You play psychologist Choi Soo Hyun in your new drama “Madam Antoine” which will be broadcast on jTBC. In “Hyde Jekyll and I”, you were a hypnosis expert. You were a plastic surgeon in “Discovery of Romance”. On the surface, Choi Soo Hyun can also be seen as a doctor.
No. He’s a psychologist. He doesn’t wear the white gown. If we want to be precise, he’s an experimental psychology expert. Psychiatry is undoubtedly different from being a doctor.
The reason you chose “Madam Antoine”?
First of all, I really like director Kim Yoon Chul whom I first worked with on “Can We Get Married?”. The second reason was because I really enjoyed the script. To be honest, I was thinking about doing a movie at that time, but I read the script and I got greedy.
Is there something the director ordered you to do as Choi Soo Hyun?
Director Kim Yoon Chul gives me space to think about good reasons. I don’t know if he’s so generous only with me, but he imposes me nothing, he doesn’t order me around. We make the character as we communicate about it. I have done enough romance to not play in them anymore if I find good crazy roles. It’s not something I worry about. I shouldn’t worry about it.
Which kind of character is it?
Hm, he’s very smart. Yet, he’s not bright. He has the illusion he knows very well people’s hearts because he studied psychology for a long time. He has a lot of pride and he sulks a lot too.
You’ve done 13 projects so far, but you had never worked with Han Ye Seul before.
We ran into each other a few times, but it’s the first time we work together. We saw each other at the reading session. She is so bright and she has a carefree personality.
Actors usually say characters in dramas have a limit. Is there a type of character you’d like to try in a movie?
This is a tough question. I look much more at the overall picture than just the character. But sometimes, I want to portray a role with an endless crazy aspect to it. I have played in many romances so far, so I can not play roles like this in the future if I find a crazy role and get to portray it well. It’s not something I’ll worry about. It’s not something I should worry about.
You built up your career by working again with people you worked with in the past. I wonder if you’re not like Choi Soo Hyun, the type to care for others while observing them.
Now that you say it, I worked with writer Jung Hyun Jung on “I Need Romance 3” and I worked with her again on “Discovery of Love”. I think more from the others’ perspective. I can guarantee it. On the contrary, there are times when it can be too much. Even if others aren’t aware of it, I’m always trying to think from their point of view. Clearly, there are things you like and things you don’t like. I usually cover the flaws with the good things I can relate to.
When you work with other actors, they probably influence you a lot.
I think actors must get along. When I’m on a set, I can try to look cool, but I show more on purpose what I’m lacking of. I try to become friends no matter what because that’s the way for me to do a good job.
I checked out your Instagram and it seemed you went on a trip once you finished filming “High Society”. It seemed you took a break for three months. What did you do during that time?
I think I almost never took a long break. And this wasn’t a long break either, though. After wondering about what I should do, I decided to start studying piano again. I started after stopping for awhile. And I did travel too. I went to Jeju with my family. I also went to L.A and Las Vegas to see my friends.
Do you usually go on trips when you take a break?
To be honest, I dont think to myself “I must go to this place”. If there’s somewhere I want to go, I think I must definitely go when I have time. I’m not the type to carefully plan my trips. My trips are usually unplanned.
And did you enjoy your trip to California?
I had already been there once when I was a kid. When I traveled to the US, I usually went only to the East coast. L.A wasn’t totally the place for me. And this goes for California too. The galleries of New York are like walking into a dense small forest, the L.A buildings are large and the roads stretch out in a straightforward way. The scale is large, but the fun is little.
You probably enjoy more the energy of dense big cities when you’re young, though.
Well, you can, but it also can happen that your mind doesn’t really endure well being free. I spent a lot of time by myself. I was an introvert. Working changed my personality, it made me impatient. I mentioned the second movement of Schubert’s piano sonata n°20. I played the piano so much when I didn’t work. Ah, I don’t learn it step by step. I started playing the piano because I liked this song and I wanted to play it. It was like that in the beginning, it’s like that even now. It’s the only song I practise. I can’t really read music either. I write down the notes in hangul and I memorize the melody.
Why do you like this tune?
I like piano tunes. They are the songs that touch my heart the most. I’ve listened to classical music a little ever since I was a child, but some of them are difficult to approach. For instance, despite not being my taste, I listen to Mozart’s joyful tunes and some aspects make me uncomfortable. However, Schubert’s sonatas make my heart racing.
You mentioned Jean-Paul Sartre in one of your interviews.
People usually talk about his love life. It’s rare to hear people talk about his philosophy of existentialism. It’s difficult to draw a conclusion about myself with each interview. As time goes by, I feel myself change. I read Sartre because I suddenly got afraid of dying when I was in my teen years. That’s when I found his book. Because I was looking for answers. It’s obvious he was a smart man.
And this teenage boy Sung Joon ended up being a fashion model.
I had this vague desire to do fine arts. I said once in a while that I chose to become a fashion model because I wanted to work in a way that would make me communicate with people. I couldn’t find a particular occasion that had gotten me into fashion… Why do I like clothes? When I was a child, I mostly wore the clothes my mom bought for me. For instance, I really hated wearing a blue t-shirt my mom had bought me. I wanted to wear a green t-shirt. After that, I thought to myself that I should buy my clothes myself. This was how it started. I wanted to pick out my clothes, I wanted to buy them. This is what I told myself and that made me pay attention to the world of fashion.
Is there a designer who influenced you while you were working as a model?
It’s not just me. Most of male models would answer Hedi Slimane. He was awesome for suggesting a new way to design male clothes. Slim and delicate.
To be honest, this is something ironic. The fact that someone who is an introvert chose a job that would make him stand in front of an audience. Which word would you use to describe your personality?
Hm… Solitary. I think this word is my personality.
I don’t know. You are specialized in jokes.
I don’t really want to stand out. (smiles)
There are plenty materials. Soil, rocks, trees, what’s your favorite?
Wire. The word “wire” reminds me of something sharp.
And “wire” also makes us think about something thin and delicate.
It’s smooth. A smooth line. I think it’s very similar to a drawing. It’s in 3D, but it’s like 2D. I think a wire is a material easy to approach. Mud comes out in blocks from the beginning. The wire is a line, so it has no weight. You can put it together and it turns into a block. It’s the most interesting material.
You enjoy taking pictures, you like culture and music too. You seem to be someone rich in emotions.
Rich in emotions, I think this expression has a positive meaning. I don’t feel that way. I think I’m someone who’s lacking in emotions.
And I think now you’re not someone who speaks carelessly after thinking deeply. It seems that you have already thought about what your life will be ten years from now.
I thought up to 30 years from now.
Will you still be an actor at that time?
To be honest, I don’t know. Because I can like another job. If I like growing flowers, I might become a florist. I think I hope I’ll be happy and not just me, but I hope for my family and the people around me to be happy too. I think this is something that gets better with time.
Do not take out
Do not screencap
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com