[December 2016 – Marie Claire] Ji Soo – Fantastic Gentleman – Interview



All your projects for this year are officially done. Your next project will be airing in February 2017, so it’s worth to look at what you did this year.

Time just flew by. When I look back now, I always feel sad. I should have done better. I think to myself: “this is what I did, this is the experience I learned, I did meet many people”.

You have good looks, but your filmography unexpectedly shows that you did things in the right order even for a model turned actor. From theater to indie movies and commercial movies, you worked on various kind of projects. Why did you choose acting in such situations with so many possibilities?

It was around December when I was sixteen. I was about to enroll in high school and what I felt was more about “how about give acting a try” than “I want to study acting”. I was influenced by movies I watched out of awareness, but a friend who was attending an acting academy was a big part of my choice. It was my first time hearing that a school like this existed. I was curious about which kind of world it was and I went into studying with an explorer state of mind. I found it interesting and I really went deep. My first teacher set up a theater company, so living the theater company life made me learn a lot. Things such as my direction as an actor.

You seem to have made more efforts to do good projects than being greedy about becoming a star. Which kind of actor do you want to become?

I want to be a part of good projects. Because the best thing as an actor is to show good acting in good projects.


How much of your opinion do your project choices reflect?

Nearly everything. Because of my conditions and my schedule, I must talk about it with my agency, but they don’t think much different from me. It also happens that my agency’s suggestion makes me change my mind.

If you were to pick a memorable character?

They’re all memorable, but I’m very attached to “Glory Days”. I like youth movies, movies about growing pains, so I had always wanted to play a role like this. The director was also a rookie, the other actors were my age too, so this might be the reason it was nice to work on it together. I remember talking about how to do this, how to do that, I have a lot of memories with this movie. Regardless how this aspect is also there in dramas, this aspect will disappear more and more as time goes by.

It seems that you’re at a time of your life when your ambition about success is coming out.

Indeed. There are many standards to define a good project, but one of them is the fact that many people like it and enjoy watching it, so I hope my projects will become good projects like this.

Can’t we anticipate the drama “Strong Woman Do Bong Soon” which will be broadcast on JTBC early next year?

It would be nice. My character is called In Gook Doo. Gook Doo. The name felt weird at first. Doesn’t it feel weird to pronounce? However, once I kept saying “Gook Doo Gook Doo”, it felt cute. This is exactly what this character is like. He has a rough personality, he has principles, so he may seem blunt, but the character like a cute grumpy nice guy. He’s an elite officer, but he also has a crazy side too. He wants to do well.

I was surprised when I heard you were in the tvN variety program “My Ear’s Candy”. However, I think it was a smart move.

I thought about the movie “Her” as soon as I received the offer to join the program. I thought it would be a way to experience this kind of feeling. When I actually shot my scenes, I didn’t think that I was playing a role and we did get closer. I felt something special.

Do you mean true affection can come out from a situation like this?

It’s not up to affection, but I think it does trigger curiosity. No matter how small the curiosity may be, I think it can develop into being fond of someone.

There was a scene in which we see you moving into a new home, do you still live there?

Because of my health, I’m back at my parents’ for now. Living all by myself was nice, although it was for a short time. I watched movies by myself, it was also lonely.

Do you usually watch movies when you take a break?

I watched the movie “The Man Who Knew Infinity” yesterday. And I watched “Hell or High Water” before that. “Hell or High Water” is the movie I enjoyed the most among those I watched lately. When I have time, I watch almost every new release. It can be to study acting, but also for my own pleasure.

Which kind of movie do you enjoy?

I don’t care about the genre, but I do focus a bit more on the words “true story”. It makes it more interesting. Even if it’s based on a true story, you feel a bigger sense of realism because it’s mixed with fiction, so it makes it interesting. This was what interesting about “The Man Who Knew Infinity”. I like watching movies with an unfamiliar background. That’s why I’m more into foreign movies because it’s not the world we live in.

Why? Is because Korean movies really said everything about this setting?

Because there’s something more cinematographic about watching strangers. Watching foreign people in a foreign background gives a more unfamiliar feeling. I get more absorbed in what’s going on in a foreign language and places I don’t really know. That’s why I like fantasy. I also enjoyed watching “Doctor Strange”. I watched it in 3D, so my head hurt a little, though.

Is there a director’s movies you always make sure to watch?

Christopher Nolan, Alejandro Gonzales, Woody Allen.

Movies aside, what are the things you like?

Going out with my friends, drinking coffee, eating a meal. I don’t drink alcohol. One beer is enough for my face to turn red. I may sound boring speaking like this, but I’m the type to spend most of my time talking with my friends.

Where do you spend most of your time?

Around where I live. I like walking around here and there. If one acts self-conscious, people around them do it too, so I try not to be self-conscious. I truly enjoy living my life in an ordinary way.

Let’s suppose anything you want will happen. How do you want to spend the end of the year?

I think that’s a really good question. (after thinking for a long time) Just. Wouldn’t it be nice to pick up people I’m really close with, only the people I love and to go to a hot country and spend Christmas together?

So you’d choose Christmas over the end of the year party?

Christmas indeed!


Marie Claire

Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com


3 Comments Add yours

  1. kfangurl says:

    Omo, he wants to spend Christmas in a hot country??? Come visit meeee, Ji Soo!! It’s always hot here in Singapore, and I’m a boring non-drinker, just like you!! 😆

    Heh. Thanks for the good read as always, Sunny! I’ve got affection for Ji Soo (could you tell? 😆) and it’s always nice to learn a bit about what’s behind the pretty face!

    1. Sunny Lady says:

      I couldn’t tell at all xD Ji Soo sounds passionate hardworking yet so quiet. He kind of gives me a So young Ji Sub vibe in a way. Thanks for commenting as always 😀

  2. kfangurl says:

    Thank YOU, for doing these translations for us, in spite of your busy schedule, Sunny!! 😘 And a young SJS vibe.. now that you mention it, I sorta see it. Down-to-earth, broody, serious, passionate. 😍

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