[December 2014 – Arena] My Friend, Assistant Manager Kim – Interview

Arena - Kim Dae Myung

Assistant Manager Kim Dong Sik in “Misaeng” is my friend. His real name is Kim Dae Myung. Dae Myungie kept a low profile as he endured this life. Running non-stop, this is the point he reached today. When he was in high school, Dae Myungie said he wanted to become a poet. We didn’t contact each other for more than ten years. Meanwhile, Dae Myungie became an actor. One day, we met again. We still live in the town/neighborhood we lived at when we were kids.

Reactions [for this drama] are great. How do you feel?

It’s nice. However, I’m trying my best not to feel it.

Why are you making efforts for that?

I think if I let myself feel it now, I will have a hard time when the drama is over. “It was nice”, “It wasn’t nice”. I’ll think about it once the drama is over.

Because reactions are good now, but you don’t know how things will turn out in the future?

Indeed. It’s only fair to think this way.

Hey, do you need to have such thoughts? Reactions are good now, many people say good things about you, you should enjoy it a little.

No, no. I want to keep an open mind about such feelings. It could be hard to handle later on.

Dae Myung-ah, what the hell has happened to you during the few years we didn’t see each other? Did you suffer a lot?

There were times when I had really big expectations. I even thought “I made it”. However, I came back to my senses one day. If you expect things to turn out well and they don’t, it gets even harder for you.

I heard from the kids you were doing theater right now.

Yeah, I know. I also have your number.

Why didn’t you call me? I don’t know if I could have helped you with something…

I was worried I’d be a burden for you.


Because you’re a reporter. I was very happy when you won the annual spring literary contest.

I understand. Since I didn’t contact you either. I also know how much hard work theater is.

Right, I know how you feel.

We’re both fools.

Uh? Right.

When did you start wanting to become an actor? You never talked about it at school.

When I was in high school, my dream was to be a poet.

Right. You wanted to become a poet. And I wanted to become an actor. However, we exchanged our lives.

I saw the movie “Christmas in August” when I was in my last year of high school. This was the first time I felt that I wanted to be an actor.

I did some research on you and I found out you enrolled in college at 24 in the Theater and cinema department. What did you do for 4 years?

Part-time jobs, I attended another school. I took the Theater and cinema department entrance exam meanwhile and I failed.

I was just making guesses. Did you have a hard time while you did theater? Like being poor, struggling?

Well, I… When I was 24, I went to the army right after I got enrolled in college. Once I got discharged from the army, I started working. I got the chance to be in the play “Come To The Ghost House”. I passed an audition and I got accepted in a theater company called “Hakjeon”. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad, but Hakjeon gives every actor a basic pay. According to the success the play you’re in get, you can be given more money.

You’re from Hakjeon? It’s the elite!

After that, I did “Subway Line 1”. To be honest, this play is a dream for theater actors.

Impressive! Didn’t your parents say something?

Here’s what my father said. “You think you’ll be able to earn you life like this?”, but I think he enjoys what I do these days.

Of course he would. You’re doing well. Do you live with your parents?

Yeah. I must change the TV [and give them a new one].

Do change it. For one of thoses you can hang on the wall?

I haven’t received all my filming fees yet. Hhohohoho.

Considering how well things are going for you, you must be getting paid a lot, right?

No. I didn’t start filming as a top star. It’s nice to get a lot of money. In the past, I’d stand in front of what I wanted to eat and I worried. I ate with a 5,000 won bill, I didn’t really eat for 6,000 won.

You should have asked a little bit of money to your mom.

How can a man who is more than 30-years old do that? I couldn’t pay back my student loan either.

You’re lying?

I’m for real.

Dae Myung-ah, when was the hardest time for you?

It has always been mentally hard. Even at the beginning of this year, I kept worrying if I’d be able to get a new role. You never know what comes next.

While you were doing theater, did you sometimes dream of being in a movie?

I like theater. However, I was craving to do cinema. When I was 20, 21, I wanted to watch movies, but I didn’t have any money, so I found out the day of the movie premiere and I found my way into the movie theater. I watched the movie one way or another. I also lied about winning tickets to the premiere and I’d discreetly get inside.

If we add your theater experience, you’ve been acting for 10 years. Do you get this “I’m kind of a good actor” feeling?

I don’t.

Hey. [t/n: it’s a “hey” meaning “come oooon”, not they “hey” to call out someone]

I don’t. I think the more I work, the scarier I get. The more you figure out something, the scarier it gets.

You’re humble.

It’s not being humble. I’m just facing reality.

You’re good.

I’m not. Instead of thinking that I’m good, I’d say that I’m a bit unusual.

