[January 2016 – InStyle] Ko Kyung Pyo – Interview


Do not take out
Do not screencap

Sunwoo and Bora finally started dating. Wasn’t it awkward to act like a couple with Ryu Hye Young whom you’ve been friends with since college?

Absolutely not. Because it’s acting. We’re just filming like we usually do. And being friends actually makes some aspects easier. Like on the days when we got no sleep the day before or aren’t in a good mood, we know just by looking at each other. We enjoy filming by trying to take care of each other like this, by sharing words of comfort in moments like this.

The scene where you run away after giving a quick kiss to Bora because she was sad after a breakup made me go “Is this the behavior of someone with manners?”.

Some people told me the same thing after the episode aired. However, if you feel that way, I think it’s because I failed to express something. Sun Woo behaved this way because he was totally into the moment. He got surprised by his own action and just ran. If this emotion didn’t come across, then it’s because I fail at expressing it well.

You had received the casting offer in the first half of 2015, so you had come prepared.

To be honest, I didn’t know how it would turn out. I remember that I failed at my audition for “Reply 1994” because I couldn’t speak saturi. When I went to the audition this time around, it was a time when my weight was around 90kg because I was doing a theater play at school and drank a lot with my friends. The producers were sure of their choice when they recruited the other actors, but they got doubts for me. What’s even worse was that director Shin Won Ho was straightforward with me and told me “at the time we did “Reply 1994″, you looked naive, but you got tainted by society in these past 2 years”. The shock his words gave me was big, but I tried my best to change everything once I got the role.

Do not take out
Do not screencap

What kind of efforts did you make?

First of all, I lost weight. Almost 10 kg. To be honest, I should have lost more, but I wasn’t able to do more and that’s why I’m sorry for the producers. And in order to portray this bright model-like character, I focused and kept my mind set on that every time I read the script.

I wonder what the personality of the “Ssangmoon-dong Squad” is in real life.

Each one of us has a very distinctive personality. Hyeri is almost the same as her character. Park Bo Gum is exactly the same. I guarantee you that Bo Gum is the nicest friend I have among all the celebrity actors I know. Jun Yeol is very more playful and passionate than the “chic” personality his character Jung Hwan has. Dong Hwi is definitely more thoughtful about his role and more focused than Dong Ryong is.

Compared to the other characters, it seems that Sun Woo would be more difficult to portray through an one-dimensional way.

The director told me Sun Woo wasn’t a nice kid. When he’s facing adults, he’s like the perfect student, and when he’s with his friends, he shouts and cusses. He’s a character trying to look a bit more mature than his peers when he’s in front of the person he loves. Even when he pretended to be confident when he confessed his feelings to Bora, he was probably struggling inside because he was approaching an older girl who had always thought of him as her little brother. I’m trying my best to keep the character multidimensional in every scene.

There’s one thing I associate Sun Woo with when I think about him.

Raindrops pouring down! I felt that a scene in the rain would match the chemistry between Sun Woo and Bora, so I asked the producers to make us a lot of pretty scenes like this. There’s also one scene that surprised me when I watched it. The scene in which Bora gets severely criticized by her ex-boyfriend, she feels so weak that she sits down and a raindrop falls in her hand. I thought it was an awesome hint to say “Sun Woo will be here soon”.

Do not take out
Do not screencap

I feel like the filming set with the Ssangmun-dong friends is always lively.

You don’t know how hungry I get every time I see a scene where we get together to eat ramyeon. Here’s something you probably don’t know. The set-up with the friends getting mad at Dong Ryong because he farts in his sleep. This was actually improvised at first by Dong Hwui-hyung and it was fun, so they kept using this set-up. If you watch closely the scenes where we eat ramyeon, you’ll see that Jun Yeol is the only one who just keeps eating. The other persons in the scene were afraid that the “slurp” sound would be heard, so they’d just hold their bowl of ramyeon. But these ramyeon were so good! The “Jung Hwan style” ramyeon with a sausage and an egg are awesome too. You can never go wrong with ramyeon when you want to eat with your friends.

I’m going to ask you about the guesses going around about the ending. Some people say Ryu Jun Yeol will be the husband anyway, that Sun Woo and Bora are from the same family lineage, that Sun Woo’s mom and Taek (Park Bo Gum)’s dad will get married. Among what you’ve filmed so far, is there one rumor that got something right?

