t/n: I don’t think this one was translated? It was published while I was sick in November, it just ended up at the bottom of my list. I had translated the first two questions and I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. Well, in case anyone is interested?
On the year he turned 30, Song Jae Lim was in a hotel room in China on January 1st. Because “Inspiring Generation” filming overlapped with the New Year. “I wasn’t sad. I was actually happy as I told myself “I’m working”, “I’m a working actor”.” And so Song Jae Lim is spending his 30th year working like crazy. Once he was done filming “Inspiring Generation”, he filmed movie “Tunnel 3D” with Jung Yumi, Yeo Woo Jin, and right after that, he started filming “Surplus Princess”. To be honest, to Song Jae Lim, being 30 had a brutal reality meaning. “When I was young, I had this vague dream of having a stable life at 30. However, as I got older and I worked, I realized that being 30 became a scary thing. A person needs to have dreams, needs to live chasing after their dreams, but to me, 30 was just the beginning of a brutal dream.” Still, when he actually turned 30, his situation changed. Even if he can’t feel how tough his busy schedule is, he’s now moving closer to the image his younger self dreamed of when he’d be 30.
To Song Jae Lim who started working part-time as model by chance, then ended up shooting ads and was in famous Japanese fashion magazines, who even branched out into acting and kept broadening his fields of activities, drama “Surplus Princess” has a special meaning. Because everything is a first for him. Of course, there’s the fact that it’s his first romantic comedy, and the image of cold Chef Kwon Si Kyung who can also smile like a fool is also something Song Jae Lim is awkward with. However, no matter ho hard it is, Song Jae Lim think it’s the opportunity to definitely win against the obstacle, to definitely learn. Because he wants to express various charms different from warrior Woon people remember from “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”. However, there’s something suspicious about this guy. He confesses that he has no ambition. “I’m not in a position to niptick or have demands about a character or a project. (laugh) If it’s a goal to portray the characters I’m given and hear the public calling me an actor for that, then it’s my goal. I want to be an actor who works constantly.”
You have a tattoo on your forearm.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength”. It’s a line taken from the Bible [Philippians] 4:13. I was so touched when I read it when I was young that I even got it engraved on my body. It’s not because it’s from the Bible that the meaning is that you should rely completly on God. It’s also important to believe in your own talent at some extent.
Fair talent was probably not enough to make the decision of filming “Surplus Princess” easy.
It’s a drama with an unusual concept. If the concept was fresh, I thought I could handle it, no matter how dangerous it could be. The most important thing when I’m choosing a project is the character. When I find a character that I like, I express it strongly to my agency and the people around me. My agency respects my opinion.
What did you like about Kwon Si Kyung in “Surplus Princess”?
The Kwon Si Kyung Kim Hani (Jo Boa) imagines is very different from who he is in real life. I was looking forward to playing various images between the clumsy guy and the chef being able to do everything.
The drama is about young people’s problems such as job searching. Could you relate to that?
I’ve always wanted to play in a drama or a movie that would talk about the issues my peer have to deal with. I thought there would never be an opportunity unless it was a film documentary or a low-budget indie movie, but “Surplus Princess” actually gave me this opportunity. My character isn’t looking for a job and doesn’t have this worry, though. Kwon Si Kyung is a character that has it all. He went to med school, then he changed path to become a chef. He found success in New York. He’s the one jobless young people envy and this generation’s target (laugh). It’s not just in the drama. He’s also the goal jobless young people in real life aspire to be. Of course, my desire to play characters telling the honest stories of my friends and their reality is still the same.
Kwon Si Kyung is a character disconnected from reality.
Indeed. When I first read the scenario, the first thing that came to my mind is the image I have of myself. Even if we struggle to keep it together, the person we are in our minds is always perfect. I tried my best to reproduce within reality the perfect image of this character that we all dream of.
When people see you, they remember warrior “Woon” in “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”.
Thanks to the great popularity of this drama whose ratings were over 40%, this character is still memorable after 2 years and a half. I really tried to get rid of this warrior image once the drama was over. I cut my long hair, I grew a mustache/beard. I also tried to change my image with dramas and movies with unusual concepts like “Nailshop Paris”, “Fantasy Tower”, or “Tunnel 3D”. However, changing my image isn’t easy. The genre, the character, everything about this drama is new for me, so I think this is a good opportunity to change my image.
