You play a doctor once again. So wearing a doctor gown is probably not awkward for you. In “Good Doctor”, my character was in his 4th year of residency. In this drama, my character is a surgeon. The time that passed between these two roles is actually the amount of time it takes to go from the 4th year of residency to being a surgeon in real life too.
In “D-Day”, you play Lee Hae Sung, the male lead. Since I had already starting acting, I wanted to become a great actor, but I was always a bit disappointed that I hadn’t found a project to give me the opportunity. The heartwarming and naive guy, the friend or the first love, many of my roles were similar. As I wondered when I’d get to play a real lead character, I was getting bored. Since the first time I’ve heard about this drama, I felt that it’d be a good character for me. I said I had to do it no matter what because it was so great. The director didn’t reply, so I was clingy and I said later on I’d definitely do it.
Clingy how? My character Lee Hae Sung is like fire. He’s emotional and bright. He’s very similar to me on many aspects. I was attracted to this character because he’s very similar to me on many aspects and I felt that I could portray it well. I was so happy when the director said “okay, let’s do it”.
You’ve spent more time as an actor than as a model now. About twice longer. However, as an actor, I was still trying to be less polished. When I shot the interview video earlier, I was awkward introducing myself as “hello, I’m actor Kim Young Kwang”. As an model, I did well in my own way, so I kept wondering why I couldn’t do as much as an actor, but I got rid of these thoughts. In moments like this, I must stay focused on what’s ahead of me.
From “Plus Nine Boys”, “Pinocchio” to “D-Day” now, it seems that you’re on the rise. I’m trying not to have this kind of expectation. The bigger the expectation, the bigger the disappointment. I’ve been getting a little bit more at ease since “Plus Nine Boys”. I’m portraying characters with my usual self. I did many ad-libs. It could have been a fun element if it hadn’t been edited out. Personally, the fact this is a jTBC drama is even better. I can experiment new things and I’m a little bit more comfortable because I’m working with someone I worked with on “Could We Get Married?”. Strangely enough, filming for public networks is more stressful. I have a tendancy to get discouraged.
Are there difficulties model turned actors can relate to? Models are people who play with their image. Each model polish their own image, so there are many “what? I’m not like that?” moments. For instance, the level of emotions must be higher in movies than dramas and it must be conveyed to the audience, so saying this isn’t wrong, but there are also times when I go with what feels right to me.
Earthquakes, typhoons, fires, flood… Which kind of disaster do you hate imagine the most? I hope I won’t die in a fire. I think death by fire would be very painful.
Fear you encounter in your daily life? Not having a job? This is what scares me the most. It’s the reason I keep working as I’m offered projects, no matter how tired I am. And days are very long when you have no work to do. After I exercise, I eat a meal and have a cup of coffee with my friends, then I go home, watch TV and go to bed, I think to myself “ah, today is gone/today got thrown away”.
Don’t you feel more at ease now that you’re 29? I have all kind of thoughts. When I look back at my 20’s, some aspects are unfortunate like I didn’t have a steady job or didn’t get to have real fun, I spent this time of my life in the middle. Aren’t there things you can only do when you’re in your 20’s? When I was a model, I got to experience much more things like doing shows overseas although I didn’t speak a word of English. The director told me about St. James Way and I’ve been wanting to go. The director incites me to have fun and enjoy life.
If we talk about the director… Jang Yong Woo who directs “D-Day” is my mentor these days. He showed me on his notebook various things he experienced himself. There was this joy like going back to your childhood. He can play the guitar too, he’s an early adaptater who rivals the young generation. And he’s a marriage enthusiast. He says getting married and having children is one of the most happiest acts you can do in this world. He’s very eloquent too.
You like people who influence you. I like people who make me discover things and stimulate me. I’m filming this drama with Cha In Pyo-sunbae and seeing him up close makes me realize how great he is. He is very friendly and he also has this manly charisma. When I see him, he always holds my hands in a very friendly way and encourages me. And from what I hear from the director, he also does very good deeds. It makes me realize the life an actor like him can have and it makes me want to work hard and become a good actor like him.
Was being a doctor a dream of yours when you were a kid? I never dreamed of being a doctor. I like manhwas, so my dream was to be a manhwa store owner. I spent my monthly allowance at the manhwa store of my neighborhood.
Quite a simple dream! No, it wasn’t simple for me. It was my favorite dream. Once I graduated from high school, I thought I should start buying books little by little in order to set my store real quick. That’s why I bought books for a cheap price at a manhwa store out of business. If you count the manhwas I have at my mom’s in Incheon, I have 500 manhwas. I enjoy watching animation through IP TV these days.
Do you live on your own? I’ve been living on my own for 8 years. At first, my house was a mess, but I’m used to house chores now. I’m good at it because I know what to do. Before going to the set in the morning, I take out the trash, and even if I’m tired because I come home late, if there are dishes to wash, I do it roughly. However, throwing away the food waste is such a drag these days.
I saw you cook in a variety program. Before, I always ordered take-outs, but now I don’t find take-out food tasty. Sometimes, I cook for myself. I buy chadolbagi [beef brisket] or samgyopsal, I put some vegetables like water celery and I stir-fry everything with soybean paste. It’s tasty. I eat one bowl of rice, drink a can of beer and I go to bed.
What you want to see in “Please Take Care of My Fridge”? I decided to film it soon. However, there aren’t many things to see in my fridge. Talefishes I bought through a home shopping mall? I bought it because it seemed tasty, but I sent almost everything to my mother.
Are you an affectionate son? I call her almost every day. My mom worries a lot, so she often checks on me. To be honest, it can be annoying sometimes, but I don’t fight her on this. When I see my mom, we have a lot of fun, drinking coffee together while taking a walk in a park. However, when she comes to Seoul, she says “let’s go to the mountain clothes store”. I don’t know if it’s because she wants to have a hat of a brigther color than her friends’, but even if the size seems a little bit small, she always says it’s good and doesn’t put it down (smiles).
Your mother aside, the woman you want to have by your side… Being alone is still more comfortable for me so far. I’m not that interested in the opposite sex. Right now, the only thing on my mind is “I must stay driven”.
I thought you were bright and peaceful like your image is. True, I’m like that. I’m this way right now because I worry a lot because I really want to do well. I’m happy. Filming is a lot of fun. To be honest, when I went through a hard time before, I was ready to leave, but now, I hope to film more for each scene, even if it takes some time and a few takes are required. Especiablly because I fought to be in this drama and it’s a lead role, it makes me want to seize this opportunity until the end no matter what.
Do you have a dream/fantasy about life? I’m not the type to set my mind on one thing, so there’s not one specific thing, but I have some sort of a dream house in my mind. I’m taller than the average person, and as I was living in a one-room apartment for a long time, it was quite uncomfortable because my bed was small, the sinks were low. I want to sit and eat at a large table in a nice house. I saw a long table made of solid wood at my friend’s house and it stayed on my mind. Another fantasy would be scubadiving all by myself when I’m on a break? I’m confident about everything I do with my body. I’m not really scared of getting hurt. I want to try an action movie next, I want to try a macho role.
Do you think you have the charm of a sangnamja? Of course. Any man feels that way. It’s just that I don’t show it well (smiles).
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com