Nothing of what you mentioned has been in the script we’ve gotten so far. I don’t even know if Ryu Jun Yeol is the husband. The question I get asked the most is which actor plays the adult version of Sun Woo because we find out that Lee Mi Yeon plays adult Duk Sun in the huisik scene in the first episode. Some netizens might have been surprised for being right about the love line between Sun Woo and Bora because the story goes really into details, but I think the producers are even better for laying the ground and staying one step ahead. To be honest, when we are filming, the actors can’t be aware of what serves as a trick for the viewer.

I’ve been watching you since your rookie days. It’s the first time you’re being in the spotlight like that. You’re in a bubble! (smiles)

Before we started filming, the director said “you can be excited if the “Reply Series” gets a lot of attention, but you might also go back to your previous status when the drama is over, so you shouldn’t feel disoriented when you go back”. The fame and the attention I’m receiving is only because of the drama. I’m not that much excited because I don’t think this extends to me personally.

Do you think you have reached a certain status as an actor?

I still have nothing yet. All I got was to play in really good dramas. I don’t have that weapon that would make think “this is mine”. Just because I’m building my filmography doesn’t mean I’m sure about acting being my job. Taking one project after the other is enough to satisfy me. I feel like my priority right now is to find happiness and satisfaction somewhere. If your happiness standard is based on stuff like money, fame, status, you will get the feeling that you fall behind and you’ll be sad.

To be honest, you seemed to be particularly in a down mood today, compared to the time we met before.

It’s not because of my health or my mood. I think I’m at the age now when I have a bigger sense of responsibilities about my job and my activities rather than just be ambitious. I desperately feel that I must care more about what others’ think than care only about myself. I think that’s why I’m becoming a bit colder.

You’ve already decided what your next project will be.

I’ll play Seo Won, the son of a murderer called Hyun Soo played by Ryu Seung Ryong in the movie “A Night of 7 years”. It’s a role about a crazy experience that I never experienced as a person. He pulls up a corpse at a very young age. As he’s living without knowing when his world will collapse, he tries to lead a life of perseverance. It’s about portraying a character with a crazy life, so it’s a lot of pressure for me, but I had to give it a try. I had to erase my own image and make a lot of efforts. I think it will be a great challenge.

What kind of year 2015 was for you and how do you want to spend this upcoming year?

Hm… (one minute later) A lot of people had a hard time because of me last year.

Your parents, your agency staff, your friends, everyone.

Stuff that shouldn’t have happened happened, so this year was the prevention year to figure out that stuff like this shouldn’t happen again. I’ll be satisfied if I manage to go through next year unscathed and if I get to work constantly.

Do not take out
Do not screencap

Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


8 Comments Add yours

  1. maulidhappt says:

    You can never go wrong with ramyeon when you want to eat with your friends.

    lol yep. he explain ssangmundong-squad in a way that makes me love this squad even more. I am forever stuck with this drama and their bittersweet ending /teamJungpal all the way/

  2. kfangurl says:

    Aww.. I’m getting the impression that he’s a really earnest sort of guy. And I like how grounded he tries to stay as well. I recently watched the first episode of Youth Over Flowers in Africa, and I must say, I was very touched when he started crying, once he realized they were being kidnapped to do YOF. And his reason, OMG so endearing. He explained, saying something like, “YOF is only for those who receive a lot of love.. I don’t feel worthy.” How endearing is he??? I think he’s gaining more positive attention now thanks to AM88, and I do think he’s earned it. Thanks for this, Sunny – a very enjoyable read!

    1. 1sunnylady says:

      Compared to his level of popularity before “Reply 1988”, I felt like he was actually getting some attention b/c he had a handful of interviews, but I didn’t think people would be interested. ^^ I’m glad he’s getting recognition too. I want to watch YOF, but I feel so restless when I watch variety programs these days, like I should be doing something else? xD

  3. thanks for the translation!! i wonder what happened to him last year that made it so bad, and if it’s one of those things that are common knowledge in sk (like to-us-in-the-west a silly ‘scandal’) and get alluded to here & there to our bemusement. lol. i thought he did a great job in his role in reply. he is obv very professional & grounded about acting which is fab ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 1sunnylady says:

      I don’t really follow his updates, but this might have been b/c of the controversy last year when he said he enjoyed a song by BlackNut. Blacknut has some very misogynistic songs with a lot of cuss words, so him saying he likes one song BN did for “Show Me he Money” got netizens thinking it was wrong of him.

      ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really thinking about watching “Reply 1988” just b/c of the Sunwoo/Bora because I only read and hear things that make them very shippable to me.

  4. kentang says:

    Thank you for translating this article. I like him. He is now in my “must watch actors” list. =))) and Ryu Hye Young too.

    1. 1sunnylady says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ˜€

La parole est ร  vous

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s