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Interviews have been your daily routine these days, right?
I’ve never done so many interviews in my life. A lot of people like the drama, so I think that’s why I’m getting love too. It’s a tight schedule, but I sleep more than when I was shooting the drama. I used to be scared of magazine photo shoots too, but I find it fun now.
The drama is over, but you won’t let go of Han Suk Yool for a while.
Because a discussion about “Misaeng” can’t be left out when I do an interview. Once all these interviews are over, I think I will be able to let go. Of course, in my daily life, I’m back to being the Byun Yo Han I was before.
Among the many things Han Suk Yool gave you, there was this hairstyle!
It’s a style I had never tried before, so it was a bit awkward, then at some point it felt like I wouldn’t be able to portray the character without this hairstyle. The hairstylists found me the right wig, so a lot of people didn’t know it was actually a wig. I keep this hairstyle because I won’t think that “Misaeng” is over until the interviews are over.
Which side of your personality is similar to or different from Han Suk Yool?
In the script, Han Suk Yool was described as “an idealist who stepped into reality”. He’s an idealist with a warm heart but whose style and values are clearly defined. I think of myself as an idealist. While I was filming indie movies, I was always confident. This self-confidence feels like passion now. I bumped against many walls while being an actor, but I never lost this self-confidence. I wasn’t waiting for this oneshot that would go bang, I waited like the blossing time of a flower. Because there are also flowers which blossom at a slow pace. I was this way because I sometimes loved acting, sometimes I hated it, sometimes I dreamed of it, sometimes acting was hard, all these feelings came and went.
Was there a behavior of Han Suk Yool that you couldn’t understand while portraying him?
If it were me, I wouldn’t have used the company board to denounce Manager Sung. I think it was necessary because a drama needs constant conflicts. I tried my best to find similarities between Han Suk Yool and me until the end of the drama. I wanted to understand him more than anone else. My acting choice was to completely give in to Han Suk Yool and forget about myself.
Is it true that you purposely stayed away from Manager Sung to keep the acting real?
It wasn’t like that. I was the last one to join the drama, so I really didn’t have a lot of time. Inho-sunbae and I met and started filming right away. We repeated our lines a lot, so we didn’t really get to talk about personal stuff, but we became close to the point that the first one to go home would text the other about it.
Sometimes, your acting often got me wondering if it was improvised. I mean, the acting looked like real life if it weren’t adlib.
The lines were so carefully written that I tried my best to not get any of them wrong. Out of 20 episodes, I might have done adlibs three times? And not all of them were about the lines, there were gestures too. For instance, after getting mad, Ahn Young Yi takes the afternoon off and I see her getting scolded by Manager Ha and I tell her a joke. There’s the time when I blow a heart to Jang Geu Rae and I give him a sudden hug. These adlibs weren’t about me, they were to comfort my partner. Ahn Young Yi and Jang Baek Ki couldn’t express their feelings this way. I tried to do it sometimes as Han Suk Yool was the one who could express himself that way.
Which actor did you connect with the most?
I became close with everyone, but if I were to choose one peson, it would be Daemyung-hyung. I’m not the type to talk a lot about myself, but he’s my sunbae and I think I relied on him a lot because this was the first time we both played in a drama.
In the drama, you talked beautifully about poktanju (bomb shot). Hearing you talk righ now makes it hard to picture you this way.
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DO NOT SCREENCAP.
Yes. I’m the type to quietly drink along. In the past, I had fun watching videos on how to make a bomb shot. As I read the script, this video came back to my mind and I told the director I would try to do it. The director really liked it and gave me the green light. I’m still in the learning phase, so I try my best to observe and remember everything. Even the smallest stuff people tell me. I believe I will keep it mind and it will be expressed through my acting.
You had been on stage a lot for plays and you shot movies, but it was your first drama. Wasn’t it hard to adapt to the drama system?
I could imagine it because I heard a lot about it from the sunbaes. I got the role confirmed just 10 days before I started filming, so I was a bit scared. However, when filming actually started, I got used to the situation. The staff and the actors really gave me strength and we were able to create a synergy. There was nothing hard but memorizing my lines.
The atmosphere on the set was probably special since the drama got such good reactions.
There was no going back and forth between hope and fear. We didn’t toast to it in advance. We just tried to keep moving at our own pace like we did when the drama started.
While the drama was airing, even after it finished airing, there were a few articles about you every single day. Do you read articles and comments about you?
I don’t. I think of them as another way of communication. If anything, I read when the reactions won’t make me waver and I will be able to keep my center. I read it that way because I don’t know if I’m able to handle everything.
Is there a reason why you focus on indie movies?
I was born with indie movies, they made me grow and they still make me improve today. The indie movies world accepted me first. At first, this was the reason. As time goes by, I wonder if it’s necessary to draw a line between indie movies and commercial movies. There are many movies that touch your heart and deliver a good message. I learned a lot with indie movies and that’s how I’ll think of it. Of course, if I come across a drama good like “Misaeng”, I won’t turn it down.
Which kind of scenario are you attracted to?