How was the beginning of filming? Since you weren’t very famous, the director could have been doubting you, right?

He trusted me so much. During casting, he had many concerns about me. He couldn’t not have them. It was a big role and it was probably not easy to trust me to portray it. We have to wait the end of the drama to know if casting me was the right thing to do.

No, we already know it was. You’re doing well.

Woo Sung-ah, on my shoulders I carry the three words “sense of responsibility”. I must accomplish what’s given to me.

Dae Myung-ah, you shouldn’t be so stubborn.

Stubborn? Righ, I’m stubborn.

There are times when you must accept things even when you’re not convinced. You look so firm.

If I’m not convinced, I can’t do it. If that’s the way I feel, just persuade me. How can I do something if I don’t have a valid reason to do it?

The director must have a hard time too.

The director is also very stubborn. It wasn’t just me. The director also gave a full analysis of the story to the other actors. He’d be all “let’s just do this well, let’s keep it moving, if we do it this way, people will keep being interested in the drama like they are today, right?”.

You’re giving them a good balance. Without you, there would have been a gap between the characters. You’re really giving them the right support.

It’s obvious to say it, but it’s not because I’m the only one who is doing well. It’s even more the case with this drama. Active communication is necessary, each person must know exactly where they’re supposed to be. That’s the way it must be to get things rolling smoothly like a wheel. Saying that I’m giving them the right support, it’s saying that each actor is keeping their position right in the end.

Are you humble all the time?

My manager keeps saying that to me. He says that I’ll fail if I’m like that.

Be careful of what you ask for.

Because I’m still not asking for it.

Fine. My friend is in a drama that I like! But Dae Myung-ah, when people talk about “Misaeng”, I only listen. I don’t say you’re my friend. I just ask “Kim Dae Myung, he’s not that bad, right?”. I actually hate it. Since we didn’t contact each other for a few years, it feels like if I say you’re my friend, it’s only because you’re on TV.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not your friend.

You will become Korea’s best actor.

And what do we do if I don’t?

You will! I don’t know much about acting. However, I know about literature, so I can feel what’s good and what’s bad. You’re a good actor.

I will listen to this with a grateful heart. It would make no sense to answer with “you’re right”. Woo Sung-ah, thank you.

Are you having a hard time these days?

I didn’t know, but I figured out as I got older. If sunbaenims read this, they will probably get angry, but my stamina is very different from last year. I feel even more this way because this role made me put on some weight. It’s hard on my joints too.

When “Misaeng” is over, you will be a wreck?

I think I will be a complete wreck.

You must overcome this.

I will.

Even if the audience doesn’t show you interest again, you must not collapse.


And you played with Lee Sung Min who plays Team Leader Oh. He’s a great actor, so you must have learned a lot.

Yeah. My team leader is such a great actor. He gave me many advice.

You failed a few times the Theater and cinema studies entrance exam. Since you had no money, you went to movie premieres and you lied to get inside and watch the movie. This time of your life was how you were able to study acting. This wasn’t wasted time, what you learned is still here.

Right. That’s what I think too. I wouldn’t know what to be thankful for if things turned out well. To put it bluntly, I should think “seems that I’m doing well for now”, right? That’s a relief.

People who saw you in “Misaeng” will probably be curious about what kind of movies you shot in the past. They’re usually surprised to find out you were in “All Bark No Bite”, “Broken”, “Target”, “The Fatal Encounter”, “Tazza”. Tell us what kind of projects we will see you in from now on?

I finished filming all my scenes for “Inside Men”.

Oh, really? The original story was also written by Yoon Tae Ho. Lee Byung Hun is the lead character. Do you have many scenes?

I do. The movie will probably premiere around May 2015?

Dae Myung-ah, when this movie will premiere, I hope you won’t get an interview with me but you will get to do interviews with reporters who know about acting and movies. Like Lee Dong Jin, Baek Eun Ha. The actors the two of them interviewed are all great actors. I think I’ll be very happy if you have an interview with them.


Hey what?


Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress


4 Comments Add yours

  1. kfangurl says:

    Omo! THANK YOU for this, Sunny!!! I LUFFED Manager Kim in Misaeng, so this is a real treat! And he sounds SO much like his Manager Kim character too, in that he’s humble and tries not to have big ambitions.. I hope to see more of him on our screens!

    1. 1sunnylady says:

      luffing is the word to describe the teddy bear he seems to be. Group hug!

  2. Foong says:

    Feeling a little sad. Hope to see more of him too.

    1. 1sunnylady says:

      me too! his movie should premiere soon, although the whole Lee Byung Hun situation kind of makes me fear for the success of this movie. We’ll see how it goes!

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