You worked quite seldomly in Korea after the release of the movie “Spy”, so I’m curious about many things. What have you been doing all this time?
The audition season started in the States after “Spy” was released, so I took several auditions. In the end, I got a role for the show “Agatha” produced by ABC Studio and I also shot the 5th season of CBS “NCIS” and “Revolution” season 2. And then I finished filming a movie that is about to premiere worldwide, and I also read Korean movie scenarios meanwhile. Ah, there was also the launch of a line of watches under my name in Korea. I visited my parents and I spent a nice time with my family. I was quite busy? Did you think I was just out there doing nothing and having fun? (laugh)
I see. You were busy like that, but it’s sad we couldn’t see you anywhere else in Korea but in magazine photo shoots. How have you been?
I still can’t really talk about what’s going on for me in the US, but as I think that I must greet you with some “big news”, I’m actively knocking on Hollywood’s door. To be honest, why wouldn’t I think about Korea? Strangely, I think I miss more and more Korea as time goes by. I don’t know a lot of people in Korea, but I do wish I could see more often the close friends I made as we shared joy and sorrow. And I always think about the “Hermosa” people who always care about me. LA Koreatown is quite big, so when this longing is getting deeper, I usually go to the supermarket or to the restaurant to soothe my mind. Because of how much I miss all of these people!
This time, we will see you through a program of CGV channel called “Location”. I heard it’s a travel reality program about going to different locations where movies were shot. I think it’s the first time you do a reality program, so I wonder how you got to be a part of this. Wasn’t it hard and difficult?
I thought it was an interesting concept to go personally to places where films I love were shot and share stories about them. It was very unfortunate that there was no Korean project for me to meet people after “Spy”. It was very meaningful that I was able to meet my fans through this program before I move to my next project. However, shooting a reality program is really not easy. I had so much stress even right before leaving at the thought that I had to do a complete “preparation that is not a preparation”. To be honest, I did think that I’d get some kind of script at some extent or the producers would talk to me. However, this was the real deal. Even from the moment I arrive and until we find the hotel, I was just thrown into these situations with no help, so it was quite unfamiliar and embarrassing for me.
It seems that we’ll be able to see a new side of you that we didn’t really know, so I’m anticipating it.
Of course, it’s not that what you saw of me in the roles I portrayed and the variety shows I did until now wasn’t me, but I think this program will make you see a more diverse and realistic image of me. To be honest, the characters I played in movies or dramas mostly wore suits, they were well-mannered and they were the perfect guy, so I guess it could be the reason why people only see me through this image. In real life, I usually enjoy joking around and playing with the people around me. I’m someone who wants to live with a free mindset. I’m just a simple guy who likes being ordinary as if he’s receiving the world after he’s done washing his car at home.
You have a nice personality along your handsome physique. You often portrayed serious and perfect guys, so the association isn’t easy to find. Does every person who knows you or met you say that you’re the “perfect guy” [t/n: they use the English expression]?
I’m happy and thankful that they see me in a positive way and compliment me, but I wish people wouldn’t like me because they think I’m a “perfect guy”. (laugh) I do get mad when I make a mistake, and I complain too. When something doesn’t work out, I’m very disappointed. My life motto is “let’s be passionate about anything I do and let’s always be committed”. Because no one can live my life for me. That’s why I’m trying to think in a positive way and I think I try my best in any situation.
You said you really enjoyed and were active in filming “Location” despite being put in difficult situations. How was your first impression of Macau the first time you filmed there and the first time you traveled there?
I had already been to Macau to film the drama “Fugitive: Plan B” back in the day, but Macau has always given off a great vibe for me ever since. The thing that usually comes to mind when you say “Macau”, it’s the casinos. I don’t like casinos, so it’s true that I didn’t have particular expectations. However, the more I looked into it, the more I realized the rich history and culture hidden behind that. The Eastern and the Western cultures are equally represented, so I felt like the city was like me. If anything, I came here determined, but it was so hot that I couldn’t stop sweating. Haha. I think there’s a special unique charm to this program. It’s worthy because it’s about introducing amazing scenic places, tasting the atmosphere as if you were reenacting famous movie scenes or pretending to be a movie hero. It was very interesting. I’ll make an honest confession. Through this program, I made the promise to myself to become a great actor and do many projects. What I want one day is to go around the world and visit the places where I have been to for filming and tell the stories about each place and the scenes that were filmed there, how I felt, which situation I was in at that time. The schedule in Macau was hectic, and it wasn’t about the projects I did, so I’m a bit sad that I wasn’t able to share more detailed content. I’m trying my best to live different experience, to look here and there and learn a lot, so I’m able to communicate good projects, contents and stories.
Just like you wish, I hope we’ll be able to see another side of you overflowing with freedom and humor through a good new project.
It’s a bit unfortunate that my Korean fans didn’t really get a chance to find out about the movie “Shanghai Calling” I shot in China. It’s something I really wanted to try and it’s a project that allowed me to express a natural side of me. I’m still looking for this kind of roles, but it’s true that they’re not easy to find because my image is still limited. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel burdened or that I wasn’t sad about it. However, that’s why I’m talking and thinking even more with the teams I’m working with. To be honest, do you know how surprised and happy I am for getting work and being loved as I’ve received good opportunities like this until now? After my debut, so many things changed as time went by. More than anything I realized that it wasn’t only about looking ahead and running forward. The process to get a result or to reach a destination is important too. That’s how I gained some peace of mind. It’s never about filling something in a material way. It seems that things pile up naturally because being an actor allows me to meet countless of people, to form relationships and to gain experience. As I spent my 20’s living only with a get-up-and-go spirit, I like the man I am today who has more wisdom.
I think you’re getting better with time. When you look at today, do you have expectations that tomorrow will be even greater.
Without yesterday, today wouldn’t exist. Without today, tomorrow wouldn’t come. That’s why I willingly take on the difficulties or challenges in front of me today and move forward. Because they might appear tomorrow. If I keep running forward, people will definitely see another side of me, right? I’m also working hard for it today. Let’s meet soon through a great image!
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com