Is this your first couple photoshoot?
I did a photoshoot with Lee Won Geun-hyung whom I played with in “Sassy Go Go”, so it was a male male couple photoshoot, but it’s my first time doing a photoshoot with an actress.
You’re busy filming the drama “Page Turner” these days, right? You’re playing a high schooler again. Is there a reason you keep playing “coming-of-age” characters?
Many people ask me this question. It’s true that I’m attracted to this type of characters, but each one of them was more about a personal choice than “a pattern”. Every time, I had a reason for choosing these characters.
What attracts you to these characters?
Right now, there’s not much of an age difference. The stories are about my peers or people younger than me, so I cannot not relate.
Which kind of character “Page Turner” Jung Cha Sik is?
Go Bok Dong in “Angry Mom” and Seo Ha Joon in “Sassy Go Go” were dark characters. However, Cha Sik is very outgoing and joyful. If you can say there was always a shade covering my previous characters because of their past, this character has a livelier behavior. He’s more mature too.
How did you first think about attending an acting academy?
I think it was around the time I graduated from middle school, and I was about to start high school. I was thinking about which path to take and I got curious. Looking at my friends attending an academy made me open my heart to the idea that “something like this can be studied too”.
It seems the start is always a bit vague.
True. However, my academy teacher started his own theater company and I ended up doing theater with him. I became more serious about acting as time went by.
I think your friends must have been surprised by this choice too.
They were amazed. Some of my friends were proud, some were jealous because I had found my path.
It seems there was a moment when your curiosity turned into earnestness.
At first, the fun was about studying itself. It’s a complete different world. I felt that working outside of school was something special. However, being on stage myself made the fun of studying switched to “the fun of acting”. When I acted, I had thoughts like “I’m really happy! I really like this! I hope I will be able to do this for a long time!”.
It seems that you were taking your first step into the adults world although you hadn’t debuted yet. Didn’t you feel there was a gap between your friends and you?
On the contrary, I enjoyed the fact that the two worlds were disconnected. I met adults early. Working made me realize real fast that it’s a world where there’s an order to things and there are rules.
People call you a “rising star” [t/n: it’s one word in Korean: yoomangjoo]. It means you’re receiving attention now, but there’s no guarantee it will be more than that. Isn’t it a burden to wear this “rising star” title?
I don’t know… It’s the first time I think about the word… Hm, I was a judo athlete when I was in elementary school. And I was truly a rising star back then. I think it was sort of burdensome at that time.
Although you were in elementary school?
Yes. I did judo from my third year of elementary school until the time I started middle school. There was the pressure that I’d really die or I’d be scolded if I lost. I was young, but this pressuring feeling was big.
Still, you kept doing judo for a long time.
Because when I had fun, it was really fun. When I won, I was in a good mood. Being introduced by my instructor as “the rising star” felt nice too. Still, it was physically and mentally exhausting. Now, as an actor, I’m called a rising star again… I’m thankful. However, I do wonder if such words have a deep meaning. Because people may have expectations about my projects, they may not. Everything passes as time goes by.
Do you think it’s something you will do for a long time?
Being able to keep acting, spending a year playing constanly roles I wanted to play, this is a blessing itself. Acting is a job about continuity because I’m not taking a break and I’m deciding on my projects.
I think you must hear nice things from your entourage as much as the attention you receive. Which compliment do you remember the most so far?
The compliment “you say a lot through your gaze”. I know it’s really an undeserved compliment, but it felt really nice to hear.
What do you usually do in your spare time?
I enjoy watching movies. A movie I watched not long ago was so good that it made me think about what movies mean to me. And I came to the conclusion that it’s “a dream”.
Yes. The type of dreams you have when you’re asleep. When I watch a movie, it’s like having a nice dream. When I watch a movie whose ending breaks my heart or makes me angry, the movie is like a nightmare. There are movies you watch and you’re so into it that you get the illusion it’s reality. There are also transparent movies that feel like a lucid dream.
There are also some dreams that don’t feel like dreams at all.
You’re right. These are the movies that I won’t keep in my memory. Ah, I watched “Crimson Peak” not long ago and this unreal world in this movie was built in such a elaborate way that it truly felt like a dream. A beautiful and interesting dream.
Tom Hiddleston who is the lead in this movie is an actor who can say a lot just through his gaze.
He kills it. However, I’d mention Mia Wasikowska instead of him. I really like her.
How did you spend your first TV acting fees?
I gave half of it to my mom. And I used my half to buy a lot of tasty food to people around me.
You mean you spent it on other people? Why did you do that?
I’m trying my best to learn good things from the people around me. I have a hyung who is generous with people around him. It’s not about earning a lot of money, it’s about how he did it when he could afford it, and I thought it was something cool. I spent money on him too.
This must have been nice! So as we’re getting closer to 2016, is there something you’d like to say?
“Glory Day” will premiere in January. Do go see it! Ah, and if I say that I love my parents, is it okay for you to write it?
This seems to be something you should say to your parents directly?
It’s something I also say often. Especially to my mom. I say it to her everyday.
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com