Scenarios that aren’t vague. I must be able to understand as I read. There are projects worth the challenge even when they make me feel like I run into a wall and that I manage to pass over it. However, I never take a role if I don’t think there’s a message, even if I don’t understand it.
I heard you started acting to fix your pronunciation because you used to stutter when you were in middle school.
When I was in middle school, theater made me think that the world could be fun. Stuttering gave me a complex, but when I was on stage, I never stuttered. Being like this surprised me and made me feel happy. I told my father that I wanted to take the acting path, but he was firmly against it. In the end, his opposition made me more earnest about it. My passion for acting grew bigger through my father’s opposition. That’s how acting became my dream. If I had started acting right away back then, I might have grown sick of it. I’m still thankful to my dad for being that way.
You said recently that your father acknowledged you as an actor?
He’s the one who told me first “I watched your drama. It was really good.” Hearing these words felt very nice because complimenting the drama more than complimenting my acting means that he saw the bigger picture. He told me “regardless if you’re a good actor or not, I see that you’ve struggled on your own for the past five years. You went through a hard time and you will be blessed from now on/you have my blessing from now on. And always be humble”. After we hung up, I didn’t even know how touched I was when tears came out. And then I had a big smile. I was really happy that he talked to me like one man to another mand and he respected and supported my dream.
On “Allure” Facebook page, we received questions about you and many fans were curious to find out your ideal type. You said in an interview that you didn’t have one.
In the past, I liked pretty women. At some point during their teen years, men like sexy girls, then they like innocent girls. It goes back and forth. However, now that I’m older, none of these two things are important. I think what’s nice is to be with someone with the same mindset as mine, who respects my work and my values. And it would be nice if she has already experienced love. I mean, somone who understands how precious love is and who can give love without holding back.
What changes do you go through when you’re in a relationship?
I’m the type to really make efforts to match the other person. I think someone who can’t love a woman can’t understand any type of role. Love is an important value of mine. If there’s someone I love, I will keep the feelings in my heart for a long time and approach her when I’m sure.
Do you have an aegyo you only show to your girlfriend?
I don’t. There are probably things I do without being aware of it, but just the thought of planning to do something like this on purpose makes me awkward. If the other person senses it, the reaction would probably be to sprint 100 meters away.
You turned 30 this year. Do you feel a change?
Although I don’t like getting older, I think I hope I’ll age fast because I want to be experienced for the dream that I want. Now that I’m passed the intensity of my 20’s, I have become a little bit more free-spirited. I think I’m able to live with a little bit more freedom.
“I want to become a good person” are the words you say the most in an interview. What do you call “a good person”?
To be honest, I’m not sure yet. I think it’s about setting your own standard and to reach it. Obviously, I want to become someone who gives endless love to the persons he loves. I want to become someone who gives love and doesn’t try to receive love, doesn’t have expectation or get disappointed.
I think you probably felt lonely a lot during the past 5 year you’ve been an actor.
At first, I was so into acing that I struggled. Acting was the center of my life. Anyone can succeed if they add experience to talent. As you get more experienced, your acting improve, so the moment when I felt like I had stopped moving forward was the loneliest moment. That’s when I went out and enjoyed having a leisure life. I played bowling, I played ping-pong, I went fishing. However, this leisure life became the natural continuity of acting. Playing ping-pong gave me a better ability to focus and to react fast, fishing gave me time to organize my thoughts.
When do you feel “bliss” when you’re acting?
When I see muscles or a facial expression I hadn’t used before. I go “how do I make such facial expression?” “i’m killing it!”. I feel bliss in moments like this. It’s also thrilling to watch sunbaes who show an expression that gives life to the moment. I’m acting with the hope that I will be able to become this kind of actor one day.
The movie “Socialphobia” will premiere soon. You play a lead role. It seems there will be people who will go see the movie just because of you.
It will be interesting. I’m confident. Any actor will feel a sense of responsibility. In my case, it’s an indie movie, so I’m very thankful if people get a little bit interested in this field because of me.
You’ve been working like crazy for 6 months. If you get free time, what do you want to do the most?
I want to go somewhere with my close friends. Going fishing somewhere close, having a barbecue, sleeping when I want, I want to spend my time doing small stuff like this.
Are your close friends actor too?
They’re friends I met when I started acting. They’re my best supporters and my best antis. They’re the ones who support me the most and the ones who criticize me the most. I accept it all because they act like this out of love. “Don’t let something make you forget that you’re acting.” “Always stay calm.” They give me advice like this.
Are you always this friendly?
I think humanism and a sense of humor are the most important things for an actor. I think an actor who isn’t entertaining will struggle to show good acting. I can make you laugh right away. Next time, we’ll go to a playground and sit on a swing to do the interview. You’ll ask questions while in the air and I’ll answer when down. This will really make you laugh once you go home and think about it.
Sure. I will see you at the playground next time. Did you make yourself a promise on January 1st?
That I should spend this year loving myself a lot. In the past, there were many moments when I was upset and lonely because others were loved more than I did. Now, I want to live while loving and taking care of myself. As I do the things that I want, as I spend time with the people I love, as I freely feel many emotions.
DO NOT TAKE OUT.
DO NOT SCREENCAP.
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com