Are you usually interested in romantic comedies?
No. Absolutely not. I like projects or characters full of this masculine vibe. Of course, I wanted to try to do a rom-com. It’s a genre you must experience to be an actor for a long time, but my expectation was “won’t a rom-com allow me to discover a new image?”. Besides, if it’s not now, when will I be able to do a rom-com. (laugh)
Do you remember worrying about your career like Kwon Si Kyung did?
When I started college, I didn’t worry. I didn’t want to repeat a year, so I had to choose a school and a major according to my grades. But I started working as a model and it’s when I went into acting, I worried a lot. It didn’t last long, but I don’t know how many times I thought that I should just quit acting. My mind is at ease today. I think things come together for me as I’m going to my own slow pace. And I think of acting as a job. When you find a job at an office, you work diligently and you get promoted. It’s the same for acting. As I keep filming projects, I can get recognition from the audience, I can become popular. I’m not impatient about it.
Why did you choose to become an actor?
Shooting ads when I was a model is something that came close to acting. Changing the camera angle for a short scene, fixing the lighting, these are clearly things that would attract an engineering student. Should I call it high-technology integration? (laugh) My interest naturally grew and that’s how I started. It feels like I was getting into acting through ads or photo shoots while my friends were studying at the library to get a job.
It’s already been 6 years. What has changed?
It’s not easy to see a difference when you look at your face in the mirror everyday. I’m always trying my best to change, but I don’t actually feel a change. If I try harder, I should feel the change, right?
Looking back now, you probably gave up on many things.
Indeed. I’ve been so busy that it’s been a while since I’ve seen my friends. I organize my account books and my schedule every day in order not to forget even one little thing. It’s something I started doing when I was modelling in Japan. It’s already been 3 years. I meticulously write down everything I do, like at what time I wake up and what I do, whom I meet with. Even worse, when I’m at home all by myself, I do things based on a 30-minute time slot. Should I say it’s my self-healing method? Sorting things through when I lie down on the sofa help me to get rid of the stress. (laugh)
What do you keep track of when you’re alone at home?
I sort out my schedule. (laugh) I read. I play with my cats. If I feel confined, I go outside and ride my bike.
Don’t you have other hobbies?
I’ve been playing the saxophone for 10 years. I like it to practice vocalization, but I also realized that my mood gets better when I play certain songs. Nothing can be compared to the sense of achievement when I master a song after much practicing.
Don’t you date?
My last relationship was 4 years ago. Work is still a bigger priority than love for me. But that’s a problem. I don’t know what makes a good relationship these days, how men and women overcome the differences in their ways of thinking. When I look at couples around me, I sometimes get this helpless “what should I do” feeling. (laugh)
In “Surplus Princess”, Kwon Si Kyung is the love target of Kim Hani and Yoon Jin Ah (Park Ji Soo). Has it already happened to you to have several women asking you out?
Unfortunately, I have never experienced such thing. If it were to happen to me, I’d have no hesitation and I’d choose the woman who is the closest to my ideal. I definitely have an ideal. A woman who likes the same stuff I do, someone I can discuss with. A woman I can easily get along with and even if we get into an argument, we can settle it easily. Of course, such conditions aren’t fixed when I’m actually dating someone. What I felt through the few relationships I had is that the image of the woman I liked vanishes as we start dating. Because the one I liked is the woman when she was single. As soon as we start dating, a completely different woman, someone who was hidden appears. That’s why I don’t give too much importance to my ideal.
In “Surplus Princess”, Kim Hani says she feels true love for Kwon Si Kyung. What is your definition of true love?
Platonic love (laugh) [t/n: he uses the English expression, so I’m not very satisfied with my “true love” translation, but…yeah]. I don’t really know what it is. However, one thing is clear. I think if it’s true love, you must be able to share freely any worry you have. If it’s joy, it gets doubled. If you share your worries, it gets lessened by half. I think that’s the required condition for true love and I think it’s truly the meaning of a life partner.
I hear you kind of met your life partner.
Hahaha. I will film “We Got Married”. It’s about showing my true self which is different from dramas and films. I’m excited and very scared at the same time. I think there’s no need to worry about that beforehand because I’m not good at dating. It might make me look like unnatural. I will try my best to be comfortable and enjoy filming.
Translation: @thesunnytown- thesunnytown.com