were close with Yoon Hyun Min. What do you share?
We grew closer while filming jTBC drama “Heartless City” in 2013. We lived in the same neighborhood, like 30 seconds away from each other. We had a drink together, we exercised together and at some point, we got to share deep stories. Hyun Min is really innocent. He may look stubborn, but he’s a nice dongsaeng who is a good listener.
I heard the two of you went to Spain together at the end of last year.
It’s a country that I had always wanted to go to and there was this cheap trip offered by a travel agency. I was planning to go all by myself, but Hyun Min said he wanted to come along, so we went on a 27-day trip. We went there via Russia. As for the accomodations, I took Hyun Min into consideration and I chose an upgraded place.
Was he a nice travelling buddy?
Hyung Min must have had a hard time because he was trying to match my pace. When I travel, I plan perfectly everything. Like where I’m going to eat lunch, dinner, where the landmarks are or the shopping hot spots. And I don’t use taxis or subways. Before we left, I told him “Hyun Min-ah, I walk a little bit”, and he said “I walk every day too”. However, he sprained his ankle the following day after we got there, so we did ride in a taxi a little.
What was the most memorable city?
Madrid. I ran in the Buen Retiro Park and it was truly amazing.
It seems that you don’t skip onr your jogging routine even during your trip.
I don’t. I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years. I ran on the Han riverside today while listening to KBS radio “Lee Keun Chul’s Good Morning Pops”.
Is it to study English?
No. The show itself is fun. He and his co-host John Valnentine are so witty. Every Wednesday, they invite a (voice) actor as a guest for their panel. And I’ve already considered what I’d do if I were invited. If the opportunity comes, I really want to be in the show at least once.
That’s an unexpected interest. Other things you’re interested in.
When I’m at home, taking care of my two puppies is enough to make time fly by. I’ve been doing some Gundam assemblying, but this doesn’t match my personality. I end up drinking alcohol all by myself because I get frustrated. When I’m focused, 8 hours can spend with empty beer cans piling up by my side. I watch all kind of movies. Yesterday, I used the VOD service to watch “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”. I love Ben Stiller’s comedy acting. And I’m also reading “50 Shades of Grey” because I think reading the book will make the movie more interesting.
Don’t men usually say they struggle to put up with this book?
I’ve already read half of the book and I think it’s fun? I was surprised that the rating was higher than I thought. It’s my first time reading a novel with the label indicating it was prohibited to be sold to people under 19. However, it is said that the relationship between the actor in “50 Shades of Grey” and his wife worsened. And the actress and her boyfriend broke up. How do I know that? I heard it all on “Gong Hyung Jin’s Cinetown”. (laugh)
When you’ve been doing something for more than 10 years, can’t you say you’re an expert? Do you have this self-confidence about acting?
Never. I debute in “Sorry, I Love You” in 2003 and it’s been more than 11 years now. I still want to improve and do much better. I must prepare my roles even more and study even more. I think I must be focused a little bit more in everything I do. Because I’m still lacking and I make small mistakes, I never found myself in a situation in which I can’t do the work I love.
What are your expectations for “Falling For Innocence”?
The PR sub-line says “a romantic healing drama”. I hope it will be a healing source for me. I’ve been doing complex roles, so I think I was a bit exhausted. I hope this will be a drama I’ll be able to enjoy doing without worrying about the ratings. I want to laugh and enjoy filming this drama.
Finally, do you think of yourself as someone romantic?
Quite a lot. If I look back at what I’ve done until now, I should be praised for it.
Translation: @onesunnylady – thesunnytown.wordpress.com