As he dreamed of home runs, Yoon Hyun Min was a boy who ranked first in physical fitness test although he hated studying. Following his uncle’s recommendation, he started playing baseball in middle school. When I was 20, he joined a pro baseball team. Yoon Hyun Min didn’t stop there and kept developing a completely different goal. Acting was a path he had never thought of. Armed just with his tenacity, he tried to be a musical actor. As his desire to be an actor went on, “Heartless City” in 2013 gave him the opportunity to make a a leap. And last year, his balanced acting skills with his roles in “Witch’s Romance” and “Discovery of Romance” got him more attention from the audience. Will his character Lee Jun Hee in “Falling for Innocence” become another rookie hit for this 31-year-old late bloomer?
2014 is an unforgettable year because it’s the year that let us truly know the actor called Yoon Hyun Min. It would have been even better if I had received the rookie award at the year-end ceremony. I was nominated for “Discovery of Romance” in the male rookie award category at the KBS Drama Awards. As I was secretly expecting to win, I told the staff we’d have a drink if I received the award, but we ended up drinking soju in the end. Haha. Still, I was very happy. Just because I got to attend such ceremony.
From “Heartless City” to “Discovery of Romance”, what was the most challenging role? Yong Soo Chul in “Witch’s Romance”. It was my first time trying a character so bright and smiling so often. I was very worried at that time and it was exhausting, but I think this role gave me the opportunity to play Do Jun Ho in “Discovery of Romance”.
“Falling For Innocence” is your third rom-com in a row. The story itself is bright, but my character Lee Joon Hee is a bit of a serious and dark character. I thought it was a character that would bring changes to my acting once again. He seems to be an elite walking down an easy path, but he’s actually lacking many things. He has a wicked side too. That’s what made the character even more interesting. Personally, I like stories full of romance. My favorite movie of all-time is “Notting Hill”.
How is the Kim So Yeon that you see? I think So Yeon-nuna is truly an angel. I talked about it with Kyung Ho-hyung. It’s my first time seeing an actress like her. When filming is delayed because her clothes or her make-up must be changed, she rushes in and rushes out [to get it done]. I was moved by such dedication.
I heard you had a special relationship with Jung Kyung Ho. He’s like a true older brother to me. I think he’s the best Korean actor in our age range. That’s why I’m trying to follow him. He goes jogging evey morning, so I go with him sometimes… As someone who quit baseball because I hate running (laugh).
You used to be a baseball player. You said yourself that it was “sudden”, but didn’t you have some kind of interest in entertainment even before? I was absolutely not interested in the entertainment world. When I was a baseball player, I often heard “you don’t look like an athlete”, but I didn’t like hearing these words. It made me feel uncomfortable when my sunbaes kept saying “try to be an entertainer”. And I naturally started disliking baseball and I was thinking about dropping out. The turning point was when I coincidentally attended the musical “Finding Kim Jong Wook”. I don’t know if I would have taken a different path if I had met a business owner back then.
In the acting world, are you feeling the thrill you had in the world of competition? I enjoy the work I do. I’m happy because I don’t rest and keep acting. I’ve realized that there are usually two or three scenes I’m satisfied with when I film a drama. In all my other scenes, I can feel my shortcomings. There are also dramas in which I can’t find one single scene I’m satisfied with. Stil, I think the number of satisfying scenes will increase the more dramas I do. I can’t wait to see which scenes of “Falling for Innocence” will be memorable for me when the drama is over.
What do you do when you spend time alone? I go to a health club running 24 hours a day. And I’ve been into the “my home, my space” mindset lately. While I was waiting earlier, I was looking at interior pictures with my phone. For 31-year-old men, it means getting steadily prepared to get married.
What makes you fall for a woman? Stylish fashion? Aren’t women like Gong Hyo Jin-sunbae or Kim Min Hee-sunbae lovely even when they’re wearing a military jacket with jeans? As I got into acting, I started being interest in fashion and I like shopping for clothes. When I was an athlete, I couldn’t find my size, so I couldn’t buy clothes just anywhere.
And what makes you attractive? The fact that I’m a good listener. I’d rather listen to what she says than speak.
Which kind of actor do you dream to be? I want to keep acting and show a different image with each projecct. When I met director Ji Young Soo for “Falling For Innocence”, he said he found my filmography interesting because it is diverisified and goes from dark roles to funny roles, although I’m still not a lead actor who can freely choose his projects. It was partly intentional on my part and it was partly out of luck. It was nice to get recognition from the director. I liked it when people who remembered me in “Heartless City” and “Inspiring Generation” were surprised and said “it’s the same guy?” when they saw me in “Discovery of Romance”.
You’re turning 31 this year, don’t you feel any disappointment for starting so late? I do think “if I hadn’t played baseball at all and started acting early…”, but my time is here and this made me who I am today. When I was in my 20’s, my desire to be a good actor grew bigger. It was a dilemma for me and I wanted to reach 30 fast because no matter how much effort I would have made, it would have been awkward for me to be a 25-year-old actor who portrays a chaebol of the 2nd generation. I thought it’d be nice that time left its imprint on my face. Every time I looked in the mirror, I would frown to create wrinkles. However, when I actually turned 30, I realized it wasn’t such a big deal. My lack of life experience is still ridiculous. I want to be 40 fast. I hope to age gracefully.
Do you have a charismatic role model in their 40’s?
Among the celebrity baseball team “Playboys” sunbaes I meet once a week such as Kim Seung Woo, Ji Jin Hee, Jang Dong Gun… When I look at them, I feel like my roots are a little bit stronger. For an actor like me who achieved nothing, being able to join a group of top stars at the beginning was such great luck. If I had lived without knowing them, I wouldn’t think the way I do today, I wouldn’t have the goal I have today.
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com